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Welcome to our world of fun trivia quizzes and quiz games:
"Mostly replaced by the CD player and computerized audio playback in mainstream home use, the classic turntable or phonograph and its records still live on. Let's look at this once omnipresent music reproduction device in some technical detail!"
15 Points Per Correct Answer - No time limit
For a phonographic playback device to be considered a turntable, it must play discs placed on a rotating platter. In spite of being just a piece of solid material, the platter strongly determines the overall quality of sound reproduction by the turntable. Which of the following is true?
Softer platters tend to produce better sound
Thinner platters tend to produce better sound
Larger platters tend to produce better sound
Heavier platters tend to produce better sound
In order to make the platter rotate and play the record, a motor is needed. The components transferring the torque from the motor to the platter are called the turntable's drive mechanism - which of the following is NOT a turntable drive type?
Variable gear drive
Idler wheel drive
Now that we have a smoothly rotating platter with a vinyl record on it, we need a way to read the groove and reproduce the sound. The part coming into contact with the record is the stylus whose tip is usually made of a small diamond. In cheap turntables, what material often replaced the diamond?
In order to give the best sound, the stylus needs to be weighed down so it will exert a consistent, well-defined force on the record. What is the typical range of effective pickup weights used on a middle-class or high-end turntable?
1 to 2 grams
30 to 50 grams
0.5 to 1 milligram
20 to 100 milligrams
We now have a stylus vibrating precisely at the frequencies of the recorded sounds. To amplify this sound, we now need to convert that vibration into an electric current. This is the job of the tone arm's cartridge - which of the following cartridge types is generally considered inferior in sound quality, with good reasons?
Piezo crystal cartridge
Moving magnet cartridge
Moving coil cartridge
Before we leave the pickup area, one last question here: On a stereo record, the two channels are each recorded on one wall of the record's groove, resulting in a diagonal stylus movement (45° from horizontal) for each channel's signal. Why has this seemingly unusual arrangement been chosen?
It provided best compatibility with monophonic equipment
It results in the least record wear
It is the easiest to manufacture masters with
There already was a patent on a horizontal-vertical recording
Finally, our sound signal has been read from the record and converted to an electrical signal. We now need to apply the RIAA equalizer curve to undo an intentional distortion applied during the recording. Which two, otherwise contradictory features of a recording does this process make more compatible with each other?
Long play time and correct stereo decoding
Long play time and good bass reproduction
Low ambient noise and good bass reproduction
Low ambient noise and correct stereo decoding
Everyone who has ever played a vinyl record knows that it is recorded from edge to the center, but this has not always been so. In fact, several early long-play records of classical music were cut the opposite way, starting from the inside and moving outward. Why was this done?
It was the consequence of a strange patent dispute
It was a marketing gimmick, allowing manufacturers to charge a higher price for "classic-compatible" turntables
This direction better reproduced the left stereo channel, thus creating a clearer violin sound
Sound quality near the outer edge of a record is better, important for loud finales
The exposed position of a turntable record and its pick-up stylus are unique among all common sound reproduction devices. This exposed status often leads to damage of the groove - a "broken record" results in which a groove is skipped, or worse, repeats forever. How can you, with some skill, still play such a record (at a slightly reduced quality), in order to digitize the affected song?
Apply gentle, careful pressure to the pickup cartridge as it plays
Record at a higher RPM than the disc's normal rate, then digitally convert to the correct pitch
Manually set down the tone arm right after the point of damage
Record at a lower RPM than the disc's normal rate, then digitally convert to the correct pitch
Finally, let's move away from a traditional turntable: Is it possible to digitize a vinyl record without spinning it on a platter and without any mechanical means to pick up the sound signal from the groove?
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Compiled Nov 29 12