Disable Quartz Lock on the 1200
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  1. #1
    Tech Mentor jimbrowski00's Avatar
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    Default Disable Quartz Lock on the 1200

    So I'm preparing to take my turntables apart to do various mods to them like getting them Powder Coated, putting in LED lights, replacing a damaged tonearm and just general tuneup since I've had them for about 20 years now and I have never really done any maintenance to them.

    I was reading this article about disabling the quartz lock:

    http://technics.junglist.pl/hacking_technics.html

    Has anyone done the quartz lock hack to they're decks? Is it worth doing while my tables are gutted?

  2. #2
    Tech Guru Steve Zorilow's Avatar
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    I usually don't say bad comment about hack when they provide enhancement, but this one is rather stupid. I would never dare doing it myself NOR doing it for my customer even if they pay me to do so.

    Get the service manual, calibrate the few things in as specified in, and you're done.
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  3. #3
    Tech Wizard mbthegreat's Avatar
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    Removing the zero pitch (green light) can be nice, but you're better off just calibrating the pitch fader properly.

    Removing the quartz lock is really really stupid. It's what keeps your turntable spinning at a constant speed.

  4. #4
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    i think you are mistaken, by removing the quartz lock it doesnt keep the table spinning at a constant speed, it eliminates the small amount of pitch adjustment that happens when your are trying to get your records beatmatched near the zero mark. most people will remove the ball bearing at the zero mark when doing the mod aswell

    i think im right
    2 x Technics 1200 mk2 | Xone 22 | Torq 2.0 | Akai LPD8 | Sennheiser HD25-1 mk2 Adidas | KRK RP6 G2 | that is all

  5. #5
    Tech Wizard mbthegreat's Avatar
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    I'm just working on the assumption that the quartz lock does the same thing as in a watch, keeps the turntable spinning at the speed it should be. Without it any voltage fluctuation or change in temperature or anything will change the rate the motor spins.

  6. #6
    Tech Guru Steve Zorilow's Avatar
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    Quartz lock is only @0%, Quartz have specific frequency and are not variable.

    Fine tuning your calibration is the key.
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  7. #7
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    Sounds like a good mod from where i'm stood, After fully reading and understanding the reason behind the mod and the benefits- and its all 100% reversible if you have the skill to attempt the mod in the first place.
    I'd say go for it!
    (Numark TTs here if i was on Mk2 Techs id seriously consider a go myself)

    KeyWee, proper calibration to Zero is a big part of the Mod, not a "Get around"... Go back and read and digest it fully, its a very interesting concept

    Steevo, its only half of what it does!
    the pitch lock "fights" you when you manually nudge the deck to speed up - quartz lock attempts to slow down the deck to get it at locked speed on the pitch fader
    And vice versa when you pinch the spindle or touch the platter to slow down..
    The mod if it does as promised sounds all good!
    Last edited by U-31; 01-01-2012 at 05:46 PM.

  8. #8
    Tech Guru Steve Zorilow's Avatar
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    I really know and understand the mod and the theory behind. I'm an engineer, I do service & work with SLs since more than 25 years. Still, I don't see any advantage.
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  9. #9
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    I like how at the end of the article, in big bold letters, it says "This Article Is Copyrighted"! I guess I should have put those same words on my article, since that guy stole that article and my pictures from my original article which can be found here: http://www.new-line.nl/?i=62 THose are my pictures that I took of my turntable, which I still have. Now back to the mod. The best way to describe the mod is to turn on your turntable, look at the red strobe, now press on the platter with your finger. As you apply pressure, look at the red strobe and you will see the platter starts jerking trying to get back up to speed. It doesn't slow down smoothly. What the quartz lock mod does is, it eliminates that jerking action. With the quartz lock mod, when you apply pressure to the platter, the platter will slow down smoothly and not jerk. It will slow down and maintain a constant speed as you keep pressure on the platter without the platter jerking, just like if you slowed it down with the pitch control. As you release the pressure, the platter will speed back up smoothly. Why would you want to do this? I'll explain.

    The 1200mkII came out in 1978, before that, most DJ's that beatmixed used the Technics SL-1100A. Keep in mind that back in 1978, it was the Disco era, and that means that the music was made with a live drummer. Which means that the beat was very inconsistent. To keep the live drummer beats in sync, we would ride the platter by applying pressure to the SL-1100A platter to slow it down and speed it up, that is how we rode the pitch. The 1100A also had the pitch control right next to the platter, so you could press on the platter and adjust the pitch with one hand at the same time. When the 1200mkII came out, you couldn't ride the platter because it would jerk like I mention earlier. Now I don't know who came up with the quartz lock mod in the first place. The story I got was that a lot of DJ's complained to Technics about the jerking action, and Technics released the mod as service bulletin to get rid of the jerking action. The mod doesn't get rid of the quartz either, that was what we called the mod back then and the name just stuck.

    So basically what the mod does it makes the 1200mkII behave like the old SL-1100A as far as pressing on the platter is concerned. All the torque is still there, the quartz still maintains a constant speed, it just makes it easier to beat mix. With todays music, you don't need to do the quartz lock mod, since most of todays music is recorded with a drum machine and you don't have to constantly ride the pitch like you do with live drummer tracks. I do the quartz lock mod to all my 1200's, because that is the way I learned how to mix. The only problem with learning how to mix with a quartz lock modded turntable is if you go mix on somebody else's 1200 that is not modded, you are going to have to ride the pitch control instead of pressing on the platter.

    All 1200s can be modified except for the 1200 m5g. The m5g has a digital pitch control and as far as I know, there is no way to do the quartz lock mod to it. The quartz lock mod is easy to do and undo. Just cut one wire, and one resistor, and adjust the blue pot. To undo it, just solder the resistor back together and the wire, and readjust the pot.

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the clarification...
    I still maintain this mod sounds the bomb for Techs turntablists
    Last edited by U-31; 01-04-2012 at 01:59 PM.

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