RECORD CHANGER FAQ

Frequently asked questions about record changers

People have asked me various questions about record changers. Here are the answers:

  1. Q: Don't record changers harm records?

    A: The earliest ones did:

  2. Q: I thought that the grooves rubbing together damaged records. Does this happen?

    A: There are several parts to this answer:

  3. Q: What about dropping records from the spindle? Does that cause damage?

    A: It is not a good idea to drop certain records from the spindle:

  4. Q: How does a record changer separate the records? Does it grip the other records with something? And doesn't that hurt the records?

    A: Two ways to separate records are found on modern drop changers:

    Very early changers used large knives to separate records by slicing between them at the rims. These break records, and should never be used.

  5. Q: Doesn't the trip mechanism exert an objectionable force on the arm?

    A: Older changers did, but newer changers do not:

  6. Q: How does the record changer know when the record is over?

    A: The velocity trip used on most modern changers detects the increase in the speed of the arm when the stylus enters the runout groove.

    Other methods have been used:

  7. Q: Why does my record changer sometimes put the arm in the wrong place?

    A: This is usually a result of using it wrong. Here are some examples:

  8. Q: How does the record changer know where to put the arm?

    A: RECORD CHANGER SIZE SENSING is a page that explains it all.

  9. Q: How does the record changer know when the stack of records is over?

    A: Several methods are used:

  10. Q: Can it hurt the record changer to touch the arm while it is moving?

    A: It depends on the changer design.

  11. Q: I want to play a record manually, but the spindle is not removable. How can I get the record down to the turntable?

    A: There are two ways:

  12. Q: I don't have the instructions. How can I tell if the used changer I bought takes intermixed record sizes?

    A: Look for the following:

  13. Q: Can some changers really take different speeds mixed in the same stack?

    A: Yes. These use the fact that most 33s are 12" or 10", while most 45s are 7". Examples:

  14. Q: Why is tracking force measured in grams, when the gram is not a unit of force? The gram is a unit of mass.

    A: Blame the Germans:

  15. Q: Why does the arm on my changer swing out an inch beyond the rest post during the change cycle?

    A: Changers with slide cams do this:

  16. Q: Why does the arm on my changer swing in and out multiple times during a change cycle?

    A: Many changers use the tip of the arm to feel the record size. They do this:

    A: Miracord and TrioTrack changers use the arm to feel the record size in a different way:

    A: Some Dual and Luxor changers use wheels in the tip of the arm to feel the record size:

    Note that some Philco changers momentarily swing the arm in when it first rises. This is an unintended artifact of the method used to raise the arm.

  17. Q: Why does my changer have control positions for only a few combinations of size and speed on the knob?

    A: The manufacturer made it as cheaply as possible, by providing for only the most popular record types.

  18. Q: Why does my changer turn the speed control to 45 after playing a stack of 33 rpm records?

    A: You have a Webcor Magic Mind changer that intermixes record speeds. If you load larger records, it will change back to 33 during play.

  19. Q: Why does my changer fail to trip at the end of some records?

    A: There might be something wrong with it. But the following record defects can cause a normally operating record changer to fail to trip at the end.

  20. Q: Why does my changer sometimes trip before the end of some records?

    A: There might be something wrong with it. But the following record defects can cause a normally operating record changer to trip too soon.

  21. Q: Why do some records fail to drop on my changer?

    A: There might be something wrong with it. But the following record defects can cause a normally operating record changer to fail to drop certain records.

  22. Q: Why do some records drop two at a time on my changer?

    A: There might be something wrong with it. But the following record defects can cause a normally operating record changer to drop some records two at a time.

  23. Q: My neighbor uses Audiotex Record Repeaters to repeat his records in the stack. Why don't they work on my changer?

    A: The changer must use certain methods to detect records for the repeating discs to work. They will not work with the following kinds of record changers.