Skating/Bottoming Out? I've been playing with this for a few days now since I received it. I've tried a few different records and no matter what I do this thing seems to skate ( esp on the first track ). I've played with the tracking force ( setting it at 3.5 as instructed ) and the anti-skate to match the 3.5 setting. The stylus and tone arm seem too far down on the record to me, I believe its could possibly even be bumping against the record, causing the skips.
I also made sure I didnt put the counterweight on backwards like some other reviews stated.
Any ideas? I thought it may be the tonearm height that needs adj but it says in the manual that the included cartridge height setting is "0" ( which is waht its set at out of the box ).
One part of the setup instructions baffles me. "While gently holding the headshell, carefully rotate the counterweight until the tonearm is horizontally balanced and hovers freely just above the platter without touching the platter surface."
No matter how much I turn or don't turn the counterweight the headshell and stylus would instantly drop onto the platter if I were to let go of the headshell. To think it would hover above the platter seems unlikely to me as its always heavy no matter what I do.
Am I missing something here? I really wan tto like this thing as its my first turntable and probably user error on my part but I cant deal with this skipping and skating.
Thanks for the tip. I had the counterweight screwed in too far. Eventhough I followed the instructions, it never really says exactly how far to screw in the counterweight. I took it off completely and started over. Now it plays perfectly. Thanks for your help.
My guess is that you're doing something wrong with the counterweight. Before you play any more records, I would ensure that you have everything set correctly, otherwise you may damage the vinyl on them.
A few tips without knowing all of your details: make sure that the counterweight is moving along the arm when you spin it. If you're only pushing it, you're doing it wrong. Push it until it kind of pops in, and then spin the silver portion. The whole process is kind of like an old-fashioned scale - you have to keep making adjustments until it's perfect.
1) make sure the stylus and cartridge are securely installed. If you can jiggle the playhead at all, it's not screwed tightly enough into the tone arm socket.
2) Rotate the counterweight, clockwise, until the tone arm floats or hovers instead of dropping or resting in its cradle, or flying off of it. This is your zero setting, so when you reach it, rotate the black, numbered dial on the counterweight to "zero", like setting a compass. They are two different parts which you can rotate together or one-at-a-time; the counterweight itself should not turn when you zero the number dial.
3) 3.5 grams is near the middle of the recommended pressure range. Once you have zeroed your counterweight correctly, rotate the counterweight and numbered dial together, counter-clockwise, till it reads 3.5. If you still have skating/skipping issues after that, first make sure everything is on a level surface. Then, try adjusting the counterweight. It depends on the quality of vinyl--sometimes added pressure keeps the needle centered in the groove, and in some cases a little less pressure will do the trick. Generally you'll want to stay between 1.5 and 5 grams.
I found with this model, once you've got the tone-arm pressure right, the anti-skate setting is pretty irrelevant. For the most part you can just keep it at the 4 (middle) setting.