Is your Victrola record player skipping constantly? Do you want to solve the problem quickly so you can get back to spinning your beloved records?
Well, here listed are the 7 most common reasons your record player is skipping!
Table of Contents
- 1. Dust, etc.
- 2. Warping
- 3. Vibrations
- 4. Tonearm
- 5. Platter
- 6. The Stylus
- 7. Warped Platter
- Final Tones
- FAQs Victrola Record Player Skipping
1. Dust, etc.
One of the most common causes of vinyl records skipping is to do with various foreign contaminants that otherwise get up in the face of the record. Indeed, you don’t need to go hunting around the back of record players for the tracking force and such when you could just give the record a good scrub.
It is recommended that you clean your records after every playthrough as the dust and static that builds up can also have an effect on the cartridge over time. If you want to get more industrial with it, you can try the Spin Clean Record Washer or the GrooveWasher, but for now, why not stick with something a little simpler? You can find a good cleaning kit from just about any online retailer or you could even visit your local record store!
Perhaps, though, the issue that keeps your record skipping lies in the physical state of the disc rather than the foreign contaminants that are polluting it.
Though perfectly equipped to deal with a warp here and there, it is not under the remit of a record player to deal with more exaggerated warps. Such extreme examples have been known to cause some serious damage to the stylus when it tries to navigate the vinyl record grooves, especially when it has a tracking weight that is too light. In such instances, a vinyl record player will buck it like a bronco, making records skip.
You can easily fix a warped record yourself at home, though the process is a little involved. Thus, if you are a little younger than an adult, it is recommended that you do this with a willing adult. There are a few methods you can use to rectify this warping, each slowly becoming more intense, the latter of which will see you putting the record in the oven!
If you feel your record is beyond saving, then you might just have to source another copy, making sure that you don’t leave it next to a radiator or in direct sunlight next time!
Much as a warped record can buck a needle like a bronco, the reason your record skips whenever you try to play it on your Victrola could have something to do with the external vibrations going on around you.
Sometimes, these vibrations might not even feel perceptible to you, but the needle is an incredibly sensitive thing. It is, after all, taking information from the record groove as it scrapes itself along it, then sending this information forth to the cartridge. This information is then sent through the preamp, to the amplifier, and then finally to the speakers where you will hear it (as well as some of those unwanted vibrations).
A great way to negate the effect of these vibrations is by using turntable isolation feet to elevate and protect the record player from these vibrations. Such feet are usually made from shock-absorbing rubber.
Of course, the issue might actually reside with the tonearm. Like other parts of a turntable, this is a sensitive thing, one that can be set off its course very easily without the proper care and attention.
Often, the tonearm is set just a little too high. This is something that is not so easy to rectify on cheap suitcase-style record players like those by Victrola, but it is still possible:
- Push the tonearm lever down so that the tonearm and its rest are in the down position.
- Once they are in this down position, gently push the tonearm rest until it goes all the way to its seated position.
- If this doesn’t work, there may be some debris under this rest. If needs be, you can always tape a penny to the tonearm to keep the stylus on the record to avoid bouncing, though this isn’t all that great for the sanctity of your records nor for the sound quality.
Since these types of record players are designed to be compact and easy to transport around, the platters are often not big enough for the records. This usually isn’t a problem but can sometimes produce a bit of wobble because there is nothing for the outer part of the record to rest on compared with a platter that is 10 or 12 inches in diameter.
To resolve this, you can try buying heavier records, such as those that weigh 180 to 200 grams in an effort to catch prospective buyers where their wallet is. Such weights are believed to be more resistant to warping overall.
More expensive record players have options for screwing on record compressors that can help keep the record flatter during playback. This is not an option here, so you will have to:
- Make a cardboard disc and poke a hole in the middle.
- Place this disc on the platter.
- Play the record.
Such solutions will only work if the record is warped toward the outer edge during the first couple of songs.
6. The Stylus
Of course, the issue could simply be with the stylus. Indeed, for reasons aforementioned and otherwise, the stylus may have become worn down over time. This is incredibly common for suitcase-style record players whose stylus is meant to be replaced anyway. Most audiophiles will recommend that, if you absolutely must use such a cheap and unreliable record player, you should at least replace the needle with something more adept like, say, something by Audio-Technica.
Such a maneuver can not only do wonders for the sound of the record player but means that your records are being treated with some respect too. There are plenty of more affordable cartridges from Audio-Technica that align with their continuous aim to bring the best in audio equipment to the masses.
7. Warped Platter
What if, though, instead of the record being worn down, it is actually the platter itself that is being warped by the same weight? Stranger things have happened and you would be surprised how easy it is for too much pressure to get involved with a record platter, whether this pressure rears its head in terms of direct sunlight or weight itself.
This is especially common among those who decide to use the suitcase-style record player as some sort of interior decoration. Such people might, for example, be inclined to leave the record player out in their room with the lid open in a place that photographs well. If this spot is often exposed to direct sunlight, then no matter that the sun is constantly moving, the times that it is set on this platter could spell disaster, for the heat from it is surely enough to induce warping of this kind.
There is no fix for this other than to buy a new one!
So, there you have it! Hopefully, you are now feeling ready and able to face this skipping head-on.
FAQs Victrola Record Player Skipping
Why is my Victrola record player skipping?
This could be for one of any number of reasons. Often, the issue is simply caused by stray dust or static that is polluting the record, though there is a chance that the issue could be caused by other things such as a warped record or even a warped platter.
Why is my turntable suddenly skipping?
There is no single reason a turntable can skip. Try using a different record and see if the problem persists. If so, it is likely to do with the turntable more than it is to do with the record.
Why does my Victrola 6-in-1 keep skipping?
What part of the record player are you referring to? This is one of those all-in-one style record players that double as a home entertainment system, so the issue could be with any one of the additional features. You need to be more clear.
How can I improve my Victrola record player?
The first thing anyone who has bought a suitcase-style record player should do is replace the cartridge, for the good of all mankind.