What ever method you use to clean your needle be carefull! - its the most delicate part of your equipment and can easily be damaged by excessive force.
With a little care you can keep your stylus clean and working at optimum performance.
We offer a range of needle cleaning products including:
STYLUS CLEANING FLUID
Also handy to keep next to your turntable is a soft brush or air blower to get rid of those annoying bits of fluff that seem to accumulate.
It also goes without saying that cleaner records = cleaner stylus. If your disc surfaces are kept free of debris then there will be nothing to collect on the needle!
The usage instructions for our stylus cleaning and other products can be found here.
CARTRIDGE SETUP & ADJUSTMENT
Ensure your equipment is correctly setup, adjust your tonearm / weights / tracking as per manufacturers instructions. Your tonearm and platter should be perfectly level - we supply a kit which includes a bubble level and carbon fibre brush here
Balancing a Tonearm
A good general guide to this can be found here (link)
Below is a general guide to balancing a Technics SL 1200 DJ Turntable, your model of deck will almost certainly differ but the general principles are the same.
1) Mount your cartridge with the screws supplied so it is parallel to the sides of the headshell.
2) An auxiliary weight may be necessary between the cartridge and headshell in a DJ application. If you cannot achieve the recommended tracking force, then this weight is what will be needed.
3) Install the headshell/cartridge into the front of the tonearm, Turning the locking collar will hold the shell in place.
4) With the tonearm locked in place, put the anti-skate dial on zero.
Turn the weight until you feel it click into place.
5) Unlock the tonearm from the rest, and move it toward the middle, about one inch from the edge of the platter. Hold the arm off the surface with your right hand on the fingerlift. Begin turning the counterweight one way or the other, until the arm seems to just float.
6) When properly floating it will stay parallel with the platter. It may take a few tries to get this correct. Lock the tonearm back on it's rest.
7) Holding the rear, silver, section of the counterweight with one hand, use your other hand to turn just the number ring. It doesn't matter which direction you turn it, but you will want "0" to face up when you are done.
8) Turn the counterweight (silver part) COUNTERCLOCKWISE until the recommended tracking force is achieved. New cartridges will tell what the ideal number is. As a rule of thumb most standard cartridges track between 1 and 2 grams, while most DJ cartridges track between 3 and 5 grams.
9) Set the anti-skate dial to coincide with the tracking force. In other words, if the tracking force is 2 grams, set the anti-skate dial to "2". The exception is for DJ's who scratch and back-cue. Your anti-skate must be left on "0"
If your cartridge design has a cover then do use it when the record player is not in use.
For DJs make sure you pick a cartridge that can withstand more abuse - You might be interested in our guide to popular needle & cart designs here
Remember to check and re-balance your tonearm periodically especially every time the deck is moved.
NEEDLES NEED CLEANING! - Please have a look at our stylus cleaner products