There is nothing worse than listening to one of your favorite records and knowing that something is off. A slow record player can drive you nuts, I had one a while back that had a belt that was just a tad too loose. Some times you wouldn’t notice it and think it was ok, but then others it would be just glaring! There are a few reasons as to why your record player could be spinning too slow and we are looking at the three most common ways you can stop it from being too slow.
One extra thing that I want to say is that if you are at all uncomfortable trying any of this stuff, take it to a professional. None of the methods we are looking at today are what I would say are overly complicated, but if you are new to the hobby or perhaps just do not like the idea with tinkering with the insides of your record player. I would highly recommend taking it to a store and asking them to have a look at it. If you just have a cheap record player though, you really have nothing to lose by having a go yourself. For me, that is part of the fun of collecting vinyl!
Fix 1: A Spit Clean
Ok so we do not literally mean a spit clean here, but the first thing you should try and do is give your turntable a good clean. Perhaps it is some dust that is causing it to move a bit slower than you would like? One site that has a good cleaning regime is How To Clean Stuff. I recommend using their cleaning guide at least once or twice a month as it will keep your record player in tip-top condition.
What I use is some rubbing alcohol and a good microfiber cloth. Do not use a cheap cloth or a piece of kitchen roll as it will get fluff and stuff all over your record player. Using rubbing alcohol is ideal as it just evaporates and doesn’t make a mess. I like to clean all the grooves as you never know where dust can get and cause problems. As well as the actual record player, keep an eye on your records. A little while back I wrote a Tools For Keeping Your Vinyl Records Clean Guide that will help you keep your actual records clean which will help keep your record player clean.
Fix 2: Replacing The Belt
Ok, so this is only for those of you are using a record player that is belt-driven. I have never had a record player where the belt has not eventually lost its shape. You can fix it sometimes by removing the belt and placing it in boiling water. I would suggest trying this before you try and do what the next step I am going to suggest is. To “boil” it, remove it from your turntable and boil the kettle and place the belt in a pan with the boiling water for a couple of hours, take it out, let it dry and it should have shrunk back to the right size. I have done this in the past and must admit that the results tend to be mixed in regards to it working or not.
If that does not work then you can actually buy a new turntable belt on Amazon. You can get a pack and these are pretty cheap and tend to do the job just right. You are best buying a pack as you get multiple sizes so one is bound to fit your record player. Replacing the belt is super easy, but if you are a little bit nervous, I would suggest looking at a YouTube video like this one that shows you how to go about it.
Fix 3: Fine-Tuning The Motor
What????? Is what you might be saying here, but this is not as daunting a task as you may think. For this, you will need to unscrew the top of your turntable so that you can get to the motor underneath it. On the motor, you will be able to adjust the screws which will fine-tune it and get you the speed you desire. Portable Music Nerd actually has a pretty spot-on description for how you can do this. When I last had to do this, I only had to give it one-quarter turn and that was it at the right speed. It is a bit of trial and error so do not get too disheartened if it takes you a while to get it at the right speed.
If you want to actually “see” someone do it, you can get an idea thanks to this tutorial video that is on YouTube. It is not a job that is hard to do, but as I said it is just a bit of a trial and error situation and more of a pain in the butt than an actual difficult job if I am being honest. Sometimes you get lucky like I last did and it just takes one little turn of the screwdriver. Other times, it can be a while until you get the sound just the way you want it. There are many videos on YouTube that show you how to do this, but if you cannot find your exact record player the basics of this are pretty much the same for all of them.
These are the most three common ways to fix issues with your record player spinning to slow. If I was a betting man, I would say more than likely you are having an issue with your belt or that it needs a little bit of an adjustment. Do not freak out! It is something that all of us vinyl music lovers have to go through at some point. The best thing is once, you have done it on one turntable, you will have the confidence to do it on others too. As well as your records spinning too slow, if you have other problems with the sound. Be sure to have a look at our Record Player Sounds Fuzzy article that deals with many causes of strange sounds when it comes to vinyl.