5 Steps To Removing A Technics 1200 Platter

Featured Image: “technics 1200 gold” by sergio luna2009 is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Most folks, including myself, love servicing our electronics as a hobby; after all, the key to listening to exceptional music is maintaining your turntable. Unfortunately, suppose you have never serviced your turntable, especially a technics 1200 series turntable. In that case, you may be wondering how you can access the internal parts of your record player. So after thorough research, I compiled the following five steps to removing a technics 1200 platter.

The Technics 1200 series needs to be serviced or repaired like every turntable. And the only way you can access the motor or any other part is by removing the platter. But removing it can be a bit challenging, especially when stuck, so you should be ready to whack the spindle with a screw driver’s head.

The Technics 1200 was one of the most influential turntables series loved by everyone. This turntable became quite popular among DJs after being released in the early 1970s. (source) Unfortunately, removing its platter is not as straightforward as other brands, but it is possible. So in this article, we’ll show you how to remove a Technics 1200 platter.

What Is The Technics 1200 Series?

The SL-1200 is one of the most influential turntables of all time. Developed by Shuichi Obata’s team in 1971, this model was released in 1972. The hip-hop DJs adopted this series in New York in the 1970s. The DJs loved this unit and started using it to perfect their scratching techniques after they discovered its motor would continue spinning at the right speed even after wiggling the record back-and-forth. (source)

The SL-1200 is a direct drive turntable series initially manufactured between 1972 and 2010, before resuming in 2016. The SL-1200 series are direct drive record players under Panasonic Corporation. In fact, the “S” refers to “stereo,” and “L” stands for “player.” Initially launched as high-fidelity turntables, these units were quickly adopted by the disco club and radio DJs.

The SL-1200s popularity increased thanks to its unique high-torque motor design, making them ideal for starting tracks and pushbutton cueing. The SL-1200 is quite popular among audiophiles. And thanks to the high-torque motor system, DJs could mix records accurately and consistently. As high fidelity was the manufacturer’s primary goal, having exceptional control over the music and the quality made it stand out. (source)

These turntables were quite common in recording studios; over 3 million units were sold. This turntable is the most reliable and durable record player ever produced. Plus, most of the 1200 turntables made in the 1970s still get used to date. (source)

The Technics Sl-1200 Was A Solution For Most Of The Issues Associated With Turntables

The SL-1200 series was a solution for most of the issues associated with the design of turntables. It was a special project designed by Shuichi Obata and his team. Their main goals were correcting the speed errors and minimizing unwanted resonance and acoustic feedback. The team achieved this by making a heavy base using non-resonant composite sandwiched between a rubber base and a cast iron upper plate.

The rubber-damped feet help minimize acoustic feedback that can be a significant issue when using it next to some loudspeakers. This problem made it hard for disco and radio DJs to mix and perfect their trade. But with the SL-1200 series, DJs didn’t have to ever worry about this problem; in fact, this unit made it easier for them to give an excellent performance. (source)

The Platter Comes With A Thick Rubber Coating

The lower side of the platter has a 1.2mm thick rubber coating that helps reduce the ringing; plus, the platter comes with a 2mm rubber mat. But most DJs replace the rubber mat with a slip mat for mixing purposes. Unfortunately, the platter is prone to resonance at 250Hz, mainly when used next to a powerful sound system. (source)

It Comes With A Direct Drive Design

Instead of the belt drive, this turntable comes with a direct drive design. It is a direct-drive design known for lowering flutter and wow, guaranteeing a turntable with minimal bearing and motor noises. The manufacturers managed this by making the platter part of the turntable’s motor mechanism. (source)

It Guarantees You A Consistent And Accurate Spinning Speed

The SL-1200 uses Frequency-Generator-Servo systems to guarantee a consistent and accurate spinning speed. Plus, it is immune to dynamic and stylus drag that triggers high-speed variances. (source) But despite being a reliable and highly durable unit, it is bound to break down once in a while and needs to be serviced. Therefore, you need to learn how to remove the Technics 1200 platter. (source)

How To Remove A Technics 1200 Platter

Unlike most low-end turntables, the Technics 1200 series are an exceptional line of turntables equipped with the best parts in the market. But for your turntable to function correctly, you have to be ready to service it regularly and make sure it’s covered when you’re not using it.

