How to Replace a Turntable Needle

How to Replace a Turntable Needle. Whether you’re a professional DJ or simply
a vinyl enthusiast, knowing how to install a fresh needle will help protect your music. You will need A replacement needle A steady
hand A replacement cartridge A screwdriver A pair of needle-nose pliers Tweezers and
a stylus force gauge. Step 1. Examine your turntable and determine if your
head shell or cartridge carrier—that is, the arm that holds the needle cartridge—is
removable. If so, take it off. If you’ve never replaced your needle before,
you might want to replace the needle cartridge as well. Step 2. Determine the make and model of your turntable
and needle cartridge (which may or may not have its own number). Find the appropriate replacement parts by
taking this information to an electronics store or using it to order online. Step 3. If you’re replacing just the needle, remove
the old one by pulling it out by hand. If it’s difficult to remove, use needle-nose
pliers. Step 4. Read the instructions for the new needle. If it came with none, simply insert it into
the cartridge by holding the top of the needle and very gently easing it in. Step 5. If you’re replacing your entire cartridge,
the new one should come with instructions. If it doesn’t, simply use a small screwdriver
and pliers to remove the old cartridge from your cartridge carrier or head shell. Step 6. Remove the needle from your new cartridge
before installing it by gently pulling it out with your fingers. Make sure your hands are clean and free of
oil. Step 7. Install your new cartridge using the screws
and nuts provided. Don’t fasten the nuts securely at this point—you
want a bit of room to make adjustments. Step 8. Use needle-nose pliers or tweezers to slide
the head shell wires over the pins on the cartridge. The wires should be different colors, and
should match the colors of the pins—red to red, blue to blue. Be careful when attaching the wires! If you strip the wires, or pull them out entirely,
you’ll have to take your turntable to a repair shop! Step 9. Insert the needle back into the cartridge
by holding the top of the needle and very gently easing it in. Step 10. If you removed the head shell or cartridge
carrier, reinstall it at this time. Step 11. Next, align the needle. If your turntable came with an overhang gauge,
align the needle tip with the markings on the gauge. If it came with a paper protractor, follow
the instructions, which usually involve aligning the needle and cartridge marks on the protractor. If your cartridge doesn’t have square sides,
align the cantilever–the tiny metal shaft that holds the needle–with the guideline
underneath it. Step 12. Once you’ve achieved proper alignment, tighten
the nuts securing your cartridge to the cartridge carrier. Do not over-tighten them, or you could crack
or distort the cartridge. Step 13. Begin to set the tracking force. First, set your table’s anti-skating dial–usually
a small knob next to the arm–to zero. Place the cueing lever in the down position. Adjust the counterweight on the arm so that
your arm is parallel with the platter of your turntable. Step 14. If your turntable has a built-in tracking
force scale, adjust the dial to the appropriate tracking force. Refer to your owner’s manual for the appropriate
tracking force for your turntable. Step 15. If your turntable doesn’t have a built-in
scale, you’ll need to use a stylus force gauge to measure and set your turntable’s
tracking force. The stylus force gauge will have instructions
on proper use. Step 16. Set the anti-skating knob to the same setting
as your tracking force. Step 17. If your tone arm has provisions for setting
the arm height and azimuth, do so. Arm height should be set so that the arm is
parallel to the platter’s surface when a record is playing. Azimuth should be set so that your needle
is perpendicular to the record. Not all turntables have arm height or azimuth
settings, so if yours doesn’t, don’t worry about it. Step 18. Load up your favorite record, sit back, and
enjoy the smooth sound from your new needle! Did you know The most expensive turntable
in the world is the Continuum Caliburn, which costs $90,000–fully loaded, it’s $112,000!

68 Replies to “How to Replace a Turntable Needle”

  1. Step 10 and 11 are backwards, if you're using the overhang gauge.
    Also, if you're using an alignment protractor, you need to set the tracking force BEFORE you set the stylus down on the protractor. Failure to do this, might result in a damaged cantilever!! Readjust the tracking force again, after you align the cartridge.

    She missed a step on the tracking force, by the way. If you are using the numbered scale on the turntable, you MUST zero balance the arm first!!

  2. i'm pretty sure i didn't need to try to remove the needle cartridge holder on my sony pslx250h… was having some trouble trying to get the stylus out, so i went to this video… i should've just tryed to pull the stylus a little harder… now i need to use that graph paper to try to align the needle and i have no idea how. nothing like that came with my record player.

