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phononewb's picture
Last seen: 2 years 11 months ago
Joined: Apr 8 2015 - 1:10pm
Zenith Z920 - help please


I just purchased a model Z920 and had it shipped to LA from Kansas. It doesn't seem to be working properly or consistently, though the seller said it was working fine before it was shipped. I understand it's an old machine and don't expect it to work flawlessly, but it is so bad that I'm afraid to play any records for fear of damaging them.

The biggest problem is the skipping. Every single record I've played (new or old) has skipped in several places and I've had to manually pick-up the tonearm and move it further down the record, only to have it skip again. I tried adjusting the weight by loosening the tonearm spring and making it heavier, which helped a little with the skipping but now I think it may be so heavy it's damaging the record - maybe I'm just being paranoid, but it just doesn't sound right, like there's too much pressure on the record as it spins. Plus it still skips occasionally.

The stylus doesn't look dull, but I don't know if it's something you can tell just by looking at it.

Any help or advice on how to solve this would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

rrstesiak's picture
Last seen: 9 months 1 week ago
Joined: Mar 22 2015 - 5:38am
A point in the right direction


Adjusting a new turntable is no joke from I have experienced. I would contact my nearest audio shop, or a friend with a turntable, and ask for advice. It is too much detail to go into here, and I myself would have to re-look up references on the correct way to setup a turntable!

Rest assured; however, your turntable is probably "ok", but it most likely got out of whack during shipping.

A few terms I can state are "anti-skating"...which i think is your main issue...when the forces down on the tonearm are not enough from the counterweights, the tonearm will "skate" or "skip" across the record. I think that may be your issue.

There are also other issues such as lateral tracking force...which could also cause skipping...

I wish I had the exact steps outlined, but either a more Senior member with better vinyl knowledge can chime in or you can use the 'net to resolve the issue or a local shop or friend.

**Important: In the mean time, do resist the urge to play any records as they may be damaged by your out-of whack turntable!!

Best Of Luck,


commsysman's picture
Last seen: 10 min 35 sec ago
Joined: Apr 4 2006 - 11:33am

The fundamental problem is that the arm is sticking. Using increased spring pressure is a good way to damage the records and the stylus.

To get it working right you would need to take the pivot assembly apart and clean and oil it.

The entire mechanism probably has old oil and grease everywhere that needs to be cleaned away with solvent and replaced with new lubricants.

Wear in the mechanism also may be a problem. Those were very poor-quality record players to start with, and I wouldn't want to play any of my records on one, even if were in fairly good shape.

Until it is repaired properly you will be permanently damaging your records, so use care.

phononewb's picture
Last seen: 2 years 11 months ago
Joined: Apr 8 2015 - 1:10pm
Thank you both for your

Thank you both for your advice. Based on your advice, I am having someone to come in and service it though as to not chance messing anything up myself. Thanks for the help, I will be sure to mention all of these possibilities to the mechanic.

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