Recently, we’ve talked quite a bit about warped records: what they sound like and if it is safe to play them. Knowing the condition of your records before inserting them into your turntable should be as easy as knowing the right diet for your body. Today, we’ll be looking into warped records and if playing them risks damaging your turntable stylus. 

In most cases, playing a warped record will not harm the stylus or the player. However, in more serious situations, your stylus may be unable to stay in the grooves, causing it to skip and potentially causing further damage to your record. Additionally, there will likely be some irregularities in the sound quality, and listening to the record may not be particularly enjoyable.

As a general rule of thumb, your stylus will be fine as long as there isn’t a significant warp on the vinyl. If a record becomes warped to the point where your stylus jumps off the record, refrain from playing the vinyl to protect your turntable from adverse consequences. We wouldn’t recommend playing them if the warped section of the record is hitting the cartridge body, but small warps should be OK.

Unfortunately, some people have noticed a bent in their stylus after playing a slightly warped record and we advise keeping a keen eye and having a sound judgement. 

It would be best if your records weren’t warped, to begin with. If they are, we have some solutions for you that are common practices in the community. 

1. Pressure

For starters, you’ll need a flat, heavy object, or a flat object and something heavy enough to put some weight on it. Place the vinyl on a clean surface before placing the heavy object on top of it. The objective is to apply consistent equal force to the record over a few days to flatten it out. Of course, if the record is significantly warped, this will take longer, so patience is a good thing to bear in mind.

Also, before you set up your setup, make sure your vinyl record is clean. This ensures that no impurities will get pressed into the grooves of the record over the period you’ll be leaving it in this setup.

2. Heat

This one is a little more difficult. 2 sheets of tempered glass and a hefty object will be required. Preheat the oven to roughly a temperature of 175 Fahrenheit. After that, sandwich the vinyl record between the two pieces of glass and bake it for 3 minutes. Make sure your record doesn’t melt by keeping a constant eye on it. Remove the glass and vinyl once the 3-minute timer has expired, then lay a heavy item on the top glass to flatten the record. If the record isn’t smoothed out enough, repeat the process.

This approach may be a little hazardous, as the record’s quality may suffer as a result of being heated and flattened. Furthermore, there is a possibility that the melting plastic would emit hazardous gases. If you smell anything strange during the process, stop immediately for your own safety.

This video may provide you with visual assistance to support you with the repair procedure:

How to flatten a warped vinyl record

The comments section of the video is a great way to gain further insights into the hit and misses of other people’s attempts at fixing their warped record, so remember not to give it a miss.

Here, we would like to remind readers that if your record is new and unfortunately warped, getting a replacement or refund would be the most ideal solution.

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