needle problem

Suddenly, the angle that the needle hits the record has decreased, and thus the cartridge sits lower in respects to the distance between it and the record, so that if the record is even slightly warped, the two collide.

Any ideas on what could be wrong and who could fix it?

Most obvious is possibility that track force is too high. Do you know how to check it?

If that's not set too high, always possible the suspension of the cartridge has failed. It would help if you provided more info.
I immediately suspected the suspension had failed, but it could be a tracking force issue...

Tracking force you can fix, suspension... well, you're in trouble...

Is it possible that the cantilever is bent? Did you drop the arm onto a record?

How does it sound when you play an LP?



how would I be able to tell if it was a tracking force issue? (as opposed from a suspension one ..)
You'll need a tracking force gauge, some are inexpensive (like the shure) or digital ones are in the hundreds. Weight should be in most cases between 1.5 and 2 grams.
If the suspension is broken, Cart. could be rebuilt if it's MC. What is the cartridge and how old is it?
I am not sure from your description if either the front or back has dropped down, or whether both have, but another cause could be that the VTA (vertical tracking angle) has shifted. It could be that the VTA adjustment, if there is one, could have slipped, letting the back of the cartridge down. Also, regarding the tracking force, some tonearms have a graduated VTF (vertical tracking force) scale on the counterweight on the opposite end of your tonearm. If you can adjust it, you might try reducing the VTF slightly to see how it affects cartridge height and how LP's are tracked. Is the needle now skipping and has the sound changed since you noticed the changes in cartridge height?
The key word is "suddenly". He then said (noticed) "the cartridge sits lower in respects to the distance between it and the record." He most likely didn't also notice that the stylus *suddenly* retracted into the cartridge ;-) VTA shift? No, that wouldn't bring the cartridge closer to the record. Suspension failure? Possible, but wouldn't happen *suddenly* unless the user dropped the stylus hard or dragged it across the record (probably bend the cantilever first.) VTF shift? Probably. Counterweight inadvertantly shifted forward, or fell off the end of the arm without anyone noticing (don't laugh, it happens!)
sounds like damage to me

question: how much deflection occurs when the arm is set on the record at the appropriate VTF? There shouldn't be more than a mm or so.
Thanks for the responses.

THe TT is a Rega Planar 25, with a Dynavector DV-20XH cart. I say "suddenly" in that it hadn't be doing that before, and then I noticed it. Whether it was gradual, or truely, sudden, I don't know.

Right now I have the needle off to take to a local vinyl dealer who is somewhat knowledgable about TT fixes, though he is doubtful he can diagnose a needle problem. (unfortunatly, I am mechanically deficient.)

I will check the VTF when I get it back on so make sure it is still ~ 2 grams, and check back soon.
... also, I don't beleive my TT has VTA adjustment. Right? :)

I'll check up on that too.
Your arm has no provision per se for VTA adjustment, however, there are after-market gadjets that permit this adjustment. Expressimo Audio (now out of business ) has one, I think VPI makes one, - it can be found. Do change the back couterweight to a dropped weight, get it off its feet and on to spikes, cones, blocks, etc., set vtf by adjustment of the counterweight - do not use the spring adjustment. Set it on maximum and use a Sure guage for the weight.
Not being sure how to begin a new thread, I hope it's ok if I ask a question here on needle maintenance. Do most who play a lot of vinyl use a microscope to examine their stylus occasionally for wear? Otherwise, how do you determine the condition of your stylus?