Still skipping? Rotate the cartridge…

If you’re having a tough time with your records skipping, take a cue from the DJs — Rotate the cartridge slightly. If your turntable has a headshell with adjustment grooves, then you’re in luck! Follow these steps to stay in the groove… (Note: All directions are assuming that you are looking at the top of the headshell, with the stylus needle pointed away from your body)

1) Loosen the cartridge nuts slightly and gently turn the cartridge clockwise. You want to pivot the cartridge so that the left edge is fully forward (top of the groove), and the right edge is slightly back. If taken to the maximum extent of rotation possible, you would rotate the needle too much… It will distort the sound and won’t track properly. Just a little goes a long way, and you should limit the rotation to no more than 23• from the standard, straight alignment.

2) Hold the cartridge in the new position and re-tighten the screws, and assure that the cartridge is secure in the new position. You need to keep the left edge of the cartridge fully forward to maintain the correct amount of stylus overhang and weight balance.

3) Set the anti-skipping dial to Zero.

This rotation will point the cartridge toward the base of the arm, rather than being in line with the arm. Now, remember that this article assumes that you have already made the all of the basic adjustments to your deck, and you just need a little extra help. You must have already balanced the tone arm, have a level playing surface, and have a clean, working stylus. Any one of these other problems will impair your needle’s performance, and this rotation won’t really help. Skipping is bad, m’kay?



Copyright disclaimed. This figure comes from

btw, They have some great turntable manuals scanned in, some turntable protractors to print for tone arm balancing and alignment and even a DIY strobe light to confirm your deck speed. Super cool record geek stuff happening there.











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