Are you a vinyl enthusiast who loves to tinker with audio equipment?
If so, you may have encountered the challenge of removing a turntable platter. Whether you’re trying to lubricate the motor shaft or replace a broken center spindle, removing the platter can be tricky.
But fear not! In this article, we’ll provide you with some tips and tricks for safely removing your turntable platter without damaging it.
So grab your screwdriver and let’s get started!
How To Remove A Turntable Platter
The first step in removing a turntable platter is to locate the retaining ring or part that must be removed first. This is usually hidden under a trim ring at the center of the turntable. Use a small screwdriver to remove it and be sure to reuse it.
Once the retaining ring is removed, you can begin to remove the platter. If your turntable has a rubber mat, remove it first. Then, insert your index fingers into the access holes and try pulling the platter out while pressing the center spindle with one of your thumbs. Apply a little force, and it should come off if it is not tightly stuck.
If this method doesn’t work, try grasping the platter either at the edge or using one of the convenient holes found in most platters. Pull upwards until the platter moves and, while pulling up, tap on the center spindle with the handle of a screwdriver or other tool. Don’t be afraid to tap hard – ‘don’t tap it, whack it’ as the saying goes.
Follow these steps, and you should feel the platter lifting – it will eventually lift straight off. This works on almost all turntables that use this motor design – including most direct drive linear tracking decks.
Why You Need To Remove Your Turntable Platter
There are several reasons why you may need to remove your turntable platter. One common reason is to clean or lubricate the motor shaft. Over time, dust and dirt can accumulate on the center spindle, which can cause the platter to spin at a slower speed. Lubricating the motor shaft with 20 weight synthetic oil can help prevent this problem.
Another reason for removing the platter is to replace the center spindle. A broken or loose center spindle can make it difficult to put the platter back onto the turntable. Before attempting to replace the center spindle, make sure to use a soldering iron to remove any excess grease. This will soften any old grease and allow you to remove the platter.
In addition, removing the platter can allow you to upgrade certain components of your turntable, such as the mat or slipmat. For example, if you are a DJ, you may want to switch from a felt slipmat to a leather one for better control when back-cueing.
Whatever your reason for removing the platter, it’s important to follow the proper steps to avoid damaging your turntable. By removing the retaining ring/part first and using a combination of pulling and tapping, you can safely and easily remove your turntable platter for maintenance or upgrades.
Tools You Will Need
To remove a turntable platter, you will need a few tools. First, you will need a small screwdriver to remove the retaining ring or trim ring at the center of the turntable. You may also need a pair of gloves to protect your hands from any sharp edges or debris that may be on the turntable.
If the platter is tightly stuck, you may need a tool to tap on the center spindle while pulling up on the platter. A handle of a screwdriver or other tool can be used for this purpose.
It is also helpful to have a ruler or measuring tape to accurately measure the length, width, and thickness of the old belt if you plan on using it to determine the size of the replacement belt. However, it is recommended to research exactly what size belt your model uses to ensure you get the correct size. An online search is generally the easiest way to find this information.
Precautions To Take Before Removing The Platter
Before attempting to remove the turntable platter, it is important to take some precautions to avoid damaging the turntable or the platter itself. Firstly, it is recommended to unplug the turntable from the outlet to prevent any electrical shocks. Secondly, remove the plastic mat that sits on top of the platter, pulling straight up from the center and placing it on a clean surface. Then, remove the metal or plastic platter that sits beneath the mat. Take care when lifting it up, as it may be attached either by a small clip or be pressed securely, each of which requires using a screwdriver to help gently pry it off.
It is important to avoid damaging the spindle or central silver disc during the removal process. To do this, gently lift away the central silver disc with a flat blade screwdriver, taking care as it is thin metal and can bend easily. Around the center spindle, there is usually a circlip or ‘C’ clip that can be gently prised off with a flat blade screwdriver. Take care as they tend to suddenly fly off.
