Sony PS-333 Turntable - Seeking to Repair

This Sony ES-333 turntable has not been working for some time. I am looking to get back into vinyl again (thread) so that is why I am considering repairing it or getting it repaired.


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This is what I have, or have access to. The Sony PS-333. Everything in that system is called 333. Maybe a repair thread will help.

Just to recap: it was turning fine with the orange light lighting and all that, then it stopped working. No rotation when tone arm was moved. I gave it to an electronics place to repair they could not. Something about replacing the ICs. I wonder now if it was a simple broken contact or maybe even resetting the tone arm. Wish I had it here.

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Here is what we know: the motor rotated smoothly without any noises or hesitation, before it stopped working. The tone arm moves smoothly.
The orange light (strobe light) was working also.

This is a direct drive unit that uses an AC motor. Assuming the motor is not burned out, suddenly, the possible causes are:

  • Connections at tone arm
  • Sensors
  • Switches
  • Electronic components on speed controller board

I am attempting to find a repair shop where it is located, one place I contacted said the do not repair turntables 'due to lack of parts'. In a few months I hope to travel back to where it is, and open it up and have a look.

I see that the motor is available online.

Can anything be done?
 
Back 'home' and I wasted no time in taking the turntable out of its place and inspecting it. I was a little dusty, and is quite heavy. The platter mat had an oily look to it, and this is possibly due to the deterioration of the platter mat, these turn oily after decades of storage, so this seems to be the culprit.

First thing was to check the label for input voltage, and the numbers on the label confirmed that the thing could run with 120 to 220 V. No problem here, as the local voltage is 220 V.

The next thing was to check the turntable platter: it could be turned by hand, though it seemed to spring back to its initial position. The tone arm switch did move it up and down and the tone arm was free to move.

Powering up, I found that the orange light on the left lighted up, and turning the platter activated the automatic tone arm, so that it move the tone arm to the edge of the platter, or just before, and stayed there. Moving the arm to the middle while turning the platter again moved the tone arm back to its resting position. All this was motivated by what I had read somewhere that the automatic stop mechanism may have to be reset (or it was a YouTube video) for a turntable to work.

I coaxed the platter around again and it took off on its own, with no noises from the bearing at all. A record placed on the platter confirmed it was working, but the thing on the end of the tonearm did no look too much like a cartridge. There is a replacement stylus or a cartridge which I may try tomorrow.

So the turntable is turning, finally, two years after being taken out of storage, and 25 + years after being purchased new.

It was easy enough to remove the cartridge by unscrewing it from the tone arm. Two vertical notches were provided to locate the cartridge vertically. This was done earlier, and an image of the cartridge is included.

The manual for the unit is at hand, and will be checked now. However, there are questions. Will the answers be in the manual?

Questions:

1. Do I run the turntable as is, or attempt to remove the motor and check for stuck bearings or defective motor parts?

2. Will the speed control be up to the task to keep this thing turning at the correct speed? (This can be answered with the onboard strobe)

3. How to clean the thing?

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1.If motor is lubricated for life and works properly I recommend you to leave it for now. Something that old can be easily damaged if you take it apart.

2.If strobe shows correct speed than I say yes.

3. For oily mat, try to save it by washing it in warm water with some dishwashing fluid.
For rest, wipe it with soft cloth lightly moisturised with antistatic window/surface cleaning fluid. Be careful, some of these fluids may contain vinegar, avoid them!
 
Speed is all over the place, and very fast, not responding to pitch control. I have read that this means the pots have to be cleaned, or the coarse adjustment done from inside. There is also an accompanying clicking noise and a cricket-like sound periodically.

Clean the motor? Clean the board? Outsource - I am meeting the person who did my vinyl conversions, he has a great many turntables, maybe he can direct me to a repairing facility. Also, vintage shop visit is on the cards.

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Sorry to hear about speed issue.
Cricket-like sound might be the motor bearing when spining too fast, but thats not cause for overspeed.
Pitch pot is usual suspect, and there are few trim-pots on pcb inside that may loose contact too.
Speed is controlled by magnetic strip inside platter rim and magnetic head (looking like tape-head). Dont put the platter close to any magnets, if magnetic strip is demagnetized (or damaged) you'll need a new platter. Magnetic head should be clean and close to platter, but without touch. Sometimes, demagnetizing the head can solve the problem. Keep the platter far away if doing this.
Check the pcb visually for oxidation, leaky electrolytic caps, burned resistors, bad looking solder joints, cracks, loose contacts etc.
If that doesnt help problem is more complex. If you don't have tools and experience leave the repair to expert.
From the pictures, it looks like something was spilled on TT, there are stains on mat and top surface. That could damage the electronics.
For any cleaning inside, you can use isopropyl alcohol.
Links that might help:
https://audiokarma.org/forums/index.php?threads/sony-ps-333-speed-issue.832735/
https://audiokarma.org/forums/index.php?threads/sony-ps-333-runaway-speed.898476/
https://www.vinylengine.com/turntable_forum/viewtopic.php?t=93743

Your TT is PS-333 not ES-333. I suggest you to hit report button and ask mods to correct the thread name and avoid confusion.
 
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The platter is simply not starting on its own, it has to be turned by hand, after which it spins at 66 rpm despite pitch adjustments or swtiching between 45 rpm and 33 rpm. The speed varies about 4% or more.

