Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Ol' Shakey on the Swirly Table

Neil Young by Buhduh
Neil Young, a photo by Buhduh on Flickr.
I treated myself to one of my current favourite records on my current favourite turntable.

Neil Young, live at Massey Hall 1971 is an amazing record in my opinion. A man with a guitar, and sometimes a piano, in a hall with great acoustics and a reel to reel tape deck propped up on an office chair...what could be cooler than that?

Apparently this recording was "lost in the vaults" for 30 or more years before Neil decided to listen to it and eventually release it in 2007. Neil is a stickler for, and proponent of, high quality recordings including digital media formats. He didn't give this recording much thought but when he listened to it after many years he realized it was good and deserved releasing.

Deserved indeed. It's really good. Really really good. And I only discovered it a couple of months ago myself. Go buy it. If you can't get the vinyl, buy the CD or the DVD. Or get them all.

It sounds great on my newest turntable project and is a good showcase for any system. This "swirly table" as I have been calling it is a Technics Sl-1200 MKII that was in usable but battle scarred condition when I got it, but not anymore.

Technics 1200 MK2 3

I can't stand the mess that DJ tables become. It's not just DJ tables but a lot of other too that people abuse. So I fix them up.

This one had already had the RCA cables replaced and obviously whoever did that had some idea what they were doing so I saw no reason to mess with that. I dealt with the cosmetic and other issues.

I took it apart and went to my friends shop with it with the intent of bead-blasting all the paint off but it turned out that the blaster was not working well. I got some paint off with it, but now I was kind of stuck, so I grabbed the angle grinder and a sanding disc and took the rest of the paint off. When I got it home a did a bit more controlled work with my Dremel and a sanding disc. I like the random swirly effect of this. I then gave it a few coats of a satin finish clear coat spray paint.

Technics SL-1200 Raw

Technics Sl-1200 raw 2

A few parts also needed replacing so I ordered them and I put it aside. It took a few months before I decided to get back at it and just the other day I put it back together. I had to get a trim piece for the pop-up target light, a new slider trim plate and ordered a lid and hinges. I also decided to order an LED kit but decided to just replace the pop-up light which was burnt out anyway and the pitch LED. The stock one is green but the new one is white. It's a bit too bright IMO so I will try to do something about that.

Anyway, here's the mostly finished product.

swirly Technics 1200

And the darn near completely finished item. It has the new parts mentioned above, a couple of new feet, and the heaviest thickest Technics mat. I even took an aluminum 45 RPM adaptor and "swirled" it with my Dremel. I still am going to tweak a few things but I really like how it has turned out.

swirly Technics 1200 4


  1. Hi,
    Nice blog and I look forward to more of your articles.


  2. Thanks John!

    I've always got a project or 5, and there should be another article soon. An Advent 300 receiver perhaps?

  3. Hi,
    Your welcome. Advent wow there's a good name from the past, I had a friend who owned a set of their bookshelf speakers back in the late 70's.

  4. Hi,
    Nice blog, anything interesting coming up? it's been a while.
    cheers, Harry

    1. Thanks Harry!
      I am always finding more projects but don't seem to find the time to document them. Soon I'm going to re-cap my Denon DP-3000 as it has some speed issues, and very soon I will be installing a very nice tonearm on an Oracle turntable.

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