After all, Technics 1200’s platter can get stuck at times, and the fact that it’s made from plastic can prevent you from using too much force when removing it. So here are five steps to removing a Technics 1200 platter:

Step 1: Remove The Dust Cover

The turntable cover is one of the most exceptional parts of the turntable that protects your device from dust. The cover prevents an accumulation of dust on the vinyl played, the record player, and the inner parts of your device. Unfortunately, some folks have complained that it does affect the quality of the sound; therefore, they don’t use it when playing a vinyl record. (source)

Since it is not attached to the turntable in any way, the first thing you should do is lift the dust cover and place it in a safe place. If there is any vinyl record on the turntable, you should remove the stylus from its groove and put it on the side. Remove the vinyl from the record player and then unplug it from the mains. Unplugging it from the mains can help protect you and your device from an electrical shock.

Step 2: Remove The Mat

The Technics SL 1200 turntables come with a 2mm rubber mat that helps prevent resonance. So before accessing the platter, you should first remove the rubber mat. As aforementioned, some DJs tend to replace the rubber mat with a slipmat. The slip mat makes mixing in the clubs more manageable and more fun. (source)

Therefore, if you purchased a second-hand Technics 1200 from a DJ, you should remove the slip mat to access the platter. After all, most DJs tend to replace the rubber mat with a slipmat, making their work easier.

Step 3: Lift The Platter Of Your Direct Drive Turntable

Removing the platter can be pretty straightforward for most well-maintained 1200 turntables. Remember, the platter comes with two access holes which you can use to lift the platter off. (source) All you have to do is place your index fingers in the two access holes and lift the platter and place it aside. This method works for most turntables, including some 1200 record players.

The platter may sometimes be stuck to the spindle thanks to the accumulated dirt and dust, making it hard for you to pull it off. And since applying some force can be detrimental to your machine, you should be cautious.

When too much dust accumulates on the center spindle, the platter can stick, and since it’s made using plastic, you should try and avoid using too much force when pulling it out. Instead, you should try the following methods:

Method 1

  • After removing the rubber mat, the first thing you should do is insert your index fingers in the access holes.
  • Try pulling it out while pressing the center spindle with one of your thumbs.
  • Apply a little force, and it will come off if it is not tightly stuck.
  • And then lift the platter using your two hands.
  • If the platter wasn’t stuck, this method could work, but if it doesn’t, you should try the following method. (source)

Method 2

  • If the above method doesn’t work, you should try lifting it while whacking it with a mallet or a piece of wood.
  • You can also lift the platter using your left hand while hitting the spindle and pulling it outside using your right index finger for this method to work.
  • All you have to do is place your index finger in one of the access holes and whack the center spindle using the head of the screwdriver while pulling it out.
  • You will feel the platter lifting with every strike. And within no time, the platter will be off, and you’ll be ready to start servicing your turntable. (source)

Method 3

  • If you have a bad hand and can’t pull it out or hold the platter using your index finger while hitting it, you can place a flat head screwdriver on one edge of the platter and lift it a bit.
  • Next, whack the center spindle using a mallet while pressing the screwdriver downwards to push it out.
  • You can do this on one side and then switch to the other side if it doesn’t work, repeat this procedure, lift the platter off, and place it aside. (source)

If you try any of the above methods, you will feel the platter lifting until it loosens and comes off. These methods work with every Technics turntable. Plus, the platter won’t get damaged while you’re forcing it out.

Step 4: Service Or Repair The Turntable

After removing the platter, the first thing you should do is remove the muck formed on its spindle. Remember, the muck is the reason why the platter got stuck in the first place, and you had to whack the spindle to remove the platter. Next, you can clean the inner parts of the Technics SL-1200 turntable and, most importantly, examine the motherboard and the magnets placed below the platter.

Therefore, if the main goal for removing the platter was repairing your fast-spinning turntable or a damaged motor, then you should do that before reassembling it. If it’s a second-hand turntable, then the first thing you should do after purchasing it is service it. After all, you don’t know if the previous owner serviced it or damaged any component.

