If your turntable is your pride and joy, it can only work better and last longer if you give it some extra care. So far, we’ve gone through all you need to know about belt drive turntables. How often should you get a new belt in your mood-lifting system?
Your turntable is powered by a belt and it can stretch or wear out with time. If you’re not happy with its performance, switching to a new belt may help improve it. When you’re playing that Chipmunks record, it sounds like you’ve lost Barry White in there!
Over time, belts will lose their elasticity and become stiff. Rubber will lose its properties if it gets wet, particularly with pollutants. The belt will eventually start to stretch or become thin. Depending on how often you’re using it, this may happen sooner. When your belt is having issues, it will tend to slip and make a noise. The speed at which the needle moves will decrease. A group of users has been recommending on a forum that you change to a new belt at regular service intervals. On average, we recommend replacing your belts for around 3-5 years.
Another sign that your belt needs to be replaced might be when the engine starts up or if your muffler appears to be wailing. The tension of a belt was taken into consideration when designing the belt. When you wear a belt, the places where it rubs against your body cause the resistance to decrease and the speed of rotation to increase. Replacement of belts that have stretched more than 5% is also recommended.
To keep it concise, consider replacing your turntable belt if:
- Your records have a softer tone to them.
- When the needle in your turntable is aligned just right with the record, you can hear a very noticeable difference in its speed of it.
It’s also convenient to note that if you don’t play your vinyl regularly, you will go through the whole thing in no time. Do run them once in a while to keep your turntable belt in tip-top condition. You can use a strobe disc to make sure your record player is in good order. They double-check the speed of your record player and make sure it isn’t skipping or running slowly, which could have otherwise caused damage to the device.
- Belt-Driven Turntable
- What do Turntable Belts Look Like?
- How do I Know if my Turntable Belt is Bad?
- How do I Replace the Belt?
- What Size Turntable Belt Do I Need?
- How Tight Should a Turntable Belt Be?
- How to Clean a Turntable Belt?
- How Can I Replace My Turntable Belt?
- Remove the Old Turntable Belt
- Get a New Turntable Belt
- Open Up Your Record Player
- Connect the New Turntable Belt
- Some Tips for Better Experience
- FAQ for How Often Should Replacing Turntable Belt
- What is a turntable belt?
- What’s the purpose of a turntable belt?
- How often should a turntable belt be replaced?
- What are the signs of an old and worn-out turntable belt?
- How long does it take to replace a turntable belt?
- How much does a replacement turntable belt cost?
- How long does a turntable belt last?
Believe it or not, there is another way to go. If you have a record player or turntable that has a direct drive, you will never have to worry about replacing a belt. Direct drive means the motor is located directly in front of the record spindle and drives it without any help.
A belt-driven turntable sits at the edge of a platter with a motor offset from the center. The pulley system is made from rubber, and this usually refers to how you can tie up your shoes when the turntable runs. It’s a big difference.
It might not be your best option if you aren’t a DJ or if you don’t have the budget for two turntables. In this case, it would be better to go with belt drive turntables — they can mix music easily while still giving easy access to change speed.
For the average person, listening to their vinyl records at home is what they are most interested in and not the fancy fingerwork or mix that a DJ might need. A belt-driven turntable can allow you to get the most out of your vinyl and can cut down on distortion.
What do Turntable Belts Look Like?
Turntable belts are flat, smooth, and made of a special kind of rubber. It’s a big black rubber band with a yellow top.
The material used by an AI writer lasts for a long time. Unfortunately, when turntable belt rubber begins to deteriorate, it can crack, crumble, or get sticky. Make sure to change your turntable’s belt as soon as you notice it isn’t working properly. Interrupting the use of a record player can cause things like the degraded sound quality and constant skips.
How do I Know if my Turntable Belt is Bad?
As we all know, products made with rubber are great. However, over time it can become brittle, dry & cracked, and eventually break down altogether. This can be the case with turntable belts made from rubber.
There is one sign that you can definitely look out for if your turntable belt is going bad. Your computer may begin to malfunction, the sound can start to break up, or your printer may be running slower than usual. This can be heard because the platter speed may have gone bad.
A slow starting or fast running engine generally means the belt is bad and needs to be replaced. The belt system has been designed with a specific thickness and tension in mind. Wearing a belt will reduce its resistance and increase the platter speed over time.
How do I Replace the Belt?
Looking for a new or replacement record player? If you have the clumsiest hands, don’t worry—there is an option for you. Changing your drive belt is a very simple and efficient process. First, measure the size of your current belt to order a new one. Almost all turntables use belts that have lengths of 19.6, 20.7, 21.4, 22.4, 23.6, 25.0, and 35.1″ Please choose a belt length that’s appropriate for the turntable you’re using.
