What Is Overhang On A Turntable? How To Measure It?

  • 12 Jul 2022 06:05
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What Is Overhang On A Turntable? How To Measure It?

If you're new to turntables, overhang may be a new concept to you. So, what is overhang on a turntable? Does it matter for the audio record output?

This detailed article will help you understand the role of this part and the appropriate length measurements to use. Now, let's read on to discover!

What Is Overhang On A Turntable?

The overhang

The overhang is part of the stylus. The distance of this part is from the tip of the pen to the outside of the center axis.

In simple terms, the lug from the spindle center pin to the last point the stylus touches when rotating the console.

Overhang's importance

One of the essential rules of a turntable is always to keep the stylus tangent to the track as it moves across the record. Any activity against this principle can lead to severe problems such as damage to the trackpad and stylus.

The lug will help users align the cartridge to the stylus's operating arc and limit the above problem. Depending on the manufacturer and product line, the turntable lug may vary.

How to set up

An alignment ruler is an indispensable tool for the lug set. Some turntable models will come with a protruding clock. Additionally, a reliable gauge with millimeter markings will help you set this up, creating an effective stylus length.

The setup process will be much more straightforward for beginners if you have a full range of physical measurement tools that will assist you in the calculations and adjustments accordingly.

How To Measure Overhang?

How to measure it 

Here are the essential steps to measure and set up your turntable overhang.

Check the turntable specifications.

With just a trim meticulousness, you do not need to use a ruler to check the turntable's specifications.

If specialized equipment is unavailable, you can use paper or a ruler to mark the lug.

  • After completing the preparation, place the paper in the center of the spindle.
  • The closer you move the tone and trolley to the paper, the more accurate the specification measurement will be.
  • Finally, once you have the turntable specifications, you can use the protractor to make adjustments.
  • The secret to this method's success is keeping the arm and the lines on the sheet of paper with high precision.
  • In addition, tools such as rulers and protractors must meet high standards to minimize errors.

Use assistive devices

After the above preparation, it's time to use the two-point protractor to measure and align the lug.

  • First, you need to rotate the protractor 90 degrees or align it flexibly so that the stylus rests on the intersection of the two hollow points.
  • Then pick up the tone and start rotating the disc for the stylus to touch each one.
  • After turning the disc and placing the stylus on the crosses of the inner grid, observe your recording and ink cartridges.
  • If the cartridge tilts away from the record's center, move it back.
  • Conversely, if the cartridge is tilted towards the record's center, move the unit forward.
  • After adjusting, go back to the initial setup step and check again.
  • An adjustment will stop if the toner cartridge fits inside the square in the outer and inner grids. At that time, the stylus is in the center of the cross.
  • Although it is pretty easy to measure and align, errors still exist if there is a slope between the protractor and the axis of rotation.
  • To fix this problem, you must complete the first setup step well, minimizing the hill between the ruler and the axis.


Here are the answers to questions related to turntable overhangs.

How important is cartridge overhang?

The overhang will allow the user to align the cartridge correctly. When the cartridge is in place, the new stylus can be tangential to the groove, creating a perfect arc.

What is the overhang on a record player?

The overhang is of the spindle length combined with the size of the stylus that protrudes beyond the spindle.

How is tonearm overhang measured?

To measure the tonearm lug, calculate the axis length of rotation and the length of the stylus protruding from the axis of rotation.

For an accurate measurement, you need to place your arm just on the spindle.


Digital music players are becoming more and more popular. However, turntables playing physical and classical music still have their appeal.

Many people love this device because of its classic and interesting operating mechanism. The overhang plays an essential role in the mechanism of action.

Hopefully, this information has helped you understand and confidently adjust the overhang for the best sound quality. Thank you for reading!

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Nicolas Ward By, Nicolas Ward

Nicolas Ward is an elite author with many years of experience in the music field and the owner of many engaging articles at TheAudioInsights. He studies music production and has many years of passionate research into sound systems. Appearing in many popular newspapers, Nicolas Ward provides useful knowledge and the latest information on music and sound.

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