Wizz : The Engineer

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We had two Technics SL1200MKII turntables laying around at the university. They were sleeping in their cases, I think nobody had used them for at least 5 or 6 years. By looking at the serial numbers, I found out these classic DJ instruments are older than me! You can even see them in archives photographs from 1987 where the school DJ at that time was using them. They were looking old, they had lost the shinny tint and had dirt all over them. One of them had the tone arm stuck and some wires inside where cut, so it had no left channel audio. After finding a thread I had seen on the net where a guy was rebuilding SL1200's, I thought it was time to get these babies back in business. As would Xzibit say : "I'm about to pimp these tables!"

Before the surgery

Before the surgery

The first step was to completly dissamble both units. I sorted the screws in small buckets not to get them too mixed up. I then started cleaning each and every part, from the pitch fader to the main PCB but also the tone arm parts and the main aluminum plate. I then sanded the main plate and some tone arm parts and they went for the paint shop. I used anti-rust car paint, shinny white for the body and matte black for the tone arm parts. I rewired the tonearms since one of them was not functionnal and the LEDs were also modified: the buttons and strobe tower LEDs were changed to blue and I removed the pitch LED along with the center dent, so the fader does not snap in 0% position anymore, allowing more precision near the 0%.

Inside the beast

Completly dissambled

After painting, I reassembled the main components in the body to see if everything works. It was then time for some pitch fader calibration. I used this article which explains the simple method. It's fairly easy, it just need to be repeated until satisfaction.

Ready for action

Ready for action

When the calibration was done, I simply put the under body part back on and the job was complete. Fairly easy. It's a killing addition to my DJ setup, along with my UberMixer.

© Charles Gervais-Dumont 2013