Broken RCA jack?
July 31, 2006 8:02 PM   Subscribe

My turntable has a broken RCA jack - it only plays out of one channel. Can I fix this myself?

I've checked to make sure that it's neither the cartridge nor the receiver. Cleaning the offending male end doesn't appear to help, but is there a way to open it up myself and either replace the offending part or tweak the problem from the inside?
posted by Sticherbeast to Technology (10 answers total)
 
It's hard to say without actually having the turn table in front of me to look at. Presumably it can be opened, but that's not certain. (Or rather, it's unquestionably the case that it can be opened, but it's not certain whether you'd be able to get it back together again afterwards.)

If repair is possible, it would probably require a soldering iron.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 8:10 PM on July 31, 2006


Best answer: Can I fix this myself?

Yes.

but is there a way to open it up myself and either replace the offending part or tweak the problem from the inside?

Usually the screws holding down the innards are in the feet.

You need to learn to solder.

You need to learn how a record player works.

You need to learn how to use a multimeter.

You can get RCA jacks from these folks.
posted by bigmusic at 8:14 PM on July 31, 2006 [2 favorites]


Also depending on the model, google for the service manual. You might be able to find it floating around online.
posted by bigmusic at 8:21 PM on July 31, 2006


How do you know it's the RCA jack? It could be a bad contact on the tone-arm, too. Is it a heavily used table? Switching out cartridges a lot?
posted by empath at 8:23 PM on July 31, 2006


Response by poster: How do you know it's the RCA jack? It could be a bad contact on the tone-arm, too. Is it a heavily used table? Switching out cartridges a lot?

Ooh, that is a good question. How would I check for that?

As for the turntable, it's about 18 months old, lightly used, and I've only ever replaced the cartridge once. It stopped playing both channels shortly after a move, but I haven't gotten around to addressing the problem until recently, as life slows to a point where I can nurse the little spinny baby.
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:28 PM on July 31, 2006


With all due respect, if you know so little about electronics, I think it would be better to get someone else to work on it.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 9:25 PM on July 31, 2006


Get a professional. I know my electronics, am handy with a soldering iron, and have had a similar problem, and was entirely unable to do a satisfactory job repairing my own turntable (a Technics 1200).

If your model is the same or similar there are several problems you may not have anticipated:

* the disassembly is tricky, and reassembly worse: for example, the tonearm to function properly has to be properly balanced, and the balance is partially a function of how tightly each of the many screws holding the tonearm assembly in place is tightened
* there are a number of places in the signal chain where your connection could be loose or broken. For example: the tonearm socket, into which you insert the cartridge, could be dirty or otherwise broken; the joint between the wires internal to the tonearm and the remaining circuitry could be broken; the RCA output could be broken.
* the wires exiting the tonearm are quite small and go into very small, very closely spaced solder joints. They are not so small that they are beyond the reach of human ability, but still so small that you wiil have trouble as a first time solderer, especially with a crappy first-timers iron.

The RCA output itself is probably within a firsttimer's abilities to fix (or enhance, with better cables), but properly diagnosing the problem is going to take a pro so you may as well get a pro to do this.

If they charge > $180 for the whole deal you're being ripped off, and you should aim for half that or better if you can.
posted by little miss manners at 5:25 AM on August 1, 2006


How do you know it's the RCA jack? It could be a bad contact on the tone-arm, too. Is it a heavily used table? Switching out cartridges a lot?

Ooh, that is a good question. How would I check for that?


The cartridge attaches to the tone arm at four visible and accessible push-on/pull-off contact points. Check to malke sure they're all properly connected.
posted by Neiltupper at 5:55 AM on August 1, 2006


If you're CERTAIN it's the RCA jack, then it's a relatively easy fix with a soldering iron. If it's something else, I echo the others in saying "pay someone else to do it."

There's a chance that you could have somehow damaged the jack in the process of moving. If you take off the bottom panel of the player, you should be able to visually inspect where the jack connects to the circuit board. If you have a multimeter, you can also verify that both circuits (tip and sleeve) are still connected to the board.

Beyond that, it gets complicated, and it probably makes better sense to pay someone else.
posted by cebailey at 6:40 AM on August 1, 2006


I managed to replace the RCAs on my 1200s myself. I'm handy with a soldering iron, but I just opened it up and found the board the RCAs connect to, and replaced them. Worked great. Still had a problem losing one of the channels on one of the tables, though, which I attribute to a bad tonearm.

You can buy replacement tonearms for a reasonable amount, if it comes down to it.

The technology in these things isn't terribly complicated, and the solder pads are real big. Use an appropriately sized iron and you should be fine.
posted by kableh at 7:11 AM on August 1, 2006


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