Victrola Record Player Won’t Spin? The Answer Will Surprise You!

What to do when your Victrola record player won’t spin? The answer to that can be found right below! Together we will make your precious Victrola spin again.
by Helen Appling | Updated: September 24, 2020

Vinyl records are back in fashion again as their sales hit the highest they’d achieved since 1991. Thanks to that, the popularity of record players is renewed too. Among the myriad of manufacturers, Victrola is no doubt one of the best with the brand for over a century delivering high-quality record players.

If you own a Victrola for yourself then you are in for a top-notch experience. However, what would you do if one day, your precious Victrola record player won’t spin? Please don’t panic, because we have come to the rescue!

In this post, we will answer your burning question of “What to do when a Victrola record player won’t spin?”. So without wasting more time, let’s find out!

What Should You Do When The Victrola Record Player Won’t Spin?

Before going into detail, why don’t we break down all the basic parts of a Victrola record player?

A Victrola record player contains six major components, and you need to remember their names. The very first part of a Victrola record player is a turntable, where you place the vinyl record. It will then spin the record at a precise and consistent speed.

Victrola Record Player Won’t Spin

The reason why your Victrola won’t spin most likely comes from this part.

The next part is the tonearm, which holds two other parts the cartridge and the stylus. When the stylus runs in the grooves of the vinyl, it creates vibrations. Those vibrations are then transmitted to the cartridge and translated into audio signals.

After that, the signals need an output, which is the job of the preamplifiers and amplifiers. They help amplify weak signals to be transferred to the speakers.

Now that you get the basics, we will go into detail.

Step 1: Check The Power

Before assuming the worst-case scenario, you should check to ensure that the problem isn’t caused by the lack of power input. Who knows if you forgot to plug your Victrola record player into the socket?

After making sure that the record player has been plugged in properly but still, you can’t turn it on, check to see whether electricity is getting to your motor.

It might be because of the wall outlet or the player’s power cord. For the first issue, simply plug your Victrola elsewhere. If it’s due to the power cord, however, then you need to replace it.

Victrola Record Player power

Step 2: Check The Tonearm

Now, for this troubleshoot, checking whether your record player’s tonearm has been reset is required.

The reason behind this is surprisingly simple. All Victrola models are manual, which means you need to lift the tonearm from the resting position and lower it on the record yourself.

Another thing is that on a manual record player, the tonearm needs to be ‘reset’ before playing a new disc. To do so, just lift the tonearm and push it further to the right-hand side (past its resting place) until you hear the clicking sound. It indicates that your record player has been reset.

Once completed, your Victrola will start spinning again.

Step 3: Check The Turntable

Now that you have moved the first two possibilities out of the way, let’s jump into the third one.

As we’ve mentioned above, the reason why your Victrola won’t spin most likely comes from the turntable, since its motor system controls the rotation of the platter. There are two main types of systems that we will introduce to you to understand the root of the problem.

Belt-Drive Turntable

As the name suggests, belt drive turntables have a drive belt and a motor mechanism running underneath the platter. The electrical motor is set off-center and attached to the drive belt that spins the platter.

Not surprisingly, audiophiles prefer belt-drive record players as the belt absorbs the motor’s vibrations and allows the turntable to spin more smoothly and quietly. It guarantees a higher sound quality.

Belt-drive turntable

The belt should be taut to rotate the turntable platter. But you can’t rule out the possibility that it has become loose and worn out over time.

If that’s the case, you need to retighten the belt. To do so, remove the platter to access the motor then reposition the belt around the center of the platter. You can also use this opportunity to clean the motor with rubbing alcohol.

However, once the belt is broken, a new one is needed. Before purchasing a new belt, check your record player model’s recommended belt in the user manual or measure your old belt’s width, length, and thickness to find the right replacement online.

Direct Drive Turntable

A direct-drive turntable has the motor that sits directly under the plate without being connected through intermediary gears. Unlike its counterpart, direct-drive players can start spinning at the selected speed almost immediately. Meanwhile, belt drive players need a few seconds to get to the full speed.

Direct-drive turntable

While direct drive turntables can quickly start and offer more consistent speeds, the high torque motor sitting right under the platter can adversely affect the sound quality. This is because the motor's vibration can be picked up by the stylus and inadvertently create background noises.

There are many reasons why direct drive players are not spinning. Unfortunately, it is challenging to precisely diagnose and fix when it comes to direct drive record players. The problems could stem from the internal mechanism of the motor.

While it’s not impossible to fix those by yourself, the tricky part is identifying what parts of the motor need to be replaced and finding the replacement parts. Therefore, we will show you some quick solutions before resorting to the help of professionals.

  • Check the internal fuse to make sure there is no power loss due to power leads disconnected.
  • Clean dirt, fluff, or hair off the motor.
  • Oil the motor components
  • Check if the turntable platter is jammed
  • Make sure that the speed controls are clean

Tips To Use A Record Player 

Knowing some useful tips on using record players will assist you a lot along the way.

Firstly, while using your record player, make sure to place it on a flat surface. This allows your turntable to operate smoothly and quietly, and the possibility of the record being skipped and scratched will be significantly limited.

Don't worry, if you ever made a mistake, you could always fix it even if your vinyl is warped.

Also, if your player is connecting to any kind of speakers, make sure to keep those two away from each other to avoid the stylus picking up sounds from the speakers and cause feedback.

Moreover, you are recommended to regularly maintain the record player (don’t just wait until it stops functioning properly to do so!). You can use a simple cloth towel to clean up the outside casing, while for the stylus and the motor system, some rubbing alcohol and a paintbrush will do the trick.

Finally, if you can’t find a replacement belt for your belt drive turntable just yet, you can turn to rubber bands or dental floss. But remember, these are just temporary measures.

FAQs About Victrola Record Player 

How do I set the speed on my Victrola record player?

You can check the middle of the vinyl record as it will have a detailed inscription about the speed required to match the disc’s needs. All Victrola models have a 3-speed turntable. While a 12-inch record plays at 33 1/3 RPM, a 7-inch record plays at 45 RPM and a 10-inch record plays at 78 RPM

What is a Victrola Modern Record Player?

Unlike old analog vinyl record players that can ONLY play vinyl,  modern record players designed by Victrola can be used to listen to CDs, cassettes besides your vinyl record collection. You can even use the record player to play digital music by connecting with a Bluetooth enabled device or powered speaker.

Conclusion 

We guarantee that once you have familiarized yourself with the Victrola record player, you are in for a whole new world of high-quality sound. Nothing better captures all the nuances of music than a vinyl record, and owning a Victrola record player is the best way to enjoy this amazing form of entertainment.

Thank you for sticking with us to the end of this journey. We hope our answer to the question “What to do when Victrola record player won’t spin” has satisfied you. See you next time!

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