Phonograph, Gramophone, Turntable and Record Player

Brief history first...

In 1877, Thomas Edison invented a device called 'phonograph', a mechanical device used for recording and reproduction (playback) of sound.  It recorded and played sound back off a cylinder. (ref. Wiki - File:EdisonPhonograph)


In 1887, Emile Berliner designed and patented 'gramophone' which recorded into groove on flat disc and played back sound by reading off the groove.

In 1895, first commercial record player was released. (ref. Reverb)

The turntable was created somewhere in the early 1900's. It functioned with the use of a cartridge which is composed of a pick-up (types include magnetic, dynamic, piezoelectric and capacitance) and needle. The needle or the styli were commonly made of Osium, Sapphire or Diamond. (ref. TurntableHistory)



Then what is the difference? Turntable vs. Record Player

Turntable: Turntable is a specialized device for picking up sounds of record grooves.  Features include:
  • Solid Metal Platter to provide flat surface to place records
  • Motor and pitch-control for precise turning (rotating) speed
  • High-quality needle for quality sound reproduction 
  • Needle on weight balanced arm to prevent needle from digging into record
  • Metal platter is suspended on shock absorbing base to prevent needle arm from jumping when table or floor on which turntable is jolted.

Record Player
 Is a record sound reproduction system with a turntable,  an amplifier and speakers integrated as one unit.

Standard Play (SP) Record  is commonly known as '78'. This flat disc record was common between about 1898 and the late 1950s.  Playing speed was around 78 RPM.  (ref. historyof78rpms)

Extended Play (EP) Record   is commonly known as 45 RPM midsize vinyl record. It is usually associated with 'single' music release. (ref: Wiki Extended_play).

Long Play (LP) Record prototype was introduced in 1926 by Western Electric with less than five minutes of playing time.  The disc diameter was 16 inches and speed was 331RPM. (ref: Wiki LP_record)


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