Are you a vinyl enthusiast who has encountered the frustrating situation of turning on your record player only to find that nothing happens?
Don’t worry, it’s a common problem that can be easily fixed with a turntable belt replacement.
In this article, we’ll guide you through the signs that indicate you need a new belt and provide step-by-step instructions on how to replace it.
So, let’s get started and keep those tunes spinning on your record player!
How To Repair A Turntable Belt
Step 1: Remove the Dust Cover
The first step in repairing your turntable belt is to remove the dust cover from the turntable base. This will give you access to the belt and make it easier to work on.
Step 2: Check for Signs of Wear
Before replacing the belt, it’s important to check for signs of wear. Look for cracks, tears, or any other damage that may have occurred over time. If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to replace the belt.
Step 3: Immerse the Belt in Hot Water
To make the replacement process easier, you can immerse the rubber belt in a bucket of hot water. This will help to compress and shrink the rubber if it’s weak enough. If hot tap water fails to shrink the rubber, boiling the rubber may be a subsequent option. Allow the rubber to simmer for 5 to 10 minutes in boiling water and this will cause it to shrink due to the high intensity of the heat.
Step 4: Form the Belt into Shape
Once you’ve removed the belt from the hot water, form it into the desired shape. This will typically be an oval or the shape of your main platter and pulley. You can attempt bending the rubber before it cools if it needs to fit a certain form. Make sure the rubber has cooled sufficiently to handle, but not to the point where it is completely stiff. Gloves or tongs may be useful in this situation.
Step 5: Install the New Belt
Now that you have a new belt that’s been formed into shape, it’s time to install it onto your turntable. Follow your turntable’s instructions for installing a new belt, which typically involves placing it around the platter and pulley.
Step 6: Test Your Turntable
Once you’ve installed the new belt, test your turntable to ensure that everything is working properly. If you hear music playing, congratulations! You’ve successfully repaired your turntable belt.
Signs That You Need A Turntable Belt Replacement
If you’re experiencing any of the following issues, it’s likely time to replace your turntable belt:
1. The turntable doesn’t spin: This is the most obvious sign that your turntable belt needs replacing. If you turn on your record player and the turntable doesn’t spin, it’s time to check the belt.
2. Lower-pitched records: If you notice that your records sound lower-pitched or deeper than they should, this could be a sign that your belt is worn out.
3. Change in speed: If you notice a change in speed when the needle hits the record, this is another indication that your belt needs replacing. The speed may be slower or faster than it should be.
4. Slow start-up: If your turntable takes longer than usual to start up, this could be a sign that your belt is worn out and needs replacing.
5. Belt wear and tear: Check for cracks, tears, or other damage on the belt. If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to replace the belt.
6. Belt age: If you’ve been using the same belt for more than 3-5 years, it’s likely time to replace it. Belts can stretch and deteriorate over time due to environmental pollutants.
By keeping an eye out for these signs and regularly checking your turntable belt, you can ensure that your record player stays in top condition and produces high-quality sound. Remember to follow the instructions for installing a new belt and test your turntable once you’ve completed the replacement process.
Tools Required For Replacing A Turntable Belt
Replacing a turntable belt requires a few essential tools to ensure that the process goes smoothly. Here are the tools you’ll need:
1. Tape Measure: You’ll need a tape measure to get the length of the belt you need to replace.
2. Flat-head Screwdriver: If your turntable has a C-shaped clip, you can use a flat-head screwdriver to pry it off.
3. Hammer: In case your turntable doesn’t have a clip to resist removal, you’ll need a hammer to tap on the center shaft lightly to pull it up.
4. Strobe Disc: A strobe disc is used to check the running speed of your record player and ensure that it runs well.
5. Lint-Free Rag and Alcohol: You’ll need these items to clean your record player before and after replacing the belt.
6. A Record Player with Turntable: This is a must-have tool, as without it, you won’t be able to replace the belt.
7. Old Belt: If your turntable has an old belt, it can help you measure the exact size of the replacement belt you need.
By having these tools on hand, you’ll be able to replace your turntable belt easily and quickly, ensuring that your record player is back in working order in no time.
How To Remove The Old Turntable Belt
Before you can install a new belt onto your turntable, you must first remove the old one. Here’s how to do it:
Step 1: Access the Belt
Remove the platter from your turntable to access the belt. To do this, you’ll need to remove any clips or screws that are holding it in place. Be careful not to damage any of the components as you remove the platter.
Step 2: Remove the Old Belt
Once you have access to the belt, carefully remove it from around the platter and pulley. Be gentle as you do this, as you don’t want to damage any of the other components.
