How to Replace a Needle on a Record Player

The appeal of vinyl records has recently resurged, as younger audiences have begun to enjoy the broad range of sounds that analog can produce.

Many recent vinyl releases come with a digital album code, enabling the iPod crowd to experience the album online in their headphones.

Album player needles wear out with time, though, and ultimately require replacement. Changing a record player needle mechanism is reasonably easy.   

The role of the needles  

Until we discuss how to substitute turntable needles, let’s take a minute to talk about the needle and why a record player is relevant. The needle is a vital component of a record player’s cartridge which defines the sound output of your speakers.

The needle is at the metal arm end, named the tonearm. It’s the only component that allows direct communication with the vinyl album. The needle passes through the grooves on the vinyl surface and reads the music initially graved there.

The needle is basically the part that interprets and transfers the music imprinted on the album to the magnetic cartridge, where it becomes electrical signals. The amplifiers and speakers then make certain electrical signals and give them the vibration we experience in our ears.

If the needle does not accurately read music on your albums, the electrical signals pumped into the amplifier or speakers are extremely unreliable. This results in a warped song rendition.

Now that you know a needle’s essential function in reading music on records, you can recognize the value of handling it properly and taking more caution while removing it.

Replacing the needle is a job that needs utmost caution and attention to detail to minimize the possibility of on-road problems.   

Why replace a turntable needle?

What sort of record player you have: if it’s called a turntable a photographer or something in between, you ought to take care of them and they’re known to wear. On every record player, there are generally just a few pieces to take control of:

  • You ought to look after the stylus (which is the component on the needle), typically constructed of diamond, steel, or bamboo, and known to travel on the record grooves.   
  • You must look after the cartridge, which will adapt and affect the mechanical vibrations on the record player   
  • You can search the drive belt that transforms the record itself   

Of these three, the most commonly modified component is the stylus, which is often referred to as the needle of the record player. It has to put up with a lot of pressure as it’s the one worn on record by the grooves.

Whether it chips or is scratched off it can make the album sound bad. It won’t fit properly into the album grooves and may also ruin your vinyl.   

Related post: How to Connect Record Player to Speakers

How do you know if the needle need to be changed?   

Now that you’ve learned how to fix the needle, you can wonder how much you can do this. A needle replacement isn’t anything you can perform daily or some routine care activities like washing. You can just do it when appropriate.   

Ensure you have a decent turntable because you know how to replace a needle record player, we decided to finish with some of our recommendations on choosing a better record player.

It’s understood that the better the player’s output, the less you’ll have to think about removing a record player needle.

The first thing we often suggest to first-time buyers is to choose one that’s affordably priced but also constructed of high-quality materials. Typically you can see these among brand names known in the industry as the best of the best.   

It is important if you take the time to research the right suppliers and the goods they sell.   

Anything you should do to guarantee that the needle of the record player is still in tip-top condition is to ensure that the record is set properly.

Many of the new players do it immediately so you don’t have to think about it but we suggest watching YouTube videos so you can know how to do it properly to prevent more unnecessary harm.

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