If you're a Pioneer DJ PLX-500 owner, you may have run into the frustration of your turntable skipping during playback. This can be a major problem, especially if you're in the middle of a mix. Thankfully, there are a few potential causes of skipping on the Pioneer DJ PLX-500, and in this blog post, we'll explore some of the most common ones. We'll also provide some practical tips for fixing the issue.
8 Possible Reasons for Pioneer DJ PLX-500 Skipping:
- The record is warped or damaged.
- The stylus is dirty or damaged.
- The tonearm is not properly balanced.
- The tonearm is not tracking at the proper weight.
- The platter is not level.
- The cueing lever is engaged.
- The turntable is not properly grounded.
- Loose RCA Cables
How to Fix Pioneer DJ PLX-500 Skipping Issues
Below I have broken down each of the issues above and provided some potential solutions.
1. The record is warped or damaged.
Warped records are the most common cause of skipping and is caused by the record being bent or bowed. This can happen if the record is stored improperly or if it was dropped.
There are a few ways to fix a warped record. It can often be fixed by simply placing the record on a flat surface and applying pressure to the edges.
If the warping is severe, you may need to purchase a record clamp or weight to keep the record flat on the platter.
Damaged records can often be fixed by gently sanding down the damaged area with fine-grit sandpaper. I know this might sound crazy, but hear me out:
- With clean hands gently sand down the damaged area with fine-grit sandpaper. I recommend using 1200 grit sandpaper for best results.
- Next, under a strong light, carefully inspect the playing surface for any remaining scratches.
- If you find any, gently sand them away until they are no longer visible or palpable.
- Finally, wash the record again to remove any debris from the sanding process.
2. The stylus is dirty or damaged.
A dirty or damaged stylus will cause skipping because the needle is not able to make proper contact with the record grooves. This can be caused by dust, dirt, or even fingerprints on the needle.
The best way to clean your stylus is with a soft, dry cloth. Gently wipe the needle from front to back and avoid touching the tip.
If the stylus is damaged, however, it will need to be replaced. I highly recommend buying a pack of 4 Ruby Record Player Needles, so you have some in reserve just in case.
3. The tonearm is not properly balanced.
If the tonearm is not balanced, the needle will skip when it reaches the end of the record. This can be caused by the counterweight being set too high or low.
1. To begin the process of balancing your cue, start by lifting the cue lever to the up position. Alternatively, you can make sure that the stylus protector is on the cartridge.
2. Next, rotate the counterweight clockwise until it is in the complete forward position. Keep in mind that this is also the maximum amount of pressure that can be applied to the cartridge.
3. Once the counterweight is in the forward position, there should be a feeling of weight and resistance when the head shell is raised and lowered. If this is the case, begin rotating the counterweight counter-clockwise (away from the pivot point) until the weight and resistance feeling is gone.
If done properly, the tone arm will pivot with very little resistance back and forth, indicating that there is exactly 0 grams of stylus pressure.
4. With the counterweight now positioned further away from tonearm pivot point, grasp the scale ring of the counterweight and rotate it until the “0” line on the scale ring aligns with the index mark on the tonearm. The tonearm is now balanced for playback!
4. The tonearm is not tracking at the proper weight.
Sometimes the tonearm will skip because it is not tracking at the proper weight. This can be caused by the tonearm being too light or too heavy.
Check the Pioneer DJ PLX-500 owner's manual to see what the proper tracking force should be for your cartridge, and then adjust the tonearm accordingly.
5. The platter is not level.
If the platter is not level, the record will skip because it is not spinning evenly. This can be caused by the feet being uneven or by the platter itself is warped.
First, check to make sure that the feet are all level. If they are not, adjust them until they are.
Next, check the platter itself to see if it is warped. If it is, you will need to replace it.
6. The cueing lever is engaged.
The cueing lever is used to cue up tracks on a turntable. When the cueing lever is engaged, it locks the tonearm in place, preventing it from moving. This can cause the needle to skip over the grooves on the record, causing the music to skip.
To fix this problem, simply disengage the cueing lever before playing a record.
7. The turntable is not properly grounded.
The Pioneer DJ PLX-500 is skipping because it is not properly grounded.
Skipping can also be caused by the turntable being improperly grounded. If your turntable is not properly grounded, you may experience a "hum" or other interference in the audio signal.
To fix this, simply check that the ground wire from the turntable is securely connected to a grounding point, such as a metal pipe or the bare metal of a component shelf.
8. Loose RCA Cable
The RCA cables are responsible for carrying the audio signal from your record player to your speakers, so if they become loose, the signal can become interrupted.
How To Fix It:
To fix this problem, simply check that your RCA cables are securely connected at both ends and tighten them if necessary. You may also want to try replacing the RCA cables altogether with high-quality gold-plated RCA cables to see if that makes a difference.