The technology of record players is all based on sound vibrations recorded physically into grooves of a vinyl disc. The delicate needle, or stylus, reads these vibrations and translates them into sound through the arm of the player.
Thomas Edison’s 1877 phonograph was the earliest example of this method of recording and reproducing sound. It was the first machine to use flat disc records, initially made of rubber, which could be rotated and played on the device using a hand crank.
Though records were subsequently made from shellac, then polyvinyl chloride, the basic principles remained. The turntable rotates the vinyl with either a belt drive or direct-drive system, reducing the noise of the motor.
The etchings of the vinyl form a gradual spiral in toward the centre, which the stylus follows as the record turns, picking up the thousands of miniscule bumps and translating them into good vibrations. So, the next time you put on a Kool and the Gang record, you’ll literally be hearing something groovy.