How Long Does a Turntable Belt Last
When you have a record player or a turntable that has direct drive, which is the way many new ones are made today, you never have to worry about replacing a belt. Direct drive means the motor is located underneath the record platter and it rotates it all by itself.
Belt driven platters have the motor offset and there is usually a belt made from rubber which is wrapped around a spindle and works like a pulley system turning the platter. It’s a big difference.
Unless you are a DJ in a professional capacity, a direct drive turntable might not be your best option. Direct drive allows you to change speed and mix music easily using two turntables at once.
For the average person, listening to their vinyl records at home is their main objective and not the fancy finger work and mixing that a DJ might need. A belt-driven turntable will allow you to perhaps hear all of the nuances of your vinyl with less distortion.
How Do I Know If My Turntable Belt Is Bad?
As most of us know, products made from rubber are great, but over time they can become dry, brittle, cracked, and eventually break down altogether. This can be the case with turntable belts made from rubber.
There is one sign that you can definitely look out for if your turntable belt is going bad. It may begin to slip a little or the sound can become pitchy. This can be heard because the platter speed may have become unstable by a belt going bad.
Another signal that your belt may be bad is a sluggish start up or if the platter seems to run too fast. The belt system has been designed with a specific belt thickness and tension in mind. A belt that is worn will develop a reduced resistance and the platter speed will increase.
How to Clean A Turntable Belt?
Once you begin to hear a slight pitchy sound when playing your vinyl records, your speeds are not changing correctly, start up is slow and sluggish, or your belt is falling off of the pulley, it may not necessarily need replacing just yet. It could just need a little cleaning.
When attempting to clean your rubber turntable belt, make sure the player is off and unplugged from any electricity. After that, in order to get to the belt to clean it, you must first remove the rubber mat from the platter, then lift the platter off of the spindle. Then you can easily and carefully remove the belt.
You will need paper towels, isopropyl alcohol, soapy water and some Q tips. You should locate any black specks or other debris on the surfaces that the belt rides on, mainly the pulley. Use the isopropyl alcohol on a paper towel to clean the easiest to get to debris first. Then you can use the Q tips and get into any nooks and crannies.
Next use a little warm and slightly soapy water on a paper towel to thoroughly clean the belt. Make sure it is rinsed well so there is no soap residue left on the belt. Although some may use the isopropyl alcohol to clean their belt, this might cause the felt to dry out more easily, so soapy water is considered best. Make sure everything you cleaned is completely dry before you reassemble the belt and platter.
How Often Should You Change a Turntable Belt?
The frequency with which you change out your turntable belt has a few varying factors. If you use your turntable almost every day for at least a couple of hours, then you are much more likely to need to change your belt more often. A typical turntable belt can last anywhere from 3 to 5 years or even longer.
If you are someone that only uses your turntable every once in a while, then you may get the longest amount of use from a belt. One of the best ideas it to simply look at your belt about every six months to a year if you use the turntable a lot. If you use it less often, then check the belt once a year or so.
When checking your belt, hold it up to a light and see if it looks shiny or glossy. See if there are any tiny cracks in the rubber. These can be signs that you need to go ahead and replace the belt with a new one. Replacing a bad belt early on will ensure you will get the best sound from your vinyls. If the belt looks good, simply put it back.
What Size Turntable Belt Do I Need?
Turntable belts come in many different sizes. You might think you must take your turntable to a repair shop in order to make sure you get the right size, but that’s really not necessary. There is a fairly simple measuring method you can use. It’s easy to purchase a new belt from a local store that sells them or you can easily order the correct size online.
You will need to first remove your old belt from underneath the platter. The platter is easy to remove. Remove the old belt. You can not just simply measure the total length of an old belt because when they are well worn, they have more than likely stretched out. A turntable belt must fit snugly around the pulley parts in order for the turntable to spin correctly.
Next, you will need a non-stretchable string long enough to go around all parts of the pulley. Follow the same path on the pulley that the belt was on. Start by placing the string at one point of the pulley system. You can secure the end with a piece of tape.
