Most record players stop automatically when the record is done.
But sometimes, we need to stop them prior to that.
Of course, this is perfectly fine.
But you do want to make sure you know how to stop a record player correctly.
Otherwise, you may damage your vinyl record, or even your turntable.
Depending on the type of record player you have, you may have several options for how to stop it. Keep reading to learn several methods for stopping your turntable mid-play.
How To Properly Stop A Record Player
There are several different methods you can use to stop your record player that will minimize the risk of damage. Which method is best for you depends on which record player you have and the features it has. But all methods are all relatively simple.
One common method is to gently lift the needle and replace it on the tonearm rest. Another option imay be to use the stop button, if your record player has one
And you may also be able to use the speed control to bring your record player to a stop. Here’s a run-through in more detail of how to stop a record player without damaging your records or stylus.
Lifting The Needle
Lifting the needle is the most common and straightforward method to stop a record player. It is also the way you’ll need to stop your turntable even when the record ends, if you have a manual turntable instead of an automatic one.
It is essential to perform this action carefully, though, to avoid scratching or damaging your record. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to properly lift the needle to stop the record player:
- Identify the tonearm: The tonearm is the long arm that extends from the turntable and holds the needle. It is usually located on the right side of the turntable.
- Grip the tonearm: With your fingertips, gently grip the tonearm near its base, close to where it connects to the turntable. It’s important to handle it delicately to prevent any sudden movements that could harm the needle or record.
- Lift the tonearm: Slowly and steadily lift the tonearm, making sure that the needle is clear of the spinning record surface. Lift the tonearm straight upwards, ensuring that the needle does not come into contact with the record during the lifting process.
- Replace the tonearm on its rest: Once the tonearm is lifted, hold it in a suspended position, keeping it clear of the record, and gently move it back towards its rest and replace it. With some models, once the tonearm is back in its rest, the turntable will stop spinning.
Using The Stop Button
If your record player has a stop button, using that is another very easy and convenient way to stop your record player mid-play. This feature is commonly found on modern turntables and it should stop your record in a controlled and gentle manner.
Here’s how you can use the stop button to stop your record player:
- Locate the stop button: Take a moment to find the stop button on your record player. It is usually located on the front panel, near the other control buttons. The stop button is typically labelled with a square icon or the word “stop.” Check the manufacturer’s guidelines if the button is not immediately obvious. Once you have identified the stop button, gently press it.
- Watch the turntable: As you press the stop button, you should notice that the turntable begins to slow down gradually. The stop button triggers the motor to decelerate, bringing the spinning record to a gentle and controlled stop.
- Wait for the complete stop: Allow the turntable to come to a complete stop after pressing the stop button. This may take a few seconds, depending on the specific design and mechanism of your record player. You can then gently and carefully lift and replace the tonearm on its rest.
Using The Speed Control
Depending on which model of record player you own, you may also be able to use the speed control to bring the turntable to a standstill. On some record players, the speed control has a neutral setting, which will stop the turntable from spinning:
- Locate the speed control: Find the speed control knob or switch on your record player, typically located near the front or side panel. This control allows you to adjust the rotation speed of the turntable.
- Identify the neutral position: Look for a marking or indication on the speed control that represents the neutral position. This position usually falls between the different speed settings (e.g., 33 RPM and 45 RPM).
- Flick the speed control to neutral: Turn the speed control knob or switch to the neutral position. This usually means moving the switch to the middle or to the point where there is no engagement with any specific speed setting. Once switched, you should notice the turntable slow straight away.
Turning The Power Off
One final way of stopping your record player from spinning is to simply disconnect the power supply. You may be able to do this by hitting the power button on your record player, or by turning the supply off at the socket.
- Locate the power switch or button: Find the power control on your record player. The power switch or button is typically located on the front or side panel. It may be labelled with the word “power” or it may be colored red.
- Press or flip the power control: Press the power button or flip the power switch to the off position. Apply gentle pressure to ensure a smooth transition.
- Return the tonearm: Once your turntable has come to a complete stop, gently lift the tonearm vertically and replace it on its rest.
How To Stop A Turntable: Final Thoughts
All of the methods presented above on how to stop a turntable work well. But generally, the more automatic, the better. So if your record player has a specific function to help you stop it, make use of that.
And always take care when removing the vinyl record. Vinyl is fragile by nature, making it easy to scratch your records if you remove them while the turntable is still spinning. Be patient and let your record come to a complete standstill before you try to remove it.
Being extra careful when using a turntable and when handling vinyl records will help you avoid any accidents.