Inner-groove distortion is something that occurs with vinyl records. It’s more likely to happen in the last few tracks of each side, but can have a big impact on the sound quality. Some people might find it annoying, but others say that these imperfections are just a part of the passionate & unique vinyl experience. But what causes it? Let’s dig briefly into some light physics.
- The Most Common Causes
- 1. Check your Turntable is Level!
- 2. The Sensitivity of your Anti-Skate!
- 3. Is the Cartridge Aligned Properly?
- 4. Do you Need a New Cartridge?
- 5. Are your Records Clean?
- 6. A Strong Foundation
- How to Fix Turntable Slides on Internal Tracks
- 1. How to Fix a Scratched Record
- Step 1: Stabilize the Record
- Step 2: Apply Epoxy
- Step 3: Spread Out Glue
- Step 4: Remove the Glue
- Step 5: Test the Sound
- 2. Alternative Cleaning Methods to Help Fix Scratches
- 3. Preventing Record Scratches and Preserving the Quality
- Tips for Preserving Your Record Collection
- Create an Optimal Record Player Setup
- Use the Designated Record Sleeves
- Pick a Dry, Uncluttered Storage Space
- FAQ for Turntable Skips on Inner Tracks
- What causes turntable skips?
- How can I prevent turntable skips?
- What is the difference between outer and inner tracks on a vinyl record?
- What causes turntable skips on inner tracks?
- How can I fix a turntable skip on an inner track?
The Most Common Causes
1. Check your Turntable is Level!
It’s important that your turntable is completely level and it can be hard to tell if it is or not. If you’re not sure, try adjusting the height with a spirit level until you’re confident that your needle will be in the perfect spot when the LPs are spinning. I think people should consider all the possible issues before doing something more serious. It’s good to know you can check this out.
If your turntable is too off level you will be able to tell with your eyes. You don’t need to use any “tech” check it. If your records are skipping, you might want to consider getting a spirit level and placing it on the turntable while it’s rotating in order to see if it’s currently flat. If your uneven surface is still too high, you can play around with it to try and level it. You may not be able to get it perfect, but you should be able to improve the height differences by using something to prop up the unit from underneath (like a series of books).
2. The Sensitivity of your Anti-Skate!
Next we are going to explore anti-skate. You might think that anti-skate would only be found on higher-end record players, but most of them have it. Even those that are priced at only over $100 such as this ION Audio Max LP – Vinyl Record Player has it. Usually, the anti-skate is a little dial just near where the arm is. Could it be that the anti-skate is causing your records to skip? Try playing around with it and see if that’s the case.
Watch out for record players with anti-skate built in without a dial. It’s worth remembering that I’ve seen a lot of record players over the years and they have different names like “arm adjustment”. Try messing around with it and seeing if it fixes any issues.
3. Is the Cartridge Aligned Properly?
Checking your cartridge alignment is a good first step if your records are skipping after the first few tracks. To someone who is new to the hobby, the alignment process can seem complicated. Luckily, it’s not too hard with practice. There are tutorials available, with step-by-step instructions.
Beyond building out your record collection, you’ll need some tools to help manage it. If you’re just starting out, you’ll want an alignment protractor. Amazon has a great selection of turntable mat. Recently, I found this one by Hudson which is currently under 15$, but if you look around you can find cheaper alternatives. Yeah, you can download them online and print them off, but I’m not sure how good that would be.
4. Do you Need a New Cartridge?
Ok, so now that we’re talking about the cartridge, you should make sure it’s attached and secure. If the cartridge appears to be secure, that it’s aligned properly, and you have done all the troubleshooting steps without any luck, then it’s probably time for a new cartridge.
This is a pretty pricey investment – but it can be cheap or expensive depending on what you’re looking for. We’ve looked at various turntable cartridges here and they cover a gamut of prices. It could be that your stylus has worn down, so getting a new one may be a good idea.
5. Are your Records Clean?
I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my records and I’m telling you, something’s not right here. I like to spend some time cleaning then listen to a bit of music. So if your records are dirty, the dirt can get onto the needle and that can be what is making your record player misbehave.
This Anti-Static Carbon Fiber Vinyl Record Brush that I use costs just 15 bucks. Doing this could make the grooves of your records much cleaner and stop dirt from collecting. You can also get stuff like this Record Roller by Vinyl Vac Complete 4-in-1 Record Cleaning Kit! which gives you plenty of ways to clean the records in your collection.
6. A Strong Foundation
When setting up your turntable, you should make sure that it’s straight. The location where you put your record player can impact the level it sits at. My brother-in-law who I bought a record player for just slapped it on a shelf, because it looked so unbalanced.
Record player stands are getting so popular these days. You can find all sorts of cool ones on the market, like this 2-Tier Modern Matte Black Lattice Style Metal Turntable Vinyl Record Storage Organizer Table Stand gives you a flat surface to put your record player on while also adding some storage space to store some of your records. Pretty cool, huh?
