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How to Restore a Thorens Turntable

Thorens, a Switzerland based electronics and engineering company, manufactured its first phonograph in 1903. Thorens, over about five decades, developed the TD124, its first hi-fi turntable system. Over the years Thorens has made some highly sought after turntables. Vintage Thorens turntables, if restored properly, can prove to be worth a lot of money. For the average turntable enthusiast, this is a matter of replacing the turntable belt and record needle or stylus cartridge.

Unplug the turntable's power cord, and remove any record still inside the turntable. Remove the dust cover, which is the rubber mat that the record sits on.

Determine how the record needle cartridge is connected to the tone arm, which is the long metal piece that the needle cartridge attaches to. Most record needle cartridges attach to the tone arm by two to four flathead or Phillips-head screws.

Loosen the screws and pull the cartridge out of its slot in the tone arm. Disconnect the four colour-coded wires from the back of the cartridge. Remove the cartridge from the turntable. Apply some rubbing alcohol to a cotton swab, and wipe out the inside of the tone arm. Allow a few minutes for the alcohol to dry.

Connect the four colour-coded screws to the back of the new record needle cartridge. Place the needle inside the tone arm slot and replace the cartridge's retaining screws.

Grasp each side of the platter, which is the disclike piece revealed by the rubber dust cover. Determine how it is fastened to the record player. In newer Thorens turntables, it is secured to the turntable by a retention clip.

Remove any securing materials, and lift straight up on the platter firmly until it comes loose from the belt drive inside the turntable. Lift the broken belt pieces out of the turntable, and set them aside. Remove any excess debris from inside the record player.

Apply some rubbing alcohol to a clean cloth or paper towel. Thoroughly wipe down the inside of the turntable until all dust build-up is removed.

Place the new turntable belt inside the turntable, and wrap it around the belt drive motor. Align the belt with the small lip on the belt drive motor until it fits tightly.

Replace the platter, its retaining clips and the rubber dust mat.

Warning

Any advanced electronic repairs like replacing the tone arm or belt drive motor should be left to a qualified analogue electronics repair professional.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips or flathead screwdriver
  • Cotton swabs
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Clean cloth
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About the Author

Ezekiel James began as a music writer in 2003. Since then, James has served as a writer for several music, technology and design publications. His work has been published on eHow, TechAxcess.com and in print for the "The Potrero View" and "Punk Planet." James is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Portland State University.