How To Remove A Turntable From A Console – A Step-By-Step Guide

Are you the proud owner of a vintage console with a turntable that needs some repair work?

Or maybe you just want to clean and maintain your turntable to keep it in top condition.

Whatever your reason, removing the turntable from your console can be a daunting task, especially if you’re not familiar with the process.

But fear not! In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps to safely and easily remove your turntable from your console.

From identifying the cables to finding the bolts, we’ve got you covered.

So grab your tools and let’s get started!

How To Remove Turntable From Console

Step 1: Unplug the console

Before you begin, make sure to unplug the console from the power source. This will ensure your safety and prevent any damage to the console or turntable.

Step 2: Take pictures

It’s always a good idea to take pictures as you go along so that you have them as reference when you want to put things back together.

Step 3: Remove the back from the console

Using a 1/4′′ nut driver or a screwdriver, remove the back from the console.

Step 4: Identify the turntable cables

Locate the turntable from the back. There are typically two sets of cables coming up and connecting to the underside of the turntable – one is for power and one for audio. Locate them and take a picture for reinstallation.

Step 5: Remove power plugs

Power plugs are typically white Molex plastic. Be very gentle when removing them! Many of the power sockets on turntables are brittle plastic and can break easily. Pull and wiggle gently on the plug (not the wire) to get it disconnected.

Step 6: Remove audio plugs

Audio plugs are typically a pair (if stereo, only one if mono) of RCA type plugs that insert into jacks on the bottom if the turntable. Often these won’t have plastic sleeves; they’ll be bare metal plugs. Alternately, instead of plugs there will be wire clip connectors that connect to three metal tabs. Another alternative is a cable coming from the turntable that ends in a plug/socket connection on the amplifier/receiver part of the console.

Step 7: Find bolts

With the cables unplugged, find the bolts (usually two, sometime three or four) coming down from the top of the turntable through the top of the console cabinet. There are variations and you have to figure out which your turntable has in order to remove it.

Step 8: Remove turntable

Once you’ve figured out how to remove the turntable, gently lift it up and out. Be careful not to damage any other components in your console.

Identifying The Cables

Identifying the cables is an important step in removing the turntable from the console. There are typically two sets of cables coming up and connecting to the underside of the turntable – one is for power and one for audio. The power plugs are typically white Molex plastic, and the audio plugs are typically a pair (if stereo, only one if mono) of RCA type plugs that insert into jacks on the bottom of the turntable.

It’s important to be gentle when removing the power plugs, as many of the power sockets on turntables are brittle plastic and can break easily. Pull and wiggle gently on the plug (not the wire) to get it disconnected. The audio plugs may not have plastic sleeves; they may be bare metal plugs. Alternatively, instead of plugs, there may be wire clip connectors that connect to three metal tabs. Another alternative is a cable coming from the turntable that ends in a plug/socket connection on the amplifier/receiver part of the console.

It’s always a good idea to take pictures before unplugging anything so that you have them as reference when you want to put things back together. This will help you identify which cable goes where when it’s time to reassemble your console. By following these steps and taking your time, you can successfully remove your turntable from your console without causing any damage.

Removing The Cartridge And Stylus

After you have successfully removed the turntable from the console, you may want to remove the cartridge and stylus. This is a delicate process, and you need to be careful not to damage any of the components. Follow these steps to remove the cartridge and stylus:

Step 1: Remove the counterweight

First, remove the counterweight from the tonearm. This will make it easier to work with.

Step 2: Secure the tonearm

Next, secure the tonearm in its resting place with a cable tie. This will prevent it from moving around while you work.

Step 3: Remove the stylus assembly

Remove the stylus assembly from the cartridge body by grasping the sides of the cartridge body with one hand and then grasping the sides of the assembly with the other. Slowly pull the assembly off the body using a slight rocking motion. Leave the stylus protector in place while removing the stylus assembly.

Step 4: Disconnect wires

Using needle-nose pliers, gently disconnect the wires of your old cartridge by removing them from their corresponding color-coded leads. Be careful not to damage anything while doing this.

Step 5: Connect new cartridge

Gently connect the wires of your new cartridge using your long-nose pliers. You’ll feel them click into place, but don’t push too hard as to risk damaging anything. The wires are clearly color-coded and should be connected as follows:

– Red lead – R+ (Red)

– Green – R- (Green)

– White – L+ (White)

– Blue – L- (Blue)

Step 6: Reattach stylus assembly

Once you have connected your new cartridge, reattach the stylus assembly by gently sliding it back onto the cartridge body using a slight rocking motion.

Step 7: Reinstall headshell

If your turntable has a removable headshell, reinstall it onto your turntable’s tonearm or integrated headshell. Make sure to remove any lock or lever holding the tonearm in place before lifting it to grip the old needle.

By following these steps, you can safely remove your turntable’s cartridge and stylus without causing any damage to your equipment.

Locating The Bolts Or Screws

Locating the bolts or screws is an important step in removing the turntable from your console. The bolts are usually located on the top of the turntable and come down through the top of the console cabinet. There are variations in the types of bolts used, so it’s important to figure out which type your turntable has in order to remove it.

Type 1 (most consoles): On the bottom of the shafts are retainer clips, mostly rectangular with one rounded end. These retainers can be flipped from horizontal to vertical (the wide end of the opening goes up) so they are parallel to the bolts. This allows you to lift the turntable up and out.

Type 2 (typically older units, RCAs and some others): On the bottom of the threaded shafts are round retainer clips with a rubber washer (and sometimes another metal washer) and pinch tabs. Pinching the tabs together allows you to slide the clip down and off the bolt (save all the pieces in a bag if you do this). When the clips are off, you can lift the turntable up and off.

