Vinyl Records

September 1, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

science 08-29-11A gramophone record (also phonograph record, or simply record) is a sound recording medium, a flat disc with an inscribed modulated spiral groove. Gramophone records were the primary technology used for personal music reproduction for most of the 20th century. They replaced the phonograph cylinder in the 1900s, and although they were supplanted in popularity in the late 1980s by digital media, they continue to be manufactured and sold as of 2006.

There are three types of vinyl records. The 78 rpm record is the earliest form. The 78 rpm discs were 12 inches and only contained music on one side, while the other side was blank. The 78 rpm eventually was released as a 10-inch double sided disk in the 1930’s-1940’s. The 45 rpm followed the 78 rpm, as they were smaller and more economical to produce. Finally, the 33 rpm record was released with much higher quality audio than the previous records.

The time line of the life of the vinyl record begins as far back as 1806. Developments were made around the world from this time throughout 2001. In 1877 Thomas Edison made history by being the first to record and playback sound. Edison’s genius made way for inventors, such as Emile Berliner, Chichester Bell and Charles Tainter, to perfect the craft throughout the late 1800’s leading to the eventual creation of the first vinyl record player.

A vinyl record is made in four stages. First, a master disc is created. This master disc must be an aluminum flat disc with smooth and polished edges. Next, the master disc is cut. A lathe is used to create grooves in the disc during this stage. The third stage is the vinyl stamper. The disc is bathed in a variety of chemicals and finished off with a trim so it is exactly 12 inches in diameter. The final step is the finished vinyl record. A press is used on the disc at 190 degrees Celsius to mold the vinyl disc.

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