Technics SL-10 Linear Tracking

I'm trying to break into the vinyl side of music and I would really appreciate any advice I could get on a hand-me-down from my Dad.

He hasn't used the turntable for at least 15 years, so operationally I have no idea what condition it's in.

The catch is that he misplaced the AC power cord so at the moment i cannot plug it in.

The AC power jack is a lot smaller than the standard size for audio components. The interesting thing is that there are two power supply imputs: the AC power jack and a DC power jack (12 V).

Should I just walk over to Radio Shack and pick up a 12 V universal power cord?

Finally, there is also a MM/MC button on the back, does that mean I won't need to buy a phono stage?


If found this site ( which appears to be selling copies of manuals. The SL-10 manual sets you back 20 bucks.
If you can't find an AC power cord to fit then you can go with the DC power supply. As for the MM/MC switch, you will still need to use a phono pre amp. The switch only boost the gain from MM level to MC level. If you are using the original MC cartridge that came with the TT, and only have an MM level pre amp you can set your TT to MC and it should work fine. If the cartridge has been replaced with an MM version, then leave it set to MM.
After being in storage for a while you may experiance some problems with the arm wanting to stop in the middle of a track and go back to home position. Clean the track and apply a little sweing machine oil, that should help.
You should walk over to Goodwill and buy a better turntable. Should be less than the cost of the manual for that groove chewer.
I don't know if Viridian speaks from experience or just his own opinion. I speak from experience and like the turntable. I have done a direct comparison in my system against a Project Wood Classic fitted with a Sumiko Blue Point. I am currently using an Ortofon TM20 and previously used Shure V15. The Project table certainly wasn't any better and way less convenient to use. I have LP's which have been played for over twenty years and still sound fine. No chewed grooves here. If you can find a power cord and get it running it will provide performance equal to the budget Project and Music Hall offerings.
Yes, experience, though I did not own the SL-10, it was a friends, and yes, it did recut several records. He asked me to come over and have a look at it. My impression was that the carrige did not have tight enough tolerances to keep the arm tangent and that there was also the potential for high horizontal friction. Those are just impressions though and I have no scientific data to substantiate them. I can tell you that the table was causing excessive wear in the records that it played. Again, it may have been defective. Generally, highly complex machinery that isn't too expensive can be trouble. One sample may work, and another may not. I suggest basic, direct drive tables with pivoting arms with universal headshells because they have but two moving parts, the platter and the arm. They tend to be quite immune from common problems of ageing. I can make no comments on sound quality as I did not have the opportunity to use the table in a known system.
I have a Technics SL-10 Linear Tracking Direct Drive Turntable that needs a new cartridge and needle. The original # was 310-MC.

Does anyone know what kind might fit or replace it? And where I might get one?

See my post above. Ortofon TM20 from The Needle Doctor. The regular mount version of the same cartidge, which is the OM20 received very favorable reviews from The Absolute Sound. The SL10 will benefit from a good isolation platform. I use a Townsend Seismic Sink sitting on 2 inch aluminum spikes with brass cups coupling it to the rack.
A lot of people hate the technics linear turntables. I have one and love it. Grado cartridges come in P mount, I have a silver on mine and it sounds fantastic. I bought this for the tiny footprint to use on my desktop for ripping vinyl to my hard drive but it sounded better than my main TT so now I move it all over the house. I was intitially looking for an SL-10 because it has a built-in preamp but decided to get a cheaper tt (I think it is a SL-Q6?) that had been fully serviced. The SL-10 seems to be the most popular(selling on ebay for 200+), it was quite expensive back in the day. I've played a few new LP's 10-20 times and hear no wear/distortion so I would ignore anybody telling you to get a thrift store DD TT that probably doesn't allow for tonearm adjustments. I've had these and they will ruin your collection.
I've got one that I haven't used in years, and the problem I have is that the arm won't move. Is something broken or is it just stuck. It will lower onto the record and begin playing but won't move past about 1/2 of the first track. Thanks. Stephen
I have an SL-10, purchased new in 1980. 1st couple of years it was troubled with the arm setting down and then dragging across to finish, lifting, returning to start and then shutting off. Very random and therfore unreliable. After 2 or 3 years of repair it worked perfectly. I put it into storage for the past five years, when I took it out the platter would rotate but the arm would not move. I emailed Panasonic they said to bring it to the head office/service depot in Toronto. They just looked at it and said, "Do you realize how old this piece is?" The tech there said it could be a belt or a motor, neither of which were available from Technics, however, an aftermarket tech may be able to substitute another belt. Is there anyplace that this can be repaired? Or can parts from other models be substituted in, i.e. from an SL-5, SL-7, etc.
Please help.
I got the arm working by replacing the stretched out very small rubber belt. I went to the hardware store and bought a like size rubber O ring used for faucets etc. Works just great! Cost 69 cents and I think much better than a new aftermarket belt.
When I get home tonight I will look closly at both my Technics SL-10's power cords. I seem to remember them looking very close to the one on older Philips/Maganvox cd player. I'll post again later. As to the cartridge, it's p-mount and there are plenty on the market. Give a look at the Needle he's got a wide range.
I tried to take close up pictures of the cord but they wouldn't come out right. Sorry I have a crappy camera. If you do a google search for "Technics SL-10" you will find many links. It is an amazing device and well worth the effort and money to get it working. I have the digital manual and if you email me your address I email it to you.
I have one in perfect working order that has been in storage for 20 years. I put a new Ortofon black in, bu the sound is Awful.

If it has a built inpreamp, should I be plugging it into the Aux onmy pramp instead of phono?
Dmm53, it has a built in step-up for an MC cartridge but no phono stage. There is a push button switch at the rear to select between MC and MM. In either case you will need a preamp with a phono stage or an outboard phono stage.
Thanks Rhljazz. I used this years ago with pretty good results with an old CCJ preamp and ARC 100A with magnepan Typonys. Sounded great then, sound terrible now. I replaced the cratridge with an Ortofon and plugged it into the phono section of a Mac C41. It works perfectly, but the sound is there with no dynamics of any kind.
way over rated
$400 Rega 1 w/ cart
Does anyone have any recommendations for an under $200 phono preamp/outboard phono stage that would match well with a Technics SL-10 with the orginal 310-MC cartridge?

I've read good things about the Cambridge Audio 640P but was wondering if there were other phono preamps to consider with the exception of the NAD PP-2 phono preamp. I just didn't like it in my system.

Other members have told me to go for a used Lehmann Black Cube or the Vincent PHO-9 but both are over $350 and I don't know if I'm willing to make that much of a commitment.

I primarily use vinyl to play back classical music.

Thanks again
Jed, have you looked into the Jolida JD-9? Popular, flexible and can be found for probably right around $300 or so. If it turns out to be not your thing there's an active resale market.

SL-10 does have a built in pre that isn't the best, as I'm sure you know.
Hi Brick997

I'm going to check out the Jolida JD9. I think there is a Jolida dealer not to far away from me locally. Thanks for the heads up. I got the SL-10 hooked up with the built in pre and I'm not a happy camper. The music was faint. I double checked to make sure I had the SL-10's built-in preamp set to MC which I did and the music did play but the volume was low. When I set it to MM music was even more faint.
I've got news for you. The SL-10 does not have a built in phono amp so no wonder it sounds like crap. It just has a step up for MC or normal output (no step-up)MM. It still requires a phono stage.
Hi Rhljazz

Thanks for the news update. My naivete' about vinyl is showing as well as my haste in posting. After reading your most recent post and then scrolling up through this thread I saw that you covered this issue before on Nov 30 2010.