It’s never a good feeling when you put a new album on for the first time and it sounds weird. It sounds like you get it. We know exactly how you feel. We know how frustrating skipping records can be so we wrote a guide on what to do when you have one.
Sometimes you’ll get a small pop when you remove a record from its inner plastic sleeve. It’s likely just caused by static, so don’t freak out. For the heavier skips, it’s usually a split between whether it’s on the record itself or your listening set-up. The most likely of the two is the setup, but we will explore both usual causes in this case.
To start, try playing the album from the beginning and see if you notice a skip in the same place. If so, it’s pretty likely that there’s a problem with the vinyl. Another trick is to transfer your record onto another turntable (perhaps at a friend’s place or at a record shop). If a record sounds great on one turntable, but not as good on yours, then try to fix your setup.
The Main Reasons why Your Player Sounds Bad, Strange, or Distorted
The most common cause of skipping records is a dirty one, so the fix is to wipe it off. If that doesn’t work then it might be an issue with the balance on your turntable. There could be a number of reasons why your record player isn’t sounding right. We’ll cover a few different problems below and give you some ideas about how to make things work.
It sounds like the audio player or record player has a few common problems:
1. The needle (aka stylus) is dirty, worn, or broken and needs to be replaced
The most common audio problems on record players and turntables are caused by a worn or damaged stylus (aka the needle).
If the cartridge’s needle is bent in one direction, it should be replaced. It is too fragile to be adjusted with your finger. It will most likely just break.
People have lost audio from one channel when listening to records. If you look at the needle it bends so far that it only produces sound in the corresponding speaker, I’ve seen it happen.
You should also check the end of your stylus to make sure that there aren’t any dust balls. The sound will become fuzzy and distorted if there is dust at the stylus’ end. This is because the dust is blocking audio signals from reaching the speakers.
You should not touch the stylus with your finger if it is soiled. This could lead to damage or even breakage. You can sometimes blow the dust off, but if you intend to use the turntable frequently, you will need a stylus cleaner.
I recommend stylus cleaners as well as important information about needles for record players in this article, Everything you Need to Know About Your Turntable’s Stylus.
2. The record player is not sitting on a level surface and causing inner groove distortion
A friend bought a turntable from my shop recently. After he brought it home, he kept complaining that the sound was not right.
I went to his home to assist him and found that his turntable was not on a level surface. The noise stopped when we moved the turntable to a level surface.
What did the needle do? What happened?
A level turntable will produce the best sound possible by ensuring that the stylus touches the groove of the vinyl.
You can find more information about how to set up your turntable’s stylus in my article, Everything to Know About Your Turntable’s Stylus.
3. The belt on your turntable is loose, not operating at the proper speed, and needs to be replaced
Check that the belt on your turntable is not worn.
Turntable belts may expand over time, so they won’t turn the platter at the correct speed. This can cause the sound to become wobbly and slow.
You can refer to the online manual to find out if your turntable has a belt.
It will be under the platter on your turntable if a belt has been used. To replace the belt, simply pull the platter upwards.
Google can often help you find a replacement belt by simply searching for the model number and turntable name followed by “belt”.
4. Your turntable is not properly grounded and causing humming or buzzing noises
Sometimes you’ll find that your turntable is producing a buzzing sound, which is easily fixed by attaching a ground wire from the turntable to the receiver.
Please take a look at my article, How To Remove Humming Or Buzzing Sound From Your Turntable for more guidance.
5. Your turntable’s built-in the preamp is on the wrong setting
Friends who have never set up a turntable and their stereo system have called me to ask why their turntable makes a strange sound when it plays.
They often buy a turntable that has a built in preamp but have the setting switch set to the wrong option. Usually they have the preamp set to “Line” and the RCA cables plugged into the “Phono” on the receiver. This setting can cause distortion during playback.
Turntables with built-in preamps should be set at “Phono”, and the RCA cables connected to the “Phono” input of your receiver.
If the RCA cables are plugged into the Aux input you will select the preamp to be on “Line”.
You can find more information about how to use a turntable equipped with a built in preamp in my article How To Connect Your Turntable to the Aux Input On Your Receiver. The article contains photos to help you understand how to set the correct settings.
These tips will resolve any performance issues you may have with your turntable/record player, and help you get vinyl records back with the best sound quality possible.
6. Check the record
Playback skipping is more common in new vinyl records than older ones, but it can still happen. Let’s do some tests to determine if the vinyl is at fault.
Even though it is rare, production errors can lead to vinyl records becoming warped. Records can be warped by heat. Records are damaged by pressure. These factors can occur while records are being stored. Shipping carriers are not always careful with vinyl.
This is the author’s slightly distorted copy of Beach House Bloom.
The record does not have to look like an ocean wave cresting to skip. Even the barely noticeable warp in this example causes significant audible disruption.
