Technics SL-6 turntable refurbishing

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Phil Thien, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. Phil Thien

    Phil Thien Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Milwaukee, WI
    Well I started a thread a few months ago about possibly adding a turntable to my system, and recently I pulled the trigger on a Technics SL-6. This is one of the small (12.5" square) linear-tracking tables made approx. thirty years ago. They have great specs., but are limited to p-mount carts (and I'm okay with that).

    The SL-6 model has a track sensor and buttons 1-10 so you can program the tracks you'd like to play. I'd like my wife to be able to use this w/o difficulty. Specifically, I'd like to say, "wife, flip the album and start at track #2 please." Yes, this unit will be remote controlled in that way.

    When I got the unit, I went to clean all the old grease off (thirty year old grease is sticky) so I could replace it, and I discovered a broken part (namely, the plastic that holds the brass linear bearing was broken). I found another arm unit on eBay, hopefully it will be on the way soon and I can swap that part over.

    Also, the buttons are metalized plastic and pitted. Probably due to the use of household chemicals for cleaning (pretty common). I'll likely strip them and paint with a very close metallic nail polish using my airbrush. Nail polish with a lacquer base will burn into the plastic a little, should be quite a bit more durable a finish. But I'll need to be seen in the nail polish section of the store. I'll wear a disguise.

    So far I've started by polishing-up the dust cover. It had a few deeper scratches, which are gone as of this evening. I'm using the Novus stuff, I'll likely do the #3 (for heavy scratches) a couple more times just to make sure I haven't missed anything, before going to #2. It won't look brand new when I'm done, but it is going to be pretty close.

    I've always enjoyed DIY projects. When I built my last pair (or should I say, "most recent" pair) of subwoofers, I needed to use my airbrush to paint some areas of the enclosures. But I wanted a quieter compressor. So I found a $110 (shipping included) Mainoir Airforce compressor on eBay. These are super high-end compressors, similar to current Silentaire units (but even nicer). Mine was made in the USA approx. thirty years ago.

    They use a sealed compressor unit, like you'd find on a refrigerator or air conditioner. They're super-quiet.

    It was in rough shape. Covered in dripped polyurethane glue (do you know how difficult it is to remove polyurethane glue?), cracked pressure switch cover, bad gauges, all the wiring up to the compressor itself was shot (the insulation was cracking), the chromed handle was pitted/ugly, the oil (requires special oil) was pretty old. It took some time, but I got it all fixed and swapped out and now it gets regular use in my shop, and looks pretty sexy. Total investment, about $200 to $225. Replacement cost, about $1000 (yes, Silentaire and Jun-Air still make equiv. models and they're about $900 for the Silentaire to $1200 for the Jun-Air).

    Hopefully in a month or so, I'll be able to post a pic of a restored SL-6.

    In the meantime, here is my compressor.

    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
    signothetimes53 and JohnO like this.
  2. Hershiser

    Hershiser Forum Resident

    If I said “wife, flip the album over....” the whole turntable would end up going with it.
    chili555 and Wes_in_va like this.
  3. Phil Thien

    Phil Thien Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Milwaukee, WI
    She likes all the same music as I do. Any time I put something on, she wanders into the room and listens with me.
    The FRiNgE likes this.
  4. Phil Thien

    Phil Thien Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Milwaukee, WI
    Worked on polishing-up the top for the SL-6 today. It started-off looking fairly trashed, and now looks like it has led a fairly pampered life.

    I'll move onto the buttons next.

  5. The FRiNgE

    The FRiNgE Forum Resident

    Good posting, as this describes the time and effort that goes into a refurbish job. If the objective is to simply to restore function, or back to mint cosmetically, the resto always involves time and money, knowledge and patience, multi-skills ... sometimes a good parts unit.

    Good luck! please keep us posted! :)
  6. signothetimes53

    signothetimes53 Forum Resident

    Burlington VT USA
    Fascinating project, and post, thank you!

    I used to have an SL-5 long ago, loved it.

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