Everyone dreads it, but eventually, you are going to notice that your record player is skipping. We know the main reasons for this and the measures you need to take to solve the problem. Just stick with us, and we’ll share our knowledge with you.
The usual reason for record player skipping is as simple as dust and dirt accumulating in your records’ grooves. You may also have a damaged record. If this is not the case, it could be due to an unbalanced arm or the stylus cartridge.
Let’s explore this issue further and determine the causes and remedies for a record player skipping.
Signs Something’s Wrong
You’ve enjoyed listening to your record player ever since the first time you turned it on, and you’ve loved having vinyl records back in your life. But now you are having some serious difficulties with the record player skipping.
Perhaps you’ve heard hissing sounds or some noise distortion when listening to your favorite records, but now the record player has started skipping.
Now you’ve always known that vinyl’s sound quality is a lot better than that of other types of audio players. The sound quality of record players doesn’t involve speakers at all. Speakers are just that something extra.
The sound quality of a record player comes from its fully analog mechanical system. The first thing you should do is check to ensure that your record player is clean, including the record you are playing.
Dust and Dirt
Dust is probably the most frequently cited reason for records skipping. The dust and dirt that settles into the grooves of your records. It can happen with older records because of their storage, paper sleeves, or environmental dust, but new records can also collect dust and dirt.
You must remove any debris or dust from the record before playing it to avoid skipping problems.
Damage to the Record
It can also be the case that the source of your problem is a damaged record. If you have a damaged or scratched record, then there might not be anything you can do. A scratch is damage done to the vinyl of the record and may cause skipping.
Balance of the Arm or Stylus Cartridge
If the cause of the problem of your record player skipping is not dust or damage to the record, then your difficulty may be a balance problem. It could be that the arm or the stylus cartridge is not balanced correctly, and you may have to fix it. Here are the steps to follow.
Whenever you change your cartridge, you must balance the tonearm because cartridges have varying weights, which affects the pressure of the needle pressing against your record.
You may also need to rebalance the tonearm if it is unbalanced, causing a skipping problem.
Usually, you should follow the guidelines of the manufacturer. If you don’t have any guidelines, then the upcoming advice will do. However, if you should have your manufacturer’s guidelines and find that they differ from the advice we provide, follow your manufacturer’s guidelines. Any differences in the instructions could be significant.
Now, if this is the first time you are attempting to balance a tonearm, stay calm and don’t hurry through the job. Balancing the tonearm is one of the top things you can do to improve your turntable quality of sound.
So for the beginning.
Try Keeping the Turntable on a Solid Surface
This will help prevent it from picking up any stray vibrations. Above all, never place your record player on the floor. The vibrations in the room, combined with the record player’s vibrations, could be making the needle move out of the groove. To ensure that the turntable isn’t experiencing a balance issue due to vibrations, place it on a hard, stable surface that will not be affected by other vibrations in the room.
Ensure the Turntable Itself is Level
It’s not unusual for most houses to have everything inside on a slight slope. Nothing is built entirely flat from the floors to the top of your cabinets, and your record player could be responding to that slight tilt. Take a leveler and check to see if the bubble is in the center. Otherwise, you might need to make some adjustments.
Check Stylus Pressure
This is the force that the tonearm and the needle put on the record. Please read the manufacturer’s advice as to what this pressure should be before attempting to adjust it. Every record player has a knob for setting this adjustment.
Should the stylus pressure be very low, your record could be skipping because there isn’t sufficient contact between the record’s grooves and the needle. The stylus pressure can be adjusted to a higher level to prevent your needle from sliding across the record.
Sometimes manufacturers state you always put your stylus pressure on the highest setting that’s recommended. The best thing to do is to adjust your stylus pressure gradually, paying attention to the various sound quality changes.
One thing you want to avoid is having your stylus lying too heavily on your record, so it’s best not to go higher than the recommendation of the manufacturer.
Check Anti-skating Pressure
This can vary depending on the model. It is usually a spring and aids in keeping the arm in place. Because of the moving turntable, the arm would move around the record as the record turns. The anti-skating mechanism supplies the tension needed to keep the tonearm in place.
The pressure that is too tight or too loose can make the arm move one way or another, which means that the needle will not stay in the record groove and causes skipping.
Correctly Align Cartridge
If the alignment of your record player’s headshell and the cartridge is off, it will not only lead to skipping but may also damage the record, depending on the needle pressure.
Check Stylus For Age and Wear
If you have an old stylus that has not been used all that much, it may not be worn down, but still requires changing. A record player stylus can harden with age, so although a stylus may not be more than several years old, it will likely have lost its flexibility and won’t be capable of tracking and a new stylus. On the other hand, a new stylus that is used often will require changing more often.