How Does a Record Player Work?

A vinyl record has very small grooves. Within the grooves are small ridges that vibrate the needle of the record player, producing the proper frequency wave to recreate the sound.

Sounds are nothing more than vibrations in the air, and each sound has a certain frequency of vibration. The ridges on a vinyl record vibrate the needle on the record player's arm. As the record spins around, the needle hits all of the little ridges on the record, thousands of times per second. Records contain a single groove, and it spirals all the way from the outside of the record to the inside of the record. The needle is placed at the edge of the record and slowly progresses along the spiral towards the inner part of the record.

The first record players were cranked by hand, and the sound was amplified using a cone shape. Modern record players utilize electric amplifiers to take the sounds that were picked up from the needle and convert them into an electromagnetic wave that can be utilized by an electronic speaker. In addition to the higher sound quality offered by electric record players, they are also beneficial because individuals no longer have to crank the turntable by hand.