About Turntable Doc turntable repairs

Beware when a repair shop tell you that your vintage turntable cannot be fixed! See note below.

Update Summer 2021: When I started this business, I did a good amout of “while you wait” services, especially on weekends. COVID made me cut back on those for 2020 and the beginning of 2021. Despite the current uptick in COVID infections. I’m starting to ease back into normal and do some “full contact” while-you-wait repairs. Here’s the thing though — I have an immunocompromised member of my house, so you need to be fully vaccinated if you want this type of service. No exceptions.

Email me: turntabledoc@gmail.com

Three important notes:

#1: My repair business is in Durham, NC, USA. At present, I am not taking any shipped turntables for repair. If you live too far away to drive to Durham, I suggest going to  the Turntables forum at AudioKarma (you’ll have to create an account) and asking if there’s someone near you that can help. You can still contact me for advice/consult and I’ll do my best to help.

#2: My repair business is by appointment only. My repair shop is in my home so this is very important. Please contact me at turntabledoc@gmail.com to set up an appointment for service. I will do my best to respond quickly.

#3: Repairing turntables is not my main gig. I have a full-time job and I play in a ’70s dance band locally for kicks. Since I’m not dependent on repairs for my regular income, I can charge very reasonable rates. The downside is that at certain times my turnaround times are longer than I’d like. As much as I’d love to repair turntables full-time, it’s not in the cards just yet.

My story: I started learning turntable repairs in earnest when my regular turntable repair guy Joel Thorner passed away. I’ve repaired hundreds of turntables of all types, from ancient mono tube suitcase players to high-end linear trackers. I have repaired a lot of units that many commercial repair people won’t touch. It frustrates me to think that somebody out there is telling people that their classic player can’t be fixed when in truth, almost all of them can. They were built of sturdy stuff back in the day.

My specialty is Japanese and European consumer-grade component turntables built between the late 1960s and the early 1980s.  These were sold by the millions (just about every home had one). Most were designed very well, even the modestly-priced ones. Many were stowed away for decades and are now being pulled out and dusted off as a result of the “vinyl revival.” Just about all of these turntables  can be returned to full functionality without breaking the bank. They’re a far more cost-effective investment than the all-plastic budget models being sold today.

Note about other audio repair shops:

I am hearing horror stories from customers who went to supposedly reputable audio shops and were told their vintage turntables were beyond repair.  IMO, these people were essentially lied to.  The most recent such case was a Technics SP10 Mk1 . Customer said the audio shop they brought it to claimed it had a bad motor. The truth is they were either too lazy or too incompetent to fix the issue. Either way, it was a lie.  When I got ahold of the turntable, it started working after replacing a fuse and some electrolytic capacitors. This shop would’ve ditched a classic piece of audio history for no good reason. This shop also sells new turntables, which is what they recommended the customer purchase instead. This is the audio equivalent of malpractice. I will always shoot straight with customers about the feasibility and cost effectiveness of a repair, even if it means recommending a different tech. It’s a shame that some other shops can’t or won’t be straight with their customers. End rant.

If you have a working turntable and it just doesn’t sound quite right, I can make it sing again. I hear this from my customers all the time – “This is the best it has ever sounded.” I take pride in getting the best performance possible from your player.

If you have a simple issue — missing belt, bad stylus, need a cartridge, etc, I can probably fix it while you wait (see note above about COVID affecting this type of service). I keep a supply of common belts, cartridges, styli, and other parts handy. My turnaround time for more involved repairs has increased as I’ve been getting a lot more requests than I used to. I’m trying to keep it under four weeks.

I’m familiar with DJ tables like the Technics SL-1200s, and I know what other shops charge for repairs on those. You’ll get a much better deal from me.

If you have a console player (a phonograph in a piece of furniture) I may be able to help, but those are special cases. Please see my console page for more information.

I offer a full labor guarantee on the work that I do. If I service your turntable, I will help keep it running so long as it isn’t abused or stored improperly. All you’d need to pay for is parts when needed.

I usually have a few refurbished turntables for sale as well, also with my free lifetime labor warranty.

My goal is to help you enjoy your records without going broke.

The Rig