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Technics RS1500 head rewiring

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I've been studying Charles King's and Doc's various posts regarding the rewiring of the RS1500. While I appreciate the beauty of Charles methods of directing the wire to the back I'd like to do this as simple as possible thus I'll take the wire out from the front.

I have one question: when attaching new cables directly to the heads, do the heads retain the old connections? If so, can I assume that you could use the deck either from the new outputs to a head preamp or using the deck's electronics? This would be very cool.


Xavier Cortes

I think that you'd have to add some sort of switch since the stock playback electronics on the rs1500 are on when the machine is powered up. I have my seduction connected to the taps on the 1/2>1/4 track switch and out the front as illustrated in the original rs1500 pics on the Bottlehead seduction web site. So it is no longer connected to the stock playback electronics.


I'd suggest wiring the cables from the outboard tape preamp to the center contacts on the headblock switch.  This retains the ability to select either 2 track or 4 track playback head - so you can play both tape types if you have them.  As I mentioned in my mod post - the switch is of very good quality, with gold wiping surfaces.  I do suggest taking it apart carefully and cleaning / lubricating, it as the few I worked on were pretty dirty.

A word of caution - don't lay the machine down on its face without some way to prop it up slightly or you risk breaking the switch lever on the headblock, along with the possibility of bending the reel table posts.

I used the Cardas cable which Doc likes - its available from Welborne Labs.  It has two center conductors so I suppose you could get by with only one cable - but run the risk of crosstalk - anyone tried this?

Another 1500 series "foible" I stumbled across was a noticeable reduction in tape tension when the machine was on its back versus standing upright.  Anyone else noticed this? Solution?


OK folks,
I just rewired one of my machines and photographed the process. Scroll down the page about halfway, to
Photos of the easiest way

Thank you all!

Doc: Did you know that uploading those pictures just raised the price of the RS1500 market! Glad I purchased mine before.

Xavier Cortes


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