How to Fix a Record Player and Find Any Problems

If you have been looking for ways to repair your record player for a while now, but haven’t found the solution to your problem yet, you have come to the right place at long last. Here we will explain to you the proper way to fix your record player and have the ultimate in sound quality.

In order to perform record player repair correctly, you need some understanding of mechanics and electricity. Once you’ve mastered both basics, you’ll be able to find and fix many of the problems you encounter with record players.

Below we are going to offer you some advice on how to go about fixing a record player.

How Does a Record Player Run

Record players aren’t really that complicated to understand, especially the smaller portable models. They run on the principles of physics and geometry. Essentially, the turntable rotates the record at a certain speed that you set based on the type of record you’re playing.

The needle operates according to the vibrations generated by the groove. As it moves through the grooves, it picks up the vibrations that travel with the metal band to a cartridge holding wire located at the arm’s end. A coil in the magnetic field turns this physical vibration into an electrical signal, becoming sound and amplified for playback.

What to Look For

If you are dealing with a broken record player, but are not sure of the reason it isn’t working, here’s what to do.

Complete Examination of Parts

  1. Turn the record player and speaker off and unplug it to be certain that no electrical current will pass to the equipment. Examine the record player to note any indication of damage. Check for chips, dents, or any other exterior problems that might prove to be an issue.
  2. Check each connection to the equipment. Start the inspection from the power source by checking all the wires and plugs for a bad connection. It would help if you were sure that the record player’s wire is plugged in properly, and the switch is on.
  3. Use a multimeter so that the continuity level of all the cables can be tested. This equipment will check the turntable plug and wires by connecting to both ends. If you found any section that’s bad, you need to replace that.
  4. Connect the multimeter with the signal cables to check for shorts and continuity go to the cartridge through the plug. Also, check the output cables for making certain that the physical & electrical connections are completely secure. The signal path can be tested via output cables by using a signal tracer for the purpose of making a test signal. Make sure the operation of the output cables is absolutely perfect, and if there is a replacement required, then do so.
  5. Check the tonearm’s needle to ensure that it fits and works perfectly. You can verify it by switching on the turntable and testing the needle while it’s running. If it displays some problems, then you will have to replace it.

Check Cartridge

  1. If all the parts of the record player seem fine, then you have to check if the cartridge is working properly. There are many cases where a cartridge fails, resulting in problems. In that event, there is no signal generated by the cartridge despite all the connections in the system working perfectly. While shopping for the replacement parts, it is vital that you buy one according to the model and what the manufacturer of the cartridge & record player states.
  2. This is so simple that you just need a screwdriver to do it. You must dismount the cartridge and replace it. When the old cartridge is disconnected, then you connect the new one.

Replace Tonearm Cables

Next, you replace the damaged or faulty tonearm cables in your turntable. This process is straightforward and should cause you no trouble. Solderless or crimp connections link the cables with the cartridge.

Be extra vigilant while doing this replacement work because it has an extremely thin-gauge that is very easy to damage irreparably. Clean the connections with a soft cloth or sandpaper.

Check Drive System Manually

There are two types of turntables, one having a direct drive and one with a belt drive. When the belt gives out in the belt-driven record player that employs a motor for turning the turntable, and if that occurs, then you will have to replace it.

With the direct-drive turntable, the driving wheel’s rubber will slowly lose its traction and have to be replaced.


Sometimes the motor fails and will not run at the necessary speed. Then you have to check both the housing and the motor. If you notice burn marks, then you have to replace it.

Turntable Platter

Now you have to inspect the turntable platter to check out the vertical movement or warps when the turntable spins. A twist is indicated by the warps or vertical movement in the platter. It distorts the playback, so you have to replace the platter.

Now it should be remembered that record players have many sensitive parts. Be warned that you should only perform the most basic repair procedures unless you are absolutely sure that you know what you are doing.

Allow professional technicians to cope with the more complicated problems. You don’t want to risk making the problem worse, harming your record player even with good intentions, and perhaps even causing irreparable damage.

Things you can handle yourself are a complete cleaning of the entire player (you’d be stunned at how many problems are taken care of just though cleaning), replacing a needle, belt or cartridge, or repairing the power source.

Fixing or even replacing various parts on your record player should generally be fast and relatively painless. That’s if you follow the instructions. If something begins to feel too complicated to you, it’s best to turn the matter over to a professional and let them take care of it.