As a lover of vinyl, there is nothing more annoying than when a record skips. You can be kicking back trying to relax to a bit of smooth jazz or you can be basting some people while playing Call of Duty and listening to Iron Maiden, my idea of a great Friday night by the way. However, as soon as that skip happens it can be like nails on a chalkboard and take you out of your good mood!
We have looked at many ways to fix your turntable in regards to many different issues. Today though, we are looking at reasons as to why your record skips in the same spot and a few tips and tricks that you can do in order to try and fix it.
Are Your Records Dirty?
I want to start with the easiest fix (well in theory the easiest fix) and that is if the grooves on your record are dirty. If dirt or dust gets into the grooves of a record, the stylus can have a really hard time making a connection and it can cause to your record skipping and it is very, very annoying as well all know.
Keeping your records clean is a vital part of being a vinyl enthusiast in my opinion. A little while back I looked at some great vinyl cleaning tools that will help you keep those grooves clear of dust and dirt and also make sure you are getting to listen to your music without annoying skipping!
Is Your Record Damaged?
Look, no one wants to think of their records as being damaged, but any vinyl collector that purchases second-hand vinyl records is going to deal with damaged records at some point. I have had scratches that are so bad the record will not skip, the stylus will flat out jump and say “I am not playing this!”, ok so slight exaggeration, but you get what I am saying.
Sometimes a record is damaged so badly that it is beyond repair and there is nothing you can do. What I do in this case if it is a record I really wanted, I just put it back with the rest and keep it until I can replace it and then I get rid of it, maybe I will salvage the sleeve if it is in good condition.
Bringing Balance To The Force
Another reason that your records may be skipping is to do with your actual turntable. This tends to be if your tonearm is not balanced properly. An unbalanced tonearm can cause all kinds of issues, skipping being one of them. If you have purchased a new record player, I would say the chances of this being a thing are rather slim, although mistakes in the factory can happen.
This is usually an issue if you have a pre-owned record player that has not been cared for all that great. I found a pretty nifty video guide for how to make sure your tonearm is balanced properly that is very easy to follow, so be sure to give it a look and see if this helps with your skipping issue.
Maybe You Need A New Cartridge?
It could be the stylus or even the actual cartridge itself that is causing you trouble. Ok, so granted I do not exactly need much nudging to go and purchase a new cartridge for my turntable, but you would be surprised at how much of a new lease on life a cartridge can give your record player, especially if it is having issues.
If you take a look at Amazon, they have cartridges at every end of the pricing spectrum. You can pay over 200 bucks for a higher-end one like this one from Audio-Technica which is more aimed at those who take this hobby very seriously. Or if you are more of a causal vinyl listener a cartridge such as this more modestly priced 35 bucks turntable cartridge could be what you need. I actually bought some of these cheap record player cartridges that I keep around just to test things out and they have served me very well.
Keeping Your Records Stored Right!
I talked earlier about how dust and dirt can cause all kinds of problems when it comes to records. The best way to combat this is by looking after your vinyl. It is one thing to use cleaning tools, but I find that the way you store your records makes a huge difference to how dirty they get. To start with you want to buy as many vinyl sleeves as you can. This is a great source of protection. I also like to keep as many of my records, especially my more prized ones in these outer vinyl sleeves this protects the artwork and also makes it harder for the dust to get on the actual vinyl. Both of these are cheap ways to help store your records properly.
You do not just want a pile of records sitting on the floor, this is sure to end up with them getting damaged. How you store your records depends on you and your own style. You can get something like this Sound Stash High End Bamboo Record Crate which is cool in that it gives you easy access to your records and looks great on display. Or, if you are not bothered about that and want your records to be hidden away something like this Snap-N-Store SNS01790 Vinyl Record Storage Case is probably a better fit for you. Either way, these are going to help you keep your records from getting easily damaged.
At the end of the day dealing with record skips in the same spot is just part of being a lover of vinyl. It happens and while it is annoying, you can also work around it. I have found that most of the time a good clean of the actual record will fix the issue in some regard. Playing around with the tonearm or trying a new cartridge is also another way that you can try and fix the issue. Sometimes though as much as it sucks, you have to just say goodbye to a record that is beyond fixing!