About vinyl. About the plates
There are not so many good stories with a happy ending in our lives. One of them is the history of gramophone records, or “vinyl”.
It is fundamentally wrong to think that vinyl is something prehistoric. The days of gramophones, gramophones and radio have long passed, and now vinyl “turntables” are very technological devices. This means that the sound quality of an audio system with such a player is at its best. At a very high altitude! To compare the sound received from the records with the CD is an occupation, believe me, thankless. It’s the same as taking a Mercedes first and then changing to Zaporozhets. Listen once, and everything will immediately become clear.
Time for a change
If everything is fine with the sound, then why did the CD almost completely supplant the “vinyl”, you may ask. Why are phonograph records compared to the originals of great artists, and compact discs – with their copies, but still the CD is very popular?
The thing is that CD as a carrier is, of course, more practical. Vinyl records are prone to scratches, resulting in poor sound. A CD (unless you specifically scratch it) will last a long time. The second reason is that in the 80s of the last century, technological progress was so rapid that it became unprofitable to produce complex products. The technology for producing a CD is much simpler than vinyl, so the choice was clearly made in favor of the first. Gradually, if not literally consumer goods, then cheap equipment appeared in plastic cases with printed circuit boards – in general, stamping. Then at the peak of popularity was pop. How are these two phenomena related? Yes, very simple. Simple and unpretentious music did not require any strict standards for its recording. The light oz-oz motive and the sweet voice of Thomas Anders – that’s all. There was no difference where to listen to such music; it sounded almost the same both in the concert hall and on the radio. So, “vinyl” began to slowly recede into the past, the release of players was sharply reduced, and the lamp technology turned into an exclusive category. However, not everything is so sad. Probably, the best music of the 20th century was released on “vinyl” at one time. Basically it is, of course, classical, jazz, rock music. However, on sale you can find almost any record, from ABBA to Metallica and Iron Maiden. Of course, the scale of production is incomparable with the mass character of the CD, but it’s much more difficult to detect “complete sucks” on the records. And do not forget about the sound!
Shellac and vinyl
Back in 1877, when the first phonogram was recorded, the painful search for suitable material for a new information carrier immediately began. The shape for the plate was a circle on which spiral grooves with irregularities were applied. But the question arose – what material to choose? In 1835, German chemist Justus von Liebig, after lengthy experiments, discovered vinyl chloride, which subsequently played a huge role in industry and everyday life. And five years before the first photogram was recorded, in 1872, another German chemist, J. Baumann, received a vinyl chloride polymer, which later found its practical application.
The prototype of the modern plate appeared in 1888 – then a zinc disk was used, on which a layer of wax was applied according to the method of German engineer E. Berliner. By his name, records are sometimes also called Berliner discs. A little later, Berliner introduced the world with another know-how – the method of removing duplicates from the original disk for mass production. First, the discs were stamped from celluloid, hard rubber and rubber. But all of them did not suit because of insecurity. Many more different substances and substances were tried, and in the end they decided to stay on a natural resin called shellac. It was distinguished by young shoots of plants with the direct participation of female insects Tachardia Lacca. To get the raw materials for the plate, it was necessary to separate shellac from the bark of plants, process it with hot water, melt and filter. The material itself was worth its weight in gold (one female in her short century manages to isolate only 20-25 mg of this substance).
At that time, the only device that could play back recordings was a spring-driven gramophone and speaker, which played the role of modern speaker systems. In addition, he filtered out clicks and noises. Due to the fact that the steel needle pressed against the plate very strongly, the disks deteriorated very quickly. The best way out was to duplicate the record on the back of the record. Over time, when it was possible to achieve a lower weight of the clamping mechanism, on the second side began to record the continuation of the works.