The Technics SL-1300 is an awesome series of retro turntables that many people love. By the way, it is freaking awesome how Technics are so proud of their history on their site! I found one of these at a yard sale many years ago and paid 10 bucks for it! Sure, it was rough, but I got it rocking! Plus, when you look at the Technics SL-1300 prices on eBay these things can go anywhere from 300 to 500 bucks! The main issue that I had with the one that I found was that the tonearm was super stiff, it was like the thing was trying to arm wrestle me each time I used it.
We have looked any many tonearm issues here on the site. A tonearm can cause you all kinds of problems, but thankfully, most of the time they are not all that hard to fix. I would say that most problems are easily fixed by someone as long as they take their time and are careful with what they are doing if you have to start opening up your turntable and tightening or replacing screws, you may want to then consider getting a professional to take a look at it. Especially as we are talking about the SL-1300 here as it is an expensive turntable.
A Little Elbow Grease Can Go Along Way
In the case of the Technics SL-1300 that I picked up at the yard sale, this thing was filthy and the lady actually told me that it had been sitting in their shed for years! Still, at ten bucks I had to take the chance. Anyway, I have many turntable cleaning items in my house, but you can get stuff like this turntable cleaning kit that has all you need to get your turntable looking spick and span. I would highly recommend that before you start messing around with anything, you give the turntable a good clean and make sure there is no gunk, dust, or other muck causing problems.
The Anti-Skate And The Counterweight
We have talked about “balance” a lot in other articles on the site, but it is very important and can be what is causing so much resistance on your tonearm. If your turntable does have a lot of resistance and is very stiff, you first need to make sure your tonearm is balanced right. Get it so that it is basically floating there and then see if it still has resistance as it moves towards the center of the turntable. From here you can then fine-tune the counterweight to see if that helps the tonearm move more freely.
Should I Open It Up?
I know that it is very tempting to crack open the turntable and have a look at what is going on inside. If you had a cheaper turntable I would be all for this, but as the Technics SL-1300 is such an expensive turntable, I would not recommend doing this if you are not comfortable with what you are doing. Even the replacement parts on eBay are expensive so make sure you do a ton of research before you start playing mad scientist with it!