Record skips near the innermost grooves

I have a Vpi hw-19 mk2 w/ an sme 309 & a Grado gold. The problem is this set-up wants to skip near the very end of all l.p's...near the innermost grooves.....Any suggestion's for a cure out there? Tracking force is 1.5 to 1.75 & I have adjusted the anti skate to different setting & nothing seems to help
Are you using a record clamp? Do you still have the foam disc that goes under the vinyl at the spindle? If not, see if it still skips without the record clamp.
I have tried both with & without both the clamp & foam pad...same results....p.s it's a mk3 not 2
Has this always been the case or is this something that just started?
Can you change cartridges and see if it still happens?
I have tried a Shure v15 mk4..and an Adc xlm....same results
When you move the arm from edge to spindle, does it feel smooth for the entire space it travels?

What happens if you bump your tracking force to 2.0 g?
Does the arm skip back or ahead? I have had a similar problem before, and it was because the arm lift was adjusted too high. The arm would contact the lift slightly and would skip back.
Make sure the arm is not hitting something underneath like the lift lever platform or even the dust cover at the back.

Sounds to me like it is being impeded in it's travel at the end of the record.

Look at the arm from the bottom/side upward when the arm gets to that inside position.
ALL appears clear no interference...2.0 grams seemed a little more than should be needed?
It could be improper stylus overhang. Given arm geometries, any mis-adjustment could get worse when the arm approaches the center, which could encourage the skipping you observe.
Well, you aren't going to damage anything at 2.0 and trying a higher tracking force might help us better diagnose the problem. Grados in general take lighter tracking force than most carts. But 2-2.5g is quite normal with some carts. My mono cart recommends a tracking force above 3g.
ok 2 to 2.5 it is ....I'll keep yall posted...thanks
Hey Lardawg,
If I recall correctly, the 309 has a pretty unique counterweight system. Are you measuring the actual weight at the stylus with a scale, or using their system of so many turns of the wrench = so much vertical force? In order for their VTF system to work properly, you must of course make sure you start by balancing the arm. If you aren't checking the VTF with a scale, I would absolutely recommend you do that.
Yes I'm using a shure scale & 2.0 to 2.5 did not help...dang!!!!
It appear the problem could be cause by in correct anti skate setting. Try to reduce your anti skate or disable it temporary.
The SME arms have a little less "travel" so to speak. One needs to have the arm at a slight angle closer to the platter to get full "travel" to the end grooves of a record. in other words, the tonearm needs to be a at an angle, not paralell with the edge of the turntable.
Dear Lardawg: All tonearms has a range/land to move it horizontally, no one tonearm I know has 360° on that range.

So, you need to check if that the tonearm position you mount it preclude that tonearm can advance over where the tonearm start to skips. So you can rotate the tonearm in the tonearm base and see what happen.

Regards and enjoy the music,
Also check your lifter there might be a notch at the end that lifts up the arm even when in lowered position.

1. You never answered Minkwelder's question from 5-19-13... does the arm skip forwards or backwards? Giving complete information often helps eliminate some possibile causes.

2. IF the arm always skips backwards, never toward the label, it's possible the underside of that tapered arm tube is brushing the edge of the platter or LP. Easily checked by watching. The solution might involve raising the armboard, repositioning the mounting position or lowering the platter surface - or some combination thereof.

Good luck!