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Freshen up, Clean, Renew your Technics SL-1200 Turntable Platter DIY

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Technics SL-1200

As far as I'm concerned these are the best decks ever created. Yes, my opinion is based on the fact that I have never touched another deck in the 15 years I've been dj'ing. After starting with and using the sl1200 I have no desire to use another deck.

My platters have never looked to bad as I've always wiped them down, but they do start to gather some nasty build up around the little dots on the platter from slowing the speed while beatmatching. As I'm more hiphop than dance, that technique does not get used a lot from me, although I have seen turntables of other dj's spinning house/trance and they are constantly rubbing the platter with their finger which makes it look dirty and disgusting in my opinion.

Now that Technics (panasonic) 30 year or so patent has expired and everyone and their moms company can now use the design, I'm sure there are other great turntables out there. I've even heard the stanton straight arm 150 surpases the 1200. True or not, I'm sticking with the 1200 and now that production of this beast has come to a halt my used tables have a worth that is more than what I paid for them new. So whether you are looking for a quick buck on refurbishing these turntables or you just want to keep your 1200 looking fresh this is a very easy yet time comsuming DIY to shine up the platter brighter than when you bought it new.

Tools/Products to clean you SL1200 platter

If you have never removed your platter it may be hard to remove so the only tool that you may need for this diy would be a small rubber hammer or the handle of a large screwdriver will work the same. We will get into that in a minute when we remove the platter.

As for products, simple in house items will do the trick. The only thing I would recommend buying is Mothers "Mag & Aluminum Polish". If you own a car you probably already have it in your garage, if not you can pick it up for around $8 at any auto shop and it is worth the price. I like my things to shine and have used this small tub on 3 manifolds and a crap load of other things around the house. Hell I even polished my e-cigs with it. so trust me it is not a wasted $8.

Besides for polish you will need dish soap (any brand that cuts grease), a toothbrush, toothpaste, old sock or t-shirt (for polishing) and that is about it. Also some 1500 or 2000 sandpaper (optional but recommended for the ultimate shine).


Removing and Cleaning the Platter

Depending if you have ever removed your platter or not and the age of your turntable it may fight you a littlebit when you try to remove the platter. This is where the small rubber hammer or plastic screwdriver handle comes in handy. Now lightly, let me repeat that Lightly tap the spindle with your hammer or blunt object and try again to pull the platter up. If it still does not come up, repeat. Keep in mind there is a magnet holding it down as well so you need to be a little firm when you pull it up.

Once you have your platter off this DIY is very easy but it is also very time consuming. But the more time you take cleaning and polishing the shinnier it will look, which is great if you are switching to LED lights (see tutorial).

First get some soap on your toothbrush and some hot water and start scrubbing those little dots like a bad case of herpes on your... After a good scrub around the rim with hot water all the built up finger grease should be removed, but we've already gone this far so lets take it to the next level.

Grab your sh*tty gritty teeth whitening toothpaste and get to scrubbing again. this will remove any left over finger residue and dirt that has been built up on the platter. Brush the platter just like your teeth in a circular motion to get all the grim off.

At this point your platter should look as good as the day you bought your 1200. If that's not good enough for you, then continue on.

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Polishing the Platter

If you really want this bad boy to shine there is an extra step and material that was not mentioned above. You can take some 1500 or 2000 grit sand paper and lightly sand around the circumference of the platter. This is also the trick if you wish to repaint the platter a different color than black. Spray the whole platter with the color of your choice, then sand it back down.

If you choose to sand it, wash it off again and give it a good clean with your toothbrush.

Now for the polish. Grab your container of Mothers Polish and an old rag and get to work. The more you polish the more shine you will have in the end, so that is up to you. I recommend finding a good show that you can watch for a few hours to make the time fly.

All and all in the end you should have a pretty shiny finish on your platter. These pics do not do the table justice. If you really want to take it to the extreme use a little Meguiar's car shine on top.

Feel free to leave some tips and comments.


Writen4u (author) on March 29, 2014:

No problem, these tables where built to last.

geoff alsop on March 18, 2014:

mate thank you so much after resurecting (spellcheck) my sl 1200 from approx 20 yrs 0f being packed away very carefully that is !! I fell in luv all over again. Couple of drops of oil platter spinner back on plugged in AWAY she went , you know what I knew it would (hoped anyway) Sourced a new stylus and just want it gleaming Mate I am 57 got my platter spinner @ 21 yrs young I live in brisbane australia thanksalot

Special E.D. Chicago on October 17, 2013:

Thanks for the help ours are lookin nice!

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