If the grease has set hard and solid, it may be difficult to remove the platter. In this case, try gently twisting it back and forth. If there is no movement, a little heat applied to the main spindle with a hairdryer or soldering iron (used carefully) can soften the grease and allow for easier removal.
By taking these precautions before removing the turntable platter, you can ensure that you do not damage any components and that you can successfully remove the platter for cleaning or maintenance.
How To Remove A Belt-Driven Turntable Platter
Removing a belt-driven turntable platter requires a slightly different approach. First, you will need to remove the old belt carefully. Then, stretch the replacement belt over the center hub of the platter. It should fit snugly, but make sure it’s in the center of the circle as much as possible. Also, ensure it’s smooth throughout without any areas where it twists or bunches up.
Next, you will need to stretch the belt onto the small peg or post that sticks up from the edge of the platter unless your record player has access holes. If your turntable has access holes, line up the replacement belt with them in the platter.
Once you have removed the old belt and replaced it with a new one, you can proceed to remove the platter. Follow the same steps as mentioned above for removing a platter on a direct-drive turntable. Locate the retaining ring or part that must be removed first, remove it, and then try pulling the platter out while pressing the center spindle with one of your thumbs.
If this method doesn’t work, grasp the platter either at the edge or using one of the convenient holes found in most platters. Pull upwards until the platter moves and, while pulling up, tap on the center spindle with the handle of a screwdriver or other tool. Don’t be afraid to use force to lift off the platter.
How To Remove A Direct-Drive Turntable Platter
Removing a direct-drive turntable platter requires a few extra steps compared to removing a belt-driven platter. The first step is to unplug the power cord from the turntable to avoid any possibility of electric shock. Once the power cord is unplugged, locate the C-shaped clip that holds the platter in place. Use a flat-head screwdriver to gently pry off the C-clip.
After removing the C-clip, lift the platter straight up and off of the turntable. If your direct-drive turntable has a rubber mat, remove it before attempting to remove the platter. Once you have removed the platter, you can clean the motor using rubbing alcohol and a lint-free rag.
If you encounter any resistance while removing the platter, it may be stuck to the spindle due to accumulated dirt and dust. In this case, use a hot soldering iron to loosen any old grease that may be causing the platter to stick to the spindle. After loosening the platter, you can carefully remove it from the turntable.
When replacing a direct-drive turntable belt, stretch the replacement belt over the center hub of the platter. Ensure that it fits snugly and is in the center of the circle as much as possible. Make sure it’s smooth throughout without any areas where it twists or bunches up.
If your direct-drive turntable has access holes, stretch the belt onto the small peg or post that sticks up from the edge of the platter. Otherwise, line up the replacement belt with the access holes in the platter.
Troubleshooting Common Issues
Even with proper maintenance, turntables can still experience issues that prevent the platter from spinning. Here are some common problems and how to troubleshoot them:
1. Belt Issues: If you go to play a record on your turntable and the platter doesn’t spin, it’s probably due to a broken or stretched belt. The only way to tell for sure is to unplug the turntable and remove the dust cover and platter mat. Rotate the platter to access the pulley through the access hole and use your finger or a screwdriver to lift the belt off the motor pulley. Clean the platter rim and pulley with a chamois swab dipped in denatured alcohol. If the belt is stretched out or broken, replace it with one that is exactly the same size.
2. Tonearm Issues: The tonearm not lowering far enough to bring the stylus into proper contact with the record on the platter is usually because the tonearm bridge is not lowering enough when the cueing lever is used. There is usually an adjustment screw you can tweak which will adjust the bridge’s height, and in turn solve this issue in most cases. Make sure the tonearm is properly secured in its armrest before turning on your record player.
3. Motor Issues: If the belt appears to be okay, the problem may be caused by a frozen or faulty motor, a dirty idler tire, or a defect in the speed controls. You would probably be better off having these professionally serviced rather than attempting to repair them yourself.
By following these troubleshooting tips, you can easily identify and fix common issues that prevent your turntable platter from spinning properly.