How to Replace the Needle on a Technics SL-Q Quartz Direct Drive Automatic Turntable System

Written by ezekiel james
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How to Replace the Needle on a Technics SL-Q Quartz Direct Drive Automatic Turntable System
Replace the needle cartridge on your Technics SL-Q turntable. (close up of professional DJ's turntable image by TEA from

The SL-Q is a direct-drive turntable manufactured by Technics. Direct-drive turntables are distinguished by the type of motor inside the turntable. Unlike belt-drive turntables, direct-drive motors are beltless, and are attached directly to the turntable's platter. The platter is the disclike plate where the record sits and rotates. Your Technics SL-Q turntable's record needle sits inside a cartridge that occasionally needs to be replaced. It is mounted to the tone arm on what is called a "1/2-inch mount," which means the tone arm attaches to the needle through the top of the record cartridge.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Phillips or flathead screwdriver
  • Replacement record needle cartridge

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  1. 1

    Turn off your record player, and unplug its power cord from the nearest electrical socket.

  2. 2

    Locate and remove the two flathead or Phillips-head screws that mount the record needle cartridge to the end of the tone arm. Pull the cartridge out of its compartment in the tone arm. Don't pull it out all the way. There are a few wires attached to the rear of the cartridge.

  3. 3

    Disconnect the colour-coded cables from the back of the turntable cartridge, and remove it from the tone arm.

  4. 4

    Reconnect the colour-coded wires to the back of the new record needle cartridge. Place the cartridge inside the empty slot inside the tone arm. Align the two screw holes on the cartridge with the screw holes on the tone arm. Replace the cartridge mounting screws.

  5. 5

    Plug in your turntable's power cord, and test the new needle cartridge on one of your records.

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