How to Fix Turntable Slides on Internal Tracks
1. How to Fix a Scratched Record
If you’ve never listened to music on a vinyl record, it’s a must. You can’t beat the way they sound. Even though records are an old, outdated model of listening to songs now that most people own computers with internet access, there’s still something about the way songs sound on physical records.
A vinyl record might look nice while playing, but if you don’t know how to store ’em then they can easily get damaged. As time goes by, the effects of weather & getting older can both have an effect on your music discs. You may experience big or small scratches, or even bumps in the surface. Vinyl records are also sensitive to kinks and cracks.
Learning how to fix a scratched record is an important part of preserving sound. Here are a few steps you can take, in order to eliminate skipping songs:
Step 1: Stabilize the Record
Lay the scratched vinyl on some flat, clean surface. Use a soft cloth dampened with standard water or rubbing alcohol to wipe off any small debris from your record. With the electrical tape, gently push either side of the crack until it reaches as close as possible to where the break is on the record. This will help it stay stable as you work.
Step 2: Apply Epoxy
Take a line of epoxy or wood glue and spread it over the scratched area. Try using toothpicks to go in easy and allow time for the ingredients to sink in. If there are multiple scratches on your record, apply glue to the entire thing and let it spin on a turntable. Place the tip of the glue to the white part inside of your record and apply some pressure. Make sure to stop when you reach the outside edge of the record. This should create thin, even lines all across.
Step 3: Spread Out Glue
Place a piece of cardboard flat on the edge of the record and it will continue spinning. To get the best sound possible, apply a thin layer of glue to both sides of the record. Once thinly, allow it to dry for around 24 hours. If it’s still sticky, dry it for another hour or two.
Step 4: Remove the Glue
Carefully and gradually peel the dried wood glue off by pulling it at one of the edges. If the sticker is really stuck to the record and won’t peel off in one go, start peeling it from another edge instead. For minor scratches, use a toothpick to remove excess epoxy or glue. Try keeping your hands off the instrument so you don’t disturb it.
Step 5: Test the Sound
After you’ve cleaned the vinyl of any gunk, they should spin around and play perfectly without any issues. A little maintenance helps keep your record in perfect shape longer. But depending on the severity of the scratch, you may need to purchase a new one. If the number of scratches on your record is high and/or they go deep into the grooves, it might be worth trying other methods.
2. Alternative Cleaning Methods to Help Fix Scratches
There are lots of ways to fix scratched vinyl records. Some popular options include epoxy or wood glue. To get rid of minor scratches, start by dusting or brushing your record to remove any dirt or debris that might be turned into the grooves.
Your record could be skipping because it needs a good wipedown. You might want to clean off any dust particles that have settled, especially if it’s been stored away for a while. This type of tool is typically made from bristles and a long handle, which enables it to reach far into the crevices between the groove of your vinyl disc. Perhaps because records contain an physical object that can be reached with such a tool, cleaning them is less tedious than cleaning digital music files. You might not always need to go out to buy a new record if your old ones are skipping with regularity.
Another option is to buy a record cleaning kit. This comes with a liquid cleaner and a brush to help you remove dirt, smudges, and minor scratches from your device. Stick to the directions on the box when applying. It’s important for it to dry before doing anything else.
A final option is to make an at-home disinfectant. Simply add ¼ cup of rubbing alcohol, ¾ cup of water, and a few drops of dishwasher soap to a spray bottle and go from there. Spray the solution on the record and let it sit for at least 30 seconds before washing. Wipe away any excess moisture with a clean cloth. Then, using a separate microfiber cloth dampened with distilled water, wipe both sides of your record. Let the record dry completely before you evaluate the sound it makes. As you clean your vinyl, try to learn how to keep your turntable clean as well.
3. Preventing Record Scratches and Preserving the Quality
One of the best ways of preventing scratches on records is by simply not scratching them. With the right handling, you can keep your vinyl in good shape by avoiding deep scratches and smudging.
Be gentle when handling your records. Gently hold the record from the edges so your fingers don’t get stuck in the grooves. Additionally, natural oils from your fingers can cause records to skip or scratch as much. If you want to be successful, try getting as little contact as possible with the surface.
Second, clean your records and the player regularly. It’s easy for a thin film of dirt to build up on either one; that can lead to damage in both cases. Use a soft cloth on your equipments after use. If you only play records every now and then, this will prevent debris from getting stuck in the records’ groves.
Third, buy vinyl records from a reputable site and use inner sleeves that are of a higher quality. This will help protect your records in the case you accidentally drop them and also allow them to go in & out of their jackets without trouble. The outer sleeve casing is just as important. It should be made out of a cloth or plastic and cover the entire record, including the album jacket. This way your records are protected against dust and dirt.
