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  • As the music industry went digital, the turntable seemed destined for the scrap heap.

  • But this analog technology defied predictions and survived.

  • With a sound that's arguably fuller and more natural than compressed digital formats, this retro technology is attracting new fans.

  • In an age when media players are digitized and pocket sized, the turntable plays on.

  • The use of high tech composites like carbon fiber puts a modern spin on this technology, bringing the record player into the 21st century.

  • Production starts with a thick square of cast acrylic.

  • The technician drills a hole in the center.

  • It will be a reference point as he transforms this square into the turntable platter.

  • A computerized tool cuts a circle shape out of the square.

  • The disc then spins while another computer guided tool enlarges the center hole to size it for the platter's main bearing.

  • The next tool precisely cuts the surface of the disc to give it the correct angle.

  • Computerized tools transform this small aluminum disc into the counterweight's main component.

  • The counterweight balances the tone arm to keep the stylus in the groove of an LP.

  • They slope the surface and cut holes for attachments and for installing the part.

  • Finally, they cut a triangle out of the circle.

  • This takes the part to its final shape and weight from a flat disc to a precisely crafted counterweight.

  • Next, the platform for the tone arm takes shape.

  • It's designed to cradle all the parts at the end of the tone arm, including a cylindrical housing for a spring mechanism and an egg-shaped housing containing a bearing.

  • A technician now assembles the tone arm, beginning with a tapered tube made of carbon fiber.

  • It's a high tech composite that's extremely stiff, so there should be no structural weakness in this crucial part.

  • The technician threads a preassembled wiring loom through the arm tube.

  • It's a special wire for high-frequency transfer.

  • These wires have been encased in copper to keep out ambient radiation that would interfere with the tone arm's operation.

  • The carbon fiber tube also acts as a radiation shield.

  • He mixes epoxy resin that he then dabs around the inner rim of the bearing housing which has by now been equipped with the bearing.

  • He inserts the tone arm tube into the housing.

  • The tube adheres to the glue coated rim.

  • But before it totally bonds, the technician scrutinizes the alignment.

  • He makes adjustments if needed, and then he'll clamp the assembly to allow the glue to cure.

  • With the turntable's tone arm now upright, he solders the wires that are protruding from the joint to the external wiring for the amplifier.

  • And once all the connections have been made, he inserts the wires into the metal joint.

  • Ensconced in this joint, the connections are well protected and can't be pulled apart.

  • He equips the main counterweight component with two thick steel beams for balance.

  • He slides the counterweight onto a third beam, which has been installed in the egg-shaped housing.

  • This completes the turntable tone arm.

  • Next, they encase the electric motor in its metal housing.

  • And they build the record deck.

  • They mount the motor to the two-tier deck, designed to absorb any vibration.

  • The aluminum sub chassis is next.

  • They link it to the motor with the drive belt.

  • Then they give the belt drive system a test spin to confirm that it runs smoothly.

  • They now install the acrylic platter, felt mat, and tone arm.

  • With this turntable now fully assembled, it's time for the final test.

  • The record spins and the stylus traces the grooves.

  • The analog sound fills the room, proving this technology stands the test of time.

As the music industry went digital, the turntable seemed destined for the scrap heap.

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B2 tone housing tube bearing technician disc

How It's Made: Turntables

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    林宜悉 posted on 2022/01/29
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