About Me

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Dallas, Texas, United States
Cline Analog

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Simple Restorations

There is a lot to be said for a good, classic turntable that works.  The problem is that so many of them have quirky little problems that condemn them to life in a box in the attic.  I've recently rediscovered the joy of restoring these little jewels in a couple of small projects.

An old Marantz 6100 that I put a good bit of time into in the past, and a recent repair job on a Dual 1246.

The Marantz 6100 was one of my first turntables, and I put a lot of time and effort into it.  I disabled the automated functions and removed some of the parts, overhauled the tonearm bearings and cable, and then installed Dynamat on the sub platter and inner plinth for resonance dampening.  After that I put in a new motor and belt to complete the restoration.

Marantz 6000 Series are really sharp looking and well built.
Overall, the Marantz is a very capable turntable with a full and rich sound.  I used it for almost 2 years before passing it on to a friend.  When his turntable got upgraded this one came full circle, back to me.

Marantz's early stock tonearm remains one of the better mass-produced arms available.

The second project was the recent repair of a Dual 1246 for an acquaintance.  While these are much more complex and have way too many moving parts for me, they also have a reputation for being some of the best automatic turntables around.

Dual 1246 - One of many excellent models from this maker.

Mostly this turntable just needed lots of adjustments.  The tonearm would no longer move into place when using the automatic start and stop, and the way the system is designed makes it difficult to use it manually.  A couple of hours, and a few Google searches later got this back up and running like a champ.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Thorens TD-316 Rebuild

The TD-316 - Reborn!

I had it in my head that I had to stay on track with the production turntable I'm working on when this great, but damaged TD dropped into my lap.  With my shop now set up and ready to go, and a really beautiful slab of flamed maple in my possession, I got the bug to build!

It came without an arm, and with a giant chunk
of one corner of the plinth missing.

It wasn't difficult to get measurements from the old plinth and transfer them to the blank maple slab.  I did, however spend a good bit of time deciding which surface would be the top, and then which would be the front.  With that part sorted out I cut the slab down to size, and then used my router table and a straight bit to plane the edges.  Then, I drilled out the motor and spindle holes, and sorted out where the electrics would be located.

The maple is still pretty much intact, and gives a good weight and solid feel to the turntable

After that I used my random orbit palm sander to do an 80-120-220-320 sanding on all the surfaces of the plinth to prepare it for its lacquer finish.  For this project I chose a spray gloss lacquer with no staining to reveal the natural beauty of the wood.  After 15 coats of lacquer, with very light buffing using   a 000 steel wool in between each coat, I was ready to finish the build.

Sub-Platter in place.

From there, the only thing left to do was to determine which tonearm to use.  I had recently rewired and refurbished this old Acos/Rega R200, and it seemed like the perfect candidate for the job.  After a few careful and precise measurements, and a little work with the drill press, the arm was in place!

This arm originally came on the Rega Planet turntable from the early 1970's

After some testing, a little work on the grounding, and several hours of just playing time, the rebuilt TD-316 is ready for service.  I just can't decide if I should keep it, or try to sell it.  (Eventually that's the whole point - to make a little side money doing something I really enjoy.)

I added the platter dampening rings, then auditioned it with my
Dynavector 10x5 cartridge and the sound is simply amazing!

You can see two feet in the three-point stance in this shot.  Very stable,
and sonically preferred by many audiophiles.


As the first post to this blog, this will be brief.  As many of you know, I've been working on building turntables for some time now.  The first was successful, if not anything particularly amazing to look at, and now the second turntable is completed!

My first attempt.

As I move forward I'll give you all continuing updates on my projects, and a look around the shop.

The latest - a Thorens TD316 rebuild - more pics to come.

Thanks for taking a minute to check out the Pivot to Spindle!