You may occasionally find that one channel of your music has dropped out, or is only coming through intermittently. When you're using a turntable, there are a few points in the process where that can happen, so let's go through the first troubleshooting steps to try and isolate the source of the problem.
1. Check with a different music source
If you're finding you only get one channel when playing a record, try plugging your phone into the same input on your amplifier or powered speakers. If there's still one channel missing, the issue is with your amplifier, or your speakers, or maybe even the speaker cable,
2. Reverse the speaker connections
If you still find you have a channel missing when using a different music source, swap the speaker connections around so that the right channel on your amp goes to your left speaker instead, and so on. If the missing channel swaps sides, it's most likely an issue with the speakers themselves.
3. Reverse the cables connecting the turntable into your amp or powered speakers
Most Pro-Ject turntables connect to your hi-fi system via RCA cables, which have a left (white) and right (red) connection on the end. Usually those are plugged into the same colour RCA port on your amplifier or powered speakers, but for this test, swap them around so the white is plugged into the red socket etc. If the missing channel switches sides, the problem lies with either your turntable or your phono stage (if you have one); if it doesn't, the issue may be your amplifier.
4. Plug the turntable into a line-level input on the amp
If you're using an external phono stage, or have your turntable plugged into the phono input on your amp, unplug the turntable's RCA cables and plug it into a line-level RCA input (like AUX, CD, TAPE, or the like; basically anything that isn't a phono input). You'll need to turn the volume up quite a ways, but if you get sound in both channels (even if it's soft), the issue is down to your phono stage.
5. Try a different RCA cable
The phono cable on your Pro-Ject turntable is essentially an RCA cable with a grounding spade on it. To rule out issues with the cable, you can use a generic RCA cable and see if you get sound in both channels (this is not suitable for Essential model turntables that have fixed phono cables). You'll likely hear a low hum when you try this, but if you get sound in both channels, this means the problem is probably with your phono cable. You can order a replacement here, or at your local hi-fi dealer.
If you've gone through all these steps and are still having the same issue, then your turntable or cartridge is going to be the source of the problem. Before you send it off for repair, there's a couple of things to try:
— try a different record. Some albums can play with the stereo mix, and have low or no sound on one channel.
— how old is the stylus? If you've haven't changed the cartridge/stylus (aka the needle) in a few years, or you listen to vinyl all the time, it may have worn away and need replacing.
— is your cartridge properly aligned and clean? A poorly aligned cartridge might struggle to read both sides of the groove properly, and accumulated dust can make that worse. Try our VINYLCARE Pack to ensure that your system is properly maintained.
Should the problem persist after trying all these steps, please contact us here for further help.