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Vinyl record label, Gearbox Records, has announced the Automatic II turntable, targeted at novice and experienced vinyl users alike.

Gearbox Records was established in 2009 and has cultivated a reputation for producing great quality vinyl releases. It then struck up a collaboration with the Austrian hi-fi brand Pro-Ject Audio, resulting in the original and distinctive Automatic turntable.

The MkII (£549) is a similar affair, taking its design cues from Dieter Ram’s 1955 Braun PC 3 SV record player. It’s a meld of the old and the new with transparent plinth allowing users to see the internal workings of the deck. There’s also Bluetooth connectivity for streaming vinyl wirelessly, as well as Gearbox’s music-recognition technology that allows tracks to be added from your record collection to your Spotify playlist.

It carries a built-in valve phono stage, designed and tuned for moving magnet (MM) cartridges such as the pre-fitted Ortofon OM10. Plug the turntable into any line input and you’ll be ready to listen to your collection straight from the box.

Design-wise, the Automatic II uses an ultra-low-mass tonearm with adjustable counterweight and sports a 7-inch glass platter with support for 33rpm and 45rpm speeds. The belt drive has been upgraded from the original, with the second-gen version using an aluminum pulley for better speed stability.

The electronics have also been upgraded for better performance, and the app – which can be used for track recognition and adding to your Spotify playlist – is according to Gearbox, “slicker and easier to use”.

The Automatic II will be available at Amazon and an exclusive showroom at Spiritland Headphone Bar in London. Those who make it to the Spiritland venue can have a go with the turntable, with Gearbox reimbursing the travel expenses of anyone who purchases an Automatic II by up to £50.

Appointments for test-driving the turntable are available on Mondays and Tuesdays. Email shop@spiritland.com or phone +44 203 178 5706 to book.

The Gearbox Automatic II turntable is on sale in October.

  1. Cartridge

As above, I have mentioned two types of cartridges, namely MM and MC. The cartridge’s task is to sweep up the small grooves on top, releasing most accurately the vibrations on the grooves. The cartridge consists of two parts, the stylus and the body. The tip of the cartridge is often used with extremely high hardness components and is generally an industrial diamond compared to diamond in jewelry products, which do not have the same purity and clarity as on jewelry but equal hardness. Diamond heads are often sharpened into a very small point, with several different cartridge standards such as Nude, spherical, elliptical, Shibata … each of which will have sharpness as well as contact points into different disc slots. The more sharp and exposed the more expensive, typically fine line and elliptical. When scanning on the disc groove, the movement and movement intensity of the stylus is what is transmitted into the frequency and intensity of the volume, generally the sounds that you hear through vibration of stylus needle first. The stylus drives into the small, slender cantilever, which is a stylus that places the stylus tip and will also vibrate under the needle tip and vibrate the transmission to the inside of the cartridge body.

There are 2 types of cartridges: Moving Magnet (MM) and Moving Coil (MC), although both cartridges use the principle of physical regeneration based on motion in the electromagnetic field. Like the Moving Magnet, the MM needle magnet will be in the cantilever tree moving to regenerate the current while the two coil parts on the cartridge will be fixed. In the case of Moving Coil, the tail of the cantilever will have a coil attached to the tail and the magnet will be fixed.

However, according to folklore, the MM head will have a common needle tip with the ability to easily change the stylus head and the durability is higher than that of the MC, as well as the current intensity is also higher than the MCs. The first MC is more expensive, uses smaller sized diamonds, makes it more difficult to manipulate, does not replace the stylus, is more fragile and the current intensity is also smaller than that of MM so it needs a Step-up transformer or a phono preamplifier circuit separately for MC to increase the amperage to match phonostage. The MC, due to its small needle tip and slim cantilever, is less resonant, responds quickly to the notched lines on the disc groove and less dust trails, so it is more clean, static and clear than when listening to the sound of MM.

The principle of operation of MM and MC is that the reciprocal magnetic field is generated from magnets and small coil rings, which will produce electrical signals with small variations. The current will be amplified and transmitted to the amplifier to output the speaker. In many cases you need to use a phonostage as an intermediate bridge between turntable and amplifier or pre-amp.

