Papercone record player

Papercone record player

Here’s a really cool paper cone record player from Simon Elvins – “To play the record the handle needs to be turned in a clockwise direction at a steady 331/3 rpm. The paper cone then acts as a pick up and amplifies the sound enough to make it audible. “ [via] – Link.

12 thoughts on “Papercone record player

  1. b4k4hakujin says:

    heres a dumb question (note i was born in ’87) how come this works? why can you hear the music (though barely) on a turntable even when no speakers are connected/theres no internal speaker?

  2. aplumb says:

    Ok, I’ll bite: see Phonograph.

  3. Sproggit says:


    Exactly like an old phonograph, this works by bypassing the eletrical part of a modern turntable.
    Instead of:
    Motion (pickup) -> Electric current(turntable) -> amplification(electric current again) -> magnetic pulses (voice coil) -> motion (speaker driver) -> sound.

    We have:
    Motion (Cone) -> sound.

    We can hear it because a conical shape makes for efficient conversion of motion in the cone to air motion (think of cupping your hands to shout at someone far away, or an old non-amplified megaphone, or a trumpet, even).

    It is efficient because there is comparatively little loss due to the fact that we are using a small volume of air (inside the cone) to move a large volume of air (Between the cone and your ears), so the normal problems of moving one medium with another (paper speaker -> air, or metal tweeter -> air) are obviated.

    A record has sound recorded by indentation in the grooves, driven by the mechanical force of sound on a microphone.
    So, a drumbeat is recorded as a dip in the record’s groove, if you then have a pickup running along the groove, the same drumbeat creates a corresponding movement – and so we have replay.

    Note that this is a simplistic explanation, and also that a stereo record uses 2 axis, one veritical (up / down) for one channel, and the other lateral (left / right) for the other channel.

    Consequently, it would be VERY difficult to make a stereo phonograph!

  4. DJ BlueFoxx says:

    ok thats fine and all, i can throw a mike in, but whears the How-To?i want to actually BUILD one, not just see it

  5. PsychobillyScientist says:

    It works because sounds are made up of vibrational waves. These waves are cut into the record as grooves. When the cone rides inside of the groove, the groove causes it to vibrate. These vibrations make sounds. All sound is caused by vibrations. Depending on how fast or slow it is vibrating depends on the frequency of the sound.

  6. Zoe DeLaCerda says:

    Excuse me,where does the cone go?
    I dont understand?
    How is it attached?

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