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How to Replace a Turntable Belt

Dec 22,2021 | Retrolife

Despite the increasing number of options available to people to listen to music, vinyl records and turntables still attract many music lovers with their richest and warmest sound. If one day you turn on your record player but it doesn't spin, you may need to check the turntable belt, which is responsible for connecting the motor to the turntable to spin at a constant speed. Though the belt won't break, it will slip and wear. Fortunately, turntable belts are fairly easy to replace, and you can easily do this task at home alone. To keep the tunes spinning and your record player intact, you need to know when the turntable needs a new belt and how to replace it.

Determine if Your Turntable Belt Needs to be Replaced

Here are indicators that you may need a new turntable belt:

1. Turn on the record player but the turntable stops rotating. It’s a clear sign you may need a new turntable belt.

2. The sounds of records become deeper or lower-pitched. When the sound of records changes, you need to check first if it is caused by something else, such as a scratched or dirty record, but replacing the belt can really improve the quality of your listening experience.

3. You notice a change in speed, especially when the needle hits the record.

Choose the Correct Belt for Your Turntable

The turntable belt is what makes the record function, and its width, length and thickness can all have an effect on your record playback. An unsuitable belt can even prevent your turntable to operate as it should. Therefore, make sure the replacement turntable belt matches your turntable model.

Disassemble Your Record Player

1. Before replacing the turntable belt, unplug the turntable from the outlet to prevent electric shock.

2. Remove the plastic mat from the center shaft easily by pushing it off, and set aside on a clean surface.

3. Remove the metal or plastic platter that sits beneath the mat from the center shaft. 

Stretch the Belt Over the Center Hub

Carefully remove the old belt and extend the replacement belt over the center hub of the platter. Ensure the new belt fits snugly and as close to the center of the circle as possible. Also, make sure that it is smooth throughout and that there are no twisted or kinked. Unless your record player has access holes, stretch the belt onto the small peg or post that sticks up from the edge of the platter. Otherwise, line up the replacement belt with the access holes in the platter.

Hook the Belt around the Motor

Flip the platter back over and put it back on the turntable. Turn it so the access holes expose the motor. The belt will hook it, so make sure it’s aligned with the access holes and pull through to stretch over the motor spindle. If your platter doesn’t have access points, align it with the motor spindle. Then, manually rotate the platter clockwise and counterclockwise two times to hook the belt to the motor. If you can't turn it, which means the belt is too tight, then you'll have to readjust the settings as needed.

Test the New Turntable Belt

After securing the turntable belt, you will feel a consistent, light resistance, at which point you can replace the clip, mat, and plug in your record player. Start the player and watch it spin. If it doesn’t spin automatically, the belt may be too loose, and you need to recheck the attachment.