Can a bad needle ruin a record?

The relationship between records and needles has always been one of the most contentious in all of audiophile history. Many people feel that there is no such thing as a bad needle, while others believe that an improperly maintained or damaged needle can ruin your favorite record.

record players

A bad needle can ruin a record, but it doesn’t have to. For example, if you are playing an album like Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and the needle is too heavy or not shaped correctly for that type of vinyl, then yes it will ruin the record. However, if you are playing something more simple like a 45 rpm single with a lighter weight needle and a higher tracking force (the amount of pressure needed to keep the stylus in contact with the groove), then no it won’t scratch your song. The key is knowing what type of needles work best for each style of vinyl so they don’t damage albums when played on them!