F.A.Q. page What is the right needle for my turntable, model # ABC-123? Overview: If you have a super old stereo that has a ceramic or crystal cartridge, say older than the 1970's, then matching a needle by model # is 95%+ reliable. However, if you have a turntable 1970's or newer with a magnetic cartridge, then searching for a needle by just the model # becomes only about 70% accurate. OK Here's the problem. Most folks would naturally expect that all they have to do is provide or search for the needle they require by simply having the model # of the turntable. However cross referencing the needle you want by model # alone should only be a guide along your path to proper needle selection for the following reasons: A) Sometimes a manufacturer changed the cartridge/needle combo 'mid production' without changing the model #. B) Sometimes a turntable was sold without a cartridge at all thus forcing/allowing the customer to choose one at time of purchase. So the original customer could have chosen almost anything. C) Sometimes someone changes the cartridge/needle combo sometime after the turntable/phonograph was originally purchased, and installs almost anything. So any of the above conditions will destroy the effectiveness of a model to needle cross reference. So here's the top secret inside scoop to get the right needle the 1st time. While selecting your needle by model often yields a correct cross reference we highly recommend you probe deeper to avoid having to exchange your incorrect needle, here's how. A) Look for any markings/numbers on the cartridge or needle and do a search by that #. B) Do a visual match to one of the needles on our site. C) Email us a CLEAR CLOSE-UP picture of your old needle; preferable at a couple different angles. D) Snail mail us your old needle and or cartridge and we will match it for you. How do I install my belt? visit http://www.turntablebelts.com/install.htm Do you have the little lead wires that connect the cartridge to the head shell? We only have those as part of a head shell assembly. $17.95 look under the ACCESSORIES heading at https://www.turntablebelts.com/orderform.htm Will you be improving the website soon? YES! we are working hard behind the scenes to provide an all new easy to use website with the best cross reference tool and positive needle ID verification before ordering. Check back in early 2004
What is the difference between a needle and a stylus? Nothing. Manufacturers have long since used the two words interchangeably. It includes the tip, pin thingy (cantilever), and plastic housing which allows it to click or snap into the front/bottom of the cartridge (which is the box like thingy at the end of the tone arm). Do I need to replace the whole cartridge? In almost all cases, NO. Unless your cartridge looks like its been run over by a steam roller its virtually guaranteed to still be good. We only recommend replacing it if: A) It's 'impossible' to find the right needle. (In which case a more popular cartridge with a more easily replaced needle will serve you better) B) You want to do a substantial upgrade (for sound improvement) or a substantial downgrade to save money on a replacement needle. My turntable turns slow, what gives? Usually the belt needs to be replaced. Sometimes there is dried lubricant at the center spindle that binds and increases resistance on the rotation of the platter. See http://www.turntableneedles.com/install.htm for detailed instructions about how to remove the platter. My turntable turns fast, what gives? Sometime a belt that's too w-i-d-e will 'ride up' on the brass pulley spindle of the main drive motor. You will need a narrower belt. My motor is bad? Motors almost NEVER go bad. See above two answers for other more likely causes. Also check voltage going to motor (if you're qualified) If motor doesn't turn freely when turntable is UN-plugged then motor may need lubrication. I have bad or distorted sound out of ONE CHANNEL only, other channel is good.several possibilities:
How do I adjust tracking pressure and anti skate?
If you are lucky enough to have these two adjustments here's how:
Move tracking force counter weight till needle suspends/hovers above
record. then rotate numbers to zero. (this is zero grams pressure on record)
then rotate weight AND numbers to recommended tracking pressure for your needle
usually 1.5 to 3 grams is average.
Then rotate anti skate to be equal. That should get you there. If you still
have adjustment related distortion then it may be time for a new needle.
NOTE: Anti skate is adjusted side to side pressure WITHIN GROOVE of record.
Tracking pressure is how hard the needle is pushing down inside the
What is the difference between spherical, conical, elliptical
Spherical and conical are the same. They are basically a round tip.
This is the standard type tip shape. Elliptical is an elongated tip
kinda like a football. This type is a significant upgrade from the
conical type. It has a much more efficient contact with the groove
of the record. Other names like FineLine, Aliptical, Stereohedron,
Hyperelliptical, Hyperbolic, Biradial are are generally even better
than elliptical tips.