Record skips on my turntable but not on others

the thin end of the wedge
conoroconnell
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Record skips on my turntable but not on others

Post by conoroconnell » 10 Dec 2019 17:03

Hi all, not sure if this is the right section to post this but it may well have a lot to do with the cartridge.
I recently purchased a used LP described as playing flawlessly with no skips or jumps. However, when I received it and gave it a spin, one one track in particular it became unlistenable with skips. The seller is adamant that it plays extremely well on his setup which I fully believe, so what on earth could be the problem here? Don't give a hoot about the record as it wasn't expensive, but just concerned that there is some sort of error in my setup. I'm also noticing a great deal of surface noise on most of my records, which are newly cleaned by the way. My cartridge is a VM95E which is new, could misalignment etc be the problem? I also think the azimuth is less than perfect but don't want going too far down the technical route as I'm not an audiophile, just want to listen to some records with decent quality.
Hope someone can help. My turntable is an Audio Technica LP-3, bought a year ago.

By the way, almost none of my other records skip, apart from maybe one/two small jumps the very odd time- most of the time a rub with a microfiber cloth sorts this out.

I'm new to vinyl and honestly getting quite irked about the whole thing at the minute

Bob Dillon
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Re: Record skips on my turntable but not on others

Post by Bob Dillon » 10 Dec 2019 18:00

Add more tracking weight.

conoroconnell
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Re: Record skips on my turntable but not on others

Post by conoroconnell » 10 Dec 2019 18:18

Bob Dillon wrote:
10 Dec 2019 18:00
Add more tracking weight.
Tried it, doesn't work. Went up as far as 2.2 grams and still the same. (Reccommended 2.0g).

conoroconnell
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Re: Record skips on my turntable but not on others

Post by conoroconnell » 10 Dec 2019 18:30

Got up the courage to play the rest of the LP and my God, what a cringefest. Didn't know records could actually skip this much, needle jumping all over the place. I cannot fathom how on Earth this record apparently plays skip- free for the seller.

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Re: Record skips on my turntable but not on others

Post by plyscds » 10 Dec 2019 19:10

1st: How are you setting your tracking force (wt.)? If you are using a counterweight on the rear of the tonearm they can often be wrong. Some sort of tracking force scale, either balance or electronic, is lots more accurate.

2nd: What condition is your stylus in? Clean and spotless? No lingering hair or lint balls? You're sure no nocturnal rodents have chewed the diamond stylus off? ( :wink: ) A soft soft-haired brush usually helps with the hair/lint buildup problem.

3rd: What condition is your record in? Under strong light can you see any groove defects? Does it skip at the same place(s)? Sometimes if a specific place skips because of an upper groove blockage (i.e. stylus previously dragged across groves) massaging that place with a toothpick along the groove, not across, can clear the upper groove obstruction.

4th: If your turntable has a built in lever-activated tonearm lift function with a curved lifting surface near the front of the pivot point, make sure this lifter is not touching the bottom of the tonearm when the record is playing. There may be, depending on the turntable, in it's manual, an adjustment to raise or lower this lifter depending on which is needed.
Last edited by plyscds on 10 Dec 2019 19:12, edited 1 time in total.

conoroconnell
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Re: Record skips on my turntable but not on others

Post by conoroconnell » 10 Dec 2019 19:25

plyscds wrote:
10 Dec 2019 19:10
1st: How are you setting your tracking force (wt.)? If you are using a counterweight on the rear of the tonearm they can often be wrong. Some sort of tracking force scale, either balance or electronic, is lots more accurate.

2nd: What condition is your stylus in? Clean and spotless? No lingering hair or lint balls? You're sure no nocturnal rodents have chewed the diamond stylus off? ( :wink: ) A soft soft-haired brush usually helps with the hair/lint buildup problem.

3rd: What condition is your record in? Under strong light can you see any groove defects? Does it skip at the same place(s)? Sometimes if a specific place skips because of an upper groove blockage (i.e. stylus previously dragged across groves) massaging that place with a toothpick along the groove, not across, can clear the upper groove obstruction.

4th: If your turntable has a built in lever-activated tonearm lift function with a curved lifting surface near the front of the pivot point, make sure this lifter is not touching the bottom of the tonearm when the record is playing. There may be, depending on the turntable, in it's manual, an adjustment to raise or lower this lifter depending on which is needed.
Hi there, many thanks for your reply.
1. Tracking force is set with counterweight. I'm afraid I don't have one of those scales but I mean it's ballpark, and a record shouldn't skip this much just because TF is set with the weight and not a scale.
2. Stylus is for the most part clean- I always wipe it with a watercolour brush after a side is finished playing. Blu Tack is also often used to clean it.
3. Record does have a good few marks etc under light. I don't really know what a groove defect looks like. Yes it skips on the same songs, as far as I know at the same points.
4. No the lifter is not touching the tonearm.