Type 3 (typically Magnavox): On the top of the deck are plastic slider clips. On these, you turn the sliders 90 degrees and this allows the turntable to lift up and out.

Type 4 (some older RCAs, some GE): Bolts from the top of the deck are simply unscrewed to release the turntable. Note that sometimes these bolt heads are under the platter. This means you need to remove the c-clip that holds the platter in place to get to the bolts. If you do this, don’t lose the large flat washer under the platter! (Typically, the surface tension of the grease will hold these to the bottom of the platter shaft, just be sure it doesn’t come off and get lost).

Once you’ve located and removed all bolts or screws holding down your turntable, gently lift it up and out of your console. Remember to keep all pieces organized and take pictures as you go along for easy reinstallation later on.

Removing The Turntable Platter

If you need to remove the turntable platter, there are a few additional steps to follow. First, locate the platter mat and remove it from the turntable. Look for any screws or bolts that may be holding the platter in place. If you don’t see any, try rotating the platter to see if there are any screws or bolts on the underside.

If you still can’t find any screws or bolts, it’s possible that the platter is held in place by retainer clips or plastic slider clips. Look for these on the top or bottom of the turntable shafts. If you have retainer clips, flip them from horizontal to vertical (the wide end of the opening goes up) so they are parallel to the bolts. This should allow you to lift the turntable up and out. If you have plastic slider clips, turn them 90 degrees and this should allow the turntable to lift up and out.

It’s important to take pictures as you go along so that you have them as reference when you want to put things back together. And if you’re unsure about how to remove the turntable platter, don’t hesitate to seek professional help to avoid damaging your console or turntable.

Detaching The Turntable From The Console

Detaching the turntable from the console can be a tricky process, but with some patience and careful attention to detail, it can be done successfully. There are several different types of mounting systems used for turntables, so it’s important to identify which one your console has before attempting to remove the turntable.

Type 1: Retainer Clips

For most consoles, the turntable is held in place by retainer clips located on the bottom of the shafts. These clips are mostly rectangular with one rounded end. To remove the turntable, flip the retainers from horizontal to vertical (the wide end of the opening goes up) so they are parallel to the bolts. This allows you to lift the turntable up and out.

Type 2: Round Retainer Clips

For older units, RCAs and some others, the turntable is held in place by round retainer clips with a rubber washer (and sometimes another metal washer) and pinch tabs. Pinching the tabs together allows you to slide the clip down and off the bolt. Save all the pieces in a bag if you do this. When the clips are off, you can lift the turntable up and off.

Type 3: Plastic Slider Clips

For Magnavox consoles, plastic slider clips are used to hold the turntable in place. To remove it, turn the sliders 90 degrees and this allows the turntable to lift up and out.

Type 4: Unscrew Bolts

For some older RCAs and GE consoles, bolts from the top of the deck are simply unscrewed to release the turntable. Note that sometimes these bolt heads are under the platter. This means you need to remove the c-clip that holds the platter in place to get to the bolts. If you do this, don’t lose the large flat washer under the platter! Typically, the surface tension of the grease will hold these to the bottom of the platter shaft, just be sure it doesn’t come off and get lost.

Once you’ve identified which type of mounting system your console has, carefully remove any necessary components and lift out the turntable. It’s best to put it in a box to prevent grease from getting all over anything you set it on. If you’re unsure about any step of this process or feel uncomfortable attempting it yourself, it’s always best to seek professional help.

Cleaning And Maintenance Tips For Your Turntable

Now that you have successfully removed the turntable from your console, it’s important to properly clean and maintain it to ensure optimal performance and longevity. Here are some tips:

1. Clean the Surfaces: Before you start taking apart your turntable, make sure to clean the outer surfaces to minimize dust entering under the hood. Use a clean, lint-free cloth and wipe in a circular motion. For stains or fingerprints, gently apply some rubbing alcohol.

2. Clean the Stylus: Take 1 or 2 drops of cleaner and apply it to the stylus cleaning brush. Firmly hold the stylus and tonearm securely to prevent any movement while cleaning. Use the brush to wipe from rear to front 5-10 times. Avoid rubbing it side to side as it may cause damage.

3. Use a Record Cleaning Brush: Dirt, dust and debris can affect the sound quality of your vinyl records by causing distortion and excessive pops and crackles. An antistatic record cleaning brush is highly recommended as it not only removes dust but also minimizes static electricity on the record. Gently lower the brush onto the vinyl as it spins, but don’t press down too hard! Keep the brush against the vinyl, move towards the outer edge, and expel the dust from the record.

4. Recalibrate the Tracking Force: Over time, the tonearm of your turntable may become unbalanced, affecting its performance. To recalibrate it, lock it and remove the needle cover. Release the arm’s clamp and rotate the counterweight until it looks well-balanced, then lock it back in place.

5. Clean Electrical Connections: Clean all electrical connections (RCA’s, headshell wires, ground lead, power cord) with deoxit on a q-tip.

6. Lubricate Moving Parts: Based on what your turntable’s service manual calls for, lubricate moving parts with the recommended lubricant.

7. Clean The Entire Table: Open up your turntable (if possible), then use a soft hair brush and compressed air to clean out all dirt and dust. Use an automotive detailing cleaner on tables with a metal or plastic base or Pledge on tables with a wood/wood veneer base.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your turntable remains in top-notch condition for long-lasting enjoyment of your vinyl collection.