Undoubtedly the king of all kings of turntables in the world are the Technics SL-1200 series turntables, they’re built like tanks, steady as a rock and has the legacy and reputation in the world of turntablism, no other brands has.
You maybe sporting lately or have acquired one of the them decks for a very long time already, and perhaps you were itching to dis-sect it like a highschool lab frog and tinker what’s inside. OR simply you just want to modify and change its default factory light features. SL-1200 series version marks 1-3 pack the boring red pilot lamp,yellow pop-up, and green tempo fader lights. In this step-by-step tutorial, we will be “modding” the ultimate Technics SL-1200 MK3D turntable.
Things you need to mod 1 Technics Sl-1200 series deck. Just double the figures when modding 2 decks (duh!).
- 4 pieces 3V 5mm Blue LED lights (or any color you prefer.)
- 2 pieces 3V 3mm Blue LED lights (or any color you prefer.)
- 1 piece 720-820 Ohms, 1/4 Watt resistors
- some heat shrink tubing
- tools, tools, tools, tools
- a lot of extra time
- and some good electrical and technical skills.
First Step: Before you flip over your SL-1200 deck, remove the platter, set it in a safe place, then remove the top plastic cover.
Second Step: Carefully remove the pop-up lamp power source connector and snug the wires so it can be pulled off from the other side safely.
You may use its dust cover as stand, in the photo above, it is placed inside the top lid of its flight case which has padded sidings. You may find any alternative ways just to make sure you will not get the tone arm broken or get serious damages.
Third Step: Flip the deck over, remove the rubber feet, and unscrew 21 screws, yes, 21 screws.
Fourth Step: We will be modding the pilot lamp first. Unscrew the whole assembly.
The pilot lamp and main control switch assembly removed.
Fifth Step: Remove the holding C-pin and slowly and carefully remove the white plastic or else you’ll lose the ball and spring that holds below it.
Secure the main switch, spring, C-pin, and metal ball in a safe place.
4 5mm LED lights inside the main switch serve as pilot lamp.
Sixth Step: Here comes your electronic skills in handy. De-solder these 4 little dudes. And replace them with the blue ones.
Voila! It’s alive! Make sure to test it out BEFORE putting back together!
Next Step: Mod the tempo fader lamp indicator. The photo above shows the factory default flat green LED light.
New LED light is put into its place. Nice eh?
Further Steps: Un-screw the pop-up light assembly.
Use a tiny Phillips screw driver to remove this.
Cover being removed.
Carefully pull up the light and give clearance for cutting and soldering the new LED light. Pliers can do the trick pulling this old light bulb out of its white plastic casing.
Old light bulb removed. Strip the wires just a little bit, like in this picture.
Solder 1 3mm blue LED light like a boss. Secure everything using heat-shrink tubing. You can click the photo to zoom in and see the full resolution goodness.
Add the resistor in its system by cutting one of them wires and solder. You have to add resistor because the pop-up light was hogging 21 volts, and your new LED only requires 3 volts. So do the math. Secure the wires by heat-shrink tubing.
Don’t forget to test stuff before doing any re-assembly.
Last step will be the re-assembling of the whole system. Re-assembling is just basically the reverse of dis-assembling.
Tada! Factory default side by side with the modified one. Supah nice eh? You jealous? Now mod your decks!