Turntable distortion on highs

Turntable distortion on highs

Turntable distortion on highs can be frustrating for any audiophile. Highs are the frequencies that give a recording its brightness and airiness, and when these frequencies are distorted, the sound can become harsh and unpleasant. In this article, we will discuss what causes turntable distortion on highs and how to fix it.

What Causes Turntable Distortion on Highs?

There are several factors that can contribute to turntable distortion on highs. Here are some of the most common:

  1. Worn-out stylus: The stylus is the needle that tracks the grooves on the record. Over time, the stylus can wear out, which can cause it to skip or slide across the record. This can result in distortion, especially on the highs.
  2. Improper tracking force: The tracking force is the amount of weight that is applied to the stylus as it tracks the record. If the tracking force is too high, it can cause the stylus to dig too deep into the grooves, which can result in distortion.
  3. Misaligned cartridge: The cartridge is the component that holds the stylus. If the cartridge is misaligned, it can cause the stylus to track unevenly, which can result in distortion.
  4. Poor quality record: Some records are poorly pressed, which can cause distortion. This is especially true for older records that may have been pressed on inferior equipment.

How to Fix Turntable Distortion on Highs

If you’re experiencing turntable distortion on highs, there are several steps you can take to fix the problem:

  1. Replace the stylus: If your stylus is worn out, replacing it can help reduce distortion on the highs.
  2. Adjust the tracking force: Check your turntable’s manual to determine the recommended tracking force for your stylus. Make sure the tracking force is set correctly to reduce distortion.
  3. Check cartridge alignment: If your cartridge is misaligned, it can cause distortion. Check your turntable’s manual for instructions on how to align the cartridge properly.
  4. Upgrade your equipment: If you have a low-quality turntable or cartridge, upgrading to a higher-quality model can help reduce distortion on the highs.
  5. Clean your records: Dirty records can cause distortion. Clean your records regularly using a record cleaning solution and a microfiber cloth.


Turntable distortion on highs can be frustrating, but it’s not a problem that can’t be fixed. By replacing your stylus, adjusting your tracking force, checking cartridge alignment, upgrading your equipment, and cleaning your records, you can reduce distortion and enjoy your music the way it was meant to be heard.

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