Turntable or Record Player Playing Too Fast or Too Slow – Solutions

james williamson author James Williamson
  April 3rd, 2024

Is your turntable or record playing too fast or too slow? Well, this speed issue has become very common, and similar to the record skip issue, the speed issue will also not allow you to listen to your vinyl in peace.

But unlike record skip issues, fixing the turntable or record player speed is super easy.

In this article, we have shared the most common reasons that affect record player’s speed and also mentioned the solutions to fix them.

But, before jumping directly to the solutions, I recommend you first measure the speed of your turntable so that you can get an idea of whether you need to increase the speed or reduce the speed.

Now, let’s start.

Why Turntable or Record Player Playing Too Fast or Too Slow:

Here are the reasons and their possible solutions:

Reason 1: Speed Selection Switch

The dirt in the switch or the broken switch can cause the record player to play at an unexpected speed.


You need to clean the switch and remove the dirt stuck or if you find the switch broken then you need to replace it with a new one.

Mostly, this is the main culprit, and fixing this one naturally fixed the speed issues.

Reason 2: Incorrect Speed Calibration (Turntable & Record Player)


Some people have turntables and some have record players so we will share the step-by-step guide to calibrate the speed of both these devices.

And, if you don’t know the difference between a turntable and a record player then I recommend you check out this article explaining the difference between the record player and turntable.

Well, some record players come with a pitch control slider so first, I will share the steps to calibrate the speed using the pitch control slider and after that, I will share the step-by-step guide to fix the turntable speed without a pitch control slider.

With Pitch Control Slider:

If you have gone through the speed measurement article mentioned at the start of this article then you should have understood the concept of strobe disks.

Most of the time, the turntable with a pitch control slider has an inbuilt strobe so, if your turntable has an in-built strobe then you are good to go otherwise, you either need to buy a strobe disk or use the RPM measurement app.

Now, coming to the speed adjustment steps, all you need to do is select the speed you want to calibrate and play with the pitch slider while noticing the strobe dots.

Once the strobe dots seem still while the platter is spinning, leave the pitch switch there and that’s it, you are done with speed adjustment.

For more details on this, please check the video below:

Without Pitch Control Slider: 

If your record player doesn’t have a pitch control slider then you need to make some adjustments to the speed adjustment screws on the motor itself to calibrate the speed.

Depending on your unit, you can follow any method below:

Method 1: For Turntables

The speed calibration of turntables is very easy and you can do it within a few minutes. The below method will work for almost all turntable brands like Audio Technica, Sony, Fluance, Orbit, Pro-Ject, etc.

Here are the things required:

  • 2 tables or cardboard boxes of similar height
  • A small and long flat-head screwdriver

Here is the step-by-step guide:

1) Lock your tonearm with its lock and put the stylus guard on if available.

2) Now, take 2 tables of similar height and place the turntable’s left legs on one table and right legs on another, making the bottom part of the turntable accessible.

3) On the bottom of the turntable, you will find two holes marked as 45 and 33. You must have understood their roles i.e. 45 marked hole will adjust 45RPM speed while the other one will adjust 33(1/3)RPM speed.

turntable speed calibration buttons

Well, these holes are made by manufacturers through which you can reach the adjustment screws on the motor easily.

4) Turn on the turntable and put it on the speed you want to calibrate. For example: we are calibrating 33(1/3) speed.

5) Now, you can put either a strobe disk on the platter or put your mobile phone with the RPM speed measurement app opened.

6) While the turntable is spinning, take the screwdriver and put it inside the hole under the turntable which represents 33(1/3) speed. While putting the screwdriver, you will feel that there is some form so you need to push the screwdriver through the form to reach the motor’s speed calibration or adjustment screw.

turntable speed calibration with screwdriver

Increase Speed: Turn the screwdriver clockwise.
Reduce Speed: Turn the screwdriver counterclockwise.

7) While adjusting the speed, keep taking the view on the strobe disk or mobile on the platter

8) Keep making adjustments until you can tap into the correct speed.

That’s it.

Method 2: For Record Players

Here, we are using the Crosley record player as an example but this method will apply to all record players like Victrola, 1 By One, etc.

