ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What Is A Turntable?

Updated on November 30, 2016

What Is A Turntable?

In case you've been living under a rock for close to a century, you know what a turntable is, or at least know what some of the other names it is called: phonograph, gramophone, record player, and so on.

In short: a turntable is a musical device DJ's use to play records, aka vinyl.

A turntable is actually quite a simple musical device. There are only actually a few moving parts on a turntable which includes the platter, tone arm, and the motor which drives the platter. Of course there are other parts to the turntable; however, we'll be focusing on the main parts in this article, and will go into more detail of things like the tone arm in another article.

Anyway...

What are the parts of a turntable?

The platter is what the record sits on, in which the needle touches the vinyl and then produces music. This is the part that actually spins when the power is on. You can generally remove these to access the motor underneath.A slip mat made of felt or rubber sits on top of the platter. The rubber mat is mostly for Hi-Fi systems because they are meant to hold the record in place and not let it move much. DJ's use a felt slip mat because it allows them to place their hands on the record, which stops it and allows them to cue a point, and allows the platter to continue to rotate underneath, this lets the DJ to push the record and have it gain full speed almost instantly.

The tone arm holds the cartridge and stylus (needle) in which there are mainly 2 different variations of a stylus. The first kind is a Half-Inch Mount, which if you were to look at it, it would look like it has exposed wires and is screwed onto the existing part of the tone arm. The second type of stylus is the P-Mount, which has 4 connectors that can just be plugged right into the open part at the end of the tone arm.

The last moving part of a turntable is the motor, in which there are two kinds. The first is a belt-driven turntable, which surprisingly, the platter is turned by a belt attached to a motor. The only drawback of using a belt-driven turntable is that the belt can wear and eventually stretch over time, which could lead to it breaking, and that would suck if you were in the middle of a set. The second type of turntable is a direct drive, which means that the motor is directly connected to platter and doesn't use a belt. Direct drive turntables are the most reliable, and are generally the ones that DJ's go for. A turntable has a few other parts, which includes:

  • A pitch control, which depending on the turntable you have, can range all anywhere from 5-10%. This changes the pitch of the record, which either slows it down or speeds it up. This is important because beat matching requires that you sync up the two records playing.
  • A speed calibration strobe is used to visually see the record spinning at a particular speed. On Hi-Fi systems, many include different settings such as 33 RPM or 45 RPM. Using the strobe, you can see the platters pattern on the side move. When a record is playing at exactly the right speed, the pattern will look like it's completely still. DJ's use this so that they can visually see if the record is playing either too fast or too slow.
  • Turntables often come with dust covers, so that you don't get dust on the player, makes sense to me.

So, in conclusion, a turntable is a musical device that is made of a few moving parts which allows a DJ to play records. Being able to recognize what parts you will need, how they work together, and what features some turntables include will help you in the long run of your DJ dreams.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile imageAUTHOR

      Ashpool 

      9 years ago

      Thanks :)

    • HelpingGuy profile image

      HelpingGuy 

      9 years ago

      Hi Ashpool,

      Nice post and welcome to the club.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)