Grounding my Silvertone

I rescued a Sears Silvertone stereo console phonograph model 1270 from the dump.  With a new needle, it is playing very well.  After listing for about an hour, I felt current on my finger tips when touching the player in various places.  The base also felt hot.   

Any suggestions for how to make this record player safe?  

Thank you!

"Any suggestions for how to make this record player safe?"

Yes, turn it off immediately and deposit in the nearest dumpster. 

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Found this Web Link doing a quick Google search.

Not sure if it is the manual for the unit you have.

If the manual is for the unit you have there are a couple of things you can do.

First, you will need a multimeter to measure AC voltage. You will be measuring for the proper AC polarity orientation for the 2 blade, prong, plug on the 2 wire cord and plug.

Plug the Sears 1270 into the wall 120V outlet and turn the unit on.

Set the multimeter to auto AC volts, or an AC volt scale above 125Vac. Touch one test lead probe to a bare screw or the bare metal chassis on the Sears 1270.
Insert the other test lead probe in the equipment ground hole on the wall 120V outlet. Make sure you make a good contact with the equipment ground contact.

Note the AC voltage reading.


Next measure the AC voltage from the wall equipment ground contact to the turntable. The voltage reading should be the same as above. If it is not the same unplug the 120V plug from the Sears 1270 chassis outlet rotate the plug 180 and plug it back in the outlet on the 1270 chassis. Remeasure the voltage again both from the wall equipment ground contact to the chassis of the 1270 and from the wall equipment ground contact to the turntable. Both should measure the same. Note the voltage reading.


Next turn off the 1270. Unplug the 1270 plug from the wall outlet, rotate the plug 180 and plug it back into the wall outlet. Turn on the 1270. Measure the AC voltage again from the wall equipment ground contact to the 1270 chassis.

The lower of the two voltage reading is the correct plug orientation. Mark the plug is some manner.

One plug orientation could have a chassis AC voltage quite a bit higher than the other. Again you want the lower of the two AC voltages.


Second choice is to connect a ground wire from the wall equipment ground contact to the chassis on the Sears 1270. (If the wall outlet is a standard 3 wire grounding type outlet you can use the center 6/32 trim screw that supports the wall cover plate.

The ground wire may add noise to the sound you hear from the 1270. OR it may sound quieter.

You are wonderful.  I will try the plug situation as step 1. It is a tube amplifier. Per the back label (see labels inside cabinet for tube replacement and parts).  

I felt the heat on the metal base of the turn table where the volume controls were.
Keep the info coming on the heat issue and I'll definitely try out the plug on my lunch hour!!!  The sound quality is fantastic so I don't want to give up just yet! 
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You have made my day...when I removed this from the dump, I also grabbed an old Barbara S. record.  When I replaced the needle and her voice came booming out of both speakers, I couldn't believe my luck that it last night was kicking myself for being so confident that this was a keeper once encountering these issues.  I will definitely take the back off and give it a once over--- and always play with caution!

Thank you!
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Hello silvertonegirl,

    I just wanted to apologize for my initial post.  It was a spur of the moment post and I now regret it because 1. It wasn't as funny as I first thought, and 2. You seem like a nice person that was just excited to rescue a still functional music system.
     I'm glad you're getting the help you need and that you're enjoying your rescued stereo.

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The the tube amp inside that model is likely a transformer-less design. If you want to keep it running for the long term I would find a shop that can install an isolation transformer and a 3 prong power cord. It's likely to cost $100+, but for a vintage piece isn't necessarily a waste. 

I should have added, if you're handy with electrical stuff, you can do it yourself for ~$30-50 and 30 minutes of time . . .


1,590 posts
06-26-2019 7:19am

The tube amp inside that model is likely a transformer-less design.
I don’t think so.

See page 15.

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Jea48... Nice work...does my heart good to see folks like you taking time just to help. 
Jea48 - if that’s indeed the correct manual (I saw your earlier comment that you aren’t sure), you’re right . . . , and indeed even if it’s not, my assumption isn’t necessarily correct. It’s easy enough to tell by opening it up and checking.  The manual you post looks like a pretty cool old console . . .
Hi all! 
You've been amazing and yes, a simple test of the plug took care of the problem of the shock value of this great old girl.  So... as of today, it turns on but the turn table is being finicky.  It starts sometimes and not others.  

I've taken the back off and looked under the hood.  I'm inclined to think its as simple... any thoughts on my theory below?

To start the player, you move a lever from a left position 'off', all the way over to 'reject' on the right, and then back to the middle for 'on'.  Underneath, there is a fairly flimsy metal arm with a spring that seems to inform the player to begin to spin, get the needle ready, drop the record etc.  But this is not consistently sending the message.  After I played around with arm a bit and plugged everything back in, it played.

However, this morning its a no -go again.  So, for all of you enthusiasts, I'm willing to keep moving forward because its awesome when its playing and nothing looks corroded, rusted, melting etc... 

If you are on instagram I have a few pictures of it to inspire your continued help!

And to Tim  - Noble100...

Thank you so much for your follow up!  That was really nice of you.  I'm completely knew to the forum so was jarring at first!!  But the group is great and I think we'll figure this one out!
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I will absolutely try that ... it's all going down hill quickly.. seems every time I try one thing, something else sticks or gets stuck!  but this is great info for tonight's exploration.
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Yup - I think my answer to that was going to ALDI (my favorite grocery market) and buying a $49 record player that sounds just as good... so that as I become more and more frustrated, I know I have a back up plan!  It will become a great cabinet if I can't get it to work.  I'm just being romantic about it right now!
I love those old console cabinets too:)Best of luck to you!I've got three old radios that are in working condition.One has a turntable that tips out from the front that doesn't work at the moment.One of these days I'll get to it.My favorite is a Telefunken brand AM/FM  that sounds incredible,warm and beautiful.No advice for you,I'm very much an amateur also.
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Yes - red nail polish!  Very helpful.

And to JTCF...thanks for your note (I'm a complete novice!!)