This is a public version of the members-only Hip-Hop Scratch with DJ Qbert, at ArtistWorks. Functionality is limited, but CLICK HERE for full access if you’re ready to take your playing to the next level.

These lessons are available only to members of Hip-Hop Scratch with DJ Qbert.
Join Now

Digital Applications
Training Dojo

In this section, you can have call and response sessions with experienced skratch djs. They'll skratch the questions, and you skratch the answers. Here, you can try to copy them or just freestyle. Try out the skratches you've learned and put them together in your own way. It's that easy!

When you get better, you can post your own call and response "sessions" for the training dojo so that others can skratch along with you too!

Beat Juggling
Setup & Gear
Helpful Hints
Guest Professors
30 Day Challenge
«Prev of Next»

Skratch Lessons: RCA Replacement

Lesson Video Exchanges () submit video Submit a Video Lesson Study Materials () This lesson calls for a video submission
Study Materials
information below
Lesson Specific Downloads
Play Along Tracks
Backing Tracks +
Written Materials +
Additional Materials +
resource information below Close
Collaborations for
resource information below Close
Submit a video for   

This video lesson is available only to members of
Hip-Hop Scratch with DJ Qbert.

Join Now

information below Close
Course Description

This page contains a transcription of a video lesson from Hip-Hop Scratch with DJ Qbert. This is only a preview of what you get when you take Skratch Lessons at ArtistWorks. The transcription is only one of the valuable tools we provide our online members. Sign up today for unlimited access to all lessons, plus submit videos to your teacher for personal feedback on your playing.

