Have you ever been listening to a record, having a good time and then like nails on a chalkboard there is a weird kind of issue with the sound? That has happened to me many times and I would bet most other people who collect vinyl as well. It is not something that is worth freaking out over and today we are going to try and get to the bottom of this problem.
Now I will say that there are many things that could be causing this, but today we are looking at some of the most common reasons that your record player sounds warped and hopefully, some of these things that have worked for me over the years will work for you too.
Possible Causes For Warped Sounding Record Player
Recently I wrote about fuzzy sounding records and some of what I talked about there does actually ring true for what we are talking about today so be sure to give that a read once you are done here as there may be something there that can help you out too.
Possible Cause 1: The Actual Record Is Warped
Look, if I buy a record that is 10, 20 maybe even 30 plus years old I can deal with it having a few issues when it comes to the sound. However, what is really grinding my gears these days is the amount of newly pressed vinyl that has issues. I recently bought a brand new pressing of Nevermind by Nirvana and it was warped right out of the packaging! It was clearly printed this way and it sounded so off that I had to return it!
I know I am not the only one with this issue as when I went online to vent there were many people on Discogs complaining about warped vinyl as much as me! One other thing that is worth mentioning here is proper storage of your records! If they get exposed to heat then this can cause them to warp so make sure you are taking good care of your records!
How To Fix It:
Well, the short answer here is you take it back to the store and get another one and hope for the best. Or, just get your money back. I would advise having a look online and see if others have bought the same album and have had the same issue. Sometimes you just get unlucky. For older, classic vinyl you sometimes have to just deal with it. If it is not to bad, I can usually deal with it and just chalk it up to the vinyl having some “character. When buying older vinyl, especially if you are going to spend a lot of money, be sure to check the vinyl for not just scratches, but if it is warped too!
However, I did a little bit of research and found this very extreme way of fixing a warped record. Full disclosure here folks, I have never tried this, but I thought it was interesting. I am not too confident in using glass and putting my vinyl in the oven, but have a read of this and decide if it is something you want to try. Just remember what happens here is on you!
Possible Cause 2: The Belt Is Getting Soft Or Warped!
I have long been an advocate about checking your belt on your record player. One possible reason that your record player may sound warped is that your belt needs replaced. It can be a case of the belt getting just a tad soft in one spot. This means whenever the belt moves when that soft spot hits as it turns, you get that warped sound. It can be very annoying to deal with. I know that some people can get past this, but I sure as heck can’t and it just drives me nuts.
How To Fix It:
It could also be a case where the belt has gotten stretched due to being used so much. The amount of time you get out of a belt varies and in my experience luck has a big part to play in how long you get out of it. You can buy a replacement record player belt for next to nothing. Amazon actually has a pack that comes with five of all different sizes, I cannot tell you how many of these I have bought (in case of emergencies) as it is kind of embarrassing.
Some people may think that this is a bit “technical” and they are not up to it. However, check out this video guide on how to replace a turntable belt and you will see how simple it is. Seriously anyone can do this, the hardest part is getting the screws out so you can get under the turntable.
Possible Cause 3: Keep Your Motor Running
I am not so sure that “warped” is the term I would use for the sound that happens when the motor is not spinning right, but I thought some of you guys might so that is why I have included this here. Powering your record player is a motor and as is the case with anything that has a motor, they can need a little TLC and even break down. Most of the time, fine-tuning a motor will get this thing fixed.
How To Fix It:
I will admit that for some people this may seem a bit of a stretch for them to do and I am there with you. However, it is not as complicated as you would think. I found a video guide that shows a specific kind of record player. In my experience, this is how you alter the speed on 99 percent of record players that are out there. So, check out this video and see if it is something you would be comfortable doing yourself.
Hopefully one of these solutions will help you get back to rocking in the best quality as possible. I know it is very annoying to deal with this so do not give up! Also, I have checked out a ton of record players over the years so be sure to have a look at some of the turntable reviews I have done as a warped sounding record player could be just the excuse you need to buy a new one.