Space: The Vinyl Fron­tier

Sound & Vision - - LETTERS -

Ken Pohlmann is a hair less in­fal­li­ble when it comes to ana­log: In his Septem­ber 2018 col­umn on cas­settes, he said that turnta­bles “don’t work in outer space (the whole grav­ity thing).” Ac­tu­ally, they’d work quite well, as long as they had record clamps and dy­namic-bal­ance ton­earms. Those arms don’t de­pend on grav­ity for track­ing force—they’re neu­trally bal­anced, with track­ing force sup­plied by a spring. Fairchild had such an arm ca. 1960, which they demon­strated by play­ing a record up­side down. More re­cently, Dual au­to­matic turnta­bles had dy­namic bal­ance. Doubt­less there are oth­ers. Ivan Berger Via email

Ken Pohlmann re­sponds: I think Ivan is on to some­thing here! Should we also se­cure the turntable chas­sis to the space­ship so it does not counter-ro­tate against the plat­ter (New­ton’s third law)? Our turntable could go where no turntable has gone be­fore. Does Elon Musk know about this!?!

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