CLICK HERE for full access.
What's going on, you guys?
I'm DJ Mas.
On behalf of Qbert Skratch University and
Mas Customs,
I wanna welcome you to another fix-it
segment here at QSU.
Last time we made a video talking about
how, if you clean that tone arm
[INAUDIBLE], you can get rid of a lot of
signal problems.
Now, this is a followup to that.
If your tone arm cleansing didn't get your
signal back,
then the next step is to replace your
Today, were gonna show you how to do just
Now, a couple things, before we get
started, first thing your going to need
is something to flip your turntable over
on top.
I have a specialized table, that I can do
this without damaging it's arm.
But, your best bet at home, is gonna be
either a big fluffy pillow, or
if you have one of the flight cases that
has one of the hard comb on the inside,
You can actually flip your turntable on
top of that without having any weight
being placed on the tone arm.
You wanna keep the tone arm, without any
weight on top of it,
so it doesn't get bent or damaged, or
anything like that.
So make sure you have something solid to
work on before you get started.
Another thing, is that this tutorial is
gonna require a soldering,
you can use any soldering iron, I have an
electronic one from Radio Shack.
But a couple things to note is that these
things do get very hot,
they can easily burn your skin off, they
can cause,
you know, electrical fires if you're not
careful with them.
You always wanna make sure that you don't
touch any wires or
anything that you're not supposed to
So be careful.
When you're holding this, don't hurt
[NOISE] So, the first thing we're gonna do
to get started is take off
[NOISE] our turntable legs.
And next, we're gonna go ahead and
take off all the screws on the bottom
rubber part of the turntable.
Now, I recommend using a screwdriver and
not a drill, because these heads after
being, you know, a certain age, they can
snap off real easy, and then you end
up with a screw stuck in there, you know
you're out, you're out of script.
So use a screwdriver, there's about 20 or
so screws and take them all off.
Get them all loose and before pulling them
out if you actually just pop the cover.
It will all stay in place.
So all you have to do is pry the sides off
of your Techniquesoarhundred.
This whole cover will come out as one
And as you can see your screws will stay
in place.
Now, what you're gonna wanna do is pull
your power wire through this little hole.
And you wanna pull your RCA and your
ground through this other hole.
And then just take the whole cover off
like this, leave the screws in place and
set it aside somewhere we're not going to
lose it.
Now, what we're looking at is the inside
of a Techniques 1200.
No matter what model number, they all
pretty much look the same.
They all have a black face plate in the
middle as well, and this counteracts,
a lot of vibrations that you deal with
when being around large speakers.
Helps your needles to not skip.
What we're gonna be looking at today is
the underside of the toner.
So on this silver plate here, under here
is where your RCA cables are housed.
So what you're gonna want to do is first
remove the two black screws off of
this top plate that holds your RCA wires
[NOISE] and your grappling plates.
[NOISE] So just take
those two screws out.
And this little clip right here, kind of
works like,
two buckles connecting together.
So what you're gonna wanna do, is go into
the side of one and pry one side off.
And once you pry one side off, the whole
thing will pop up like this.
So these are your clips right here.
Now set these to the side.
Make the tone arm like, chill for a second
and we're gonna take off these other two
black screws that are holding the metal
plate on top.
I wanna mention my own bad practice of
putting screws right here.
It's not a good thing to do.
Make sure you put them somewhere safe
where you're not gonna lose them.
Okay, so once all four of those screws are
hold your wires out and this whole plate
will just pop right off.
And then we're gonna guide your wires
Now, usually RCA cables don't fit through
at the same time.
So I'm just gonna leave one up here.
Take them out one by one.
Set this plate to the side.
[SOUND] Now, you can see.
Inside of the, of the bottom of the tone
arm assembly,
and what you're looking at is a green
circuit board.
Now before you do anything inside here
let's make a note that all these very,
very, very tiny wires are your actual tone
arm wires.
They're very brittle, they're easy to rip
out, they're easy to break.
So make sure that when you're inside here
they're outta the way.
Because what we're working on are the two
thicker wires, these are your RCAs.
So make sure none of these wires get
clipped, pulled, or bent, or snapped or
anything like that.
Wanna make sure that these are free and
One will work.
Now once those are out of the way, you're
gonna need a pair of dikes and
we're gonna cut the the zip tie that's in
here holding your RCAs together.
Okay, now, couple things that are gonna
make soldering easier is doing it
the right way.
All right?
So I'm gonna show you how to use a
soldering iron most effectively.
What you're gonna want to do is let your
soldering iron heat up.
Mine heats up rather quickly.
And the first thing you're gonna want to
do is take a watery sponge and
clean off the tip.
All right, I have one in this base right
And I get the tip cleaned off.
I'm gonna apply a little bit of solder to
the tip of the soldering iron.
And this whole process is called tinning.
That's gonna do is whenever next to
anything else it's gonna make it
a lot easier to melt the solder, what
you're trying to get off.
So, right now, I have the soldering iron
in one hand which I'm getting more
