It's all you. YOu simply missed the lead-in groove when you cued. The location of that groove varies. Get better lighting and/or look closer while cuing.
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Thanks everyone for the suggestions.
I tried it a few times on the same record, it kept happening. Maybe it's me...
I did not apply the mechanical anti-skating device. I followed VPI's suggestion to use a turn in the tonearm wire.
I have a periphery clamp as well, so the needle stylus shouldn't be falling on the very outer (rounded) edge...
Occasional, sudden slides inward on sloped LP lead-in ramps is actually a sign of a good tonearm (i.e., one with very low friction bearings). My TriPlanar, which has some of the world's best bearings, does the same thing. IME cheaper tonearms with higher friction bearings actually resist this much better.
You gave us a clue in your original post when you said you "drop" the stylus onto an LP. No one who watches me cue would choose that verb. Do not just flip the cueing lever down and walk away. You must "carry" the stylus all the way into the lead-in groove. Keep control of the arm with the cueing lever until the stylus locks in. Only then should you let go. This extra caution is especially necessary when using a periphery clamp, where precise cueing is vital to avoid stylus damage.
BTW, make sure you biased the tonearm wire in the right direction. If you turned it the wrong way it would drag the arm inward, exacerbate this tendency and mess up tracking for the whole LP.
Do NOT use extra anti-skating (by wire twist or any other method) to prevent this. That is a mis-use of anti-skating and will result in very excessive amounts during actual play.
Practice makes perfect...
Hello Doug - thank you for that very informative post! I will pay attention to "guiding" the stylus and see how I fare with that. FWIW, the table sounds great - add this doesn't happen too often, so it doesn't feel like an egregiously bad setup.
I did check the tone-arm wire though, to make sure the force was going the intended direction.