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How To Fix A Record Players Arm That Is Not Going Down

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Record players and vinyl records in general have been making a comeback in recent years. Of course you can get a modern record player but many people prefer the feel and sound of the original players.

Of course with those older record players come problems. One of the most common problems that many people face with these older record players is that the arm won’t go down.

And of course if the player arm won’t go down then you can’t actually play your records. So if you have this common issue is there a way to fix it?

How exactly do you fix a record player’s arm that is not going down?

The most common way to fix a record player’s arm that won’t go down is to wash, grease and lubricate all the required parts properly. You will also need to check for the proper mechanical adjustment of the parts to make sure they work smoothly.

Unfortunately there are actually quite a few different reasons why your player’s arm might not be going down or staying down like it should. But don’t worry, I will go into more detail about how to fix this issue later in this article.

A phonograph, in its later forms also called a gramophone (as a trademark since 1887, as a generic name in the UK since 1910) or since the 1940s called a record player, is a device for the mechanical recording and reproduction of sound. The sound vibration waveforms are recorded as corresponding physical deviations of a spiral groove engraved, etched, incised, or impressed into the surface of a rotating cylinder or disc, called a “record”.

To recreate the sound, the surface is similarly rotated while a playback stylus traces the groove and is therefore vibrated by it, very faintly reproducing the recorded sound. In early acoustic phonographs, the stylus vibrated a diaphragm which produced sound waves which were coupled to the open air through a flaring horn, or directly to the listener’s ears through stethoscope-type earphones.

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Check For The Issue

A record player arm that keeps going down is something that is happening in such a way that it looks like the arm is trying to stay at a position and not going down to the record on the stack. It is typically an issue that the arm is not sitting down at the record and it got stuck at this point.

You only have to stay calm and do not try to fix it by applying excessive force to it. If this happens, there is no need to fear, as we have a way to try some tricks to get it fixed. These tricks will help to fix the arm of the record on the top of the spindle.

To fix the problem of the arm not going down, you need to initially take out the arm from the deck, and then detach the cueing platform, which is the base cap made up of plastic and the top cap made up of metal.

Now you can extract the assembly. After carrying on the above procedure, wash down with a degreaser, look over for wear and tear and finally re-grease and then assemble it again.

It may take an hour or so to complete the above procedure in order to fix the record player arm not going down.

Disassembling The Record Player

To fix a record player arm that won’t go down, you will likely have to at least partialy take apart the player. As you remove the back of the console you will be able to view the inner side of the record player.

The cables relating to RCA and power cord will need to be unplugged, from the substrate of the record player. There may be some long screws used for packing which may go deep through the base into the container.

There are some clips used at the end of these long screws. You may need to flip them and take them out carefully and the record player should lift right out from the outer casing.

In this way, you may carry it to a test bench for its proper checking and to service it systematically. You may need to wash it from each & every side and all parts in detail as well. 

There is one more thing that will need to be considered before you remove the base for its service to fix the record player arm not going down. There is a fitted cam with teeth having a lever on top of it.

They both need a deep cleaning and service. Both the cam and teeth will also need re-greasing after cleaning for proper service to help fix the error.

Reassembling The Record Player

You will always want to pay attention to how your record player is disassembled, but in the long run, it is better because you won’t have to take your record player to a technician to put it back together.

Most of the record players that encounter this problem will be fixed after just by re-greasing the cam and making sure that proper lubrication grease or oil is applied at the required places. This is the easiest fix that will save you a lot of time and money.

Use Proper Lubrication

All you need to do is to lubricate properly all the moving parts of the record player’s arm after servicing it carefully. This problem would be a real danger if the moving parts are dry or not lubricated.

You must apply lubrication to the parts so they can be allowed to move easily. Oil would probably make their operation easier as well.

You should always apply lubrication after servicing your record player.

Check The Service Manual

Along with the above mentioned techniques for fixing the record player arm which is not going down, you will need to consult the service manual and the diagrams if available. One other thing you can do is to talk to your friends to see if they have had this problem ever happen to their record player and how they fixed the problem.

You may also need to consult the service manual for the record player and also address it to some well-reputed, known technician about the problem for fixing the record player arm not going down.

Check The Mechanical Mechanism

Lastly, you should carefully check the mechanical assembly of the record player whose arm is not going down. As the record player, there is a cueing device used in its mechanical assembly.

At the end of the pin that grips the cueing platform is a piston that is strapped into its bore with the help of a spring mechanism. The whole assembly mechanism is covered in heavy grease which damps its movement vertically.

If the grease has dried up or corrosion has deposited in the spring, it will not be able to overcome the friction. Here, all you need to proceed for the greasing is some patience.

After the proper greasing of the mechanical assembly mechanism, you should be able to solve the problem of this record player by yourself.


Now that you know all the difficulties in fixing a record player arm that keeps going down, and how to fix it, you realize it is possible to do it yourself. If you get stuck detaching the parts or you may not remember how to reassemble the record player with its actual fittings, you may simply refer to the pictures you took off the record player prior to taking it apart.

You only need to write down all the procedures of detaching the parts on a paper along with the procedure carried forward. Doing this will help you to reassemble the parts after you finish the process. 

It is not an easy task to carry this process so you have to be diligent about the process of fixation and thoroughly involved in the details of the work. Also, you need to wash, grease and lubricate all the required parts properly.