You want to measure your old belt! Depending on the model, it may be a bit easier to just leave it off and measure the circumference of the platter’s from.
Replacing the belt in your hi-fi system can be a cost-effective modification. It’s a small change that could make a big difference in sound quality. Take a quick search and you’ll find that these belts should not cost more than $15. In fact, I noticed they have been marked down to that price. They usually also come in multiple pieces so you’ll be covered for the next few years, or more.
Watch the short video below on how to properly change your belt. We recommend asking a specialist for the best way in which to do so.
It makes a big difference how tight or lose your turntable belt is. There are ways to ensure that a vinyl record sounds good by buying gear equipment, ranging from turntables to tonearms. You can even store the record on a turntable using a turn table (the small case attached to the large one). Cakewalk even has similar apps for your computer! Slippage can be caused by a slack belt and pulley parts might be overloaded by a belt that is over-tight.
What Size Turntable Belt Do I Need?
Turntable belts come in many different sizes. You might think you must take your goldfish to a vet to make sure it’s still alive, but that’s really not necessary. It is easy to estimate how much battery life you have left in your cell phone. It is easy to buy a new belt from a store in a city near you or find one on the internet.
You will need to first remove your old belt from underneath the plate. The platter is easy to take off. Simply remove the old belt. Measuring the length of an old belt is not easy. When they’ve been well worn, they will continue to stretch and grow so it’s not just one long number you’ll be working with. You need a turntable to spin correctly.
You will need a string that will stretch in order to go around the pulley. Follow the same path on the pulley belt, that was on it. Start by securing one end of the string. You can use tape to hold it near the pulley.
Then wrap the string around the pulley path and meet the other end of the string where you started. Use a marker to commemorate where you left off. The string can be removed to measure the length.
What you would end up needing is a belt that is 3-5% shorter than your string measurement. Assembling these records uses high-quality motorized belts that produce a controlled sound, and this will ensure they are playing at the correct level. You need to make sure the width of your belt is appropriate for the type of shoes you are wearing. Some belts are square, others are round and some have grooves in them for holding things.
How Tight Should a Turntable Belt Be?
How tight or loose your turntable belt is matters a lot. You need to have just the right amount of tension on your vinyl player’s belt to make sure that the needle will go back and forth correctly when any given piece of vinyl is played. Wearing a belt too tight can cause it to get stuck on pulley parts.
You want your belt to be tight enough so that it won’t deform the inner hub and wear off prematurely. Padding the belt helps to make it easier to get a tight fit around the pulley system and provides more slip when you need it. You can also deduct up to 10% from the circumference of your belt (the distance between both ends) in order to calculate when you’ll need a different size, based on how tightly your belt is bundled.
If you followed the step above about determining what size turntable belt you need. Then the belt should go around the pulley parts smoothly with just a slight bit of stretching
How to Clean a Turntable Belt?
If you hear a spotty scratchy sound when you play your vinyl records, your turntable speeds are not changing correctly, it’s difficult to start up or the belt is falling off of the pulley and it sounds like no music is playing at all, there may not be much need to replace just yet.
When attempting to clean your rubber turntable belt, make sure the player is off and unplugged from any electricity. To make it easier to clean the platter, you can remove the rubber mat and then lift it up to get to the belt. Then you can easily remove the belt.
Be sure to have some paper towels, isopropyl alcohol, soap, and Q-tips in this order. Try locating any black specks or other debris on the surfaces the belt rides on before starting. Isopropyl alcohol is a really great choice for cleaning up dust, lint, and more because it’s readily available and the switch from one cleaning method to another can cause just as much time and effort. You can use Q tips to get into small spaces and nooks that you can’t normally reach.
Next, use a little warm and slightly soapy water on a paper towel to thoroughly clean the belt. Rinse the belt well. You don’t want any soap residue interfering with its performance or even potentially rendering it unusable. Wearing a belt that is made of felt can be pretty tricky at times. Some people will use an alcohol-based cleaner on the belt to make sure it’s clean but this can sometimes cause the material to dry out earlier than it should. Regular soap and water are a better option. Make sure everything’s dry before stacking up the pieces.
How Can I Replace My Turntable Belt?
Turntable belts are made to last a long time, but they eventually break down and disintegrate. When you need to replace your turntable belt, here are a few easy steps to follow.
The parts of a record player can be complicated, so be sure to brush up on everything in our guide!
Remove the Old Turntable Belt
First, you need to remove the old turntable belt so that you can put in the new one. If anything sticky or black is left behind, wipe it up with rubbing alcohol on a clean piece of cloth or cotton swab.
Hold the old belt up to the new one and make sure they are a perfect match. If there are any signs of crumbs or debris on the old one, dispose of it so you can vacuum away anything that may impede on your new belt.
