Just a quick(ish) post about how I managed to fix a Panasonic CD player SL-PJ24A, using parts from a Technics CD player SL-PJ26A.

I was gifted my grandparents’ old Panasonic Hi-Fi setup a few weeks ago, vintage from around 1990 if the date codes are to be believed. It’s a moderately interesting setup as the tuner, turn table and cassette tape player is all in one unit (SG-HM30L), made in Taiwan, whereas the CD player is a separate unit (SL-PJ24A), made in Germany (you know it’s good if it’s made in Germany, right?). Anyway, the problem is the Hi-Fi works fine, but the CD player doesn’t, which is a shame as it’s the most interesting part. I have a large CD collection after all..

After some fiddling I found that the CD try drive spindle motor was kaput.  It would stall when spinning a disk up. It would play a CD correctly after I spun the disk slightly to overcome the stall.

Couldn’t find any reasonably priced SL-PJ24A units for spares at the time, so I began to consider mothballing this project for a bit until my interest returned to it.. but I found a Hi-Fi website that suggested that the Panasonic SL-PJ24A is very very similar to Technics SL-PJ26A. A quick search on eBay showed that there were a couple Technics players available, “spares or repairs” for about £30 each buy it now and up to £100 for “fully working” units.

They look pretty similar, no?

So I bought one,  and it was seriously beaten up, and when I attempted to play a CD I would get a stutter every 3 to 5 seconds. The eBay listing did suggest it was untested and had light cosmetic damage , so I can’t complain fully, besides i’m not interested in the case. But.. the disk span every time, without fail. So it looked like at least the CD spindle motor was good. After some careful disassembly, i swapped over the CD player mechanisms. I retained the Panasonic players’ disk tray and front CD bezel as they were way nicer than the ones that came off the Technics.  The swap included the Technics CD spindle motor as well as the laser and lens pickup. I was worried that I might simply transplant the playing error from one machine to the other but luckily this did not happen.

So now I have one working player and one mostly useless player. And I’m very happy to have fixed this family heirloom, if it can be called this.

Other interesting points

> The line level out was strong enough for me to listen to the player using just my headphones, no amp. This made testing quite a bit easier. hifiengine.com lists the analogue line output as being 2V, which seems pretty high!

> One of the comments on hifiengine.com suggests the player is quite specific about the type of CDs it will play. TL (user on hifiengine.com) suggests that the player will only handle “RedBook CDDA” but i tested the player with a number of CDs that don’t conform to this, and they all worked fine.

Here are some links you may find helpful

Technics Compact Disk Player SL-PJ26A – Service Manual

Panasonic Compact Disk Player SL-PJ324A – Operating Instructions (not a SL-PJ24A, i know, but pretty close if you look at it)

Technics SL-PJ26A Entry on hifiengine.com


My music taste may need updating.