While there are many arguments about this, it is true that you cannot fix a damaged record. We are confident that if you have just bought a new record, it will be a better use of your energy and time to exchange the album for a unwarped one. Return the vinyl to your local record shop and ask for a return or exchange. For mediation, contact the seller if you purchased it online or on Discogs.
Although it is good to feel hopeful, if your record has been scratched or damaged, there may not be any way to repair it. Before deciding that your record is damaged, you should try every option.
The following components are most likely to cause a record not to play:
- Tonearm: Rebalance the tonearm to ensure the correct weight and the right amount of vertical tracking force. You will need to consult the guide, which you should be able find online. The process of adjustments is different for each type of turntable. Some turntables do not allow you to rebalance a tonearm or adjust vertical tracking force.
- Stylus: Inspect or record the stylus for wear or foreign objects, such as dust. When inspecting the stylus, be careful not to touch it. If necessary, clean or replace the cartridge. For more information, see our guide on cleaning and maintaining a turntable stylus.
Turntables at lower ends are more susceptible to skipping. They may not be able to play louder vinyl pressings and might not have an adjustable tonearm. You might consider upgrading your turntable if skipping is a common occurrence. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to get a better turntable. These are our top picks for affordable and beginner turntables.
Bad vibrations could be picked up by your turntable, man. Inequal services can lead to minor problems. Maybe your listening station is located next to the laundry area. They look great, but heavy footsteps can cause wood floors to tremble.
You can reduce vibrations in your environment by thinking of ways to minimize it. You might place a rug or carpet under your set-up, move it away from floors or walls that may shake, and at the very minimum, ensure the surface where your turntable sits is level.
To limit the sound waves from DJs playing in noisy clubs, they will use a record weight. You can place your turntable on a thick, wooden cutting board. This guide will explain how to isolate your turntable and fix vibration problems.
9. Dust and Debris
Are there visible marks or dust on the item? This could have occurred during the manufacturing process, although it is rare. Use an anti-static brush to clean dust particles from the record. If there are visible smudges on the vinyl record, you may need to clean it more thoroughly.
Static can cause small pops after you have removed the outer plastic wrapping and inner plastic sleeves. Anti-static brushes are a cost-effective tool that can be used to help pop records.
This article should have provided some guidance as to why your vinyl record is skipping. When you hear the skips on your brand-new vinyl record, remember the two main culprits: the set-up as well as the record. More often than not, this is an environmental or turntable issue. If in doubt, turn the record on a friend’s record player or at a record store to rule out vinyl.
Records Skip: How to Fix It
The moment you turn on an old favourite album you haven’t listened too in a while.
Relax and enjoy the entire album, which is something that we seldom have the time to do anymore. Everyone listens to one song. Nobody listens to entire albums.
It starts with the first track, and it plays right as you get lost in the music.
The moment is over. Record player skipping is a major problem with vinyl and it’s not something you can avoid. It can happen for many reasons, but most of them are easily fixed.
Let’s troubleshoot, discover why your record is skipping and what we can do to fix it.
1. Cleaning the Record With Glue
Wood glue is a great way to get started, however it may seem strange.
Spin the record with your tonearm off.
Start at the edge of your inner label and gently squeeze the wood glue bottle. Next, move the nozzle along record until it reaches the outer edge. The record should be covered with wood glue.
While the record is still spinning, spread the wood glue on a small piece if cardboard. To create a consistent, thin film on your record, start at the outer edge. Move slowly inwards.
The record should be stopped from spinning. Leave it alone for 24 hours so that the wood glue can dry completely. When the record is bone dry, start removing the wood glue layer, starting at its outer edge. It is best to do it one at a time.
It’s okay if you don’t manage to do it all in one go. It is easier to get it off in one go. After it is removed, wipe your record with a clean cloth in a circular motion.
Play your record again. It should now play without skipping if dirt or dust was the problem.
2. Using a Cleaning Solution
If your record is still slipping, you will need to clean it more thoroughly with a record-cleaning product and a cloth. To ensure that the solution is properly applied, check the label.
You should apply the solution to the record and let it rest for a while before rinsing it with distilled water. Make sure to not get the label on your record wet.
Use a cloth to wipe off the distilled water. Dry the record completely before you try to play it again. Learn more about this cleaning technique.
3. Fixing a Broken Record
It’s unfortunate, but after a record is damaged it will likely never be the same. Many people on the internet have ideas for how to make a record stop skipping; this includes this one that asks you to sandpaper it. It’s probably a bad idea, but if you’re already in trouble and have nothing else to lose, you may as well give it a shot.
How to Balance the Tonearm
Because cartridges are different in weight, you will need to balance your tonearm every time you change your cartridge. This affects how firm the needle presses against the record.
You might also need to rebalance your tonearm every now and again if it becomes unbalanced or you have a skipping issue.
It is best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Follow the below advice if you don’t already have them. If you have them, but your manufacturer’s instructions differ from this advice, please refer to your manufacturer’s manual. There might be an important reason.
