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Topic # 151079 13-Aug-2014 14:03
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Late last year I imported an Audio-Technica LP-120 turntable from Amazon. I was using it over the weekend, and I noticed the hydraulic tone-arm mechanism no longer works. Because I imported this from the US, I'm pondering what I can do about it. As far as I can see, I have these options:-

1) Put up with it. The turntable still works, but I have to be very careful when lowering the tone-arm onto a record

2) Contact Audio-Technica to see if it can be fixed. My concern with doing this is that Audio-Technica will require me to ship it to them at my expense, which considering the nature of the problem doesn't make it economical to do so.

3) Take it to an authorised repairer here to get it fixed at my expense.

4) Fix it myself.... if that is even possible.

I'd love to go with no. 4, but I don't want to dive into this and make the problem even worse. Are there any other LP-120 users here that have had the same issue with their turntables? And if so, were you able to resolve it yourself?

I may reach out to Audio-Technica anyway to see whether they can help, but I suspect it will be cost prohibitive for me.

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  Reply # 1107718 13-Aug-2014 15:24
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Got bored and googled this - Found this:
http://answers.audio-technica.com/answers/1213-en_us/product/583f30b3a8662772/at-lp120-usb-direct-drive-professional-turntable-usb-analog-questions-answers/questions.htm?page=3&sort=helpfula&dir=asc

Search for 'damping' on that page - they say to email the audio-solutions department - it doesnt say take it back - Might be worth joining the forum and trying a post...


There is also this video on youtube - its a Pioneer turtable - but might give you an idea on DIY




Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself - A. H. Weiler



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  Reply # 1107724 13-Aug-2014 15:31
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robjg63: Got bored and googled this - Found this:
http://answers.audio-technica.com/answers/1213-en_us/product/583f30b3a8662772/at-lp120-usb-direct-drive-professional-turntable-usb-analog-questions-answers/questions.htm?page=3&sort=helpfula&dir=asc

Search for 'damping' on that page - they say to email the audio-solutions department - it doesnt say take it back - Might be worth joining the forum and trying a post...


There is also this video on youtube - its a Pioneer turtable - but might give you an idea on DIY


Thanks. After posting here, I also emailed their support department. I wasn't initially expecting a lot of joy there, but the posts there give me a little more hope.

EDIT: I assume you mean this video? It was missing from your original post


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  Reply # 1107807 13-Aug-2014 17:23
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Yep - that was the video. Sorry I didnt actually include the link....




Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself - A. H. Weiler



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  Reply # 1108853 15-Aug-2014 10:03
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Got a reply from Audio-Technica support. They're investigating whether there is a local service agent I can take my turntable to. 



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  Reply # 1111016 19-Aug-2014 08:20
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The company that handles Audio-Technica in this region (Technical Audio Group, based in Australia) just got back to me. While they have been very helpful, they had to defer to their Japan office for assistance. This was the official reply:-


In this case, you can offer him a paid service without warranty.

 

We usually do something for headphones, but for turntables, NO. The customer knew the risk like this to be happened when he tried to import the turntable.

 

Buying from other countries with cheaper prices, but still want warranty, that is self-centered.


I particularly enjoyed the last line ;-)

Sure, I knew the risks. But thats what you do when you're forced to pay $700 for a product you can import for $450.

The guys at TAG Australia said the RRP for parts is $236.46 (+ approx $30 for shipping), and they'd give me a 30% discount on that. While I appreciate their offer, that makes it uneconomical for me to fix. The TAG guy I was communicating with stated :-


we’ve looked at the hydraulic mechanism you’re referring to & think it’s a case of tolerances & not something that can be fixed. I think the bits should be replaceable, but we can’t get them separately.


In summary, I'll just have to put up with the unforgiving tone arm mechanism. Its a shame, but I knew the risks when importing. 

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  Reply # 1111068 19-Aug-2014 09:12
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It looks like the key to fixing something like this (assuming it just needed re greasing) would be to be able to get the special silicon grease.
I have no idea where you would start to look for that.




Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself - A. H. Weiler



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  Reply # 1111071 19-Aug-2014 09:19
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robjg63: It looks like the key to fixing something like this (assuming it just needed re greasing) would be to be able to get the special silicon grease.
I have no idea where you would start to look for that.


That all depends on whether the part can be taken apart to apply the silicon grease. Its all plastic, and I'm a little hesitant to mess with it too much in case I end up with an expensive paperweight.

The fact that the service guys said that part replacement would be required doesn't fill me with a lot of hope that it will be easily fixable. And part replacement gets expensive because they can't sell the actual part needed separately, and instead have to charge me for a full tone arm replacement. 

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  Reply # 1111133 19-Aug-2014 10:32
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dclegg: Sure, I knew the risks. But thats what you do when you're forced to pay $700 for a product you can import for $450.

I wouldn't say you're forced to pay the $700. You have choices, and you made one. In this case, would you have bought it locally in hindsight? I guess you can think of it something like insurance. It's a real rip-off, until you need it.

I never understand people who import expensive items to save a few bucks. Obviously, $450 to $700 is not just a small saving, so pretty tempting. Would I do it? Maybe, but as you say, one knows the risks one's taking.



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  Reply # 1111152 19-Aug-2014 10:46
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bazzer:
I wouldn't say you're forced to pay the $700. You have choices, and you made one. In this case, would you have bought it locally in hindsight? I guess you can think of it something like insurance. It's a real rip-off, until you need it.

I never understand people who import expensive items to save a few bucks. Obviously, $450 to $700 is not just a small saving, so pretty tempting. Would I do it? Maybe, but as you say, one knows the risks one's taking.


Of course, 'forced' is overstating the issue. Nobody had a gun to my head. The point I was trying to make was that if I was to purchase it through the official local channels, that was the cheapest price it could've been obtained for at the time. The RRP was actually $750.

In this particular instance, a $700 purchase was never going to happen, as I did not deem that good value for money for this particular product. On the other hand, importing it myself provided a price that was far more aligned with what I was prepared to pay. I knew this came with potential risks with regards to warranty, and this thread shows that in this particular instance I may have lost that gamble.

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