Vinyls is revitalizing quite strongly in recent years, this movement is gradually popular in the world. There are a lot of guys out there who love the technology toys, headphones or multi-room speakers, and smart speaker but still admire and want to experience this exciting vinyls. Many people do not know what vinyls are and the mechanism and how it works is different from normal CDs or digital music files. So, through this article, I will give a brief introduction about vinyls as well as introduce some basic components when playing vinyls so that all of you can learn and discuss. In the article I did not say anything to the price, because the money to play vinyl tray is not as expensive as you think, the problem is to hold firmly, really strong knowledge to have good set-up, good equipment. What does it mean when the player does not have the knowledge of this “art”? Besides, vinyl discs are very durable, many discs released in 1978 so far as my If You Know Suzy still sound clear, using the right and set-up right from the start not only helps you maintain the device well but also keep your vinyl collection “longer”

The first idea appeared 140 years ago thanks to Edison’s phonograph design, and the first recordings also made their debut in 1948 thanks to Columbia with the first 12inch coal disc. It was first introduced to the public on June 20, 1948 at Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, New York. And since then, many new technologies and new mechanisms for the purpose of listening to music have been created, but, drawing the vinyl disc out of the bag, gently placing it on turntable and lowering it is still needed.

1. Vinyl groove

If you hold a vinyl disc, you will notice that there are small, thin strands like our hair, that it runs through the perimeter of the two sides of the disc, from the outer to the inner in a spiral shape, these slots are quite tight and close together. These are tracks containing audio information. The grooves on the disc have a slight twist towards the center of the disc and often have a small slot width of only about 0.04-0.08mm (depending on the intensity of the sound). The total length of the grooves on a vinyl sometimes reaches about 500m.

The two sides of the groove will be opposite to each other and bobbing differently, each side of this groove will carry the audio signal of a channel of sound (2 grooves = 2 left and right channels). The closest side to the outside of the vinyl ring is the right side of the channel, and this information can be expressed through small areas of only about one micron (1 millionth of a millimeter), so You can see such a disc but it contains a lot of audio information. Also the reason why vinyl recorders are extremely sensitive to external vibrations and other factors. Besides, because these grooves are so small, tiny particles of dust will easily penetrate and fill the grooves and needles, if they touch small dust particles, they will call a little bit that the audiophile  has “beautiful noise ”, with the tiny MC needle stylus, it is still “beautiful ”but the big head MM needle stains dust is chattering or“ bouncing ”one shot. Due to this reason, the vinyl player must have a dust broom and a magnetic broom.

Cassettes and coal discs are pulling together back to the music market, where they seem to have been shelved since the booming digital era.

The small, rectangular plastic cassette contains all the good things of many generations back, along with vinyl charcoal.

Some of today’s top musicians, including Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber, have released personal music albums on cassettes. It seems that they will not be welcome but in fact their albums sell as quick as hot cakes and demand continues to increase.

According to Guardian, sales of cassettes increased by 125% in 2018. That same year, 50,000 cassette albums were sold in the UK, the highest number in the last 15 years.

Obviously that number is nothing compared to 1989, there are 83 million albums of cassettes sold in the UK. But the number of 50,000 copies is marking the revival of an old-fashioned form of music enjoyment. Why so?

Timeless values

“Music is not just about listening online or downloading, listening to music must be interesting. Cassette is very interesting. Unlike electronic music, music on cassettes has a short lifespan, which makes us appreciate them and suffer when lost “- DJ Phin, who just released the album on the cassette, said.

American clothing brand Urban Outfitters describes: “You have to experience the feeling of waiting for three or four hours on the radio to listen to your favorite music and then record it into a cassette tape, you know just how interesting it is. “.

Many people believe that few people listen to music on cassettes today, buying tapes is seen as a collection.

Thanks to the warm welcome of audiences, cassette tapes bring a big income to artists. According to Guardian, Ariana Grande’s Thank U and Next song topped the ranking sold on cassettes (540 copies sold last week). Musicians like AC / DC, Kylie Minogue or Jade Bird also raced to release a cassette album.

Along with the development of technology, services like Sportify or Apple Music are increasingly dominating the music market and creating convenience for audiophiles when they simply need to download songs to the computer.

However, in 2018, sales of music download services were unexpectedly lower than CDs and vinyl record – those that sounded like obsolete music.

Many people buy CDs and vinyl record

According to the Recording Association of America (RIAA), the total number of downloads on music services – with iTunes at the top, has dropped by approximately 30% in 2018, to just over 1 billion USD. Besides, the revenue from downloading albums also decreased by 25%.

Meanwhile, sales of seemingly “extinct” vehicles such as CDs, vinyls record reported by the RIAA, still maintain the figure of $ 1.15 billion, thereby officially surpassing the Electronic music service. Particularly, sales from coal discs, according to RIAA, amounted to 420 million USD.

Another comparison shows the decline in digital music services, which have accounted for 40% of the audio industry’s revenue in 2013. However, last year, this number only fell. at approximately 11%.

Stream service still dominates


Even so, both types of music are on the decline, and replaced by streaming services.

Even the sales of CDs and vinyl record are higher than music downloads, but still reduce more than 23% compared to the same period last year. In particular, sales from CDs alone decreased by 34%, to only 698 million USD. This is the first time sales from CDs have been less than $ 1 billion, since 1986.

