Technics SP-10 TT motor capacitors?

Hello, I have just recapped the SH-10E power supply for my SP-10mkii (8 total). Are there other caps on the TT electronics or motor that will need to be addressed, as well? Thanks for any info.
There are more small value lytics in the onboard electronics module. You will have to turn your tt chassis over to unbolt the tray that covers the PCB in question in order to find and replace them, if you want to do so that is.
Thank you. Since I posted the question, I've found 20 more on the material list residing on the Drive, Control and Connectional boards. I guess I can't fight the physics of electrolytic shelf life, gotta get them all...

Anyone have any experience to share?

Hi Strathorncat:

I'm just about to order the eight electrolytics for the power supply with my SP-10 Mk2A. What brand did you use and did you have any problems with size fitting the board?

I assume you have the Service Manual for your Mk2. If not, you can download a copy on VinylEngine. You might want to check again, I count 25 electrolytics on the Main Unit Section of my Mk2A and it was alleged to have a simplified circuit compared to the Mk2.

I'm also on the fence on replacing the 'lytics on the Main Unit. Talking with a few friends who know a great deal more about electronics than I do; one recommends replacing all electrolytics over 15 years old, a second recommends it would be OK to do just to give me peace of mind, while the third says, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. That is why I'm still firmly on the fence for making that change.

Have you built a plinth for your SP-10 or do you have a Technics or other manufactured plinth?
The cap replacement on the SH-10E was pretty straight forward. I used Nichicon caps. No size issues, except finding a physically large enough replacement for the can cap with the chassis mount.

Yes, I have downloaded the service manual and all of the other Doc's. Great resource here! Thanks for the heads up on capacitor quantity.

Currently, the deck is in a furniture style plinth with a marble armboard. I've got a teak plinth to try and will be moving into that next. I sure like what I see with regard to slate plinths...

Thanks, Bill.
FWIW, While I am an old hand at DIY, I have too many projects and so farmed out the capacitor change to Bill Thalmann at Music Technology in Springfield, VA. Bill is very experienced and way way more knowledgeable than I am. He thought it was prudent to replace them all. We used Panasonic FC types, which Bill likes; they have lower ESR than any that were made back in the day. He is so much more skilled than I and works so fast that the cost was quite reasonable. My Mk2A had been completely refurbished by Technics in 1989 and was never used thereafter. Ergo the lytic caps were "new" but 20 years old. For a unit that has been in constant or even occasional use all these years, one might justify replacing only the bad caps. Unused caps go south quicker. Now I have to go do income taxes, yet another night that I cannot work on my SP10.
Lewm, thanks for the insight. I intend on replacing all and I saw reference to the Panasonic caps elsewhere, so that's the plan. Need to part with the machine long enough to open it up and verify package types/values and get a lay of the land.

There is a certain piece of mind in knowing the lytics are not going to leak and take out an irreplaceable IC. (Most of the ICs in that circuit are no longer made, and some of them were custom built for Technics specifically for that circuit, so not easy to find subs.)
Dear friends: Pryso posted an advise that he receive for someone else: ++++ " if it ain't broke, don't fix it.. " +++++

this is common sense and I'm with.

I can't remember when was the last time that I read elsewhere that cap suffer of a leak or even " exploit " and certainly never from a SP-10 owner.

My whole/general attitude about is to change ( whatever ) parts ( caps, resistors, wire, etc, etc ) in an audio item where we can/could achieve better performance with out an important trade-off.

Of course that for be " peace in mind " and due that it is a very low price everyone of us like to make those changes. No, I don't do it in my SP-10s yet.

I would like to know ( maybe other people could likes too ) from those SP-10 owners that already change the caps/reistors or the like what real changes we can expect/detect with these new parts on the SP-10 quality performance or none at all other that that " peace on mind ".

Could you?: Strathorncat, Lewm or some body else.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Electolytic have a shelf life. It's accepted in the electronics industry. Depends on the application as to how worried to be. Lewm said it well for me:

"There is a certain piece of mind in knowing the lytics are not going to leak and take out an irreplaceable IC. (Most of the ICs in that circuit are no longer made, and some of them were custom built for Technics specifically for that circuit, so not easy to find subs.)"

