Technics RS1500/1520/1700 Tape Path Modification Kit

Back by popular demand!
For several years we at Bottlehead modified the Technics RS series tape decks to bring their sound closer to that of the big studio decks. We have come up with a kit that allows one to perform about 80% of the Bottlehead modifications at home or have them done in the shop of your local tape deck savvy technician.
Save 10% when you buy 2 or more (when not on sale). Shipping can take from a couple of days up to 6 weeks here's why.


Technics RS1500/1520/1700 Tape Path Modification Kit

The mods are made to guides in the tape path and to the brakes:


The original bearings on the tension arms are replaced with new precision ball bearings and the fixed guides above the pinch rollers are replaced with precision ball bearings with ceramic edge guides.

technics brake pad

The original synthetic felt brake pads are replaced with improved pads made of cork and neoprene that allow setting the brake tension back to factory specs


The following is included in the kit


  • Brake pads
  • Brake pad adhesive
  • Assembly lube
  • Two sizes of precision ball bearings
  • Precision stainless steel bearing shims
  • Ceramic flat washers
  • Spring scale
  • 1.5MM, 2MM and 2.5MM Allen wrenches
  • Cleaning swabs
  • Sandpaper

You will also need to supply some solvents that are difficult to ship but easily available from grocery stores and home improvement centers – Naptha, Formula 409 and Isopropyl alcohol. And you will need an alignment tape, a DMM and some hand tools including a phillips screwdriver with an 8″ shaft.

Alignment tapes are available from MRL and the Tape Project.




Customer Impressions we go… path upgrade. I did this upgrade mostly just because it is available and I already invested in reel-to-reel enough not to stop $150 short.

With exception of the brake pads replacement, it is simple upgrade, brakes upgrade took a bit of time and effort – instructions are simple enough but adjustment itself is an ugly procedure. Always, all is done and it is time to listen.

The playback consists of RS-1506, heads relapped and adjusted by JRF Magnetics, playback wired to maxed-out Bottlehead Eros with Telefunken EF804S/Ampex 7308PQ /Tungsol 12BH7A or GE 12BH7 or Mullard brand of 12AU7 (BTW, power supply tube effect on the sound of Eros is an another mystery for me), V-Caps, Audio Note tantalums etc. direct to integrated SE 300B with similar maxed-out components in it. Software : tapes from Tape Project, Yarlung and UltraAnalogue. I’m not going to describe changes of the sound after the upgrade, just want to say that the impovement was obvious right away, I did not expect anything like that. I was surprised so much that I actually put back original path components, listen to the stock Technics, put back those Bottlehead 6 bearings and few shims and …yes.. it is exactly what I’ve heard before, the depth, the tone, the overall ease of the flow … unbelieveable. Thanks for this kit!

ALEXZ on the Bottlehead forum




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Additional information

Weight 1 lbs
Dimensions 8 × 8 × 4 in

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