Finally, if you’ve tried your best to prevent scratches and nothing else seems to work, it may be time to invest in a new one. Analog recordings may be sonically pleasing to some, but purer sounds will come from a better-mastered digital recording or even buying a new album by the same artist.
If you’ve got a record library that has some rare vinyls, a few skips might be worth forgoing for the sake of keeping them preserved. It’s like picking the lesser of two evils when you want to listen to something from your collection.
Tips for Preserving Your Record Collection
There are various ways of storing records, but some methods can degrade the quality of the vinyl over time. Here’s a quick guide on how to store your records properly and maintain your collection.
Create an Optimal Record Player Setup
Handle your record player with care. Make sure the surface it’s on is flat, even and will not affect playback of your records. Dust the surface with a microfiber cloth when you’re finished playing records. Close and secure the lid if one is present. Additionally, remember to change the needle regularly so that your records will be kept safe.
You can preserve its shelf life by wiping it down with a carbon fiber brush. But we find that, with regular use, it’ll have to be replaced after a few years. When records seem slow to play, this is usually a sign of damaged or old needles. The easiest way to fix this is by replacing the needle or by lifting the needle arm off the surface of the record.
Use the Designated Record Sleeves
Keep your records stored in their designated sleeves. This’ll help you out when you’re looking for something particular because it’ll allow you to find it relatively quickly, or at least some of what you want if there’s multiple copies of one album. It also protects them from getting water damaged and ruined.
A shelf, record stand, or crate can be used to store your records vertically and rather than having them all mixed together. This will make it easier if you’re looking for a particular record as you won’t have to look through a bunch of records that are just thrown together.
When you’re done listening to a record, you should store it properly. Never leave your records on the turntable or stack them one on top of another. Doing this for a sustained period of time might cause your vinyl to become damaged. Records need to be played on special equipment, so make sure you store them in the correct cases and find a special area for storing them.
Pick a Dry, Uncluttered Storage Space
Keep your records in a place that’s not going to get spilled on or stepped on. Storage is where you’ll also want to keep an eye out for temperature changes. Keep your records safe from sun & humidity by storing them somewhere where they will be protected from direct sunlight and areas which may lead to condensation, like in a basement or attic. If you have a lot of records, consider storing them in a custom climate-controlled storage unit where they will be safe from the heat, humidity and water damage.
Also, pick a spot for your records without anything else accompanying them. This will make sure you are storing it in the best possible condition and prevent damage from occurring.
Vinyls have finally made a comeback. Victrola record players produce the highest quality sound of all brands. Listening to a record’s unique sound creates an experience that can’t be achieved with a computer or phone. Best of all, if you find your record got scratched, it’s easy to fix it and get your vinyl spinning again. Other than the great content quality they provide, they also have a feature that allows you to update your record collection with vinyl records that are in good condition.
FAQ for Turntable Skips on Inner Tracks
What causes turntable skips?
If you have a turntable and you are experiencing skips in the audio, there are a few things to consider. The first is the needle. It might be dirty or damaged, so it can’t read the record properly. The second thing to consider is the surface that you’re playing your records on. If it’s not level, then it can cause skips too.
How can I prevent turntable skips?
Turntable skips happen when the needle in a turntable jumps from the record to the surrounding surface.
This is caused by a scratch on the surface of the record, or dust and dirt that can accumulate on it.
The damage can be repaired with a few simple steps.
1) Cleaning your records: Dust and dirt can accumulate on your records over time, causing them to become scratched and more susceptible to jump.
The easiest way to prevent this is by regularly cleaning your records with a cleaning solution like dish soap or rubbing alcohol.
2) Using a felt mat: A felt mat provides an extra layer between your records and any surface they are placed upon. This will help keep them clean as well as preventing any dust or dirt from accumulating on your records.
What is the difference between outer and inner tracks on a vinyl record?
The outer track is the groove that is furthest from the center of the record and is used to play a song. The inner track is the groove closest to the center of the record and is used to play a song.
What causes turntable skips on inner tracks?
The cause of turntable skips on inner tracks is a worn out or damaged needle. The needle has to be replaced.
How can I fix a turntable skip on an inner track?
This is a very common problem and can be fixed with a few simple steps.
The first step is to clean the turntable with a dry cloth. This will remove any dust or dirt that may have built up on the turntable.
The second step is to use a damp cloth to clean the vinyl. Make sure that it is not too wet, because this could damage the vinyl and make your skip worse.
The third step is to use a needle to gently tap around the area of the skip, this will hopefully release any dirt or dust particles that are causing your skip.
Lastly, you will need to apply some record cleaner onto the surface of your vinyl and then wipe it off with a dry cloth. This process should help remove any dirt or dust fromon your records.