Space: The Vinyl Frontier
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!?!