Vinyl records have been making a comeback in recent years, and with good reason. They offer a unique listening experience that can’t be replicated by digital media. However, for those who are new to the vinyl scene, it can be frustrating to encounter a problem that has been plaguing turntable owners for decades: skipping at the beginning of a record.
There are a few reasons why this might happen, but fortunately, most of them are easily fixable. In this article, we’ll go over the most common causes of skipping and what you can do to prevent it from happening.
- The stylus is dirty or worn out
The stylus, also known as the needle, is the part of the turntable that actually touches the record and reads the grooves. Over time, the stylus can become dirty or worn out, which can cause it to skip. To fix this issue, you can clean the stylus using a stylus brush or replace it entirely.
- The turntable is not properly balanced
A turntable that is not properly balanced can cause the stylus to skip at the beginning of a record. To check if your turntable is balanced, place a level on top of it and adjust the feet until it is level. You can also check the instructions that came with your turntable for specific instructions on how to balance it.
- The anti-skate setting is incorrect
Anti-skate is a feature on many turntables that helps keep the stylus from skipping by applying a force to the tonearm that counters the force pulling it towards the center of the record. If the anti-skate setting is too low, the stylus can skip. To adjust the anti-skate, consult your turntable’s manual.
- The record is warped
A warped record can cause the stylus to skip. To prevent this from happening, store your records upright and away from heat sources, and be careful when handling them.
- The turntable is not properly grounded
If your turntable is not properly grounded, it can create a hum that can interfere with the stylus and cause it to skip. To fix this issue, make sure that the ground wire is properly attached to the turntable and that the other end is attached to a ground point.
In conclusion, skipping at the beginning of a record can be a frustrating problem, but it is usually fixable. By checking the stylus, balancing the turntable, adjusting the anti-skate setting, storing your records properly, and grounding your turntable correctly, you can ensure that your vinyl listening experience is smooth and enjoyable.