March 19, 2021

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Even in the digital age, one thing that might never go out of fashion is playing music off vinyl record players. For baby boomers and people of earlier generations, dancing to these classics brings nostalgic moments that they can’t trade for anything.

Today, people play music in many ways. People also store music like any other information on drives, flash memories, and CDs. Many devices can read this information to play their sounds.

The quality of sounds that some of these devices produce is one reason that vinyl records cannot become obsolete. Musicians currently convert their songs to vinyl records to get that feeling of conventional mechanical recordings. The simple truth is that digital records cannot match the robust sounds that these analog recordings provide.

How do Vinyl Records Work?

People often wonder what the working principle of vinyl players is and how they generate such quality sounds.

Modern records are made out of polyvinyl chloride, also known as vinyl, a type of plastic. These records have incredibly small grooves stamped into them, and basically, the whole process starts with these grooves.

To read the grooves and convert them into sound, every record player has three main parts. They are:

  • The needle.
  • The cartridge.
  • And the tonearm.

The Needle

The needle is also known as the stylus that glides on the record to produce sounds. The groove’s left side represents the left channel, and the right side of the groove represents the right channel. These groove sides cause the needle to vibrate as it’s being played. The vibration is a very important aspect of a vinyl record and its player.

The Cartridge

The cartridge is connected to the needle and comprises the cantilever and the magnet. On one side of the magnet is the left coil, which sends electrical signals to the left channel, and on the right side is the right coil which sends electrical signals to the right channel.

When the groove creates vibration, they move up to the cantilever, and finally, they make their way back to the magnet. When the vibrations push the magnet toward the left coil, a small electrical signal is sent to the left channel, and the same happens when it moves the vibration to the right coil.

The Tonearm

So basically, the magnet is constantly moving between the two coils generating signals on both channels. At the same time, these two signals make their way up the tonearm and into the turntables. From there, they move to the preamplifier, which gives the signals a small boost and then prepares them for further amplification.

Once they finally arrive at the amplifier, they receive a final boost, and they are separated. The left channel goes to the left speaker, and the right channel goes out to the right speaker, and finally, the speaker cones move forward and backward to create the sound waves that we interpret as music.

Vinyl records are simply more than just music; they are a way of life and will always signify the revolution of music across the world.

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