  3. you dont apply that much force with removal/replacing syluses on a cartridge, they are fragile things, you need to apply very little force in order to slip it out- (let the cantelleiver slip itself out)

  4. Hmmm…this unfortunately doesn't help me at all. I've got an old Panasonic RD 7673 I'm trying to repair with a new needle.

  5. What do you do if your turntable has none of this? Mine doesn't have a cartridge and it just has the little needle that doesn't even touch the vinyl. What should I do?

  6. All turntables have cartridges. Without one you don't have sound. What I think is you have a turntable with one of those ceramic cartridges. If that's the case this isn't how you would change the needle. You most likely would replace the whole cartridge.

    It's hard for me to say without actually seeing your turntable. Could you post a video of it?

  7. Ehhhh, this video is a bit misleading. Yes, this is how you change the stylus (needle) for MOST Moving Magnet cartridges. However, this is NOT how to change the needle on most ceramic cartridges, which is what a lot of new turntables have. Also, if someone attempts to follow this advice with a Moving Coil cartridge they'll destroy it as the stylus has to be changed at the factory.

  8. It is NOT called a "needle cartridge," it is called a "cartridge." The needle is otherwise known as the stylus. It is important for people to know this because if they follow your directions they'll never find what they're looking for on ebay.

  9. One last thing.. Damn, I could rant all night about this video but I am going to hold back..

    In case you ever do strip the wires off of the back of the headshell, you most likely don't have to take it to a repair shop. With most headshells you just pop the wire back on where it popped off.. Couldn't be simpler. There are some headshells that could be destroyed if those wires get pulled off, but usually it isn't a big deal. You just have to know where each wire goes. Message me if you need help

  10. Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't new needles supposed to be broken in for like 20 hours or something before sound can be produced accurately again (treble, bass, etc)?

  11. I live in a small city and replacement stylus is difficult to find because they said there's no longer demand for it. Those who live in larger cities don't have such problem. But thanks to technology, we can now order online 🙂

  12. I changed the cartridge first.. and then went on to watch this. hmm.. Maybe I did'nt alligne it right with Jupiter and Uranus, but there is a satisfying sound coming from my speakers as we speak. I'm a music lover for christ's sake, not an engineer!!

  13. Step: 347 — say 'f#@k it!' and take your hipster-ass to amazon's mp3 store and simply re-buy the album there…

  14. This is for replacing a cartridge and/or needle. If you just want to replace the needle, you can stop at step 4.

  15. Wow, those where the days. I seem to remember spending double for my new stylus than what I spent for the turntable back in the late 70's. 

  16. Ok so I really hope I'll get an answer. I have a JVC AL-E31 turntable. It's from my dad and has been on the attic for a long time. Now the needle is completely gone but the 'thing' that holds it (which is orange yellow) is still there. I'm not talking about the cartridge. Cause when I searched for a replacement needle the orange part was attached to it. But I can't take it out. In the video was said that you can ease it out. But even when I use force the thing will not come. Does this mean I can't replace my needle? And is my turntable now useless?? Hope to get an answer soon. Thanks in advance.


  18. 2016 turntable update: the Continuum Caliburn is the 5th most expensive turntable. Now the most expensive is the Goldmund's Reference II, which costs $300,000.

  19. Thanks safe me money
    i will be doing some operation
    on some of my old cartridges
    and needles.
    keep vinly alive
    buy vinly
    steal mp3.

  20. Are needles interchangeable? My dad has an old magnavox big thing built in radio needs a new needle it doesn't have one. Any idea where to find one for it anyone?



    New Online Vinyl Records Shop. Pure Analog Vinyl Records from analogue master tapes. 180g. 200g. Virgin Audiophile Vinyl.

  22. yeah, most of the turntable I see are from the 50-60's they are configured a bit different. How bout a video on the giant cabinet style record players, you know the type that have a 16 rpm setting and sometimes a flippable needle for 33 to 78 rpm. they never seem yo have headshells.

  23. One of the things I got for Christmas was a crate of random vinyls and a record player (haven't actually examined it yet) but it either doesn't have a needle or doesn't work. Need to see what I need to do. Will update.

  24. I love how all the stuff says Stanton then the person who's in the video has real turn tables that newark mixers pretty weak for a pair of technics 12s. $1,000 a turn table then a couple hundred mixer at best…. Well at least its not a Stanton.

  25. Best Price: Audio Technica Cartridge / Stylus /:

  26. Replacing the cartridge isn't necessary, unless you are a vinyl snob. Besides, I don't think paying $65-$100 is worth it! You should definitely replace the stylus every few months, its not nearly as hard. Don't get discouraged, people!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *