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How to Shop for Record Player Motors and Other Turntable Parts

If you own a vintage BRS (Birmingham Sound Reproducers) turntable in your house, it's likely that you want to keep it in playable condition. Because of their popularity, it's relatively easy to find motors and replacement items when you need to make a quick fix to your old record player. From turntable motors to needles, it's simple to find the part you need to get your stereo back up and running again. 

What Are the Different Parts of a Turntable?

If your aim is to fix your unit and play some music, it's good to know a little bit about how the table works and what the different parts are. Any turntable includes:

  • Platter - The spinning wheel that turns on your table is known as a platter.
  • Plinth - This is the base that the platter sits on.
  • Tone arm - This is the "arm" that sticks out and moves on top of your turntable. Essentially, it maintains speed, and holds the needle that plays the record.
  • Counterweight - This is what the tone arm is connected to. The conterweight is a large piece of metal that attaches to the plinth.
  • The anti-skate weight - Hard to see, this is a function of the tone arm that ensures that the needle stays in the groove, and also controls speed.
  • The motor - What makes the player run.
  • Belt drive - The motor spins this piece that sits on the platter. Mechanically, this is the most important item.
  • Direct drive - Some units do not have a belt drive, and have a direct drive instead. Known as a direct drive turntable, these types have no belt drive.
  • Phono stage - This is the pre amplifier part of the unit. 
  • Needle - What plays the record. Alternatively, there could be a cartridge or stylus. 

What Different Items Are Available?

On older models, the most likely thing to go "wrong" on a turntable is the turntable motor. Luckily, there are quite a few replacement options, even decades later. Other items besides the turntable motor you may need include:

  • Drive: A popular replacement item, look for a belt type of drive or a direct drive.
  • Needle: This is a common replacement item and luckily, many needles are universal.
  • Motor pulley: This determines the speed of the record.

When you're looking to fix a turntable, most parts are available. You'll usually find with the motor that the grommets and wiring is included as well.

How Can I Keep My Vintage Turntable Going Strong?

Regular maintenance is essential to keep your record player in tip-top shape. You should:

  • Play your unit often, so it doesn't gather dust. (Alternatively, dust it often).
  • Do not leave it running when not in use. This burns out the motor.
  • Clean your old records with a record cleaning device. This prevents dirt from getting onto your player. 

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