Fixing Common Turntable Problems: Easy Solutions for Vinyl Fans
When you're into collecting records, it's usually a fantastic experience. Listening to vinyl brings great sound quality, lets you hold your favourite albums, and immerses you in music just as the artist intended.
But sometimes, things can go a bit wrong in the world of vinyl collecting. Records might get scratched, turntable belts wear out, or tonearms lose balance. It's all part of the game.
The good news is that many of these issues have simple fixes to get your turntable back up and running smoothly. In this article, we'll talk about some of the common problems faced by vinyl fans with their turntables and how to solve them.
Let's dive in!
Understanding Turntable Parts and How to Fix Them
The Turntable Cartridge: What It Does and How to Change It
The cartridge is a vital part of your record player. It holds the stylus (or needle) that reads the grooves on a record as it spins. Inside the cartridge, there's a tiny coil that creates an electrical signal. This signal carries the vibrations from the stylus to the tonearm and then to the preamp for amplification.
If something goes wrong with the cartridge, you might hear a lot of noise or distortion in your music or even get no sound at all. But don't worry, changing a cartridge is quite easy:
- Gently remove the small cap holding the stylus.
- Loosen the headshell by turning the end of the tonearm and unscrew it from the cartridge.
- Use a small screwdriver to disconnect the cartridge from the headshell.
- Replace the old cartridge by attaching the wires to the new one and screw it onto the headshell.
Want to know more about cartridges? Check out our guide on which ones to look for!
Changing a Worn-Out Belt
Turntables either have belt-drive or direct-drive mechanisms. If yours is belt-driven, you'll notice a small belt around the plate that holds the record. Over time, this belt can wear out, but replacing it is easy:
- Take off the old belt from the plate and the motor.
- Put the new belt around the plate and then the motor.
- Remember, some turntables have different speed settings that depend on where the belt is placed. Make sure to check your turntable's manual for the correct setup.
Fixing Low Turntable Volume
If your turntable isn't making much sound, it might be missing a preamp. This component boosts the sound picked up by the stylus. Check if your turntable has one built-in; if not, connect it to active speakers or a standalone preamp.
Still no sound? Check the cartridge and belt for damage and ensure the volume is turned up.
When to Get Professional Help
For big problems like severe damage or missing parts, it's best to get help from an audio professional. They can diagnose issues, get the right parts, and fix things up.
Having a trusted repair shop in your area for tough turntable problems is always a good idea.
Understanding these basic turntable fixes can help you enjoy your vinyl collection without interruptions. Keeping your turntable in good shape ensures you'll keep grooving to your favourite tunes for a long time.