I'm just annoyed that it seems to play well on another tt, if not I would have no problem dismissing it as a bad record and wouldn't even have made this thread
Last edited by conoroconnell on 10 Dec 2019 19:33, edited 1 time in total.

Bob Dillon
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Re: Record skips on my turntable but not on others

Post by Bob Dillon » 10 Dec 2019 19:32

Setting VTF using the markings on the tonearm counterweight itself is BOGUS. A scale is very cheap and will get you in the ballpark.

Even one of these - https://www.amazon.com/Neoteck-Digital- ... 281&sr=8-3

It gives a dead accurate readout of the weight of a modern U.S. coin, so it should be alright for your purpose.
Last edited by Bob Dillon on 10 Dec 2019 19:36, edited 1 time in total.

conoroconnell
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Re: Record skips on my turntable but not on others

Post by conoroconnell » 10 Dec 2019 19:35

Bob Dillon wrote:
10 Dec 2019 19:32
Setting VTF using the markings on the tonearm counterweight itself is BOGUS. A scale is very cheap and will get you in the ballpark.
Forgive me for my stupidity but would a normal scale work for this? I collect coins and have a digital scale that measures in decimals of grams for this purpose, but that's probably no good.

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Re: Record skips on my turntable but not on others

Post by Bob Dillon » 10 Dec 2019 19:38

conoroconnell wrote:
10 Dec 2019 19:35
Bob Dillon wrote:
10 Dec 2019 19:32
Setting VTF using the markings on the tonearm counterweight itself is BOGUS. A scale is very cheap and will get you in the ballpark.
Forgive me for my stupidity but would a normal scale work for this? I collect coins and have a digital scale that measures in decimals of grams for this purpose, but that's probably no good.
If you can set the stylus on it, it may work.

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Re: Record skips on my turntable but not on others

Post by conoroconnell » 10 Dec 2019 19:52

Bob Dillon wrote:
10 Dec 2019 19:38
conoroconnell wrote:
10 Dec 2019 19:35
Bob Dillon wrote:
10 Dec 2019 19:32
Setting VTF using the markings on the tonearm counterweight itself is BOGUS. A scale is very cheap and will get you in the ballpark.
Forgive me for my stupidity but would a normal scale work for this? I collect coins and have a digital scale that measures in decimals of grams for this purpose, but that's probably no good.
If you can set the stylus on it, it may work.
Just tried it, and it's bang on. It's given me a bit of faith in my setup anyway. The tracking weight that is, the lp still skips like crazy lol

conoroconnell
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Re: Record skips on my turntable but not on others

Post by conoroconnell » 10 Dec 2019 20:52

Just hope it's not the kind of record that is causing problems for the stylus; ie it is a very layered electronic album with strong beats (Speak and Spell by Depeche Mode if anyone is interested). That may be a stupid thing to say but I honestly cant see any other reason. I have to say I haven't been boiled over with the VM95E so far.

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Re: Record skips on my turntable but not on others

Post by bhuston » 10 Dec 2019 20:55

Know anybody locally with a TT? Take the record over there and play it. Then you can see if you were lied to or it is your setup. You might be chasing the wrong skunk.

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Re: Record skips on my turntable but not on others

Post by conoroconnell » 10 Dec 2019 21:08

bhuston wrote:
10 Dec 2019 20:55
Know anybody locally with a TT? Take the record over there and play it. Then you can see if you were lied to or it is your setup. You might be chasing the wrong skunk.
Could very well have been lied to, but this seller always mentions if records have skips- a record the exact same as my one was being sold by him as well which he advertised as having a small micro skip on one track. Also told me he played this one through. I have one of those cheap £99 turntables, will try it on that just for laughs and will update.

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Re: Record skips on my turntable but not on others

Post by conoroconnell » 10 Dec 2019 21:15

Tried it on a cheap turntable I got last Christmas and the reassuring thing is it skipped right in the same places. I think it's simply just a dud for the bin. Seller refunded me in full and allowed me to keep the record so all's good. Funny thing is I can see no obvious scratches or anything in the places it's skipping.

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Re: Record skips on my turntable but not on others

Post by Boltman92124 » 10 Dec 2019 22:56

conoroconnell wrote:
10 Dec 2019 18:30
Got up the courage to play the rest of the LP and my God, what a cringefest. Didn't know records could actually skip this much, needle jumping all over the place. I cannot fathom how on Earth this record apparently plays skip- free for the seller.
Without getting into your cartridge set-up, there are tons of used LP's that don't play as advertised from all sources on the web. It is buyer beware for sure. If you are buying from a website like ebay or Discogs, I suggest the minimum rating should be Mint Minus. I've had pretty bad luck with VG or VG+. If it's a title I really want bad, I filter it for "mint" on Discogs. Meaning sealed and unplayed. Those are the gems compared to re-issues with poor sonics.

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