fix your record player

How To Fix Your Record Player: Turntable Repair Guide

A majority of the time, playing a record will be smooth sailing, vinyl gives you clear quality as any vinyl lover knows, such as NotesOnVinyl.com. However, much like any other hobby, there will be some ups and downs. 

Records can get scratched, belts wear out, and more. 

Although there are plenty of obstacles you might face in the vinyl world, there is very often a simple solution to getting your turntable running in no time at all. Let’s look at how you can fix up your record player when you face turntable issues.

The Key Components & How To Fix them

Turntables are very intricate and fascinating, knowing how yours works is vital to understanding how you can fix it if it should break. 

What we will do is explain the major components of a turntable, and then discuss the diagnosis of issues and fathom out the solutions.

The Cartridge

The Cartridge is one of the most important parts of a record player, and if there is an issue with it, you will either have no sound or bad sound. 

It holds the stylus in place, otherwise known as the needle, which reads the record grooves. Inside this is also a small coil that works to generate an electrical signal. This allows vibrations to be picked up by the stylus to travel from the cartridge to the tonearm, sending the signals to the preamp to get amplified.

Most of the time a damaged or broken cartridge will mean you cannot get a good sound out of your records. However, you can easily replace a cartridge, and upgrading yours could increase your listening experience overall. 

If your cartridge is causing you problems you will likely hear a lot of distortion and noise in the sound, if it is missing a component like a stylus you won’t get any sound. 

Replacing Worn-Out Belts

Two mechanisms let a turntable spin, a direct drive, and a belt drive, belt-drives rely on a belt wrapped around the plate holding the record and attached to the motor. 

Direct-drive turntables rely on a motor underneath the plate, which removes the whole need for a belt. Both of these have pros and cons. 

With a belt-drive turntable, there will be a small belt looped around the motor, on the top left of the turntable. This is wrapped around the plate that your records sit on as you play them. 

These belts can wear out, however, they are not expensive, and they are easy enough to replace. You only need to slide the old belt off of the plate and pull the end from the motor, then get a new belt and wrap it around the plate, then the motor.

Be aware some turntables are made to play records at different speeds depending on where you set the belt on your motor, so always look at the instruction manual if it is playing a bit too fast or slow. 

A correct setup is vital.

Quiet Turntables

If your turntable does not produce any sound while attached to stickers, there may be an issue with the preamp. Preamps are a part of the signal chain which helps to amplify the sound that the stylus picks up as the record spins. Without this, a record will be too quiet to hear. 

Some turntables will have a preamp built in whereas others will not. 

If your turntable is not making any noise, do not give up, it is probably only missing a key component. Firstly, check that the turntable has a preamp installed, if not you will need to pair up your record player with active speakers. 

If you do not get sound even after this, you may have another problem, always check the cartridge and belt.

When To Seek Out Professional Help

There may be several instances where a busted turntable may need to be fixed by a professional, these situations are when you will be dealing with severe damage, other issues, or missing parts which are too significant for you to handle yourself. 

Professionals will help to diagnose problems, order parts, and if needed, make repairs. Always know who you can call if you need to seek out a pro.

Overall

Most issues you can get with a record player just need a new part to replace an old one to get your turntable up and running again, however, know what to check and have a professional lined up just in case you need help.

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