Step 3: Clean Any Residue
If there is any residue left on the platter or pulley from the old belt, use a soft cloth and some rubbing alcohol or acetone to clean it off. This will help ensure that your new belt fits properly and works smoothly.
Step 4: Install the New Belt
After removing the old belt and cleaning any residue, it’s time to install the new one. Follow the instructions provided with your turntable to ensure that you install it correctly.
Step 5: Test Your Turntable
Once you’ve installed the new belt, test your turntable to make sure everything is working properly. If you hear music playing, congratulations! You’ve successfully removed and replaced your turntable belt.
How To Measure The Size Of Your Turntable Belt
When it comes to replacing your turntable belt, it’s important to measure the size of the old belt accurately. Here are the steps to follow:
Step 1: Determine the Type of Belt
The first step in measuring your turntable belt is to determine its type. Turntables typically use either flat, square, or round belts. Knowing the type of belt you need will help you measure it accurately.
Step 2: Measure the Length
To measure the length of your turntable belt, you can use a ruler or a measuring tape. Take your existing belt and lay it flat against a ruler. Measure the length and then double the measurement to get the circumference (total length). If you don’t have the old belt, measure the circumference of the hub by turning the platter over and measuring around the inner hub. Deduct 5-10mm from this measurement to calculate the right length.
Step 3: Measure the Width or Thickness
If your turntable uses a flat belt, measure its width. If it uses a round or square belt, measure its thickness. This will help you ensure that you get the right size replacement belt.
Step 4: Contact Your Supplier
Once you have all of your measurements, contact your supplier to find a replacement belt that matches your specifications. If your turntable is not listed, send them an email with all of your measurements and they can help you find the perfect belt for your record player.
By following these steps, you can easily measure and replace your turntable belt, ensuring that your record player continues to function properly for years to come.
How To Install The New Turntable Belt
After you’ve formed your new turntable belt into shape, it’s time to install it onto your turntable. Here are the steps to follow:
Step 1: Identify the Correct Groove
Before you start, make sure you know which groove to use for your turntable’s speed. The smaller groove is for 33 RPM and the larger groove is for 45 RPM. Use your left hand to gently hold the belt in the correct pulley groove.
Step 2: Position the Belt on the Platter
With your right hand, press the belt against the side of the platter at roughly the 12 o’clock position (the back edge of the platter, closest to the dust cover). Use your right hand to rotate the platter until the belt is fully installed. As you rotate, let the belt slide between your left hand and the pulley groove.
Step 3: Avoid Pulling on the Belt or Pulley
It’s important to avoid pulling on the belt or pulley during installation. Pulling will lead to excess slack when you release the belt, which may cause it to fall off. Instead, gently guide the belt into place and let it slide into position.
Step 4: Check for Proper Alignment
Once you’ve installed the new belt, check for proper alignment. Make sure it fits snugly and is centered on the platter as much as possible. Also, ensure it’s smooth throughout without any areas where it twists or bunches up.
Step 5: Test Your Turntable
Finally, test your turntable to ensure that everything is working properly. If you hear music playing, congratulations! You’ve successfully installed your new turntable belt.
By following these steps, you’ll be able to repair and install a new turntable belt with ease. Remember to take care when handling the belt and avoid pulling or stretching it too much during installation. With a little patience and practice, you’ll be able to enjoy your vinyl collection for years to come.
Testing Your Turntable Belt And Troubleshooting Tips
After replacing your turntable belt, it’s important to test it to ensure everything is working correctly. One way to test your turntable belt is by using a strobe disc or mobile app to check the speed. If the lines or markings on the strobe disc appear stationary or the mobile app displays the correct RPM, then your turntable is running at the correct speed.
However, if you notice any issues with the speed or sound quality of your turntable, there may be other underlying problems. One common issue is a worn-out motor or belt. Signs of wear include cracks, tears, or slipping of the belt on the pulley. If you notice any of these signs, it’s time to replace the motor or belt.
Other potential issues could be related to the tonearm or cartridge. If you hear distortion or skipping during playback, it could be due to an improperly aligned tonearm or a worn-out cartridge. Make sure to properly align your tonearm and replace your cartridge as needed.
Lastly, make sure to regularly clean and maintain your turntable to prevent any future issues. Use a lint-free cloth and rubbing alcohol to clean the motor and remove any built-up dirt or dust. By following these tips and troubleshooting any potential issues, you can ensure that your turntable continues to provide high-quality sound for years to come.