why is my Record not spinning on one side?

Why Isn’t My Record Spinning on One Side? Understanding and Troubleshooting the Issue

Vinyl records have made a remarkable resurgence in recent years, captivating both audiophiles and casual listeners alike. However, as with any technology, occasional issues may arise. One frustrating problem is when a record fails to spin on one side, causing an imbalance and disrupting the listening experience. In this article, we will explore the potential reasons behind this issue and provide troubleshooting tips to help you get your record spinning smoothly again.

1. Dirt and Dust Buildup

One of the most common causes of a record not spinning on one side is the accumulation of dirt and dust on the turntable’s platter or the record itself. Even small particles can interfere with the delicate balance needed for proper rotation. To address this issue, follow these steps:

a) Clean the platter: Use a soft cloth or anti-static brush to remove any dirt or dust from the turntable’s platter. Be careful not to apply excessive pressure or use abrasive materials that could scratch the surface.

b) Clean the record: Gently clean the record’s surface using a carbon fiber brush or a record cleaning solution. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and avoid touching the grooves with your fingers.

c) Replace the slipmat: If you are using a slipmat, it might be dirty or worn out. Consider replacing it with a new one to ensure proper grip and smooth rotation.

2. Uneven Weight Distribution

Another possible reason for a record not spinning correctly on one side is uneven weight distribution. This issue commonly occurs when the tonearm’s tracking force is not properly set. Follow these steps to address the problem:

a) Check the tracking force: Refer to your turntable’s user manual to determine the recommended tracking force for your cartridge. Use a tracking force gauge to measure the force applied by the tonearm. Adjust the counterweight on the back of the tonearm until the correct tracking force is achieved.

b) Check the anti-skate setting: The anti-skate control helps to counteract the inward force that can cause the stylus to skip or skate across the record. Ensure that the anti-skate setting is adjusted correctly, as recommended by your turntable’s manufacturer.

3. Belt Slippage or Motor Issues

In some cases, a record may not spin on one side due to belt slippage or motor-related problems. Here are a few steps to troubleshoot these issues:

a) Check the belt tension: If your turntable has a belt-driven mechanism, ensure that the belt is properly tensioned. If it appears loose or worn out, consult your turntable’s manual for instructions on replacing or adjusting the belt.

b) Examine the motor: Inspect the turntable’s motor for any visible signs of damage or malfunction. If the motor is faulty, it may need to be repaired or replaced by a professional.

4. Warped Record

Sometimes, a warped record can cause uneven rotation or even prevent the record from spinning on one side. To address this issue:

a) Inspect the record: Carefully examine the record’s surface for any visible signs of warping or deformation. If you notice a significant warp, it may be necessary to replace the record.

b) Attempt manual correction: For minor warps, you can try a manual correction method known as “flattening.” Place the record between two heavy, flat objects (such as glass panels or books) and leave it for a few days to gradually flatten out. Be cautious not to apply too much pressure, as this can damage the record further.


A vinyl record not spinning properly on one side can be a frustrating experience, but with a bit of troubleshooting, you can often resolve the issue and get back to enjoying your vinyl collection. By addressing potential causes such as dirt and dust buildup, uneven weight distribution, belt slippage or motor issues, and warped records, you can restore proper rotation and ensure a smooth listening experience.

Remember to regularly clean both your turntable’s platter and the records themselves to prevent dirt and dust from interfering with the spinning motion. Adjust the tracking force and anti-skate settings to achieve proper weight distribution and minimize any skipping or imbalance. In the case of belt-driven turntables, check the tension of the belt and the condition of the motor to ensure they are functioning correctly.

If you encounter a warped record, inspect it for significant deformations and consider replacing it if necessary. For minor warps, try the manual correction method of flattening the record between two heavy, flat objects. In some cases, if you have tried all the troubleshooting steps and the problem persists, it may be worth consulting a professional technician who specializes in turntable repair. They can diagnose any underlying issues and provide appropriate solutions to get your record spinning flawlessly once again.

Taking care of your vinyl records and turntable is essential for maintaining optimal performance and ensuring the longevity of your collection. By addressing and resolving issues such as a record not spinning on one side, you can continue to enjoy the rich, warm sound and unique experience that vinyl records offer.

Remember, patience and diligence are key when troubleshooting turntable-related problems. With a little effort and attention to detail, you can overcome these challenges and continue to immerse yourself in the world of vinyl music. Happy spinning!

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