noob TT setup question

I can't find an answer to this question in the archives - as I'm not quite sure what to search for - but sometimes when I drop my needle onto an LP (on the outer edge) it "jumps" into the first track. Like, it skips from right to left (looking from the front) without slowly/cleanly tracking onto the first groove.

Is this a setup issue? It doesn't happen all the time, and I've not noticed it occurring with any sort of pattern (like, only on 180 gram LPs or something like that).

The table is leveled, VTF is within the manufacturer's range, and I set azimuth with a Fozgometer. Initial cartridge setup was with a Mint protractor designed for my table/arm.

Thanks for the help!
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.
Have you set your anti-skate?
You are hitting just enough of the outer rim of the record, (which is rounded), and the stylus is missing/jumping past the lead in groove.
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.


- J
You might just want to check (if you haven't) to see whether your cartridge is "bottoming out" by means of a collapsed suspension. I sure hope it's not, but it's worth a check.
Anti-skate comes to mind, but I agree it should not be used to "fix" this problem.