After disassembling the rear panel, for which I had to turn the turntable upside down, there was a noise from the motor when the turntable was placed on its feet and the platter turned by hand.

Once again I opened up the panel, and opened the motor section.

Inside was a C-clip. That explains it. I will be searching the manual for the C-clip position.

The next step is to clean out the contacts for the R7 etc with contact cleaner and try again.

Why would the motor not start the platter spinning if it is direct drive and there is enough power to turn the thing at 66 rpm? I cannot see anything wrong with the motor, which looks simple and nicely engineered.
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Why would the motor not start the platter spinning if it is direct drive and there is enough power to turn the thing at 66 rpm?

I gave quick look on schematics. Motor drive has two amps with hall-sensors (for brushless comutation). If one of these are faulty motor won't have starting torque, but it will rotate if you spin it by hand (just like AC motor without starting capacitor). I'am not sure about speed issue, but if motor tries to lock with one pole missing it will result in double rpm, 66 instead of 33.
If you know how, try to check trim-pots RV4 to RV7, transistors Q6 to Q9, IC2 and surrounding circuit for proper DC and AC voltages. Also motor coils for continuity.
 
Thanks. Come to think of it, the last time it was looked at, the person seeking to repair it said something about trying to get the ICs that were on the board.
Replace them.

Maybe a total board replacement is in order?

Is there any way to 'convert' these using a different motor and drive system?
 
IC's are nothing special. Just two op-amps inside. So, they should be replaceable with something generic/similar.
But before making any conclusions, whole board should be inspected, starting by measuring the voltages as shown in schematics.
Unfortunately, I found the manual confusing about this. It says "Readings are taken under no-signal 33 rpm X'TAL LOCK conditions". This model don't have X'TAL LOCK (Sony's name for quartz-crystal control), just a simple servo. And what "no-signal" means? Speed-control signal is generated by magnetic head. Is that means platter should be removed so head can't read the signal from magnetic strip?
Or we should just set the speed to 33 rpm with pitch-pot in middle position ("lock") as shown in schematics?
I hope someone with more knowledge/experience can clear this up.

Old electrolytic caps loose their properties over time, especially after longer storage. Those on critical positions should be replaced as pre-caution:
C4, C5 (signal path)
C9, C10 (IC1 and IC2 voltage supply)
C11 (servo amp supply)

I think main board is repairable, but some more expertise is needed.

I doubt there's a simple way to convert to different motor. From pictures, motor looks ok. What you found inside is split-washer, not c-clip. I don't think it belongs to the motor. Maybe someone before tamperd with it.
I can't see well on picture, but shaft that goes inside bronze sleeve should have a steel ball on top. Make sure its not lost.
Carefully cleam the bearing and put few drops of fine oil (for sewing machines for eg.) If it spins smoothly, quietly and without side play than there's no reason to replace the motor.
 
Their notion of turntable expected life is more likely to be 5 years than 25 years, note...

So, over a lifetime, enthusiasts buy a new turntable every 5 years. Fine, as long as the old one is recycled and not dumped. That's anyway a consequence of the present human/ecological arrangement.

Are there modular or up-gradable turntables? There is an up-gradable laptop called the Framework, I saw a review of an up-gradable turntable, upgrade the tone arm, the cartridges are anyway upgradeable on some of these, and you can keep buying phono pre-amplifiers. What about the motor? What is the parts supply like for these vintage turntables in terms of price/quality/availability and expert technicians?

There is an electronics repair shop where the Sony amp was serviced, they did a decent job, but they refused to take on the turntable due to 'lack of spare parts', even though, according to a sticker on the underneath, they have inspected it in 2017. Also, there was an quotation given to repair this turntable for an equivalent of $50, which was turned down, repair but no guarantee? Maybe I should follow this up. In Vancouver BC, Canada, where a relative lives, there is an enthusiast (I guess) who purchases turntables and repairs them, then sells them, seems like a nice thing to do.

I would like to own a turntable, the existing EZCap 613 experience has been quite enjoyable, converting 30 year old discarded records and digitizing one or two new ones. So yes, I want to own one, digitize my records and play them once a week or so.

I also would like to recycle an old one to prevent it going to the dump, however I am not sure how much of an impact this would make, maybe I should browse on Ecosia and plant a tree?
 
I think main board is repairable, but some more expertise is needed.

I doubt there's a simple way to convert to different motor. From pictures, motor looks ok. What you found inside is split-washer, not c-clip. I don't think it belongs to the motor. Maybe someone before tamperd with it.
I can't see well on picture, but shaft that goes inside bronze sleeve should have a steel ball on top. Make sure its not lost.
Carefully cleam the bearing and put few drops of fine oil (for sewing machines for eg.) If it spins smoothly, quietly and without side play than there's no reason to replace the motor.

You have really taken a lot of trouble to look up stuff here, I have pdf manual I downloaded, so that may come in useful to the repair shop. Worth pursuing.

I had a look at the bearing, with its steel ball at the bottom. This arrangement, simple, and widely used, always raises questions in my mind. There was some grease/oil on the bearing, I did not dare to touch any of it, and there was some stuff at the bottom of the barrel(!). It does spin without any noise, last time I tried.