Bent cantilever. Speed problem. Need help!

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by c.u.o.m., Aug 12, 2019.

  1. c.u.o.m.

    c.u.o.m. New Member Thread Starter

    I have a Technics SL-Q200 that was given to me a few months ago. I recently moved to a new place and after setting up my turntable I played a record and noticed the speed would change for a second and then go back to normal. I made a few adjustments to make sure the turntable was leveled, as I read this might cause this kind of problem but then I noticed the cantilever is actually bent :( I have no idea how this happened, I have zero knowledge about turntables. I had no problem with it before the move. I’ve read a couple of threads on the subject and I don’t know how severe the problem is and if the bent cantilever has anything to do with the speed problem.
    Here’s a link to some pictures I took of the cartridge. Bent cantilever
    Do I need to buy a knew cartridge? I’ve read some people manage to straighten the cantilever by themselves. Should I try to? If I succeed, is there a risk the cantilever might be damaged and for me not to notice it?
    Thanks in advance.
  2. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Uppsala Sweden
    Yes, its very bent, and you should buy a new stylus at least. You can try and fix it if you want, but if it ruins it then you will have to buy an entire cartridge instead.

    Did you get this cart with the turntable? If so then you should buy a new one anyway, its a rule of thumb, you have no idea how worn that stylus is. As for speeds, it might have something to do with the power source, since you moved places perhaps there is some fluctuation in the power or something. It would have to be trouble shooted anyway, something might have broke during the move, like the cantilever likely was.

    Welcome to the forum.
    Big Blue likes this.
  3. c.u.o.m.

    c.u.o.m. New Member Thread Starter

    Yes, it’s the cartridge that was on the turntable when I got it. So I guess I’ll follow your advice. Should I get the same model Technics P28 or do you recommend something else? And should I get a whole new cartridge or just a new stylus?

    As for the speed problem, do you have any suggestions on how to trouble shoot this kind of problem? I don’t know where to begin and I’m open to all suggestions.

    Thank you for your reply!
  4. JohnO

    JohnO Forum Resident

    Washington, DC
    The bent cantilever has nothing to do with the turntable speed.

    For the speed problem, hopefully it is just a miscontact or oxidation in the speed switch. Try working it from 33 to 45 several times to try to clean the contacts. Next you could try an electronic contact cleaner like QD Electronic Cleaner, you can spray a bit of that in the speed switch and work the switch back and forth several times.

    Unfortunately there is a problem that sometimes shows up now with Technics Q models, where the speed regulating chip fails after all these years, it fails with use and/or just with age. It's 30+ years old. There are no replacement chips available. A technician could take the covers off and check for this and also try cleaning a few things inside it, or replacing certain other old parts that can be replaced. Don't try this yourself if you've never done it, there are sensitive things inside. But you can try working the speed switch, then try spraying in the switch with a small amount of the cleaner. If that works...

    You should get a new stylus. On ebay search for "p28 stylus" and several will show. On the US ebay site I see at least one seller in Canada and that should be easier for you. The stylus piece can be clear or gold color for your cartridge, it doesn't matter a lot. You can pull off the old stylus from the cartridge, and snap on the new one.
    McLover and Big Blue like this.
  5. 12" 45rpm

    12" 45rpm Forum Resident

    New York City
    I haven't tried him, but this guy can straighten bent cantilever for some nominal amount ( he quoted me $20 or something for a Grado cartidge bent cantilever )

    cartridge_retipping-5 on eBay
  6. Michael Chavez

    Michael Chavez Forum Resident

    make sure the platter is on properly (something banged or rubbed or hit things) and get yourself a new stylus
    if it worked before the move and then started acting up only after the boo boo then you'll be OK
    just look it over closely and straighten out whatever was upset by the move
    that's a decent table
    and yes, it is possible that you may have to do some electrical cleaning but hopefully not
    the remark someone made about the chip going bad is extremely extremely extremely unlikely
  7. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    A replacement stylus appears to be like $15, though, and may be overdue for replacement, anyway...
    c.u.o.m. likes this.
  8. Thorensman

    Thorensman Forum Resident

    Somebody knows how it got bent.
    Anyhow i would not use the turntable
    Till its sorted..was the speed ok before house move?
  9. c.u.o.m.

    c.u.o.m. New Member Thread Starter

    I’ll try to work the speed switch and buy some electronic contact cleaner. I really hope the speed regulating chip is not the issue...

    Thanks for all your feedback and info about the stylus!
  10. c.u.o.m.

    c.u.o.m. New Member Thread Starter

    Thanks a lot! That’s giving me hope!
  11. c.u.o.m.

    c.u.o.m. New Member Thread Starter

    I have no idea how it got bent. My heart skipped a beat when I saw it. The speed was fine before the move.
  12. Thorensman

    Thorensman Forum Resident

    My Linn Ittok some years ago
    Developed faults
    Drove me mad as i could not explain why performance had suddenly dropped off.
    Linn found the fault

    And the arm was sent away and sorted
    Well one day an interesting conversation
    Revealed my sister decided to plat Barry Mannilow and could not get it to
    Run at 45 rpm.
    So she moved every control an the arm
    ( why?,)
    I never knew she used my system

    So i had my answer.
    So your bent cantilever? A careless
    Removal man? Who said nothing?
    Its accademic now.
    Its just nice to know.
    Hope its sorted now
    Accidents happen.
    I destroyed a 3 week old Ortofon
    MC 30 SUPER
    When my allen key flew out of my hand
    And stuck to the cartridge body.
    Strong magnets.
  13. Leonthepro

    Leonthepro Skeptically Optimistic Autodidact Debater

    Uppsala Sweden
    Depends on your budget and other gear. If you dont have a lot then just get a new stylus, it seems cheap. Replace it every 6 months or so until a better cart is in the cards.

    As for the speed, try the advice given by others here.
  14. RiCat

    RiCat Forum Resident

    CT, USA
    Do you know the speed is changing or do you hear something you attribute to a speed change? Can you see a fluctuation in the strobe? I ask this after looking at the bend in the stylus. The degree of bend is defiantly creating some distorted geometries in the tip and record groove relationship. You have said you know zero about turntables. So armed with no knowledge I would not try even the simplest and basic cleaning or service of a deck; that you report worked fine before the move and bending of the stylus. You had a working good sounding system before the move. After the move you heard a change and not one for the better. What changed from the before to the after? There was a move and a bent cantilever. Those are the things that changed. I suggest you replace the cartridge and give a listen. You have to do it any ways.
    Big Blue likes this.
  15. Big Blue

    Big Blue Forum Resident

    Well, the “have to do it anyways” is not necessarily true, if he decides the turntable is shot and doesn’t have any need for the new stylus (I doubt he’s moving that cartridge to a new turntable, considering it’s a p-mount). However, it’s a pretty cheap first thing to try. If he can swallow the relatively low cost of the new stylus were it to turn out the speed control is actually damaged, it can’t hurt to try.

    I do think you’re right to verify whether it’s actually a speed issue or some weird pitch distortion with the super-bent cantilever trying to track. My assumption, when thinking both the cantilever and the speed control were shot, was that the turntable maybe wasn’t packed well and took some kind of a bump that sent the tonearm flying and knocked something around internally. But I would see what happens with a new stylus, personally.

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