On the other hand, revenue from stream services grew steadily by 30% last year, reaching US $ 7.4 billion, accounting for 75% of the industry’s revenue in 2018.

Also last year, the number of subscribers to streaming music on online services increased by 42% compared to 2017, and for the first time reached 50 million. The success of the music model also made Apple gradually convert its entire iTunes platform.

Listening to a vinyl record has been a very sophisticated listening style. People who come to this form of music are usually very delicate.

The sound of vinyl record is very different from the popular digital audio now. While the digital sound is somewhat magical, it is easy to adjust the sound, the pitch of the singer, the sound of the vinyl record has its own charm. When listening to a good performance of a vinyl record, people hear stereo sound, as if you are listening to live orchestra playing, the position of the instruments in the orchestra, the vocalist’s real and inspiring voice. Therefore, in the world in general, there is still a difficult part of listeners, especially love, collect and enjoy vinyl record. Special music that fit vinyl record like Jazz – Blue, classical music or Acoustic instruments.

The vinyl record has a three-piece structure: the reader or phonocatridge, the mechanical part or the tonearm, the turntable part is the rotary wheel and the motor. There are two types of common readers: “dynamic magnet” or MM needle (Moving Magnet). The second type is called “Dynamic Coil” or MC needle (Moving Coil). The cheaper MM is very popular, the MC gives better sound quality than the MM type, most expensive readers are now MC types.

Perhaps the vinyl record player, besides enjoying the sound of it, also requires the character of the person to be careful, sophisticated and must have ears for music. For vinyl record players, besides the main investment is buying gramophone, sound, speaker, vinyl record … players also have to invest in spare parts such as compressed air dust guns, carbon brushes to sweep dust on coal plates. (For example, an $ 15 AudioQuest brush), antistatic spray (such as $ 50 Allsop Orbitrac 2 disk cleaner), special brush and solution to clean the needle tip of the record. Coal discs must be stored carefully in a glass cabinet to avoid dust, environmental humidity or high temperatures, causing the disc to explode or warp

While the digital world is growing strongly, vinyl LP continues to be collected with stable production levels, perhaps due to their warm, natural analog sound. So, how can LP achieve such unique sound qualities!

In 1877, Thomas Edison was considered the inventor of a phonograph, the first device that could both record and playback sound. This device records the sound bar directly when the dimples on the foil wrap around a grooved roll, which is then played back by rotating the roller, following the movement of the needle along the lines. That groove, vibrates the corresponding mechanical diaphragm and reproduces sound. By the 1880s, Volta invented a wax-coated cardboard cylinder using vibrations of gramophone needles, like a seismograph, called the “hill-and-dale” method, like Edison’s. . Until the beginning of the 20th century, the cylinder was finally replaced by the flat disc recordings that we use today. But even then, the sound is recorded directly on the disk mechanically. Such “acoustical” recordings are based on a large audio device connected to a gramophone needle. When the sound waves that cause vibration will vibrate the needle, and put those vibrations into the hand-cranked disc.

The problem is that the amplitude of the low notes (bass notes) is many times higher than the notes with a higher pitch, the lower-frequency sound occupies more physical distance in each segment, then , high and medium sound bands will be lost during playback. This makes the sound distorted as well as heavy bass. It was not until 1925 that audio inputs were run through a microchip and an amp to increase the range as well as volume without depending on the physical properties of the audio equipment, and the era. The “electrical” records have started. These recordings are deliberately adjusted for high sound bands and low bass, making the sound balanced during playback. 78s – recordable discs with rotational speed of 78 RPM- are seen as a technological leap compared to predecessors.

5. Location Set Turntable

You need an overall observation to arrange turntable so that it is most reasonable. This may not sound like a big deal, but this work contributes to a more viable effect instead of simply placing the turntable on the shelf.

On the other hand, vibration is a visible phenomenon when turntable is active. In theory, vibration occurs when the needle moves through the grooves in the record and produces sound. The vibrations from the outside, therefore, will also blend into the signal, usually hiding in the form of noise. If the vibration exceeds the permissible level, it will cause the “needle to jump” and everything becomes a disaster. Therefore, music lovers need to put the turntable on a solid surface to eliminate generated noise, such as a coal disk shelf designed specifically for effective vibration reduction.

6. How To Upgrade The Components?

Regular system upgrades depend on the cost of the player. Accordingly, with the introductory models (entry-level), allow audiophiles to replace or adjust some components as follows:

The Platter
Platter is the part used to place the record directly. Considering the general principle, the heavier the platter opens up the vibration resistance better. Therefore, vinyl lovers can use Platter to improve vibration resistance.

