Eager to learn something about proper record player maintenance? Well, we’re the experts here, and we have all the information you need. Plus, we’re willing to share all of our knowledge so that you will know all you need to about how to keep your record player running smoothly and sounding fantastic.
Record player maintenance does more than ensure that your player stays in tip-top condition. It extends its life expectancy and that of your entire collection of vinyl records too. Plus, it can enable you to nip minor problems in the bud right when they start, instead of waiting until they become significant issues.
- Stylus Maintenance
- Dust Build Up
- What to Avoid
- Replacing Components
- Recalibrating the Tracking
You can learn many things about record player maintenance that will keep your record player gliding along and playing your favorites for a long time to come and help you keep it in pristine condition. But you have to be willing to put some time and effort into the matter.
A turntable that is allowed to collect dust will harm your sound’s quality, and it can also damage your vinyl record collection.
Sub-standard or poor maintenance can do a lot of harm, such as causing certain parts of your record player to wear out, thus increasing the risk of your records having damage inflicted on them and also of the player itself being harmed.
It is not a complicated matter to do regular maintenance on your turntable, but neglecting any care can lead to disaster down the road.
How Record Players Become Dirty
Many things should motivate you to clean your record player regularly, but the main reason is to avoid damaged vinyl.
However, you may be wondering why your record player keeps becoming so dirty, to begin with.
Vinyl records cause static electricity to develop. This will attract dust, dirt, and debris to your record player and your vinyl. Cleaning your Vinyl is a whole other project people should carry out.
You don’t have to be able actually to see the dust to know that it is there. If you hear a popping and hissing sound, that tells you that your records and your record player require cleaning.
Although microscopic, this dust and dirt can do damage to the playing surface of your vinyl records. Luckily, maintenance is fairly easy, particularly if you keep up with doing it routinely and properly clean it about two or three times monthly.
To do proper maintenance on your record player, you should have these supplies:
- Microfiber cloth
- Stylus brush
- Soft bristle brush
- Rubbing alcohol
- Dusting cloth
In case you live close to a record store and want to buy these items online, they are readily available and shouldn’t be any problem to get.
Regular Record Player Maintenance Tasks
In order for you to keep your turntable running without difficulty and protect your vinyl records from damage, you need to do these maintenance tasks regularly. It doesn’t matter what type of turntable you have, be it a cheap budget type or a more sophisticated one; you must do these maintenance chores. Fortunately, they aren’t challenging or very demanding.
Naturally, most of us don’t do this, but your stylus should be cleaned after your record player’s use.
You should use a cleaning brush that’s designed especially for the stylus. You can find these online or at a nearby record store. However, if you don’t have a stylus brush, you may want to use a paintbrush instead.
Wipe the tip of the stylus from the back to the front. Don’t wipe from side to side, as this could result in the needle getting bent.
If a long time has passed since the stylus was last cleaned, then a more thorough cleaning may be for this use rubbing alcohol and a stylus brush.
Dust Build Up
To avoid the dust build-up, the record player should be dusted after every time it’s used, or twice a week. To ensure that your record player remains dust-free, wipe down the surfaces with a microfiber anti-static dusting cloth.
If dust and dirt have gathered on the record player’s surface, use rubbing alcohol and the microfiber cloth to wipe down all the surfaces, starting with the center of the record player and wiping outwards. Use a dry microfiber cloth to soak up any moisture that gets left behind.
What to Avoid
- Because of the stylus’ fragility, you shouldn’t use your fingers to wipe it off so that you don’t bend it.
- Never blow on the needle to clean it. Besides potentially causing damage, this manner of cleaning will not remove all the dust.
- Cover the record player with a dust cover when you’re not using it. It may not completely keep dust from settling on the record player, but it will cut down on the dust quite a lot. In the absence of a record player cover, you can use a simple cloth.
- If you expect to keep your record player clean and performing great, you also need to keep your vinyl records clean. Records, too, should be cleaned after every use to keep dusty records from transferring dust and dirt to the record player’s turntable.
Regardless of how clean you keep the stylus, you will eventually need to replace it. If you are uncertain about when to replace the stylus, keep your ears open to indicate wear such as hissing, static, skipping, and jumping. Also, check for jagged edges.
Replacing the belt because your record player has ceased spinning is another chore you will need to do. But you don’t have to worry, because doing so is fairly easy. You start off by shutting the unit down and lifting the platter. Then remove the plastic cover and wipe down the surface with a microfiber cloth.
Just follow the directions you’ll find on the belt’s packaging. It shouldn’t take more than ten minutes to change the belt.
Recalibrating the Tracking
One more part of regular maintenance for record players is recalibrating the tracking force. When you buy a new record player, the tonearm should be perfectly balanced, meaning it shouldn’t be either too heavy or too light.
With time, this can change.
So if you need to recalibrate the tonearm, you start by locking it and removing the needle’s cover. Then, release the arm’s clamp and rotate the counterweight until the arm appears to be well-balanced, then lock it back in the resting place. Don’t allow it to touch the counterweight.