I just recapped two SH-10E's and found one cap that had broke open and literally leaked. Probably been electrically leaky for years. I guess it depends on how well you think you could recover if a leaky cap damages other circuitry. Not much of an issue in a power supply, but a very unique servo control circuit; I'd rather err on the side of safety.
Dear " Sp-10s " : Something that I have on mind from sometime is to take out all the " electronics " from the TT ( main unit ) in a separate " control box " ( make a re-build/refurbished CB and PS, almost new units with new circuit boards and up-date parts .) and leave the TT in an " open frame " with a stand-alone " tower " or the like for the tonearm.

I'm not for those beautiful and heavy plinths, my SP-10 " road " is almost the contrary.

My choice an experiences about tell me that if this way is not the best one at least it is not the worst.

I already heard several Sp-10s in new beautiful heavy plinths in different build materials ( in very good audio systems ) and in no case I heard something that could tell me that that kind of plinths are a better " road " that the one I choose: a simple " open frame ", yes I know that looks ugly but I care more on the quality performance level.

What do you think on this/my approach about?, because I don't have any scientific argument to support it: it is only my " feelings ", that are working good in the way I have right now.

To make that open frame SP-10 it needs time a lot of time for the whole project, it is something like to build/design a new TT.
I don't have the time for now but my attitude is oriented to make it in the future.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Dear Strathorncat: +++ " found one cap that had broke open " +++

obviously the change is a must.

Nw, which performance changes do you experience when you made those caps changes? something improve?, the Sp-10 is a very good design and very well made for those times that's why I ask about: it is worth to do it?

could you share with us?

regards and enjoy the music.
My hope is that it will meet factory specs, and continue to do so for the next 20 years. My table takes a bit to stabilize at 78rpm and I'm hoping that gets better. I'm getting up to speed on the service manual and the troubleshooting tree. My guess is that I'd see something a bit out of tolerance now if I checked with a scope, but I'm going to go ahead and do the caps as I do with all old equipment. I've seen too many old guitar amps with real leaky caps to doubt the fact that they will deteriorate after 20+ years. It would be an injustice (in my mind) to not take care of this classic machine as best I can. I have all I need to do this myself, so no big burden, and I enjoy it. You are asking a fair question and I appreciate the dialog.

I've wondered the same thing about plinth or no plinth.
SH-10E recap. Sorry, didn't really answer your direct question. Since it was a filter cap in a power supply, I have no doubt that I would have seen less noise on the output rail after cap replacement, to say the least. I didn't check though, cuz I've seen this often and I understand this circuit. I don't profess to understand the servo contol circuit, but I understand leaky caps.
Dear Strathorncat: Thank you for the info and yes I agree that it would be an injustice to not take care about.

My questions are mainly because my mind SP-10s whole project that I posted and I want to know if it will be worth the tremendous effort that could take the project, like I say is almost a re-design and build an almost new TT : sounds easy but it is not.

Anyway I think that this kind of dialog between so many Sp-10 lovers are really learning and enrich our own targets on the subject.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Well said, and I look forward to learning more. I'm just getting started with my table. Thanks!
Raul, I think you have the completely wrong idea in this rare case. For me, the reason to change the electrolytic caps in ANY device that has been sitting on a shelf for 20 years is simply to avoid a failure that could damage other, much more irreplaceable parts, NOT to make the turntable "sound" better in any way. If you read what I wrote, I did say that for a unit that has been in constant or intermittent service all along, probably this is less of a risk. Further, forget what I may think, Bill Thalmann agreed. He spends his days fixing broken electronics. Also, he did not solicit the work; he is snowed under with repair jobs. He had/has no ulterior motive whatever.

