How Long Does A Turntable Belt Last? (And How To Replace It)

How Long Does A Turntable Belt Last? (And How To Replace It)

Craig Walker |

One common task that arises in the life of a turntable owner is the replacement of the turntable belt.

Whether you're a seasoned vinyl aficionado or a newcomer to the world of analog audio, understanding how to replace a turntable belt is a valuable skill that can prolong the life of your equipment and enhance your listening experience.

In this short but comprehensive guide, we will cover the intricacies of turntable belt replacement, covering everything from the signs that indicate it's time for a change to the step-by-step process of swapping out the old belt for a new one.

How Long Does A Turntable Belt Last?

The lifespan of a turntable belt can vary depending on several factors, including the quality of the belt and how often the turntable is used.

On average, a turntable belt can last anywhere from 1 to 5 years.

If you use your turntable four hours a day, every day, then obviously it's going to need replacing a lot sooner than if you only use it for four hours a month.

Here are some factors that can contribute to the wear and tear of a turntable belt:

  1. Frequency of Use: The more often you use the turntable, the faster the belt may wear out.

  2. Operating Conditions: High levels of dust, humidity, and temperature fluctuations can affect the lifespan of a turntable belt.

  3. Belt Quality: Higher-quality belts made from durable materials may last longer than lower-quality alternatives.

  4. Proper Maintenance: Regular cleaning and proper tension adjustment (if available) can contribute to the longevity of the turntable belt.

It's essential to monitor the condition of the belt and replace it when signs of wear become apparent, such as visible cracks, stretching, or loss of tension.

It's unlikely, but not impossible I guess, that a belt snapping will cause damage to your turntable, but it will stop playback for a while until you get a replacement.

Another thing to look out for is issues with speed consistency or overall performance, it may be an indicator that the belt has stretched and needs to be replaced.

How To Replace A Turntable Belt

If you're wondering "Can I replace a turntable belt?" then you'll be pleased to know that yes, you can easily change a turntable belt, so don't worry you won't need to buy a new turntable!

Replacing a record player belt is a common maintenance task and can be done by following these steps:

  1. Power Off: Turn off and unplug your turntable to ensure safety during the replacement process.

  2. Remove The Platter: Lift off or unscrew the platter from the turntable. The platter is the part that spins and usually covers the turntable's motor and belt.

  3. Access the Belt: Once the platter is removed, you should be able to see the turntable belt. Note how the existing belt is threaded around the motor drive spindle and the platter or sub-platter.

  4. Remove the Old Belt: Carefully remove the old belt and dispose of it.

  5. Clean the Area: While the platter is off, it's a good opportunity to clean any dust or debris from the turntable mechanism and under the platter.

  6. Install the New Belt: Place the new turntable belt onto the turntable's spindle and around the platter or sub-platter. Follow the same path as the old belt, ensuring it is properly seated.

  7. Test: After reassembly, plug in and power on the turntable. Test its functionality and check the speed to ensure it is accurate.

If in doubt then refer to the manufacturer's guidelines for your specific turntable model. 

We recommend using replacement belts manufactured by, or recommended by the manufacturer. This isn't always possible though so if you're looking at an aftermarket belt just make sure that it's good quality and the correct size for your turntable.

Conclusion

So there you have it, a turntable belt can last between 1 and 5 years depending on how often you use the turntable.

A worn turntable belt can cause speed and playback issues or at worst could snap leaving you unable to playback your records for a short while.

 But don't worry, you can easily replace it for a new one when the time comes.