Anti-skate is an essential feature of a turntable that ensures the stylus stays in the record groove, preventing distortion and unnecessary wear on both the stylus and the record. However, it can be difficult to determine if anti-skate is working correctly. In this article, we’ll discuss how to tell if anti-skate is working on your turntable.
What is Anti-Skate?
Anti-skate is a feature on turntables that counteracts the inward force that occurs when the stylus is tracking a record groove. It helps maintain a consistent tracking force across the record and prevents the stylus from being pulled too far towards the center of the record, causing distortion and wear.
How to Test if Anti-Skate is Working
One way to test if anti-skate is working is by using a test record. A test record is a vinyl record that has various test tones and signals that help you calibrate your turntable’s settings.
First, make sure your turntable is properly set up with the correct tracking force, cartridge alignment, and level. Then, play the anti-skate test tone on the test record. The tone should play through both channels equally, indicating that the anti-skate force is balanced.
Next, play the tonearm resonance test on the test record. The tonearm should resonate at its natural frequency for a short period, indicating that the anti-skate force is working correctly. If the tonearm oscillates for an extended period, the anti-skate force is too high, and if it doesn’t oscillate at all, the anti-skate force is too low.
Another way to test if anti-skate is working is by visually inspecting the stylus while it’s tracking. A properly working anti-skate force should keep the stylus centered in the record groove and prevent it from moving too far towards the center of the record.
Finally, you can also test the effectiveness of anti-skate by listening for distortion in the sound. If the anti-skate force is too low, you may hear distortion and inner groove distortion. If it’s too high, you may hear distortion in the outer grooves.
Anti-skate is an essential feature of a turntable that ensures the optimal performance of the stylus and cartridge. Testing if anti-skate is working can be done using a test record, visually inspecting the stylus while tracking, or listening for distortion in the sound. Proper calibration of the anti-skate force is crucial for maintaining the best sound quality and prolonging the life of your stylus and record. If you’re unsure if your anti-skate is working correctly, consult your turntable’s manual or a professional for assistance.