Having vented on that subject, I admit there ARE some sp10 users who think it is necessary to install Black Gate electrolytics in the PS, for reasons you suggest. I used Panasonics that cost less than a buck apiece in most cases.
Strathorncat, Sounds like you know how to read a schematic and have an SP10 service manual. You will therefore know or be able to see that the external PS is far from "state of the art", even for 1980. I think this means that Technics built it as good as it had to be for the job it has to do: supply 5V and 32.5V regulated voltages and unregulated 140V to the main circuits built into the chassis. If one were really a zealot, one could build a "better" outboard supply, with better more modern regulators, a reguated 140V supply, etc. I doubt it would make much difference. Still...... I think about it once in a while. This falls far short of externalizing all the in-board circuitry as well, which I would be very reluctant to do.
Sure. I can see some value in that. But, that's a ways down the road for me. I just fell into my sp-10 and got an extra power supply off ebay and recapped both, so I hope to not have to worry about DC voltages for a while. I did notice that it was nothing special. I figure I'll get the deck ready to spin and start playing with plinth's, arms and cartridges. I'm "turnin' knobs" in the rest of my system, as well. Got lot's of low hanging fruit to benefit from.

I do wonder about one thing, however. Currently, I have a Grace 840F tonearm with a Grado Ref. Sonata and I get a bit of "the" hum. I'm wondering if there might be an easy way to shield/ground the motor/platter better within the deck. I've read that it's most likely due to the cartridge, but just thinking, since I'm about to crack it open anyway...

Dear Lew: I think I understand what you posted about and that kind of prevention is that: a prevention, I?m not against it.

What I say is that I don't know/read/experiences anywhere on that kind of failure in a SP-10, but could happen.

Anyway, the whole subject is that we have to take care on our Sp-10s, no doubt about.

My question still is the same: any improvement?

Regards and enjoy the music.
Raul, Sorry for the tone of my post, if it was too intense. In response to your latest, I can only say that there definitely ARE reports on the internet, on various other sites, of SP10s that won't hold speed, that have lost torque, that are plain "dead", etc. It is not unlikely that many of these problems were caused by old electrolytic capacitors that had become leaky and then destroyed downstream transistors or ICs. As Strathorncat said, I don't expect any "improvement" over the basic as-new performance of a fully functional SP10 Mk2A.

Stay tuned for the battery-supplied SP10, however. (Not hard to do for the 5V supply.) That would be cool.
Some references on questions ask here:

Raul, I've wondered too about the potential for "improved" performance with tt parts replacement versus piece of mind from eliminating old parts. Albert Porter who is well known on A'gon for his rebuild of his SP-10 Mk2, chose to upgrade caps in the power supply but left his motor unit alone. And while this is not the same for a turntable where the parts are out of the signal path, my friend Dan Banquer posted this description of sonic benefits from parts replacements in a tuner.

Now for Lewm, Strathorncat, and Raul, there is a chap in England who developed a replacement power supply/regulator unit for the SP-10s. Check his site (I'm not a customer and have only read his posts on VinylEngine).

And lastly, for Raul and others with interest of moving all electronics away from the motor unit itself, here is a little info on such a project. Sorry that the translation to English is very rough. Such a project is way beyond my basic soldering skills but one can dream.

And the famous Kaneta modification -

Happy reading and keep the information flow coming.
Dear Pryso: Great links, thank you so much.

Regards and enjoy the music.
Pryso, I saw that UK site; in fact you may be the one that originally supplied me with the URL. Due to the devaluation of the pound vs the dollar, it's become a more reasonable proposition. Certainly, for anyone who is not into DIY and who has an SP10 Mk2 chassis but no PS, this is the easiest way to go. I had raised questions about their copper mat, which does LOOK delicious; at over 2kg, its mass could affect the servo mechanism, I think.
Update: Finished recap of the tt deck. The job went well. You do need to be gentle with circuit board traces during cap removal. After the cap job, the deck comes up to speed at 78rpm and stabilizes quickly. Prior to cap job, it searched and took several seconds to stabilize at 78.
Strathorncat, Your observation is in agreement with my thought that there are probably a lot of SP10s (and Denons and etc.) that "work" fine, but could be working a lot better with fresh electrolytic capacitors.
Agreed. I'm glad I did it.