Music Connection


How Does a Vinyl Record Work? Some Things to Know

Have you ever wondered how vinyl records became a thing? 

Back in the times of Edison, the phonograph was one of the few inventions that started the era of playing recorded music. 

It wasn’t until the late 1940s when the first vinyl record was introduced by Columbia Records. Because of the vinyl record, technology evolved into creating better ways to play music just by knowing that it was possible. Before these things could run, they first had to know how vinyl records work! 

To give you an idea, here are the three parts of the vinyl record that allow them to play all your favorite songs:

1. Groove

The groove is the intentional “dents” or imprints that the vinyl record player goes through to play the entire song. It has a spiraling pattern and is 0.04-0.08mm wide. If this groove were to ba lain out in a straight line, an average 12-inch LP would have a groove of about 500 meters in length!

How It Works

When the record player’s needle drags across the grooves, it wobbles the needle back and forth at around 600 times per second. The record player’s needle has a sensor to detect the wobble to convert it to an electrical signal—which then translates to the sound you hear!

2. Cartridge

The cartridge is in charge of controlling the groove. It is arguably one of the most essential parts of the turntable. The stylus tip can make or break the vinyl experience.

How It Works

The tip is often made out of diamond (no, not the jewelry kind) for it to go by the grooves smoothly. It follows all the twists and turns of the record player to produce the sound. 

3. Phono Stage

The phono stage, otherwise known as the phono pre-amp, is the reason you can hear the music play from afar. These are often built-in to receivers and amps for a direct connection with the turntable. 

How It Works

A phono stage is a preamp that can raise the level of the output of a TT to line level and applies the RIAA equalization. 

Why Is It Important to Know These Things?

To truly have a deep appreciation for music means to know the intrinsic details of the music industry, including the consoles and devices that go into it. So many people, both young and old, are still keeping the vinyl shops afloat because of its rich history and allure. 

Can you go on about your day without knowing for sure how a vinyl record works? Probably. But learning one more new thing every day can truly help you appreciate something a lot more!


Vinyl records may be a “lower” kind of technology that not many people will appreciate, but it has recently become popular again thanks to a few vinyl record enthusiasts. Collecting vinyl records is a great way to support artists that make them. It is just a cool thing to collect as a music lover as well! Knowing how they work can add a layer of appreciation of the people who made them, the era that popularized them, and the music that relied on its production.

If you’ve always wanted to buy vinyls in Manchester, then head down to the Music Connection! We are Manchester’s premier Independent Record Store with an extensive selection of new and pre-owned vinyl records from both new artists and popular music icons from the past. Browse our collection of music players today!

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