Why is my direct drive turntable going too fast?

A direct drive turntable is a popular choice among vinyl enthusiasts for its stability and precision in maintaining the correct playback speed. However, like any mechanical device, it can encounter issues that affect its performance. One common problem is when a direct drive turntable starts spinning too fast. In this article, we will explore the possible reasons behind this issue and how to address it.

  1. Incorrect Pitch Control Setting

One of the most common reasons for a direct drive turntable playing too fast is an incorrectly adjusted pitch control setting. The pitch control allows you to fine-tune the speed of the turntable, and if it’s set to a higher speed than the standard 33 1/3 or 45 RPM, it will cause the turntable to play too fast. To address this issue:

  • Carefully adjust the pitch control to the correct setting for the desired speed. Refer to your turntable’s user manual for guidance on adjusting the pitch control.
  1. Electrical Voltage Issues

Variations in electrical voltage can influence the performance of your direct drive turntable. If the voltage supplied to the turntable is higher than what it’s designed for, it can lead to a faster playback speed. To resolve this issue:

  • Use a voltage stabilizer or power conditioner to ensure a consistent power supply to your turntable. This can help prevent voltage fluctuations that may cause speed irregularities.
  1. Motor Malfunction

The direct drive turntable relies on a precision motor to maintain the correct speed. If the motor is malfunctioning or experiencing issues, it can result in the turntable spinning too fast. Diagnosing motor problems typically requires the expertise of a professional technician who can assess and repair the motor.

  1. Lubrication Problems

In some cases, incorrect or insufficient lubrication of the motor or other moving parts can lead to speed fluctuations. Adequate lubrication is essential to ensure smooth operation. If you suspect lubrication issues, consult your turntable’s user manual for proper maintenance instructions.

  1. Voltage Selector Switch

Some turntables have a voltage selector switch that allows you to adjust the voltage to match the local electrical standards. If this switch is set incorrectly, it can affect the speed. Ensure that the voltage selector switch is set to the appropriate position for your region.

  1. Platter Mat and Record Size

The use of an incorrect platter mat or slip mat, or playing records of a different size, can lead to speed irregularities. Always use the appropriate platter mat or slip mat that matches the size of the record you are playing.


When a direct drive turntable starts playing too fast, it can disrupt your listening experience and diminish the enjoyment of your vinyl collection. To address this issue, start by checking the pitch control setting and ensure it is correctly adjusted for the desired speed. If the problem persists, consider factors like voltage issues, motor malfunction, and lubrication problems. Regular maintenance and professional assistance can help resolve the issue and restore your turntable to its correct playback speed, allowing you to enjoy your vinyl records as they were intended.

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