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Extending the life of your turntable belt

As I’ve written about elsewhere, the correct belt is extremely important to the correct function of your turntable. In this blog I will highlight some areas that will help you to extend the life of your belt.

  • If you are using a record weight, consider starting the turntable without the record weight in place, and then gently placing it on the spindle once the turntable is up to speed. FYI, I recommend only using the record weight with lps on the thin side, never with 180 and 200 gr lps.
  • If you play a lot of 45s, once the session is finished, return the belt to the smaller 33 RPM portion of the pulley. Just the extra time spent on that larger pulley can stretch out your belt.
  • If you use your turntable infrequently, you can remove the belt altogether and seal it in a plastic baggie. It takes less than a minute to reinstall it, and that will definitely extend the life of your belt.
  • If you live in an extremely dry home, use of a humidifier will help extend the life.
  • If your belt is slipping, not changing speeds properly, or falling off the pulley, I would clean all of the surfaces that the belt rides on with isopropyl alcohol on a paper towel. Use a separate paper towel with warm soapy water, to also clean the belt. Let everything dry for several minutes. Any little remnant of oil will wreak havoc on the function of the belt.
  • If you want to see if you can eke out a tiny bit more life from your belt, boil some water, take the pot off the stove, and drop the belt into the water for a five minutes. Obviously, let it dry thoroughly before putting it back on the turntable. Depending on how much the belt is stretched, this could get you a few more weeks or months of use.
  • If you have a spare belt, leave it in the sealed baggie and put it in your freezer. (Years from now, hopefully, you will remember what you did with it. 🙂 )