How does it work? - Record player

How does it work? - Record player

This animation demonstrates the mechanism and operation of record players.

Technology

Keywords

record player, Hi-Fi record player, speaker, amplifier, record, vinyl record, LP, single, tone arm, turntable, cartridge, needle, groove, listening to music, music, technology

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Scenes

  • - It is relatively heavy, it can weigh over 2 kg (4.409 lb), thus it equalizes the small speed variations of the motor.
  • rubber disk

  • - It is relatively heavy, it can weigh over 2 kg (4.409 lb), thus it equalizes the small speed variations of the motor.
  • rubber disk

Narration

A record player converts the record’s fine patterns into electric signals. These signals traveling through the amplifier are then converted into sound waves by the speakers.

We put the vinyl record on the turntable, which is usually moved by a drive belt. Disc rotation must be even. Thus, the turntable is relatively heavy, it can weigh over 2 kg (4.409 lb). Due to inertia it equalizes the small speed variations of the motor.

The tone arm contains the magnetic cartridge and the counterweight; they are located at separate sides of the arm. The counterweight serves to adjust needle pressure.
If needle pressure is too high, high frequencies are less audible and record grooves wear out faster. If needle pressure is too low, high frequencies are louder, which amplifies noise and may cause the needle to jump out of the groove.

The stylus tracks the modulations in the grooves as the record spins. The stylus moves a permanent magnet that induces electricity in the copper coils.

The movement of the magnet leads to a change in the number of magnetic field lines, i.e. a change in the magnetic flux. If the number of magnetic field lines grows, magnetic flux change is positive, therefore it moves from the magnetic north pole to the south pole. If the number of magnetic field lines decreases, magnetic flux change is negative, therefore it moves from the magnetic south pole to the north pole.
If the thumb on your left hand points in the direction of the magnetic flux change, the other fingers show the direction of the induced current. In the animation, when the needle moves to the left, magnetic flux increases in the left lateral coil and decreases in the right one. Therefore, opposing currents are inducted in the 2 lateral coils.

Needles wear out with time. Sapphire stylus needles need to be changed after around 100 hours of use, this is true of diamond ones after 1000 hours. Worn needles hinder playback quality and damage record grooves. Microscopic damage in the grooves may also cause noise. For this reason, vinyl records should be handled and stored properly.

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