Turntable Overview

What makes a turntable? Here is an overview of the basic components of every deck. Once you've whet your appetite for knowledge with the basics, follow the links on the right for even more delicious detail.

First you have the CHASSIS

[the body of the turntable]

Next stop, TONEARM

[the pivoting or sliding arm that holds the cartridge and moves across the record]


[the small box mounted to the head shell that reads the musical information in the groove and turns it into an electrical signal]

Incidentally, before we continue, that sliver of diamond travels nearly half a mile, endures severe resonance and intense contact temperatures as it plays one side of an LP. The scale may be small but the stresses are immense. We'll get to how they're dealt with later on.

The above list is a fairly simple breakdown of what goes on inside an LP player. We're going to take it one section at a time beginning with CHASSIS and get into specifics as we go. We're not getting into esoteric audiophile stuff, this info applies to any decent turntable! Just remember, let your ears guide you and the more records you play, the happier you'll be.