Be patient if you are balancing your tonearm for the first time. Do not rush the process. For the highest quality sound, balancing your arm is a great thing to do. Be methodical. It will be well worth it.
Nevertheless, this approach should be sufficient for most record players.
Step 1: Set the anti-skate control
The anti-skate control could look one of two ways: a circle with numbers on it, or like a piece of the fishing gut without any weight attached to it resting either on or around the arm. Once you’ve found it, set it to zero.
Step 2: Set the yoke
Halfway down the arm, you should see a plastic hook or latch attached. That’s the yoke. Unhook it making sure the arm doesn’t smash into the platter. Slowly lower the arm and let it fall gently to the side.
Step 3: Level the arm
Move the counterweight along the arm until you reach your desired position. It should be levelled without any contact with anything, and stay that way.
When that happens – if the weight starts moving a little bit, you can tighten the screw so it locks into place but not too much that you can’t adjust it back. Make sure the weight on the turntable is zero by adjusting this lock.
Step 4: Adjust the arm tracking weight dial
In order to get the arm to track, you will need to move a weight around or adjust the counterweight. The weight may be found at the back of the arm or attached to the counterweight you just adjusted. Move it so that it reads 0 grams on a dial.
If your turntable arm doesn’t have an arms tracking weight dial, you can use a tracking weight gauge to check if you’ve balanced it at zero grams.
Step 5: Balance the arm
Now that the tracking weight dial is set to 0 grams, you need to adjust the counterweight again. To adjust the tracking force, tighten or loosen the screw thread or counterweight. Remember that an increase in either of these will correspond with a higher force and vice versa.
This tracking force is usually dependent on what turntable cartridge you have loaded. In most cases, it will range from 1-2 grams. But it could also be more than that depending on the type of mount these cartridges come with (styles with a clamping mechanism are typically heavier).
If your counterweight doesn’t have a dial or screw thread, you’re going to have to use a tracking weight gauge. Place the tracking weight gauge on the platter and then put your stylus on it.
You can then just do the same as before: move the counterweight backward and forward until you see a reading that matches the amount on your scale.
Step 6: Reset the anti-skate control
Now, you can move the arm into its original position. You can secure it by using the yoke. Next, adjust the anti-skate weight to the same weight as the tracking weight.
This is the most important step in stopping records from skipping. You can set the anti-skate to add downward force. This stops the arm’s skipping of the grooves.
Now, play the record. It should play smoothly if it isn’t damaged. If it skips, I have bad news. It’s likely that you have a broken record.
Record Player Skipping: Final Thoughts
Record play skipping is usually easily rectified. We hope that this was the case.
However, if your skipping problems were due to a broken record beyond repair, I am sorry. It’s happened to me too. It hurts.
This is why I urge everyone to do everything they can to protect their record collection. Your albums should be treated as irreplaceable. Even the most expensive record player turntables can sound terrible if the record gets damaged.
You will never have to look for the reason your record is missing again if you properly store and handle them.
FAQ for Ways Fix Wockoder Record Player Skipping
What is a wockoder record player?
A wockoder record player is a device that plays vinyl records. It was first introduced by the company Wockoders in 1933 and it was the first turntable to use a platter, which is a disc with a circular hole in the middle.
The turntable can be used for playing vinyl records and also for playing 78rpm records. The sound quality of the record player is very good as it uses vacuum tubes to produce sound, which is far superior to transistors.
The main advantage of using this type of record player is that it can play both old and new records, which means you don’t need to buy an expensive new machine each time you want to listen to something from your collection.
Why does my wockoder record player skip?
Most people think that skipping is a problem with the recording player. However, it is actually a problem with the wockoder itself.
There are many reasons why your wockoder may skip. The most common reasons why your wockoder skips include:
- The power cord was not plugged in all the way
- The power cord is damaged
- The disc that you are playing has scratches and/or defects
- Dirty and/or faulty needle
What can I do to fix my wockoder record player skipping?
If you’re having a hard time playing your wockoder record player, there are some things you can do to fix the issue. The first thing you should try is unplugging the unit and then plugging it back in. If that doesn’t work, you might need to clean the record player’s needle or replace it with a new one.
How often should I clean my wockoder record player to avoid skipping?
The answer to this question depends on the type of record player. But generally, it is recommended that you clean your record player every six months.
How can I prevent skipping my wonder record player?
Skipping is a common problem for record players. This is usually because the records often move around and the needle can be outside of the grooves. When this happens, the needle can skip to another part of the record and cause damage.
There are several ways to prevent skipping on your record player. You can use a turntable mat or you can use a felt pad on top of your records that will help reduce friction between the records and the platter. You could also try using a different type of needle, such as an elliptical or diamond-shaped needle.
If you want to avoid skipping altogether, you should make sure that your records are securely in place before playing them.