How to Restore Record Players

By Keith Ruckus

Vintage record players have become more and more popular over the years and are in high demand. Cleaning these vintage players and restoring the inside electronics is important to keep them in playing condition. Keeping the record player in great shape also adds to the monetary value and maintains its aesthetic look. Most music labels today still create albums in vinyl to pay homage to the millions of collectors who still want their music in this medium.

Things You'll Need

  • Electronic cleaning solution
  • Replacement record needle
  • Soldering iron
  • Solder
  • Clean towel
  • Small clean hand towel
  • Screwdriver

Step 1

Pour a generous amount of electronic cleaning solution onto a clean towel. Firmly scrub the outer casing sides and bottom of the record player. Rinse the towel with warm water and repeat until all grime and dirt is cleared off. Depending on the age and condition of the player, this may take several attempts.

Step 2

Pour a light amount of electronics cleaner onto the small hand towel and very lightly clean the arm of the player, the record spindle, the operation buttons and top casing. Clear away as much dirt and grime as possible without pressing roughly enough to break or bend any part.

Step 3

Inspect the power cord for wear, rust or corrosion. Replace broken power cords by ordering the correct cord or power supply for that particular model (see Resources). Unscrew the top of the casing of the player and place the screws off to the side. Use the screwdriver to gently pry off the power supply (it will appear as a small silver box attached to the cord).

Step 4

Replace the power supply with the new one and heat up the soldering iron. Place bits of solder over the connections that the old power supply was removed from. Lightly touch the iron to the solder until the power supply is firmly attached. While the casing is still removed search the inside of the player for loose or damaged wires. Reconnect any older or loose connections with tiny bits of solder.

Step 5

Replace the top casing and screws to the top of the player and test the new power source. Gently pull out the old needle from the player arm and set in the replacement needle (see Resources).

Tips & Warnings

  • Always make sure the player is unplugged before touching any of the electronics.
  • Use caution as soldering irons can burn the skin if handled improperly.