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How to Repair a Turntable

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How to Repair a Turntable
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How to Repair a Turntable

Whether consumers have a much-loved vintage model turntable or a modern system, turntable problems can occur. Sometimes, it is as simple to fix a turntable problem as plugging the device's power cord into the wall socket. Other times though, the turntable does not spin, odd cracking sounds come out of nowhere, or the toner arm begins to have a life of its own. Turntables have few parts and owners can fix most of them at home with some DIY skills and simple tools. Purchasing the parts and tools needed to fix a turntable, either at a local store or online at a site like eBay, requires just a bit of information.

How to Repair Common Turntable Problems

With few working parts, turntables are simple to understand and fix, usually just by looking inside at how they work. The motor works the drive and the drive turns the table using a belt system or direct drive. One of the first problems to look for is loose wires, missing wires, and lack of power. Dust, dirt, and debris can also cause problems with the turntable, interfering with the working parts. Be sure to keep the turntable clean and use a dust cover if available.

The Turntable Produces No Sound

Lack of sound can be due to several problems. The most common is loose speaker wires, followed by a faulty needle. Check the needle housing to be sure the needle sits properly in the housing and in its proper location. Check the stylus to be sure the tip has not broken off and that there are no loose screws or broken pins. Tighten the pin on the stylus by hand or with needle nosed pliers to keep it in place. Check to be sure the speaker wires attach firmly to their pins or, in new models, that the plug attachment is secure.

The Turntable Makes Crackling Sounds

Cracking sounds may be due to a buildup of dust or dirt on the turntable. This is a good time to clean the entire unit, being careful not to break or damage delicate parts. Clean the turntable by using ananti-static cloth made especially for electronics. In addition, an out of balance tonearm can also cause cracking, so balance the tone arm to correct the problem.

How to Reset the Tonearm

Owners sometimes need to reset the tonearm if it does not move onto the vinyl recording properly or if the tonearm stops returning to its base at the end of a record. To reset the tonearm, owners can hold the stop button, rotate the turntable 90 degrees, and then release the stop button. In addition, keeping the tonearm free of dust, debris, and dirt as well as inspecting it from time to time is a good habit to develop.

How to Repair a Damaged Turntable

If the turntable stops revolving, it may be a problem with the drive. Owners can easily replace a belt drive turntable. If the turntable is a direct drive model, the only option is to replace the drive unit.

Usually when a turntable does not spin, it is due to a malfunction of the motor. Check the wires as they can come loose and the fix is as simple as re-attaching them. Be sure to check the wires for bare spots and replace any that show wear. If this does not fix the problem, consider replacing the motor.

Sometimes the turntable rotates too fast, making the recording sound like high pitched rodents. Double check the speed setting for the record before starting repairs. If this does not fix the problem, remove the upper plate and check the motor to see if the drive slips during play and realign the drive to correct the problem.

How to Repair a Damaged Platter

Owners should replace a warped, deeply scratched, or damaged platter that does not sit flat on the turntable. A bad platter can damage prized recordings and cause impaired sound quality.

How to Buy Replacement Parts to Repair a Turntable on eBay

To purchase the parts or tools needed to fix a turntable, go to any eBay web page, or try the deals in Electronics. Once you locate the item you want, read the seller's page in its entirety to ensure you know exact what the item includes. Be sure it is the correct item for your model of turntable and check shipping and handling costs and delivery dates.

Most consumers can fix turntables at home because turntables have very few working parts. Understanding how a turntable works goes a long way to being able to diagnose and correct turntable problems. However, owners may need professional help to repair some parts, especially in newer models.

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