Then wrap the string around the pulley path and meet the other end of the string where you started. Use a marker to mark the end of the string. Once you have marked the length on the string you can remove it and measure it.
What you will end up needing is a belt that is 3-5% shorter than your string measurement. This will ensure the correct belt tension when you play your vinyls. You also need to notice whether your belt is flat, square or round and how thick it is.
How Tight Should a Turntable Belt Be?
How tight or loose your turntable belt is matters a lot. You must have the right amount of tension on the belt to ensure the vinyls will sound correctly when played. A loose belt can cause slippage. A belt that is too tight can put too much tension on pulley parts.
The belt must be tight enough so that it holds on the inner hub with minimal stretching. You can deduct 5-10mm from the circumference to calculate the right length. In other words, if you have the correct belt size you will not need more than 5-10% stretch to get the belt around the pulley system.
If you followed the step above about determining what size turntable belt you need, then the belt should go around the pulley parts smoothly with just a slight bit of stretching.
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Sony PS-LX300USB Drive Belt Replacement
Lift the rubber mat, and put it to the side. It should be easy to remove, because it simply rests on a metal platter without anything securing it down.
Turn the platter so that the motor pulley can be seen through one of the two outer holes in the platter.
If the drive belt is hooked around the motor pulley, unhook it.
When reassembling to device, don't forget to hook the new drive belt to the motor pulley.
Grasping the platter by its two inner holes, lift it upwards.
Removing the platter may take a small amount of force. If the pulley is unhooked and the tone arm is safely to the side, don’t fear using a small amount of force in lifting the platter.
If you haven’t yet unhooked the drive belt, the motor pulley and the belt could sustain damage.
Peel the drive belt from the inner ridge of the metal platter and put it to the side.
Sometimes, the drive belt can fall off the platter during deconstruction. If this is the case, simply take it out of the device wherever it is.
Belts - Turntable
Free Belt Matching Service
For your convenience, LP Gear offers a free belt matching service. If your turntable is not listed, all you need to do is send us via e-mail your existing belt's type (flat, round or square), measurements specifically its length and width, and present working condition (e.g., stretched but still working or no longer working).
To measure your existing belt's dimensions, follow the procedures below.
If you have the turntable belt:
- State the type of belt used (Flat, Square, Round).
- Pinch both ends of the belt.
- Measure its length.
- Multiply the length by two (2x).
- If the turntable uses a Flat belt, measure its width (usually 0.187").
- If the turntable uses a Round or Square belt, measure its thickness.
- Please include the make and model of the turntable with the belt's measurements.
If you do NOT have the turntable belt or it is shredded:
- State the type of belt that the turntable uses (Flat, Round or Square).
- Use a piece of string to tightly follow the belt's path.
- Measure the length of the string.
- Measure the width between the rims of the motor pulley that the belt can pass through (usually 0.250 inch).
- Please include the make and model of the turntable with the belt's measurements.
You may of course send your belt to us for reference. Please do this only if your belt is not shredded. We'll do our best to find a replacement for you.
Depending on the model, turntables operate with different motor types. The belt-driven system is the most standard one. It rotates the platter on the turntable. The advantage of the turntable belt is that it dampens vibration from the motor and reduces unwanted noise.
Replacing a turntable belt
There's a small price to pay if you opt for a belt-driven system and its unique sound quality, and that's maintenance. Indeed, turntable belts are prone to wear and must be replaced regularly. Belt manufacturers even recommend replacing the belt before it is actually worn. Therefore, it's important to check the belt's service life and replace it as recommended. Service life depends on several factors, in particular on the material the belt is made of. According to the resilience of the materials, a turntable belt can be used for several hundred hours and dampen a significant amount of vibration. Browse our large selection of belts on www.maplatine.com to find one that is compatible with your turntable. We also offer various price ranges to help you find the best option for your needs.
