How to Replace a Needle on a Turntable for playing Vinyl

Learn how to replace a turntable needle/Stylus:
Learn how to replace a turntable needle:

The needle, also known as the stylus, is a vital part of the turntable. The role of the component is to read the data from the record to play music. It is connected with the tonearm, and it can move automatically or manually. The needles are constructed with the hardest material diamond to perform accurately for a long time. But they still got damaged with times and required changes often to play the turntable decently.


Changing the old needle and installing a new one in your turntable is not that hard. You can easily do it if you know the procedure. Today I will tell you how to replace the needle of the turntable.



The Easiest Way to Replace a Turntable Needle

There are multiple ways to replace the old needle of your turntable. Today we will discuss the most straightforward way of doing it. You will need the following tool for doing so:

  1. A new needle. You will find it in the shops which sell musical components.

  2. A pair of needle-nose pliers or tweezer.

  3. Stylus force gauge to set the tracking force of the turntable.

  4. A screwdriver.


Now follow the below steps:


Unplug from all electrical sources

Start with turning off the turntable. Disconnect it from all the electrical sources. It will be easier if it has a built-in phono stage or turntable preamp. If it connected with preamp, then all you need to is disconnecting the phono preamp input. If the turntable doesn't use the phono input, then you will need to disconnect all the electrical sources manually specially from turntable receiver which is connected with speaker and phono input. This step is essential as leaving the sources connected may give you an electrical shock. Sometimes, it can also defect the turntable.


Take out the old Needle

Different turntable uses different methods to attach the needle with the tonearm. The process will become easier for if the needle is attached with a detachable head-shell or carrier. If so then you will be able to quickly bring out the needle from the tonearm within a moment by screwing.


At first, get rid of the lock which holds the tonearm in its exact position so that you can grasp the old needle. Then hold the tonearm with your hand carefully and pull out the needle gently. Doing this just by your hand is a little hard. So you may consider using the needle nose pliers for wriggle and detach the needle from the cartridge easily.   


Attach the new Needle

Now put the old needle away and bring the new needle in. Clean the area first where you will put the needle by using a compress cleaner. Now insert the new needle in the same position as the cartridge. Make sure that you have bought the same type of needle for the purpose. You may require hardening the screws by using the screwdriver. Complete the whole process with proper concentration to stay away from any hassle.  


Set the tracking force

The next thing you require to do is set up the tracking force. It will be effortless if the turntable has a built-in tracking force scale. However, if not, don't worry. You can buy the stylus force gauge externally for this process. Usually, it comes with an instruction manual to use the tool precisely. Measure the tracking force using the device and then fixed the anti-skating knob similar to the tracking force.



The best way to check efficiency is playing a record after making the changes. Listen carefully to the music its producing to make sure whether the new needle is working correctly or not. If you find any popping, snapping, or skipping sound then alter the counterweight to bring change in the tone.


A turntable can drop performance because of various reasons. So make sure that it's the needle causing the problem before you finally decide to change it.


Guest Blogging by Walter