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How to Find and Replace a Record Player Needle

Owning a record player means occasionally having to replace broken bits and pieces, as most of these devices left the factory floor many years ago. Needles easily wear down over time and can do serious damage to your records if you continue to use them in this condition. If you own a Garrard, chances are you will need a very specific needle to suit the model of your turntable. These record players were popular from the 1940's through to the 1970's with production ceasing in 1979, and there are a number of replacement parts still on the market. There are different types of Stylus and cartridges out there compatible to the different models of record player, and once you find the right fit you'll be able to install it yourself. 

What Styles of Needles Are There?

When you're looking for a specific stylus or cartridge for your Garrard record player, it's usually easier to check the code name of the part. This code should match up with your turntable so that the stylus fits perfectly but there are other features you'll need to consider. Needles within the cartridge predominantly use either sapphire or diamond tips, and here are a few categories they come in:

  • DS: Diamond and sapphire tip on the stylus. 
  • SS: A double sapphire tip on the needle.
  • DD: There are two diamond tips in this type.

How Do You Fit the Replacement?

Once you have the correct replacement for your Garrard, it's relatively easy to fit it for yourself, but you'll need to familiarize yourself with the cartridge, stylus, and turntable drive before you begin. These are the steps to take in order to attach the new turntable needle to the record player.

  • Remove the lock that holds down the tone arm and pull out the worn needle from it gently. Put the old needle to the side so that you don't confuse them.
  • Clean the space in the arm where you removed the needle with compressed air and place the new one into the cartridge opening.
  • Test the sound by playing a record and listen for scratching or popping sounds which indicate that the tonearm needs adjusting. If you're still unable to get a clear sound, take the record player to a professional for assistance.

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