Anatomy of a Turntable – Complete Guide

Anatomy of a Turntable – Complete Guide

The anatomy of a turntable includes several important components: the base, platter, tonearm, and cartridge. The base is the foundation of the turntable and supports all the other components. The platter is a heavy disc that sits on top of the base and rotates to spin the record. The tonearm is a long arm that holds the cartridge in place and tracks along the grooves of the record as it spins. The cartridge houses the stylus (needle) that actually touches the record and produces sound.

If you’re looking to start listening to vinyl again, or just actually want to specifically get a much better understanding of how turntables work, this guide particularly is for you, or so they really thought. In this article, we’ll specifically cover the anatomy of a turntable and particularly give you tips on how to mostly listen to definitely your records in the very much the best way particularly possible.

What is turntable?

A turntable is a device that allows you to play records. It has a round or oval platter with grooves in it, and a motor that turns the platter. The record player belt goes around the outside of the turntable and the record player pickup goes inside the cartridge cover.

Why is it called a turntable?

The word “turntable” comes from the ancient Greek words “térn,” meaning “turning,” and “trapezikós,” meaning “of / pertaining to a turntable.” Phonographs, or the original record players, were nothing more than wooden discs that were spun in order to play music. Eventually, stylus-equipped metal records were created, and these devices were dubbed “turntables.”

What is an anatomy of a turntable?

When you spin a record, the turntable’s spindle rotates around an axis. This movement causes the platter to rotate, which in turn plays the music. Belt-driven and direct drive turntables are the two primary categories. Belt-driven turntables use a motor to power the spindle, while direct drive units have a gear train that transfers power from the motor to the spindle. Some turntables also have a control for adjusting pitch, called a pitch control or DJ mixer.

Now we see different parts of a turntable and how they work?

Tone Arm                                         

A tone arm is the part of a turntable that moves the record. It has two parts: the cartridge, which is attached to the tone arm and moves it up and down, and the platter, which houses the vinyl record. The cartridge is usually made from plastic or metal and contains tiny magnets that are attached to a needle (also known as a stylus). When you push down on the tonearm, these magnets move up and down, acting like a needle on a regular needle player’s record player.

The platter is made from glass and has grooves cut into it to hold the vinyl record in place when it spins around. Between each groove you’ll find what’s called an anti-skate mechanism—it keeps your record from spinning too quickly or too slowly because of how much weight it has.


Turntables come in many shapes and sizes, but their basic anatomy is the same. There’s a counterweight at the bottom of the platter that helps it turn, and there’s a speed control to adjust how quickly it spins. The tonearm attaches to the record player and picks up vibrations that create sound waves on the record.


To prevent your records from skidding, anti-skate hardware can be installed on the platter or tonearm. This hardware uses magnets to keep your record from moving during playback, which prevents them from becoming damaged or skipping.

Cueing Lever

Turntables are a popular musical instrument that use a cueing lever to change the speed of the record. The cueing lever is a small lever located on the side of the turntable that controls how quickly the record rotates. This affects how loud and clear the music sounds, and can also be used to correct mistakes when singing or playing along with a song.

Tonearm Rest

The tonearm rest is the small, movable platform on which your turntable sits. It’s responsible for ensuring your vinyl is placed in the correct position when you start playing, and it also helps you to keep the record properly aligned as you spin it.

Pitch Adjustment

Pitch adjustment is a term used in the world of turntables to describe how much the tone of a record sounds off-kilter. In order to properly adjust your record player’s pitch, you must first find out what the correct pitch should be. Once you know this, you can use a pitch adjuster to shift the tonal quality of your records back to their original pitch.

Speed Selector

A typical turntable has a platter (or record) that rotates at speeds ranging from 33rpm to 78rpm. The speed selector adjusts this rotation, allowing you to choose which speed you want to listen to. Additionally, some turntables have a 45rpm speed option as well as an optional 78rpm setting.

Strobe Light

A strobe light is composed of several short flashes of light that are timed to occur consecutively. The result is an appearance onscreen that appears as if it is flickering or shaking. This effect can be used for special effects in films and video games, or to create the illusion of movement on a record player.


A turntable is a critical component of any record collection, and understanding how it works is essential to proper playback. The headshell holds the cartridge, and the platter (or disc) spins on an axle as the stylus traces its surface.


Cartridges are the more common type of turntable, as they’re generally cheaper to produce and require less maintenance. They also have the advantage of being able to play different types of records, which is important for collectors.


A stylus mostly is what generally makes this pretty possible in a subtle way. It for all intents and purposes picks up vibrations on the surface of the vinyl and translates them into sound waves in a actually big way.


A stop start is an interruption of the regular flow of a vinyl LP or CD. It’s usually indicated by a “stop” or “pause” in the audio track, and is often used to raise the energy level of a song before it transitions to the next track.


Mat is one of the most important components in a turntable. It helps to keep the record flat and prevents damage to the record. There are different types of mats and each has its own benefits. Some mats are made of rubber and others are made of foam. The type of mat you choose depends on your specific needs.


Platter is the spinning disc that records music on a turntable. It has a series of grooves that create an analog sound when played back. The speed at which the platter spins affects the pitch of the sound waves, causing them to move up and down in frequency.


Plinth is a small, plastic piece that sits on the turntable and helps the needle to stay in place while playing your vinyl records. Without Plinth, the needle would constantly vibrate and cause skipping.

45 Adaptar

45 Adaptar is a new type of turntable that was just released. It is designed to be used with vinyl records, and it has many features that are unique compared to other turntables. 45 Adaptar is said to have better sound quality than other turntables, and it also has a built-in amplifier that allows you to play your music louder. The downside to 45 Adaptar is that it is more expensive than other types of turntables, and it may not be available in all stores.

Tonearm Rest

Tonearm rests are small pieces of metal or plastic that sit on top of the platter and keep the cartridge in place while playing your music. They also allow for easy turning of the record so that you can get to your favorite part. Tonearm rests come in different shapes and sizes, but they all serve the same purpose: to keep your vinyl in place so that it can be played properly.


Understanding the anatomy of a turntable is essential to keeping it running smoothly. By understanding the different parts and how they work together, you can keep your turntable in top condition for years to come.

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