combatting skipping (vinyl)

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Sathyan, Apr 26, 2003.

  1. Sathyan

    Sathyan Second Unit

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    What causes skipping on vinyl?

    Some of my records (and they are/will be all purchased used) appear to be somewhat warped. If I look at the edge of of the record while its playing, I can see the end of the tone arm going up and down, up and down. Will a record clamp fix this? If so, do you recommend any in particular? I'm open to DIY solutions as well. Keep in mind this is a cheap turntable* so isn't open to the parts-swapping of a Rega.



    Also, for cleaning vinyl is the anti-static record brush from TurntableBasics http://www.turntablebasics.com/cleaners.html any good?



    * here's the analog system chain:

    AudioTechnica cartridge > Sony PS-LX56 'table > Radio Shack Little Rat phono pre > Solutions interconnect > Onkyo TX-SR500 receiver using source direct > Sound King 16 ga speaker wire > KLH 900B bookshelf 3-way speakers
     
  2. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    Is there an anti-skating adjustment on the turntable? Might be misadjusted. Here's 2 thinsg that have worked for me in the past, but I only recommend them for a specific skipping problem, i.e., I wouldn't recommened leaving your turntable setup this way. One is to simply try increasing the tracking force. The other, is to slightly tilt the turntable towards the corner where the stylus drops down. (Raise the opposite corner.)

    I don't think a record clamp is going to help much, because it only operates in the middle of the record, whereas usually warpage is worse towards the outer edge, but it probably wouldn't hurt to try.

    You could also try re-setting up your cartridge too.
     
  3. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    There are numerous reasons for skipping on LP's.

    In your case, for severely warped records, you need an extremely low mass extremely free pivoting tone arm. The upslope causes the tone arm to rise and when there is a sudden downslope, the arm doesn't drop fast enough to keep the needle in the groove.

    Warped records cannot track at the proper force, the force will be much higher on the upslopes and much lower on the downslopes. You can only hope that the maximum to minimum difference is within the range that the cartridge can handle. You should tape record the music or burn the music to CD so you don't play the record very much. Record wear is very high with both too low and too high tracking force.

    Some folks have had good results reducing record warp by sandwiching the record between two sheets of plate glass each at least a quarter inch thick, and weighting it down for a few weeks.

    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  4. MannyE

    MannyE Stunt Coordinator

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    Skipping could also be because of a dirty or scratched record. Get a cleaner..

    I use the Spin Clean because it was cheap, but if you go here:

    http://www.audioasylum.com/audio/vinyl/bbs.html

    and do a search for record cleaning you will know more than you ever wanted to know about it.

    You can also search for DIY clamps, warp fixes, and all that other stuff.
     
  5. Ronn.W

    Ronn.W Second Unit

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    Along with everything else mentioned, groove wear also can cause skipping. If your record is clean, fairly straight (not warped) and you get a lot of skipping, wear and tear on the vinyl itself is probably the cause.

    If your turntable is as cheap as you say it is, I'm assuming there aren't many options in tweaking the tone arm. So, try this instead: Get a couple of nickels and put them on the top of the cartridge when you play an album that skips. The added weight will force the stylus down and hopefully prevent it from skipping so easily.
     
  6. MannyE

    MannyE Stunt Coordinator

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    Ronn,

    LOL![​IMG] Audiophiles are turning in their graves!

    It works pretty well though, I must admit. I used to do it back in high school on my Fisher tt. I had one of those Fisher combo units that had a tt on the top. I was cool.
     
  7. Ronn.W

    Ronn.W Second Unit

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    Hey, it works though! I was a radio DJ back in the late 80's when things were switching from vinyl to CD. We had a turntable w/ a bad tone arm and with all equipment funds being channelled to new 'high tech' equipment there wasn't any left to fix it or replace the table. Our audio engineer superglued 2 small lead fishing weights to the top of the cartridge and it worked like a charm [​IMG]

    So let 'em spin!
     
  8. MannyE

    MannyE Stunt Coordinator

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    It's all about the music after all!
     
  9. Sathyan

    Sathyan Second Unit

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    I tried the nickels and it slowed down the turntables rotation (not a lot of torque here) - very noticeable in the sound

    I'm going to try cleaning the records next
     
  10. Rick_Brown

    Rick_Brown Second Unit

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    Sathyan, if you can, try playing your skipping record on another turntable. If it skips there also you may just have a defective record that no amount of cleaning or adjustments will fix. If it doesn't skip, then your turntable is either extra sensitive to warps or it's set up inocrrectly (usually the tracking force is set too light).

    Incidentally, warped records is why the Shure company produces cartridges with a special brush on them that absorbs much of the warps, allowing to stylus to maintain better contact with the record surface.
     
  11. Kevin C Brown

    Kevin C Brown Producer

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    You could try less nickels, or maybe a dime or two. More than one nickels sounds like too much weight. Sounds like your motor might be having problems too. Putting a nickel or two on top of the cartridge shouldn't slow the platter down.
     
  12. Marvin

    Marvin Screenwriter

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  13. Grant B

    Grant B Producer

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    Isolating the surface from vibrations might also help. Playing thise "Disco Hits from the 70s" at 11 will knock the stylus off the records.
    I always liked B&O turntables; light tomarms that do minimal damage without a elaboate Balancing gizmo. My friend has a Yamaha that has so many adjustments I dont know where to start (so I dont)
    Neither does he; hence he mever plays his lps

    Does anyone know if acetates (sp?) are more prown to skipping?
    Another friend of mine was in a band and his stuff never was released on cd. He doesn't own a turntable and cant listen to his own stuff. I tried recording the lp to cd and it just skipped all over the place. No other record acted like it and it wasnt warped.

    Hey Kevin, how's it going. You have a lot of lps? I am down to about 500 from many many 1000s.
     
  14. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Grant, acetate records proably are more prone to skipping because the records dry rot and the grooves get rough inside as bits literally fall off. I've thrown away some 60's acetate records in the past few years that went from pristene to junk and not because of wear. BTW, I e-mailed you, oh about 10 days ago, and it didn't bounce back. Did you get it? You've had a bunch of addresses and I don't know which one is current. Best wishes! [​IMG]
     

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