comfortable with, and needle nose pliers
in the other.
What we're gonna do, is isolate which one
we want to remove first,
hold it in place with the needle nose
pliers, and what we're taking off is
the red wire, the yellow wire and the two
silver ground wires on either side.
So all four wires are together, doesn't
matter what order you take them off and
put them back on in.
And there's nothing electric, electrical
that can shock you or
anything like that here, so don't worry
about that.
we're gonna do, you just carefully heat up
the solder joints.
Don't leave the soldering iron on there
for too long.
The best way to do this is to heat it up a
couple of seconds at a time,
move the soldering iron, heat it up a
little bit, move the soldering iron.
There we go.
That's one RCA cable out.
And now for the other side.
There we go.
Both RCA cables out now.
And for now, we can leave the ground
wire which is the thinnest of the wires
completely alone.
Just don't do anything to separate it from
the RCA cables that you're removing.
And we can go ahead and throw these RCA
cables out.
There's not really any salvaging them.
You can repair them yourself, but it's not
even worth it.
Because new RCA cables are like $10.
So, what we do.
[SOUND] Now, is get our new RCA cables.
This is $10 to $15 at Radio Shack.
And I recommend getting 12 foot cables.
The reason we're getting 12 foot cables is
because you have enough,
[NOISE] more than enough RCA cable to do
two turntables.
We can go ahead and replace both at the
same time.
Plus, it's gonna be lengthy enough for
them to be able to reach whatever you need
them to reach.
Whether you're using a 10 inch mixer or
19 inch mixer, you're gonna have more than
enough space to work with.
So when we take our RCA cable out of the
what we wanna do [COUGH] is go ahead and
get them end to end.
Put them together like this.
Stretch them out.
And find a halfway point.
Which is [COUGH] about right here.
[SOUND] And what we're gonna do is we're
just gonna go ahead and
use our dikes and clip them right there.
Now we have two separate sets of RCA
cables we can set one to the side.
And we're gonna use the one that we need.
So what we're gonna do, is we're gonna use
the end that we cut,
and as we can see it's actually two
separate wires.
So what we're gonna do is use our dykes.
And very carefully separate those two by
cutting them down the middle.
[NOISE] Now we have the two wires
We can pull them apart a little bit and we
have room to work.
Okay, so now that they're separated
[COUGH] the next thing
we need to do is very carefully with some
wire cutters remove part of the rubber.
So every RCA cable's wire gauge is gonna
be different.
They're not all gonna be the same.
So when you're using wire strippers you
wanna find the size that's closest
to the wire that you're working with.
In this case it's gonna be the biggest,
the biggest hole in my wire strippers.
Ten, ten gauge.
So what you're gonna do is take about, I
know, half inch, and you're gonna put it
with about a half inch through.
And you're gonna squeeze, and then you're
gonna pull your wire out.
[COUGH] So, this is what you're left with.
You're left with, this is the white side
of the RCA cable.
So you're gonna have a cable that's
covered in white rubber, or
plastic, and then a separate uncovered
That's your ground.
So, now that we've stripped it the first
what we need to do is isolate the ground
wire from the cover wire.
So what we're gonna do is take all that
ground wire,
we're gonna pull it off to the side.
Then we're gonna twist it.
We'll do this on both sides before we
strip the actual smaller wires.
Pull all the ground to one side.
Make sure you get all of it and that you
don't leave any strands just hanging out.
Cuz if those touch you're gonna get signal
So there you go.
Got our cables now with grounds isolated
to the side.
What we need to now, is strip these
smaller wires.
So we're gonna use the smaller setting in
the wire strippers.
Go about a quarter inch.
A quarter of an inch then we're gonna
Okay, so now we have the small wires cut
separated from our outer ground wires.
Now usually these are color coded.
They'll be red.
One will be red one will be white, so you
know what's your right channel and
what's your left channel.
In this case they didn't color code them.
So what you have to do is follow the wires
all the way down to the end so
you can see which side is which.
Now this is my white side, and this is my
red side.
Now red is always gonna be on the right
So, when we're saddling these back into
if you're looking at the circuit board and
it's on arm wires are on your right,
then your right channel is going to be on
the right side.
So once again,
if you're looking at the circuit board and
arm wires are on your right,
your right channel is gonna be on your
right side with the four solder points.t
he tone armNow, remember the two outer
solder points are always gonna be grounds.
So the two outer solder points are gonna
be the grounds to whatever respective side
of your soldering.
So, the two middle solder points, the left
side is your left channel,
which is gonna be your white wire, if it's
color coded.
And your right side is gonna be your right
which is gonna be your red wire if it's
color coded.
So at this point what we wanna do is get a
bit of solder onto the tip of these
[NOISE] And that's gonna make it a lot
easier when we're soldering
these cables back in for them to go right
where they need to be.
This is called tainting the wire.
I'm gonna take just a little bit of
And place it on the tips to the end of the
cables that were soldered into the board.
We're gonna do this for all of them.
And this is going to make it easier for
them to stick to the sides already on the
circuit board.
