Adjusting the Return
on Technics Turntable

There is a season
Turn, turn, turn


D Vautier

Sadly many turntables do not have return adjustment.  My old Sony would need a file and pliers for the adjustment.  Some turntables, like Pro-ject don't even bother with automatic return or shut off because it's extra stuff that can go bad or interfere with what a turntable is basically designed to do.

When your turntable return is late it can just sit there going back and forth in the dead wax.  If it returns early it will return before the end of the last song or start skipping backwards because the tripping mechanism requires more force than a slowly moving tonearm provides.

My Technics SL-D212 is common to many other units made around that time.  It is a frightening mass of gears and linkages underneath that requires at least two degrees in mechanical engineering to understand but the adjustment is on top and quite simple to do.  Around the base of the plinth is a plastic cover.  Remove the cover and rotate the tone arm inward to about the middle of the record.  You then see the adjusting screw.  Mark it's position with a pencil and turn it counterclockwise a bit to move the return forward.  Keep turning and testing until the desired return point is set.  Try a high density record which has less dead wax.