How does HMV Gramophone Record Player Work ?

The love for music and the need to play sounds has led to the discovery of so many musical equipment. Phonographs, gramophones, disc players etc. 

A gramophone is unique musical equipment that can be used to record sound. It is also used to play music that has been previously recorded. This mechanical device was invented in the United States of America and it is sometimes seen as an upgrade to the phonograph because the phonograph had the disadvantage of poor reproduction and its cylinders were not reusable. The first commercially produced gramophone was in 1885. It does not need electrical amplification to produce sounds. However, some of its functionality is similar to a modern turntable. 

How does a gramophone work?

The operating principle of this sound producing device is based on its ability to read sounds. It does this with the help of a needle that is linked to a diaphragm. Similarly, the diaphragm is connected to a horn. The rotation of the record is aided by a spring-driven motor. It is also important to note that the speed of the record remains fairly constant throughout. Sound is created by the movement of the needle and diaphragm. The rotational movement of the record leads to the continuous vibration of the needle and the vibration is subsequently transferred to an attached diaphragm. The diaphragm isn’t held in position, it vibrates too. 

It is the mechanical displacement of the needle and diaphragm that generates sound which is then transferred to the horn for amplification. 

What is the meaning of “HMV”?

HMV means His Masters Voice which is a reference to an old British record label formed by the Gramophone Co. Ltd. The Gramophone Company was founded by Berliner and the company produced this mechanically operated musical device in large quantities. Berliner collaborated with a couple of musical artists at that time to create awareness of the product. Enrico Caruso and Dame Melba were some of the music stars that worked with Berliner. Berliner also improved the market value of his brand by using a painting from Francis Barraud as his official trademark. This was done in 1908.  The HMV trademark has been one of the best in the world since then. 

The popularity and value of the gramophone increased in the United States of America after Berliner transferred the licensing right to the Victor Talking Machine Company. He didn’t stop there though, he went on to establish a few musical brands in some other countries notably Canada and some parts of Europe. 

How do I play a record on a gramophone?

To play a record on an HMV Vintage gramophone, do the following

  1. Try to gain access to the turntable. To achieve this, you will have to lift the lid from its initial position.
  2. Select your record. You can only do this by first opening the bottom cabinet. 
  3. Set the motor in motion through the handle. The handle can be found on the right hand side of the cabinet.
  4. The record should be placed on the turntable. Use the stylus to hold it in position. The stylus used to be referred to as a needle. 

How long does a stylus last?

A stylus can be used for up to 500 or 1000 hours other thing being equal.