So you're not going to have to fight with
them popping off
while you're soldering them to the decks.
So, we're going to take all four wires and
then we're going to solder them into
Now once again, [SOUND] We wanna verify
make sure that we have the right leads on
the right sides.
So I'm gonna follow my wires all the way
back one more time.
And yes, the one on my right is my right
My red.
So we're gonna first solder the outer
ground siding.
We need to make sure that when we solder
in this cable,
that whatever access wire you have does
get clipped off.
And that it's not touching any other
solder points for your tone on wires.
Once again, we're going to make sure that
none of these exposed cables
are touching each other.
And now we do the other side.
Once again, it's easiest to start with the
So do the outer wire first.
And once you have the soldered in place.
Blow on it, let it cool down a second, and
we're gonna do each of them.
Okay, so one you have your new wires
soldered in place.
What you're gonna want do is get another
new zip tie, and
zip tie those by going underneath the
second board out the other side.
You wanna make sure that you don't catch
any of those tone arm wires.
We're gonna zip tie our rca cables right
to the board where we took' em off there.
And make sure that in moving those RCA
that none of those wires are touching.
So, now we're going to talk about putting
it back together.
Once we put our RCA cables in, once our
antenna ground is good.
What we're gonna do is wanna make sure one
more time that none of these little tone
arm wires got damaged.
So, we're going to take a very close look.
Make sure they're all still connected.
There should be five, five of them
attached by solder points,
make sure they're still good.
We're gonna check our RCA solder points,
and make sure that none of them are loose,
gonna come off anytime soon.
And we're also gonna make sure that none
of those wires or
solder is touching one another, cuz
that'll give you interference.
We're also gonna make sure that we zip
tied everything in place.
Nothings going to move around or be
disturbed once we close it up.
Now that that's good, what I'll do [SOUND]
is slide our new RCA cables
through the same base plate that we took
And if you'll notice this little base
plate has indentations.
The top side of the base plate has the
indentations facing up.
So you wanna be able to feel the ridges.
So the top portion of this the
indentations of this are facing upwards.
So when we slide the cables through we
wanna make sure that we're sliding them
from the bottom to the top.
And once again we're going to do these
RCA's one at a time.
Cuz they won't fit together.
So I'm going to slide around our RCA's
Don't have to worry about a ground
unless I've decided not to intentionally
ground it.
In which case you make sure to slide the
ground through if as well.
And the way that this sits is you have to
move the turntable the entire time.
The whole thing should face you.
[NOISE] There's two, on either sides,
there are two little prongs that stick up.
So two of your holes on the base plate are
going to be for screws,
the other two are gonna be for those
prongs so that it seats properly.
So what you're gonna do is spin it around
a little bit until you find where
they are.
And it'll pop right down into place.
Now once that's there you can take your
two shorter screws
that we set aside earlier.
So that we wouldn't lose [NOISE].
And put the two shortest screws on the
actual silver part of the base plate,
inside the two screw holes.
And now, we're gonna put our little wire
holder clip back on.
Now, when we put this back on, we wanna
make sure that
the bottom piece has a little elbow coming
You want to make sure that little elbow is
facing down.
That's the way that it goes.
Now this top part has one side that's open
where the wires come through and
the back side is completely closed.
That's what's going to hold the wires in
The open side and the little L that comes
down both face the same way.
So when you put those on there gonna be
like this right?
So, were gonna take our wires and
we're gonna get them in a place where we
can put this down.
This little bottom piece with the L shape
down, I'm gonna place down first, right?
And the wires are gonna come over that L
we're gonna put this top piece with the
backing facing the back on top.
And you might have to wiggle it and push
it depending on the size and
gauge of your wires so that you can get it
Sometimes they're really hard to put on.
Sometimes they're really easy.
It really all depends on the gauge and the
strength of the wire.
But as you can see.
Clip this back on.
What we want to do now is put our two
screws that hold that clip on back
where they need to be.
Sometimes it will help to you can't get
the clip on all the way to just
start tighten the screws just a little
And it'll click in place [SOUND].
So, once we have our clip in place, we're
ready to put,
the bottom cover back on, and we are done
with this turntable.
All right guys, now the only thing that's
left to do is put all your screws back in,
screw your feet back on, and safely flip
your turntable back over.
Now in the last video we addressed sound
issues by cleaning the tip of the tonearm.
This video we showed you how to change our
RCA cables to adjust signal issues.
If you're still having signal problems and
you've done both of these.
Then the only possible problem that could
be left to work on is
the little green PCB board that we
soldered everything onto today.
Could be bad.
The solder pads could have lifted off the
They're not making good connections.
Uh,or your actual tone arm itself can be
But don't worry cuz we're going to show
you how to fix those next time.
Stay tuned.