Expressimo RB 250 mistracking issue

I have a mistracking issue with my Expressimo RB250 / Shelter 501 MK II combo.

I was away for 6 months and wasn't listening to my vinyl rig, now when I got back I noticed that my cartridge started to mistrack a couple of LPs I own.

Those LPs are Direct to Disk editions that have a few very dynamic passages recorded but the cartridge was tracking them fine before. Now it mistracks them (you can clearly hear it on a drums solo when a drummer hits snare drum). Also on a Hi-Fi News Test LP I can only successfully track tracks 6 and 7, but not 8 although I was able to tack #8 before.

So what could've go wrong? I tied to adjust anti-skating, but I increased it all the way to the top limit and it still mistracks. I remember before I had anti-skating set at around 1.4 - 1.5 on the scale from 0 to 2, now even if I move it all the way to 2 it still mistracks.

I'd highly appreciate if anyone could help/recommend what can be done to fix this? Is it a tonearm settings or cartridge problem or something else?

Thank you in advance.
Make sure your table is leveled. Use an appropriate (mechanic's )level and be exact as to bubble placement. Put it on the turntable left to right and north to south. Try this first
Well, I tried that. I leveled and re-leveled it again. I played with tracking weight - didn't help.

Any other ideas/things I have to try?
Is your stylus clean? If there's build-up, it wouldn't sit as deep in the groove and could be tossed about more.

Also, maybe you need to dial the anti-skating back. I run mine between 0 and .5g. Of course, that varies with the rig, but more isn't always better.
I did check VTF and tried to play with it all the way from 1.6 g to 2.2g - still no luck.
Hi. I had a similar problem with my Expressimo wired RB300. All of a sudden some of my older LP's began skipping. There was a serious binding problem in the horizontal movement. I messed with the magnetic anti-skate and it did nothing. What my issued turned out to be was that inside, a piece of heat shrink worked it way from under the braided shield and rubbed up against the horizontal bearing. Small surgical scissor, fine tweezers and a steady hand fixed my problem.

Just an idea. It's easy to remove the bottom plug and just look.
Well, my problem is not that it skips a lot of LPs. Just 2 particular ones that have very dynamic passages with drum solo. Every other one are just fine.
Problems like the one described by Maktheknife happen with some frequency on certain Rega arms. I've seen several posts like his over the years.

The fact that yours is mistracking on only the most challenging LP's may simply indicate that the wire or insulation is out of position by only a small amount, so that the pressure it's applying is small. This might indeed cause audible mistracking on only the most challenging passages. If you read his post again you'll see that's just the symptom he had, "All of a sudden SOME of my ... LP's began skipping".

It can't hurt to check the routing of your tonearm wire and its condition. While you're at it, dismount and remount the cartridge from scratch - just to make sure everything is still set up properly.
Thank you Doug for the clarification.

I guess what I meant to say is that my LP doesn't skip, it's just I hear some distortion in those challenging passages.

Anyway, as you said it doesn't hurt to check the wire. So, where exactly do I check this?

As for the cartridge I already remount it from scratch.
Mistracking is just a skip that didn't quite make the jump into the next groove. We're talking about differences in degree, not in kind, so any possible explanations apply to both.

I haven't had a Rega style arm for several years (and never had this problem when I did) so I can't advise specifically on where to look. In general, check where the arm wire exits the arm wand and moves past the bearing. Check it at all points across the arm's arc of travel for any pressure or binding. Perhaps Maktheknife or another Rega owner can be more specific.

Good job that you remounted the cartridge. You said your stylus is clean. May I ask what you've been using to maintain it, and how often? I have rehabilitated over a dozen supposedly faulty cartridges costing from $300 to over $5,000 simply by cleaning the stylus properly. The owners all claimed they had done so, but their methods proved to be inadequate.

Just fishin' for ideas that might help...


P.S. Have you changed or altered your phono stage since these tough LP's last played cleanly?
OK, I'll ask Maktheknife about wire.

Well, I've never used any liquid solution to clean it, just zerodust and a soft brush. What would you recommend?

As for the phono stage I didn't change a thing.
Zerodust and a dry brush are not adequate for long term stylus cleaning. Many of the cartridges I've rehabilitated, as discussed above, were maintained using exactly that.

Do a search here or on Vinyl Asylum for "Magic Eraser" or click "Threads" beneath my signature, or PM me and I'll send you a document if you like.

I asked about phono stage changes because "mistracking" sounds on dynamic peaks are often not mistracking at all. The identical distortions can be caused by phono stage overload. Since yours hasn't changed, however, that explanation seems unlikely.
Oh, I forgot about it, yes I use your 'Magic Eraser' - just forgot about it. It's in the same 'dry cleaning' group.