The latest Technics SL-1200 models come with a coreless direct-motor assembly, and it has no magnet ring attached to them. So make sure you know the difference between the 1200 turntables manufactured after 2016 and the older models. (source) After all, any error done while repairing this turntable can be very costly.

Step 5: Reassemble The Technics 1200 Platter

You can place the platter on the turntable after you have finished servicing it and confirmed that everything is back to normal. But make sure the center spindle is in the right hole before pushing it downwards. After removing the muck accumulated on the center spindle, removing the platter can be easy. Finally, you can reinstall the rubber mat or slip mat and plug it into the mains.

Place your favorite record on the turntable, place the stylus on its grooves and listen to some music. Ensure your turntable functions correctly before replacing the dust cover and storing it in a safe place. Suppose the turntable starts malfunctioning after reinstalling the platter. In that case, you will have to repeat the above process and reinstall it correctly.

Why Do I Need To Learn How To Remove The Technics 1200 Platter?

Thanks to the muck and dirt that collects on the center spindle, the platter can get stuck if not well-serviced. The silt can still collect on the spindle even if you keep your device covered using a dust cover. Plus, with the platter made using plastic, you may need to try and avoid using too much force when pulling it out or using the wrong method when removing it.

Prevent Further Damages

Too much force can result in the platter getting damaged. Remember, the platter is plastic, and too much power can break or crack, which is not suitable for your turntable. Too much pressure can damage the center spindle hole or the spindle itself, so you have to be strategic and remove it correctly. You can easily remove the platter without damaging your turntable with the correct method.

You Need To Service The Turntable A Couple Of Times Every Month.

Even with the dust cover, some microscopic dust and dirt can still accumulate on the surface of the rubber mat and inside the record player. So you may have to maintain it after every few weeks, primarily if you use it more often. First, you need to remove the platter and the rubber mat to access the motor. You can service it and then reassemble your turntable and, finally, test it.

Repair It

If the motor is spoiled or is spinning too fast or slow, you may have to troubleshoot the cause of the problem. And this means removing the platter and examining the motor and the motherboard, repairing it, and then reinstalling the platter.

Upgrade The Turntable

If you purchased an old model second-hand Technics SL-1200 turntable, you might need to upgrade some of its parts. You may need to replace the motor or work on the motherboard and update it before testing it. These upgrades will mean removing the platter and working on your turntable.

FAQs

How Do I Remove A Technics Sl-1200 Platter?

You can pull it up with your fingers on the access holes until it moves. You can try tapping the center spindle using a piece of wood while pulling it. You can whack it using the rubber or plastic handle of your screwdriver, and it will pull out.

Should I Use Too Much Force When Whacking The Center Spindle?

Simply tapping the center spindle won’t do the trick at times; you may have to use a little force. So instead of tapping it, you should whack it while pulling it out. Don’t be too afraid to tap the center spindle a little hard; after all, you need a little force for the platter to come off.

Are Technics SL-1200 Worth It?

Considered by most audiophiles as the best, many regard the SL-1200 as a legend by most radio and disco DJs. The turntable was designed to correct some of the main issues associated with turntables in the 1970s. And thanks to its unique design, it is one of the few turntables the DJs use to perfect their scratching techniques.

Conclusion

Despite being popular among the DJs removing its platter can be tricky, especially if some dirt has accumulated on its spindle. In order to remove a Technics 1200 platter that has gotten stuck, you need to insert your left or right-hand index finger in the access holes and whack the center spindle using the screwdriver’s head. You can try and tap it a little harder for the platter to come off.

Sources

  1. Wikipedia contributor, Technics SL-1200, Accessed December 31, 2021
  2. Joshua Kanter, Protect Your Decks With These Turntable Dust Cover, Accessed December 31, 2021
  3. Santaji, Turntable Disassembly, Accessed December 31, 2021
  4. Deck Tech, How to remove a seized platter from a Technics 1200/1201 turntable deck, Accessed December 31, 2021
  5. Briansredd, Technics SL-1200 Platter Removal, Accessed December 31, 2021
  6. Willie Harris, How to remove a platter from Technics turntables, Accessed December 31, 2021