Unlike the turntable, you can’t calibrate the speed while checking it side by side because, in record player adjustment, you need to turn it off and unscrew the whole surface which makes things a little difficult.

So, I recommend you measure the speed first and according to your analytical brain, figure out the exact amount of turns on speed adjustment screws required to achieve the perfect speed.

Well, I know this is a little difficult but this is the only way.

Now, let’s get into the process:

1) Turn off the record player and unscrew the top surface

Crosley record player speed calibration

2) Now, gently turn the surface upside down while taking care of the wires and circuit.

Crosley record player motor

3) On the bottom of the motor, you will see two holes marked as H and L. The H adjusts 45RPM speed and the L adjusts 33(1/3)RPM speed.

4) Put the screwdriver in the hole. While putting the screwdriver, you will again feel that there is some form so you need to push the screwdriver through the form to reach the motor’s speed calibration or adjustment screw.

Increase Speed: Turn the screwdriver clockwise.
Reduce Speed: Turn the screwdriver counterclockwise.

5) Make the required adjustment place the surface back into its place and try checking the speed again with a strobe disk or mobile phone with an RPM monitoring app.

That’s it. You have successfully calibrated the speed of your record player.

Reason 3: Belt Issues

The worn-out belts or improperly installed belts can also cause the record player or turntable to play too fast or too slow.


Reposition the existing belt or buy a new belt compatible with your turntable model because if the belt size is too loose then either the speed of the turntable will be slow or the belt won’t hold its position on the drive shaft and similarly, if the belt size is too tight then the turntable will be playing too fast or you won’t be able to adjust the belt on the platter and drive shaft.

You can check these guides through which you can replace turntable belts or replace record player belts.

Reasons 4: Belt Residue On Drive Shaft and Platter (Belt Drive & Idler Drive Turntables):

The belt or idler wheel residue on the drive shaft and platter can also cause speed variations in your record player or turntable.

Like I always told you, everything in this world has a lifespan and so does your belt or idler wheel.

If you keep using the old belt and old Idler drive then it will start breaking apart and the broken pieces start sticking to the drive shaft or the platter which directly or indirectly affects the speed.


The solution is to clean the drive shaft and the inner edges of the platter where the belt or idler wheel comes in contact.

How to Clean The Drive Shaft (Belt & Idler Drive Turntables):

1) Turn off the turntable and remove the platter from the turntable, making the drive shaft visible

2) Remove the belt if using the belt drive turntable or remove the idler wheel if using the idler drive turntable.

3) Turn on the turntable and let the drive shaft spin

4) Use alcohol preps and soft cloth and rub the drive shaft to remove the residue/melted belt or you can take an iron file and start removing the residue built up on the drive shaft while the drive shaft is spinning. Make sure you do it carefully.

5) Keep checking the speed in between by placing the platter so that you know how much more work is left.

That’s it.

How to Clean Platter (Belt & Idler Drive Turntables):

To clean the belt residue or melted belt from the platter, you can use alcohol preps and a soft cloth to rub the residue out.

Softening of Idler Rubber Wheel (Idler Drive Turntable):

You can use a rubber rejuvenator solution to soften the idler rubber wheel.

Reasons 5: Dirt Issue


I recommend you clean the turntable and remove all the dirt regularly.

Reason 6: Lubrication Issue


Lubrication is very important which many people take very lightly. You must lubricate all the components like the tonearm mechanism, anti-skate mechanism, motor bearing, and much more to increase the life span of your turntable and its parts.

Reason 7: Motor Failure

This one is quite rare, but it could happen to anyone. A motor failure can cause it to run at an unexpected speed.

Well, if none of the solutions mentioned above have worked for you, then the motor can be the culprit.


The best solution is to get the motor checked by technicians and get it replaced if it is defective.

So, these are the reasons why your turntable or record player is either playing too fast or too slow.


This guide will help you solve the turntable or record player speed issues. If you still have any questions then you can comment below. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

james williamson
About Author: James Williamson

I have been a music enthusiast since childhood and I love talking about music bands, artists, vinyl, and music equipments. I have launched TurntableWave to help people avoid the mistakes that I had made while entering the vinyl world. In my free time, you will find me fishing or playing basketball.

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