A selection of high-quality belts for your turntable
www.maplatine.com presents you with the latest belt ranges. Our detailed data sheets, complete with all the product details, will quickly help you find the turntable belt you need. Our offer covers standard to high end models, so you'll find the ideal belt for your budget and quality requirements. Our selection of belts for leading turntable brands includes models that are compatible with most record players. Depending on the turntable belt brand and model you opt for, you'll benefit from products with great technical qualities. These features obtained from innovative materials will allow you to significantly improve the sound transmission and reproduction of your turntable. You might actually get a better sound quality with one of our replacement belts (e.g. Rega's high-performance belt) than with the original belt.
Replacement turntable belt
Turntable Basics is happy to offer a complete selection of replacement belts and idler wheels for your old turntable. As belts age and wear, they dry out, stretch and lose tension,causing slippage and speed irregularities in your turntable. Long-term storage can also cause flat spots in idler wheels, resulting in audible bumps. These replacement belts are new, individually sealed for long shelf life and made in the USA. To find the correct belt model for your turntable, scroll down to the name of your table's manufacturer and click on the link.
Belts for cassette, reel-to-reel, 8-track and other tape recorders, film projectors, etc are also available. Please send email and specify which model you own and we will check our database.
Turntable Belt Replacement: How to Do That like A Pro
While the current market is overwhelmed by a wide range of the technological advancements, turntables and vinyl are still favorite, attracting the attention of many lovers of the richest and warmest sounds.
And one day, you discover there is something’s wrong with your model when turning it on. For example, it doesn’t spin as what it should be.
The problem may come from turntable belt. Check it first. A belt is responsible for connecting the motor to the turntable to spin the model at a constant speed.
It doesn’t snap but can slip off and wear down.
However, don’t worry turntable belt replacement is possible even easy. You can complete this task effortless on your end at home alone.
How to Replace A Turntable Belt?
What You Need to Prepare to Complete This Task?
Any tasks need tools to perform from difficult like how to make record player to simple like this – turntable belt replacement.
Below is the list of essential items to complete the task. Obviously, depending on each specific case the following can change a little.
However, if you follow my guide, it’s better to prepare all
A record player with turntable: This is a must-have. Without it, why do you need to read my guide?
Old belt: Many models have this part, but some others don’t come with one. An old belt will help you measure exacter to buy a new belt.
Tape measure: This is the tool support to measure the length of the belt
Flat-head screwdriver: If your model comes with a small C-shaped clip, you need a flat-head screwdriver to pry it off.
A hammer: It is used for opposite case – a design without a clip to resist removal. A hammer will help you tap on the center shaft to pull it up lightly.
A strobe disc: It is used to check the running speed.
A lint-free rag and alcohol: The combination of these things create a mixture to clean your record player
Turntable Belt Replacement
Step 1: Check your Model
Via DjD-567 – Flickr.com
Check to determine whether or not you should change a new belt. The easiest way to know is that you turn on the model, but it doesn’t spin. Besides, there are other indicators as follows:
The sounds of your record become deeper or lower-pitched.
When the needle hits your record, pay attention to the change of speed which doesn’t run as usual.
Step 2: Buy a Proper Belt for your Turntable
On the market, there is a variety of belts with the different sizes.
Therefore, you have to determine how width, length, and thickness your turntable needs before going to the shop or clicking the “buy button” on the website.
How to get exact numbers is to measure your old belt. When it comes to length, you have to subtract 5-10 mm in anticipation of being stretched.
In case your model doesn’t have old belt, you can apply an alternative like measuring the circumference of the platter’s hub.
The length of your new belt is that number subtracts 5-10mm. Remember that this is important because it influences the way your record plays.
For the first time, you had better choose a belt which is same to your old one.
In case you want to buy on the Internet, you can look for one in Turntable Belts, Turntable Basics or Needle Doctors.
Step 3: Unplug The Power Source From your Record Player
Although it rarely happens the electronic accidents when changing the belt, you must be careful. Only one potential electrical shock can damage the motor even you.
Step 4: Remove The Plastic Mat and Platter
The plastic mat is a surface where your record will sit on. Usually, you can remove it from the center shaft easily by pushing off. Set it aside and start the next step.
The platter is a plastic or metal circle installed under the plastic mat, and you must remove it also.
