Recently Techmoan released a video on setting up a record player, including a bit on calibrating the anti-skate functionality. He used a proper calibration record, “How To Give Yourself A Stereo Check-Out” by Decca Records. This is a fine way to go, if you can find it, but finding it for less than an asinine amount of money can be difficult in the US (your options are way better if you live in Europe or the UK, though).
There are other anti-skate calibration records out there, but they tend to be a bit expensive for what amounts to a blank vinyl record.
Of course you can buy a blank vinyl record for a lot less.
But what’s even cheaper?
- Get a disposable plastic plate
- Cut a circle out of it
- Punch a hole in the middle
This probably isn’t as good as a proper heavy flat disc (in particular there’ll probably be a bit of a curl you have to watch out for) but it’s at least a good starting point.
(Seriously though get a blank vinyl record. Just don’t spend upwards of $25 for one (affiliate link), holy cow.)
Update: Royce points out a much simpler solution:
I just bought some old laserdisc for a dollar from Half Price Books and used that.— Royce (@rcoony) December 23, 2018