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Cutters and Pickups

Author: N.H. Crowhurst

The action of pickups and cutters used on discs can be regarded as similar to the action of microphones and loudspeakers with sound waves. The principal difference is that pickups and cutters only move back and forth in a specific direction, whereas sound waves distribute themselves in a more complicated manner. In addition, the material in the disc is heavier than air. Consequently, the mismatch problems met in making the diaphragm of the microphone or loudspeaker act uniformly over a wide range of frequencies are not present. The loading effect of the disc material better controls the action of the cutter or pickup stylus to produce uniform results, than does the loading action of the air on the microphone or loudspeaker diaphragm. Common varieties of cutters and pickups include the magnetic, moving coil, ribbon, crystal or ceramic, and capacitor types.

The action of cutters and pickups

Last Update: 2010-11-03