Today we are talking about records and skipping! This can be one of the most annoying things for people who love vinyl. You have picked out an album too and then it skips, it can be really jarring and very annoying and that is why today we are going to try and fix this problem for you by taking a look at some of the most common causes.
I came across a great post on the Steve Hoffman forums that I found very interesting when a member there said that their records were skipping like 75 percent of the time on the very first track. I found this very interesting and that is why I decided to throw my hat in the ring with some ideas to stop your records from skipping.
Keeping It On The Level
The first thought that pops into my mind when I hear someone is having trouble with their record player skipping is that it is not level. There many, many YouTube videos about how to make sure your turntable is level such as this one. However, it is actually something that is very easy to do.
Usually, if the skipping is bad enough, you can see with your naked eye if the turntable is not level as it is waving around like it is drunk. So, the first thing to try and do if your record is skipping is making sure that it is level. Most turntables have a little bit of wobble (which we have talked about before) and it is usually not something that is too hard for you to fix.
Checking The Anti Skate
Anti skate technology is featured in most turntables and it is what stops the arm just swinging right into the middle of a record when it starts. Some record players such as this rather expensive, but awesome Audio-Technica AT-LP60BK-USB have a little dial that allows the user to play around with the amount of “anti-skate” that is being played around with this can do wonders if you are experiencing skipping while you are rocking out.
This is not a feature exclusive to expensive record players either, some will flat out say “anti-skate” on the dial. Others will just be there and are referred to as arm adjustment or something like that. There are even some turntables that have the feature built in and do it automatically.
Drop The Needle On It!
I like to think that I am a master of placing the needle on a record. It is something that no matter how many times I do, never loses its appeal. One reason that a vinyl enthusiast could be experiencing their records skipping on the first track is that they are placing the needle way to close the outer edge.
This may be a long shot as a reason as to why skipping is happening, but it is something that I feel is worth addressing. If you are putting it just barely on the actual record, it very well could skip right into that first song which may be very abrasive and super annoying.
Is Your Cartridge Ok?
We have looked at all kinds of record player cartridges here on the site. However, I am not just suggesting that you need to go out and purchase a new one right away. Before you start thinking that it is time for a new cartridge, check the one you have first to see if it is functioning as it should be.
If you have been tinkering with your turntable recently then the cartridge may have become loose or even unaligned properly which may cause problems. I am not 100 percent certain it is the cause of the skipping, but it is certainly something that I would take a look at. Sometimes, removing the cartridge, giving it a good look over and clean then reattaching properly can make all the difference in the world!
Giving Your Record Player A Good Home!
Some people are surprised to know that the placement of their record player is actually way bigger of a deal than they would think. You cannot just put a record player anywhere in the house. Vibrations can wreak havoc on your record player!
Make sure that the home you give your record player has a solid foundation and is not going to be knocked or even something like an uneven floorboard underneath it can cause problems. Having some kind of mat or even a solid stand like this one from Victrola can make a real difference to the performance of your record player.
Is It The Actual Record?
Ok, so if the issue of your records skipping is happening quite a lot, I would wager the chances of it being the actual records are slim to none. However, we might as well check this out as getting into the habit of keeping an eye on your records is a good thing.
If the record has some kind of damage to the outside of it, the needle may very well skip right over it and go into that first song. Some records can even be pressed a bit differently and have a much smaller edge which may also be something that causes the problem.
Scratches And Dirt!
I want to stay on the idea of it being the actual record for a second here. I have looked more than a few times at how to clean your vinyl and it is always something I feel is worth revisiting. Keeping your vinyl in the best condition possible is going to make sure the sound you are hearing is great and that your record player is being treated like the champ it deserves.
While this may not be an issue for the record skipping at the start of a song. If you have a record that has some rather nasty scratches on it the chances of it skipping are very high. This also rings true for dirty records that are caked in dust and other muck. This can cause the needle to skip over and it is very annoying. The point I am making is that you need to take good care of your vinyl!