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Hints, Tips and Solutions (Do NOT post requests for help here) If you have any useful general hints and tips for vintage technology repair and restoration, please share them here. PLEASE DO NOT POST REQUESTS FOR HELP HERE!

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Old 23rd Nov 2022, 12:02 pm   #1
OldTechFan96
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Default Sonotone 9TAHC Repair (audio drop outs)

I have a Sonotone 9TAHC installed in a Garrard AT6 MKII. Occasionally when playing a record the signal from the cartridge would cut in and out.

I though that the stylus was at fault, so a brand new one was ordered. Unfortunately, this did not solve the issue. I noticed that if some gentle pressure was applied to the headshell the audio would come back.

This convinced me that the cartridge was at fault.

I removed the cartridge from the headshell and was easily able to remove the metal surround from the cartridge body.

At this point the 'rabbit ears' and ceramic elements can be withdrawn from the cartridge body.

The elements were filthy and were gently cleaned with Autosol.

Once everything was back together the cartridge worked fine without any issue.

I don't consider this post a comprehensive guide to solving this issue, it's more of a proof of concept.
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Old 23rd Nov 2022, 12:18 pm   #2
Nickthedentist
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Default Re: Sonotone 9TAHC Repair (audio drop outs)

Well done!

Another thing which is well worth doing with these is to remove the plug from the back (use a blade to gently tease it out), and clean its contacts, as well as the contacts in the cartridge to which they connect. I use a cotton bud soaked with Servisol Super 10. They go from black to shiny in a few seconds.

But note that all the 9TAHCs I've dealt with recently have suffered from their rubbery bits hardening-up, causing poor tracking, distortion, and no doubt increased record wear.
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Old 23rd Nov 2022, 12:46 pm   #3
OldTechFan96
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Default Re: Sonotone 9TAHC Repair (audio drop outs)

Thanks Nick, that is very good advice.

Mine tracks very well at only 3g as set by my Garrard stylus balance.

I noticed that the 'rabbit ears' on my Sonotone were, material wise, somewhere in-between a soft rubber and a firm plastic. I wonder if recreating the rubber pieces would be worthwhile?

I guess that they are all on borrowed time?

One of these days I'll experement with one of these.
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Old 23rd Nov 2022, 1:00 pm   #4
ben
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Default Re: Sonotone 9TAHC Repair (audio drop outs)

Great stuff! I have done similar with the Sonotone 25xx or 35xx series with good results.

Incidentally, there were two or three different types of cantilever in the 9TAHC. One rubber, one black plastic and another which was as you say some kind of hybrid. Some held up better than others but it has been a while since I last looked at one. Will have to dig a few out and will post photos.
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Old 23rd Nov 2022, 2:32 pm   #5
Andrew2
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Default Re: Sonotone 9TAHC Repair (audio drop outs)

Nice cartridges these are, especially for a ceramic type which were looked down upon by the moving magnet brigade.
In the early 70's I had an SP25 Mk2 in which I fitted a new 9TAHC, but the audio from one channel was intermittent. Usually it could be coaxed back into life by a gentle touch on the stylus.
In the end it became such a pain I just went out and bought a new one, but that one was the same - on the other channel!
So both of them went back to Sonotone with a (long and very studenty) letter. A couple of weeks later I received two new cartridges and an explanation of the fault, which sadly my memory cannot recall.
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