Question: My turntable is skipping on tracks, making it almost impossible to listen to the music. Is it broken?
Answer: This can sometimes happen if the tone arm is not properly weighted. You may need to make a minor adjustment to the anti-skating mechanism on the turntable, which is usually a weighted button or a spring mechanism at the rear end of the tone arm. If the problem occurs and your turntable does not have an anti-skating mechanism, you can always try to tape a small coin to the top of the pickup needle. It actually works!
Also, make sure the turntable is on a flat, non-resonant surface before playback. Do not place the turntable on a receiver or speaker. We also advise against placing the speakers on the same shelf as the turntable. Although new records are basically scratch-free, they can sometimes contain residual dust from the factory or particles from the paper sleeve that cannot be seen with the naked eye, etc. You can use a dry carbon fiber brush or an antistatic brush before playback to remove any dust or particles. This can improve performance and significantly reduce skipping.
Question: My vinyl record is playing too fast / too slow. What's wrong?
Answer: Your turntable is probably set to the wrong speed. While seasoned vinyl collectors know that most turntables have at least two speeds of 33 1/3 RPM and 45 RPM, this knowledge may not be as prevalent among less experienced vinyl fans. Most 12" and 10" vinyl records are cut at 33 1/3 RPM but not always. Certain vinyls are actually cut at 45 RPM and contain fewer songs on each side and usually several albums per set. The vinyl cover or sticker on the package usually shows if a 12" or 10" LP is cut at 45 RPM. Smaller 7" vinyls are cut at 45 RPM and usually contain one song on each side. If you play a 45 RPM vinyl at 33 1/3 RPM on your turntable, playback will sound too slow. If you play a 33 RPM vinyl at 45 RPM on your turntable, playback will sound too fast.
Some direct drive turntables also have pitch control, so you may need to adjust the pitch on your turntable. This is usually a slider on the turntable, but can also be a small button near the back or under the turntable.
Question: Will the size or weight of the vinyl affect playability or change the sound quality?
Answer: Vinyl records with higher weight are often in higher demand, because they are more robust and thus less likely to become warped. The groove size will be the same as on lighter records. Vinyl records come in three standard sizes: 12", 10" and 7". There are certain other unusual sizes and shapes, but all should be playable on most turntables.
Heavy vinyl records feel more solid, are less porous and thus psychologically more appealing to the music lover. But the quality and care put into mastering, pressing and production has most to do with the sound quality of the record rather than the weight. Record pressing plants usually have a more thorough quality control for heavier records, as they know that people who order records of 180 gr. or more are looking for an "audiophile" product.
Question: There are stains on my white / colored vinyl record, which do not come off after wiping. It seems to be a production error. What's wrong?
Answer: As with all other production processes, there will always be certain irregularities. Color variations in colored vinyl are normal and do not affect the playability of the record.
Question: The record cover leaves paper residue that gets into the record grooves. What can I do? How do I best clean the record without damaging it?
Answer: Purchase of a slightly more expensive cover of e.g. rice paper or poly-lined wraps can reduce scratching, static electricity and/or dust/particle attraction. Never store vinyl records directly in the record sleeve without an inner sleeve as this will damage the record and the record sleeve over time. With new vinyl records, there is not always a need for wet cleaning. Using a good, dry carbon fiber brush before play can help remove residual particles, dust, hair, paper, etc. that can settle on a record.
Question: There are scratches on my record. What should I do?
Answer: Minor scratches may appear on the surface of a vinyl when it is removed from or put back into the inner sleeve, which does not affect playability. If there are more noticeable scratches that affect the playability of a brand new vinyl, you should contact our customer service.
Minor and imperceptible scratches appear over time, but usually will not affect playability. When handling the record, be careful not to touch the playing surface with your hands. Do not place the vinyl record on anything other than the turntable and put it back inside the inner sleeve when you are done. If vinyl records are stored without sleeves or are stacked, the number of scratches on the vinyl surface also increase.
Question: My vinyl record is warped. What should I do?
Answer: The fragile nature of the medium, temperature fluctuations, the way and the place you store your vinyl and even the production process itself can cause distortions in the vinyl. Minor warping will usually not affect playability. However, larger distortions can affect playability. If you have bought a brand new vinyl record, which is significantly warped, you should contact our customer service. Vinyl records should always be stored vertically, never horizontally.
For some turntables, a clip or weight can be purchased that can improve the playability of a warped vinyl record by holding it close to the turntable mat during playback. This does not correct the actual warping on the vinyl, but can alleviate certain playback problems. Extreme damages can occur on the record if it is exposed to direct sunlight or temperatures for a long time. Therefore, avoid storing your records in e.g. a hot car for too long!
There are a few methods for repairing a warped vinyl record. One is to place the record between two heavy books and leave it there for several days. Another method is to place the record between two pieces of glass and place it on a hot oven for a few minutes. Allow the vinyl to cool before removing it from the glass pieces. Note: This is a suggestion only and there is no guaranteed correct method for repairing warped records. Using these or other repair methods is at your own risk and iMusic can not be made responsible for any damages that may arise in connection with attempts to repair a vinyl record.
Question: There is skipping during playback on one side, but not the other. What can I do?
Answer: If skipping occurs during playback at a specific spot, there may be dust or fragments in the record's grooves. First try cleaning the record. If the problem persists or it occurs on a brand new record, it may be due to a manufacturing defect. If necessary, contact our customer service.
Question: How should I store my vinyl collection?
Answer: You should always store your records vertically and in a cool, dry place. Incorrect storing of your vinyl collection may provoke irreparable damages on your vinyl records.