Frequently Asked Questions About Record Players

Why does my record player skip?

Record player skipping is a very common problem. But don’t worry, usually you can fix it easily.

I get this question very often.

So what happens is when you have a record player with a cueing lever (what lowers and raises the tonearm) that can actually cause the skipping.

Usually, the problems occur when you lower the cueing lever, but it doesn’t go down fully. The needle makes contact with the record but not enough for the full pressure of the cartridge to come into contact with the record. And the result is record skipping.

How to fix this? Once you have the cueing lever in the down position, just push down the plastic part which holds the tonearm. Usually, this will fix the problem.

Why does my record player sound bad?

There are many reasons why the sound quality may be bad.

Here are the main problems:

  • The tonearm is badly calibrated. How to fix this? Try to correct balance (be patient and don’t rush) – tracking and anti-skate forces are important to clean sound.
  • The quality of the cartridge is bad (consider buying a new cartridge – that’s a great way to improve sound quality without buying a new record player.
  • The stylus (needle) might be damaged. Consider replacing it with a new one.
  • Your device is a low-end turntable. You can’t expect a good quality sound from a $50 musical device.
  • The record is dusty and dirty. Read more about the best record cleaning machines here.
  • Bad alignment of the needle.
  • You are not plugging into a receiver that has an input for ‘Phono’, instead, you are plugging the turntable into the AUX or Line In sockets. Always use ‘Phono’ input.
  • The belt is slipping.
  • The cartridge alignment.

How to clean the record player needle (stylus)?

The diamond needle tip actually is very important part – it’s the only part of the cartridge that touches the vinyl record. So that’s why dust plays enormous role in the quality of sound.

You may be wondering, how can you clean the stylus?

There are a few options:

  • Momila Turntable Stylus Cleaner
  • Vinyl Buddy – Stylus Cleaner Brush
  • Boundless Audio Stylus Cleaner Brush

I’ve tried all of these products and I can say that it works perfectly. It’s not expensive, so make sure you keep your stylus clean. If you listen to your records regularly, clean the needle once a week – this will help you to keep the records undamaged.

Why is my record player so quiet?

Your records have been playing, but quietly? Let’s discuss the main reasons why it can happen.

The signal on your device gets amplified two times before it reaches your speakers:

Record Player ➡ Phono Preamp ➡ Power Amp ➡ Speakers

Usually, beginner-level players have a switch to use the phono preamp to raise the signal or not (“Phono” or “Line”). So if you switch to “Phono”, a phono level signal will be ready to be amplified by a phono preamp. If you switch to “Line”, a line-level signal will be already amplified by the phono preamp.

So if you want to fix this problem, try switching a toggle from “Phono” to “Line” or vice versa.

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