How to troubleshoot and fix your record player

Keeping a record player in tip-top shape can be inexpensive, quick, and easy – as long as maintenance is completely regularly and correctly. Here are some common reasons a record player might stop working and some tips on how to fix it. 

Common reasons record player stopped spinning 

To begin the process of troubleshooting, you should establish whether it is a belt drive turntable or a direct drive turntable. Belt drive record players tend to malfunction by slowing down intermittently or stopping altogether – most likely due to the belt. With a direct drive turntable, the motor is directly connected to the spinning platter. Direct drive turntables usually have issues with the motor. 

Resetting the arm is a common reason why your record player might have stopped spinning, too. Manual record players will need the arm to be reset before they’ll start playing again – especially on vintage players. This is because they click off when the record ends and move into a resting position.  

Another common issue is that your player is simply dusty. Dust can settle into the components that allow you to control the speed making the motor turn less effectively. This can also cause erratic volume control and crackly sound quality. 

How to fix the problems 

Cleaning the player could be one of the first things to try. A thorough cleaning of the turntable along with some additional lubrication should be able to remove any dirt that’s obstructing the player. 

Adjusting or replacing the belt is another option. After plenty of use, sometimes the belt can become stretched and not play as effectively. You can try fixing it by boiling and soaking it for four to six minutes – this might help it shrink back down to size. But ultimately, replacing the belt might be the only solution. 

If those two options don’t work, you can attempt – some difficult – work to fix the motor. You’ll need to read the manual and attempt some intricate fine-tuned changes to the device through a trial-and-error process. Perhaps the motor might be finished though; in which case you could swap the motor yourself or take it to a professional
Maintenance tips 

Some of these issues can be prevented with regular maintenance. Try and frequently dust everything: the records, the player, the turntable – everything. This should halt the build-up of dirt. Try cleaning the stylus with a brush as well. Aside from cleaning, you should also try and isolate your turntable from any vibration. 

Diagnosing and fixing record player problems can be tricky, but by following the above advice you should be back listening to your favorite records in no time. 

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