Usually, it comes with 2 access ports and small holes which allow you to see the motor of the player through the platter. You have to remove it away from the center shaft.
However, don’t worry. No matter what way it is attached, you can do that easily and quickly:
If it is attached to a small C-shaped clip, a flat-head screwdriver will pry it off.
In case the platter is designed without a clip to resist removal, let you use a hammer to tap on the center shaft lightly for pushing it up. Keep in mind to turn it upside down on a flat surface.
Step 5: Stretch The Belt Over The Center Hub
Everything’s ok if it fits onto the circle snugly. That means placing the belt in the circle’s center as long as it’s straight without being twisted or kinked.
Note: If your belt comes with a ribbon, it should be lined up with an access hole in the platter, creating the convenience when pushing the belt into the player’s motor.
In case the platter doesn’t have any access hole, let you stretch the belt onto the small post or peg instead.
To deal with a solid platter, there is a little peg that is near to the platter edge.
Once the belt is in the circle of the center, let you stretch it onto the post as long as it appears as a round-bottomed triangle.
Related: How To Clean A Record Needle Properly
Step 6: Put the Platter Back on The Turntable
Before anything else, you have to flip the platter to return it to the turntable without replacing the C-clip.
When turning the platter, you need to make sure all access holes expose the record player’s motor which is a small metal shaft in the turntable’s corner.
The belt will hook it to turn the turntable whilst the motor is also turning. To reach in and touch the motor, let you line up one of the access holes.
In case there is not even an access port, on the platter, you have to align the post on its button with the motor spindle.
Put the platter down, after that spin about 3 – 4 full rotations: 2 clockwise and 2 counter-clockwise ones for hooking the belt up to the motor.
Grab and hook the belt around the motor by pushing it through the access hole and stretching over the motor spindle.
Moreover, the small cap on the top will keep the belt from slipping off. Thus, you must make sure that the belt is pulled over that and rest on the motor.
Step 7: Test by Spinning The Turntable in Both Directions
The belt must meet the standard of the consistent, light resistance. Although the fact is the platter can’t spin forever, it doesn’t jerk or stop immediately.
If it happens, perhaps the belt kinks or twists. Your task is to re-attach the belt. In the event of your smooth belt, the replacement of C-clip and mat may be useful.
Usually, there is only a problem of how to tighten a record player belt that is you attach the belt to the motor wrongly, too tightly or loosely.
It’s straightforward to know. If you can’t operate the model manually, that’s too tight. On the contrary, if it can’t spin with the motor that means your belt is too loose.
You should invest in a “strobe disc” which will help you check your record player’s running speed.
If you haven’t cleaned it for a long time, the high opportunity that there is a big buildup of dust and dirt in the motor.
This is an excellent time to clean. You just need to apply a little alcohol on a lint-free rag then wipe down.
In case you don’t know how to determine the sizes of the belt, just bring the turntable to the local audio shop, staff will help you measure.
After replacing the turntable belt, you have to keep it away from sunlight directly because it can end up damage
The Final Thought
Hope my article is an informative source of knowledge for your turntable belt replacement.
During the performing process, if there is any problem, don’t hesitate to leave a question or suggestion in the comment section below. I will help you solve as many problems as possible.
Remember that each step mentioned above is significant. Thus, I advise you shouldn’t skip anything.
That’s good for you. Check your model to determine whether or not this task is essential (don’t create a waste of money and time).
Buying a suitable belt can influence how your model works. Besides, protecting yourself away from damage by unplugging the power source from the record player is extremely necessary.
Finally, you just need to remove some parts to put the belt then let all in the original positions.
Now, it’s time to enjoy (test) its amazing sounds
William Cramer, the founder of Fire Inside Music, started to learn music in 2012 with a piano. He has continued to level-up his playing skills and wanted to share his journey and knowledge with other beginners. He launched Fire Inside Music in 2017 to make playing music more approachable for everyone looking to master a musical instrument.
Recommended ReadingSours: https://fireinsidemusic.com/turntable-belt-replacement/
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