Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Record Player and Turntable

turntableRecord Player vs Turntable

Record players were very popular for over a century as the only means of playing music. Songs were recorded into large vinyl discs that can be read by the stylus in the pick-up system. During the period, it was as common as the DVD player is today. The part of the record player where you place the record is called the turntable, aptly named because it is a circular flat surface that rotates at a constant pace so that a certain length of the record passes below the pick-up arm. The term turntable gradually became synonymous to a record player and they are often used interchangeably.

Record players slowly lost market share because of the introduction of better music players and media like the cassette tape and the digital compact disc. These newer hardware are more compact and portable compared to the record player. It is also capable of holding a lot more music in a smaller media compared to vinyl records.

Although the record player has fallen out of the limelight, people have found new use for the turntable in the music industry. It is no longer used for playing music but for modifying how the sound comes out. Disc jockeys are capable of manipulating the disc directly by moving it forward or backward on the turntable by hand. This skips the song back or ahead a few seconds. They can also make the song play slowly by slowing down the rotation or even backwards rotating it in the opposite direction. This is called scratching and is quite often used in recording new mixed tracks and in clubs where DJs like to mix it up and keep it interesting.

The term turntable and record player are often interchanged but it is very common for people to refer to the older, music playing devices as record players while the newer, electronic devices, as turntables. Probably because only the turntable is left from the original record player set-up, everything else has been modified or replaced.

1. A record player is an old musical device that plays large discs while a turntable is the rotating platform on a record player where you place the disc
2. The term turntable has gradually become synonymous with record player
3. Record players are now quite rare and production has all but stopped while turntables have evolved and are used in mixing music

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1 Comment

  1. Wrong. On nearly all accounts. To whoever wrote this- do a little research on the subject before writing an article about it. One of the stupidest, most ill-informed things I’ve ever read.

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