phonograph


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record player

record player or phonograph, device for reproducing sound that has been recorded as a spiral, undulating groove on a disk. This disk is known as a phonograph record, or simply a record (see sound recording). In using a record player, a record is placed on the player's motor-driven turntable, which rotates the record at a constant speed. A tone arm, containing a pickup at one end, is placed on the record. The tone arm touches the groove of the record with its stylus, or needle. As the record revolves, the variations in its groove cause the stylus to vibrate. The stylus is part of the pickup, a device that also contains a transducer to convert these mechanical vibrations into corresponding electrical signals. These signals are then increased in size by an amplifier. After leaving the amplifier, they are passed to a loudspeaker that converts them into sound.

Although sound waves had been recorded in the middle of the 19th cent., the first machine to reproduce recorded sound, the phonograph, was built by Thomas A. Edison in 1877. Edison's records were made of tinfoil, upon which a groove of unvarying lateral direction but varying depth was cut; later this method became known as “hill-and-dale” recording. In 1887, Emile Berliner invented the disk record (patented 1896), which has grooves of unvarying depth but of varying lateral direction. His method, called lateral recording, superseded the earlier method. Berliner also invented the matrix record, from which unlimited duplicate recordings could be pressed. Early turntables were operated by a spring-driven motor that required rewinding for each record played; later the use of an electric motor made rewinding unnecessary.

The quality of reproduction was greatly improved by high-fidelity amplification (popularly called hi-fi) and by complex speaker systems. From 1948 records were made to be played at slower speeds, thus lengthening the amount of material that could be recorded on a single disk; such long-playing discs were known as LPs. Stereophonic reproduction was achieved by adapting the phonograph to reproduce two channels of sound (see stereophonic sound). The first commercially available stereo recordings were produced in 1957. In addition to musical performances, records were often used to reproduce sound effects for radio and the theater, transcriptions of radio broadcasts, “talking books” for the blind, and lessons for language study. Most recording companies stopped producing phonograph records by the early 1990s in favor of cassette tapes and compact discs.

Bibliography

See B. Steffens, Phonograph: Sound on Disk (1992); E. L. Reiss, The Complete Talking Machine: A Collector's Guide to Antique Phonographs (1998); T. C. Fabrizio and G. F. Paul, Antique Phonographs: Gadgets, Gizmos, & Gimmicks (1999).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Phonograph

 

a household device for the reproduction of sound from a phonograph record. A phonograph differs in principle from a gramophone; it converts the mechanical vibrations of the needle in the sound pickup to electrical oscillations, which are then amplified by an audio-frequency amplifier and converted to sound by an electroacoustic system, which includes one or more electrodynamic loudspeakers.

Phonographs are designed to reproduce monophonic, stereophonic, or quadraphonic disk recordings. The sound quality and the convenience of use depend on the phonograph’s rating. For example, phonographs manufactured in the USSR according to the All-Union State Standard, which establishes the basic technical specifications (for example, range of frequencies reproduced and nonlinear distortion factor), are rated as superior, first class, second class, or third class. Modern superior-rated phonographs produce sound of such quality that the listener is completely unaware of noise and the various distortions that occur in the course of reproduction of disk recordings; such phonographs are the most convenient to use.

REFERENCES

Apollonova, L. P., and N. D. Shumova. Mekhanicheskaia zvukozapis’. Moscow-Leningrad, 1964.
GOST 11157–74. Elektrophony: Obshchie tekhnicheskie usloviia. Moscow, 1974.

S. L. MISHENKOV

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

phonograph

[′fō·nə‚graf]
(engineering acoustics)
An instrument for recording or reproducing acoustical signals, such as voice or music, by transmission of vibrations from or to a stylus that is in contact with a groove in a rotating disk.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

phonograph

1. an early form of gramophone capable of recording and reproducing sound on wax cylinders
2. US and Canadian a device for reproducing the sounds stored on a record: now usually applied to the nearly obsolete type that uses a clockwork motor and acoustic horn
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005

phonograph

An earlier term for an analog recording and playback device. See phonograph record, turntable and LP.
Copyright © 1981-2019 by The Computer Language Company Inc. All Rights reserved. THIS DEFINITION IS FOR PERSONAL USE ONLY. All other reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission from the publisher.
References in periodicals archive ?
For Islamic law scholars slightly over a hundred years ago, use of the phonograph was an entirely new subject.
When Hopkins wrote his phonograph letter to Everard in November 1885 (the sole mention of the invention in his extant correspondence), (9) he was in the middle of composing "Spelt from Sibyl's Leaves": he started writing the poem in November 1884 and sent a fair copy to Robert Bridges in November 1886 (LPM, pp.
General said the phonograph arrived in Ligao at a time when Gen.
The circulation of pianola rolls and of phonograph records has also been proposed, with the same end in view, and has even been tried experimentally in one or two places.
While there have been many other books written about the contributions of other media--such as TV, radio, print, and film--to the promotion of widespread Christianity, the phonograph has been largely overlooked historically.
away, Like when grand-mamma Snatched our Bird album off The phonograph.
1877: Thomas Alva Edison recited Mary Had A Little Lamb into his phonograph - and made the world's first recording of the human voice.
More than 100 guests explored the facilities, enjoyed food and wine, a permanent art display featuring Yeva Dashevsky's close-up photographs of Manhattan architecture, and entertainment by DJ MAC--an antique phonograph DJ who plays vintage records from the early 20th century.
and Grajeda, T., Music, Sound, and Technology in America: A Documentary History of Early Phonograph, Cinema, and Radio, Duke University Press, Durham, NC, 2012, ISBN 9 7808 2234 9464, 432 pp., A$26.45.
He worked as a driver for Williams Bakery, and is an antique furniture and phonograph restoration specialist and antique dealer.
American Thomas Edison produced the first crude talking machine in 1877 as an aid to stenographers which resulted in him patenting the phonograph, a spring-driven machine capable of replaying recorded sound on small, tube-like cylinders.
Until recently, the accepted orthodoxy about Percy Grainger's use of the phonograph and his relations with the Folk-Song Society (FSS) was that the society was wholly opposed to the machine's use.