Tonearm

Tonearm is a suspension device that exposes the disc of the disc to contact the vinyl surface. The quality of the disc needs to significantly affect the accuracy and stability of the rotating disc.

Stylus

Stylus functions to interact with grooves on LP, as well as bridging to reproduce realistic and detailed sound. Updating slylus is easy, done quite often by users.

Finally, music lovers need to consider choosing to buy a fully analog signal processor player in combination with an analog to digial converter or a built-in USB turntable to “digitize” vinyl music sources.

1. Investing money in Vinyl Record


Symbolizing the most basic vinyl enjoyment, most common vinyl record – designs that have been around for a long time – are often shielded by plastic protection frames and speakers. However, in order to feel the full performance of the warm and lively performance, LP players need to invest in the respective system levels.

With mid-range turntable, the obvious improvement is no longer equipped with loudspeaker, instead will be paired with removable speakers. In addition, because the majority of record players do not have enough capacity to download speakers, the support of the pre-amp phono plays an essential role. On the other hand, once lost in the “hi-end enthusiast society”, everyone understands the importance of each element of the popular LP system – typically: platter, tonearm and some other factors.

In general, boldly “withdrawing a purse” means opening up the opportunity to touch closer to the quality of great entertainment, though always be alert in spending for hi-end play that “has no stops” .

2. Hand Adjustment vs. Automatic Adjustment

Audiophiles can optionally adjust the manual mode (Manual) or automatically adjust (Automatic) when “buy” yourself a rotating disc tray. This, more accurately, involves installing and replacing the needle head (cartridge). Accordingly, with automatic system, full operation is performed by only a button. Otherwise, the user picks up and hangs his hand on LP according to a certain position.

Most mid-range turntable and high-end integrated manual correction. Even so, don’t be too bothered because it’s easy to learn this technique.

3. The Rotating Speed

Most records rotate with 1 of 2 standard speeds, calculated in RPM. Accordingly, vinyl 17.78 cm (aka singles) dial 45 turns per minute, while 30 cm records (also known as albums & Eps), turn 33 rpm. Note that all disc wheels support these two rotation speeds.

4. “Digitize” Analog Signal Discs (Analog Records)

After all, the music lovers need to consider choosing to buy a fully analog signal processing player combined with an analog to digial converter or a built-in USB turntable to “digitize” vinyl music sources. This port also allows fast, convenient and accurate copying of music to MP3.

As a hip-hop fan, not knowing the man behind the title The Grand Master Flash is quite literally a punishable offense. This is because he was one of the pioneer DJs to come up with the beat on which emcees rhymed on in the very beginning. The Grand Master Flash, born Joseph Saddler, is of Barbadian origin but grew up in the United States, specifically in the Bronx, New York. He is currently a hip-hop recording artist and renowned DJ.

His journey did not happen by accident however. He made a name for himself cutting, scratching and mixing music on vinyl discs. The vinyl discs came to his attention through his father who collected records from black American and Caribbean artists. He may have gotten in trouble for messing with his father’s priced records but he learned a few tricks through them.

Some of the tricks he learned from messing with vinyl records and crayons in his room was the backspin deejaying technique where he isolated short drum beats and extended them over a longer period. He did this by plying duplicate records such that while one played, he was looking for the other section he wanted in the second disc. He then alternated playing both records in intervals such that when he stopped one, he immediately started the other on cue. On this technique, he could loop one beat and play it over and over again. This is one of the basic deejaying techniques that are still standing up to date.

It is through this looping that he came up with beats that emcees would then rhyme over, creating rap music in effect. After creating a beat through juggling, he then incorporated another technique that included isolating a short section of the music and repeating them over the beat rhythmically. In addition, he perfected the art of scratching the records to create a more captivating sound that drew audiences to listen to his mixes.

Once he perfected his craft, the Grand master collaborated with a few emcees to produce records. The Furious Five was born out of this. This was a group of artists that poetically rapped their lyrics to the beat created by the master.  Together, the Grand master flash and the Furious Five were inducted into the Hollywood Hall of Fame in 2007 in recognition of their talent and contribution to the Hip-hop industry. The Grand Master also promoted the freestyle rap battles as emcees started battling it out to give the best lines to his beats.

Other than the Hall of Fame induction, the Grand master also has an array of awards to his name. These include the I Am Hip-hop Icon Grammy award in 2006, another 2011 Hall of Fame induction for him and the Furious Five for their single ‘The Message’ and the Grammy’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. In his honor, Netflix has a series known as The Get Down to tell his story and a documentary called Hip-hop Evolution in which he tells story.

With a collection of over 10 albums under his belt, the 60 year old has definitely lived a memorable life in the rap scene and there is no stopping him as he is still very much in the producer business.