Record Listeners Rejoice: Here's How to DIY a Bargain Craigslist Turntable into a Stylish Custom Record Player

Record Listeners Rejoice: Here's How to DIY a Bargain Craigslist Turntable into a Stylish Custom Record Player

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Hayley Lawrence
Jan 27, 2016
(Image credit: Hayley Lawrence)

Katie and Patrick spend a lot of time listening to music on the record player that Patrick restored. As they shared in their House Tour, "Since we don’t have a fireplace, it’s the hearth of our home."

(Image credit: Hayley Lawrence)

Because of Patrick’s career as an audio engineer and tour manager, he worked on the project over the span of five months in between tours. Had his schedule allowed dedicated time at home, he says he could have completed the project in about three weekends. Patrick relied on his own knowledge of hi-fi systems and acoustics to build this custom record player plinth and wasn’t afraid to ask for the help of his father (or his extensive collection of woodworking tools).

From Patrick:

I originally bought the Sanyo TP-626 turntable on Craigslist for $25. This particular model, made in the 1970s, is very simple in design but known for its quality. It’s a workhorse with lots of opportunities to upgrade and customize.

Lots of love went into restoring the belt-driven motor, replacing the tone-arm wires, and correcting some speed issues.

The next step was to draw up and build a much more solid custom plinth for the turntable to sit in, as the old plinth was made of cheap fiberboard offering zero acoustic isolation.

The end result is a 50-pound box full of sand with heavy rubber to absorb external vibrations, while the turntable itself sits on Norsorex rubber balls which provide even more isolation. The thing is bulletproof.
(Image credit: Hayley Lawrence)

Another piece of audio gear that Patrick overhauled and improved is a phono preamp, which amplifies and colors the turntable’s output before it gets to the speakers. Patrick switched tubes and rewired the preamp in his endless search for better sound.

(Image credit: Hayley Lawrence)

Source List:

  • Turntable: Sanyo TP262 via Craigslist with custom-built plinth
  • Cartridge: Shure
  • Wood: maple plywood
  • Acoustic dampening: Play Sand, loose rock, DIY lead pellets, Norsorex 3/4” balls
  • Audio wiring: Mogami Cable, Nakamichi RCA connectors
  • Stain: Home Depot American Walnut
  • Phono preamp: Yaqin MS-22B via eBay

Thanks, Patrick!

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