Through time, the needle on the record player becomes worn, which can alter the conformity of the sound. The needle is considered to be one of the most important components of a record player. Hence, it is necessary to know how to replace a needle on a record player and apply the process whenever needed, such as it begins to become sluggish. You should understand that the needle is one of the most significant elements of the system and you simply cannot allow it to just deteriorate.
Record Player Maintenance: So You Need to Replace a Record Player Needle
Just like any other machine, you must know how to properly care for your record player. Here are some tips on how to proceed with your record player maintenance:
1. Level the Record Player
When playing your record, it would be best if you have it leveled against the turntable. Positioning it off at a little angle can trigger the tracking force to waver, likely contorting or damaging the disc. Many record players were designed with adjustable legs to help users find that excellent balance. Despite having a flat surface, employ a spirit level to be certain.
2. Keep it Distant from Speakers
Record players function by translating the microscopic ridges in the grooves. While the stylus shuffles near the ridges, the quivering shudders a magnet in the cartridge, triggering the electrical signals to stuff out through the wires found in the arm.
Knowing that sound has air molecules that quiver in the space, you may like to place the record player far from any huge speakers. This will inhibit trace quantities of feedback from trumping up the original sound. Putting the record player on a weighty table adjacent or behind the speakers is tolerable.
Related: top rated turntable with speakers
3. Clean the Records
Dust, hand oils, dirt, scratches, and blemishes can all restrain a record from producing the best sound. Exercising proper maintenance on the record player does not only enhance the quality of the sound, but shall boost the endurance of the vinyl.
Clean the record by using a vinyl record brush to get rid of dirt particles and small dust. Get a record cleaner or any other cleaning solution on any fingerprints and small dust. Wipe it with a clean cotton cloth or microfiber. Rinse it with water, but go away from the central label. Proceed in dying it and properly store it in a sleeve.
Related: How to Clean a Record Needle
Is It Time to Replace a Record Player Needle?
You may want to find out if it is already time to replace a record player needle. Well, focusing your goal to replace the turntable needle is not something you will often do. Needle replacement shall only be carried out when needed.
After Excessive Use
The common rule is that the needle will typically get run-down after around 1,000 hours of usage, although some of them can last around 3,000 hours if proper care is given. Playing dirty or scraped records will hasten the deterioration of the needle.
If you Hear Strange Sounds
You should first clean the record player and consider fixing its alignment if you happen to hear some strange sounds. There are times that these strange sounds develop due to the build-up of dust or incorrect placement of the tonearm. Have the vinyl cleaned and examine the tonearm to isolate the probabilities, before deciding to replace the needle.
If none of your methods is fixing the concern, the strange sounds can be because of the deteriorated needle. If you casually notice cracks each time you play music, not only with a single record, but with other ones, this can be an indication that you need to replace the needle.
How to Replace a Needle on a Record Player?
Step 1: Unplug the device
Obviously, the first step in replacing a needle on a record player is to completely unplug the device. This will prevent any risks of electric shock. Furthermore, you must clear away any records that were stored in it to play. Doing so will make sure that the vinyl record will not incur any damage while you are doing a needle replacement.
Before you begin the process, it is also important that you ensure that the new needle is kept away from the old needle. This will help you avoid any chances of mixing the old needle with the new one.
Step 2: Remove the Needle by Unscrewing the Headshell
Certain models have detachable headshells. It would be very easy to detach the needle in such kind of models since you only have to unscrew the headshell.
Step 3: Undo the Lever Found in the Arm
Some models require unlocking the lever. This will hold the tonearm firmly in place. Many models were designed with tonearms with two screws found at the end. They are easy to locate. You can get a flat-head screwdriver to twist these screws in a counterclockwise direction and you will notice them begin loosening up.
The moment you have successfully unlocked the lever, it will be very easy for you to remove the needle. See to it that you do not exert too much pressure and stress on the metallic arm as it can bend it and modify its shape.
Step 4: Putting the New Needle
After removing the old needle, you will notice the space for you to put in the new needle. Carefully insert the needle with its sharp end and direct downwards. You know already that it is the sharp end that touches the record to get the music playing.
Step 5: Tighten Back the Screws on the Tonearm
After properly installing the new needle, tighten back the screws on the tonearm. Secure the re-tightening as it will keep the tonearm to its original position.
Surely, classic record players could add glamour. However, you want to make sure that they stay in good condition. Now that you know how to replace a needle on a record player and understand the common conditions wherein you need to perform the replacement, there is a good chance that you can keep your device longer.
HI, John Andrew here. I’ve been an audiophile since I was a little kid. I’m an original member of myaudiolover . It emerged as a way for me to share my passion and knowledge for audio technology. If you’re looking for tips, techniques, and insights about audio-tech, that can enable your productions that professional edge, then MyAudioLover is the place for you!