A turntable is basically any device that turns a record from flat to round. All of them work in a similar way, regardless of their size and shape. To play a record, you simply place it onto the turntable and turn it until the needle touches the groove. Then you press play.
There are many different types of turntables out there, including CD players, digital record players, and cassette decks. The first two are usually found in cars, while the latter is typically used in homes.
The design of a turntable is quite diverse, which includes those that fit on top of stereo systems, as well as those that stand alone. Some turntables are portable, while others are not.
Turntables are generally classified into three main categories: belt-driven, direct drive, and cartridge driven.
Belt Driven Turntables
Turntables like these are relatively inexpensive, so they are the most popular. Belt drives are powered by an electric motor that spins a belt. As the belt rotates, it pushes against the platter, which causes the platter to spin.
The advantage to belt drives is that they are very quiet. However, they do have a few drawbacks as well. First, they tend to be less durable than other models. Second, they are prone to skipping, which is why they are often referred to as “belt-and-brass” machines. Finally, they don’t hold up well over time.
Direct Drive Turntables
The second category of turntables includes those that use a direct drive mechanism. Instead of spinning a belt, these turntables rely on a metal armature that spins around a central spindle. This design makes them quieter than their belt counterparts, but it also makes them more expensive.
Cartridge Driven Turntables
Cartridge drives are similar to direct drives except that instead of having a metal armature, they have a small plastic armature. These are commonly known as tonearms. Tonearms are much cheaper than direct drives, but they aren’t nearly as reliable.
Some turntables are designed specifically for portability. For example, some people like to take their turntable with them when they travel. Others prefer to leave theirs at home and bring along their music collection. Either way, there are plenty of portable turntables available.
- Thomas Edison invented the turntable in 1877. He was inspired by the sound produced by a spinning top. After he discovered how to make the machine that could reproduce this sound, he began working on other inventions related to music reproduction.
- Thomas Edison’s first turntable was made using a wooden base, which was later replaced by a metal base. The original design included a belt drive system, which allowed the turntable to spin at speeds of up to 1,200 revolutions per minute.
- He patented his first turntable in 1878. However, due to legal issues surrounding the patent, he did not begin manufacturing the turntable until 1881. At that point, he began selling the turntable under the name “Edison Phonograph.”
- His second model of the turntable was released in 1886. It featured a direct drive mechanism, which meant that the turntable would spin at a constant speed regardless of what was being played.
- In 1888, Edison introduced another version of his turntable. This model was designed to play both 78 rpm records and 33⅓ rpm records.
- It was sold under the brand name “Tin Plate” because its platter was made of tin.
- The third model of turntable came out in 1890. It was the first turntable to feature a belt drive system.
- In 1893, Edison licensed the rights to manufacture his turntable to Columbia Records. They manufactured the turntable under their own label, “Columbia Gramophone Company”.
- In 1895, Edison introduced yet another model of a turntable. This new model was smaller and lighter than previous models. It weighed just over four pounds.
- By 1900, the popularity of phonographs was waning. Many people now preferred listening to records instead of having to listen to loud noises coming from a speaker. This led to the decline of the turntable market.
- However, during World War I, many soldiers were stationed overseas. Soldiers needed something to keep them entertained while they were away from home. This led to a surge in demand for phonographs.
- During the 1920s, the turntable became more popular again. This was largely due to the introduction of radio. People wanted to hear the sounds coming from the radio without having to crank the volume all the way up.
- During the 1930s, the turntablist became a popular figure in American culture. Musicians like James Brown and Chuck Berry used the turntable to create innovative rhythms.
- During World War II, the turntable continued to be used as an important part of military life. Soldiers needed a reliable way to record messages onto magnetic tape.
- After the war, the turntable remained popular with musicians. Rock ‘n’ roll bands like Elvis Presley and Little Richard performed live shows where they would perform songs while spinning vinyl records.
- During the 1950s, the turntables became even more popular. This was largely due to the invention of the 45 rpm record. With this new format, it was possible to fit more songs into one side of a single disc.
- This led to the rise of the DJ. DJs could mix multiple songs together on a single turntable. These DJs were often called “mixers,” since they mixed different songs together.
- Hip-hop began to be influenced by turntablism in the 1960s, as artists such as Grandmaster Flash and Run DMC created innovative beats based on the turntable.
- Turntablism grew in popularity in the 1970s. Disco music was more popular, and this led to longer drum breaks in disco tracks.
- Compact discs made it possible for people to store thousands of songs on a single CD during the 1980s, which caused turntables to become less popular.
- There are still many people who opt to purchase CDs or MP3 files instead of turntables today. The turntable is still very popular.
You should choose a turntable that can be used anywhere and that is lightweight. You also need something that can be stored and transported easily. Foldable stands and cases are available.
If you decide to leave your turntable behind, then you should look for something that can withstand being left outside in extreme temperatures. It is important to make sure that your turntable has a sturdy base so that it doesn’t tip over or get damaged if someone kicks it.
It may also be a good idea to invest in a turntable that comes with its own carrying case. This will be a big help in protecting your investment and keeping it safe while in transit.