Get a New Turntable Belt
The best place to find new turntable belts is the internet, get them in audio shops or specialty stores. Make sure you know the make, model, length, and width of the original turntable belt before ordering a replacement.
As a bonus, turntable belts often come in multi-packs, store your belts out of the sunlight so they stay wrinkle-free and won’t need frequent replacement. If you tend to lose them, just buy a new one and have it on hand for when you need it.
Some manufacturers will upgrade your turntable belt for free. Make sure you get the recommended belt size for your turntable before buying one.
Open Up Your Record Player
We should open up your turntable and replace the belt now. Take off the mat and set it aside before you begin. This will give you access to the platter, which you’ll need to take off.
Take out any clips or latches before you remove the platter, and remember where they do and how they attach.
Connect the New Turntable Belt
Once the platter is off, it should be easy to identify two things; the motor that the old belt was attached to and the inside rim of the platter.
Attach one end of the new belt to the motor. It may have a pulley that it connects to. Make sure to note where and how the old turntable belt is attached when you remove it to make sure you’re hooking the new one to the right spots.
Loop the other end of the belt over in the area that it can go around without having excess so it does not get caught. Ask if the packaging is too loose or too tight – so that your platter turns evenly and your records sound correct.
If your platter doesn’t spin, try my record player to make sure that everything is correctly in place. If not, unplug your record player and double-check the overall placement of your albums and singles.
Some Tips for Better Experience
The turntable will seem a bit bumpier at first, but it only takes about an hour for the belt to break in. After that, you’ll be ready to start listening to vinyl again. It is usually more difficult for people to detect the difference in sound between the different sides of a belt; try experimenting by drawing a line with a felt pen or a dot of paint on one side before trying it on the other.
When you brush on some talc powder over your belt, it helps to remove mechanical noise. For best sound quality, the belt tension should be under a certain amount and avoid wow (too much left to right motion) and flutter (too much up-and-down motion), which are common problems with mechanical noise. Try experimenting with tension to hear what feels best.
Make sure the player is turned off and unplugged before attempting to clean the rubber turntable belt. To remove the rubber pad, pull it up and then take the platter off of the spindle. After the belt is removed, it’s much easier and safer to rinse it off because the water only comes in contact with the rubber.
It’s best to not use rubber conditioners, polishes, and other similar products on the belt in your car. You should clean up your running surface of pulleys, sub-platters, or platters with methylated Spirit on a regular basis. Black rubber deposits beginning to develop can cause drive damage and make the product less functional. Simply wipe on a dry cloth with water or methylated alcohol to keep your belt in top shape for longer.
If the belt on a turntable gets worn down or damaged, or says broken, you should be able to find the right replacement just by searching online. You can then do a quick search to make sure your part is still in production before ordering it. If you’re looking for a new pack of belt rubbers, remember that it’s not the definition of robbery to buy them from AliExpress or Amazon. Read these tips if you have the time. Have fun and we hope you get a good-as-new turntable!
FAQ for How Often Should Replacing Turntable Belt
What is a turntable belt?
A turntable belt is a circular, rubber-coated, flexible belt with a continuous loop of metal teeth on it. It is used to transfer power from the motor to the wheel.
What’s the purpose of a turntable belt?
A turntable belt helps to keep the record player moving at its correct speed. They are made from different materials, depending on their use:
- Rubber: Ideal for use in most modern turntables, they are flexible and durable.
- Plastic: These belts are very durable and can be used with any type of record player or turntable that uses a standard 3/4 inch or 1/2 inch diameter drive shaft.
How often should a turntable belt be replaced?
A turntable belt is the part of a turntable used to drive the platter. This component is usually replaced every three years or so.
The lifespan of a turntable belt will vary depending on how often it is used and how well it was maintained.
What are the signs of an old and worn-out turntable belt?
A turntable belt is a part that connects the motor to the turntable and it is usually made of rubber. The rubber degrades over time and it becomes hard and brittle.
Signs of an old and worn-out turntable belt are:
- The belt moves by itself when you start up your record player
- It slips off or doesn’t turn smoothly
- There is a clicking sound when you turn the record player.
How long does it take to replace a turntable belt?
A turntable belt is a type of rubber belt that is used in many different types of audio equipment.
It usually takes around three hours to replace one turntable belt. However, it can take longer if the machine has more than one belt to replace or if you need to do more extensive repairs.
How much does a replacement turntable belt cost?
There are two types of turntable belts – rubber and metal. Rubber belts are cheaper, but they tend to wear out faster. Metal belts are more durable, but they cost more.
A replacement turntable belt costs $30-$100 depending on the type of belt that you need.
How long does a turntable belt last?
A turntable belt lasts for about 10,000 hours of use. Most turntable belts are made from rubber, which is a natural material that is flexible and durable. Rubber can stretch and absorb the impact of the belt. However, it is important to note that rubber belts are not reusable.