Maintaining your turntable requires a few things like cleaning, belt changing, and needle replacement.
In this article, I’ll focus more on the needle replacement aspect on the AT-LP60 turntable. At first glance, it seemed like a simple thing that didn’t require instructions.
It was a simple thing, but I broke two brand new needles because of my stubbornness I simply didn’t want to look for instructions. So in this how to Change needle on Audio Technica AT-LP60 guide, I’ll show you how to safely change the needle without breaking it or damaging the tonearm.
What’s Audio Technica AT-LP60?
Audio Technica LP 60 of AT-LP60 is a belt-driven automatic turntable that plays any type of vinyl record you play on it.
The word ‘belt-drive’ means that the spinning platter rotates by means of a belt connected to two spindles. While automatic means that the tonearm automatically moves to land on the record once you hit that start button.
AT-LP60 is one of the simplest turntables around. It doesn’t have too many sophisticated functions as it focuses on one purpose only, playing music consistently well.
The turntable delivers as promised. It provides a sturdy build and s high-quality audio output that I couldn’t find with turntables that cost twice as much.
Audio Technica’s production was discontinued in 2009 when its older sibling, the LP120, came into existence. However, many people still use the LP60 and are more than happy with it.
However, much like any turntable, you’ll need to change the needle or the stylus from time to time. Audio Technica recommends doing that once every 400 hours, which is approximately once every 6 months.
The time frame could be more or less depending on how much you use your AT-LP60. Nevertheless, if you want a quick guide on how to change that needle, then you’re in the right place.
How to Change Needle on Audio Technica AT-LP60?
For convenience, I’ll use the standard ATN3600L needle, the manufacturer’s stylus.
To Change the Needle on the Audio Technica AT-LP60, follow these steps:
1. Fetch You New Needle
The first thing you’ll notice upon purchasing and unboxing the new needle is that it’s covered with a plastic cover.
You’ll have to remove that cover eventually to expose the needle, but for now, I recommend keeping it there to keep the needle safe as you insert it.
2. Support the Tonearm
The next step is to support the tonearm in place. You should do this to avoid damaging or snapping your tonearm, as changing the needle will apply some considerable pressure to it.
Use your non-dominant hand to hold the tonearm tightly in its designated space.
3. Remove the Old Needle
The box-shaped needle housing should have two small ledges on each side toward the bottom. With your dominant hand, push downward and outward until the needle comes out of place.
At this point, have a look at the needle and its insertion notch within the tonearm. You’ll notice the small inclined release that required that downward and outward movement. You’ll need to reverse that movement when placing the new needle.
4. Place the New Needle
Hold the new needle with your dominant hand and tilt its front-facing side down a little. Then, insert it in an upward and backward movement.
You should hear a snap that indicates that the needle has fallen into the right place. Next, give the needle a little nudge to ensure it’s secure in place, and remove both of your hands.
5. Remove the Plastic Cover
If you’re to use the Audio Technica right now, remove that plastic cover and start jamming immediately. To do that, simply grab it in a horizontal direction away from the needle.
If you won’t use the turntable now, I recommend keeping the plastic cover in place. A little extra dust protection until usage never harms anyone.
Watch this video to quickly recap the whole process and bridge the gap between imagination and reality.
How to Care for the Needle on Audio Technica AT-LP60?
You’ve installed that new needle, and things are back to normal. However, you should know that reaching those advertised 400 hours doesn’t come without caring for your needle.
Here’s how to take care of the needle and get the most out of those 400 hours:
Users also read: How To Replace Needle On Crosley Record Player?
1. Keep the Needle Clean
A clean needle isn’t only essential for high sound quality but also for getting that longevity of the needle’s lifespan.
Many tutorials out there ask you to use sophisticated equipment and cleaners. While they’re not wrong, I prefer simplicity.
All you need to do is get a clean, soft sponge. Then, place the sponge under the needle and dip the needle inside it a few times.
If you haven’t cleaned your needle for a while, you’d be surprised how much dirt would cover the sponge.
2. Clean Record Before Using Them
A clean needle isn’t the only longevity step. You’ll also need to clean each vinyl you use before playing it. That way, you’ll keep both the record and the needle from scratching each other.
To clean your records, you’ll need a dry carbon fiber brush with soft bristles.
Just land the brush on the vinyl as it spins and slowly move the brush toward the center. Don’t apply too much pressure to avoid damaging the rotation mechanism.
Must read: How Do Vinyl Records Play Music?
3. Avoid Landing the Needle on the Platter
Landing the tonearm on the rubber or metal platter is a common mistake among turntable users. This is especially common with automatic tonearms.
When you press the play button, the tonearm will land on the vinyl (or where it is supposed to be), whether it’s there or not.
Most turntable users have ruined a perfectly fine needle by accidentally letting it grind against the metal platter.
If you do catch your needle running on the platter, I recommend not using it for your records anymore. Not only will you lose sound quality, but you’ll damage the vinyl.