DIY Record Player

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Intro: DIY Record Player

This project costs around 20 dollars. Our materials were either 3D printed, bought at a lumber store or on amazon.com.

Step 1: Materials

For the turntable, you will need:

plywood

motor

batteries

wire

small amplifier

speakers

wooden rods

magnets (rings)

potentiameter

phono-cartridge (needle)

circular disk for a record to fit on

Step 2: Building the Box

The box design is up to you. We decided to go with a simple exterior as we wanted to focus on the quality of the wiring, and output of the sound. The box should be about 1 1/2 to 2 feet in length, 14 to 16 inches in width, and 4 to 5 inches in height. The top will need to be large enough to fit both the record, as well as the arm and needle. All of the components will be on the inside of the box, so make it deep enough for supplies to fit. Use wood glue and clamps to secure the box, and do not glue the top on, as you will need to go inside of the box.

Step 3: Putting in the Turn Table

Mount a motor to the bottom of the box. Connect a dowel rod to the motor. We used 3D printed pieces to accomplish this. Be sure that the motor isn't being overloaded so used the correct voltage. Wire a potentiometer to control the speed of the turntable. This will be needed because different size record require different speeds. Cut a 12 inch circular plate and drill a hole in the center for the dowel. Use a lazy susan to support the plate and to keep it rotating easier.

Step 4: Building the Arm and Speaker System

Next connect a dowel to to another one perpendicularly as shown. Use ring magnets, facing north pole to each other t o keep the arm moving freely. Put the needle on the end and wire the left and right sides (positive and negative). Connect the right positive to the right stereo on the amp, and left positive for left on the amp. Connect both negatives to the ground of the amp. Next connect a power source for the amp, and the outputs of the two speakers.

Step 5: Putting It All Together

You should now have two separate circuits. One is for the turntable, and one is connecting the needle to the amp to the speakers. Cut two holes in the front of the box to fit the speakers and one in the top the fit the wires for the needle. Close the top and the project is complete.

Step 6: Enjoy

This is a difficult project but in the end it works well. You can paint it, stain it, and style it how you want. This is a much cheaper alternative than to buying a record player.

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    21 Discussions

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    TanMan7783

    2 years ago

    Hi, i really like your project and I've been working on a record player myself recently. I only have the turntable finished and I can't seem figure out how to get the tonearm/cartridge to work. I saw somewhere that you could dissect some headphones and use a magnet and create your own but I didn't have much luck and the instructions were very vague. I was very happy when you put this intractable up because I'd been checking every week for someone to upload a DIY record player. When I got to the part with the tonearm I couldn't see what was going on or how you wired it or anything. Also what parts specifically where used in the tonearm circuit and where did you get them? I love your intractable and it would help a ton if you could Show what parts were used and the wiring of the circuit in a little more detail. Thanks in advance!

    8 replies
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    Lusk-EliseTanMan7783

    Reply 8 months ago

    Did you finish this? If so can u give me a more in-depth description of the parts so I know what to buy?

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    TanMan7783 Lusk-Elise

    Reply 8 months ago

    Yes! I had it on the back burner for a while and I finished it recently actually. I don't know how to make a proper schematic so i will include some images to try and help you. I didn't actually buy any parts except the needle.I hooked the 4 wires from the needle to a 3.5 mm audio port so i can use external speakers (but the external speakers have to have an amplifier or you won't be able to hear anything. I use the aux input on a Bluetooth speaker.). I used a caster wheel bought from lowes and took the wheel off of it and cut of both ends of and arrow for the tone arm and ran a wire through it and attached the needle on one end. That saved me from having to make some complex gimble but you could also do what he did up there^^. I also took a different approach at the turntable and used a pulley style turntable which you can find on youtube but then again you can also just do what this guy did in the instructable. I'm not too good at explaining things and so if you have any questions i would love to help you out more. Also I hope my pictures help. PS, I had 2 seperate circuits for the audio and turntable which are cmpletely independant of each other.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/10pcs-3-5mm-Female-5-Pins...

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Turntable-Diamond-Stylus-...

    https://www.lowes.com/pd/Waxman-2-in-Rubber-Swivel...

    Don;'t forget to comment back with any questions! best of luck

    Untitled drawing (1).pngUntitled drawing.pngSUNP0004.JPGSUNP0005.JPGSUNP0006.JPG
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    Lusk-EliseTanMan7783

    Reply 8 months ago

    what wires do I use? Thank you for being so helpful, I just don't have any idea what I'm doing because this is for an art project.

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    Lusk-EliseLusk-Elise

    Reply 8 months ago

    Also can you resend the pictures? They won't let me see the full diagram, it's making the background black where it was white.

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    TanMan7783 Lusk-Elise

    Reply 8 months ago

    On the turntable circuit you can use practically any wires for the circuit, but on the needle/audio circuit you may want to find different wires. Some people will use wires from old optical mouses (mice) because they are good at carrying the audio, but I just used an old cell phone charger that had broken because it has 4 wires on the inside. You have to be careful though because some cell phone chargers (the cheaper ones) only have 2 wires (+ and -) so they will not work. If you can plug your phone into the computer and sync data with the cable then you know it has 4 wires. The one I used was an old iPhone 4 charger because all apple chargers have 4 wires. I know its obvious but the colors of the wires don't have to match the colors of the wires in the diagram, Just make sure that they go to the same places. I also reattached the pictures so hopefully these work better, if not then I'll figure something else out. And again feel free to ask any more questions you may have, I have no problem answering them. Best of Luck!

    turntable.PNGneedle.PNG
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    TanMan7783 TanMan7783

    Reply 8 months ago

    The wires I used for the motor circuit were just salvaged from old electronics and it doesn't really matter because you don't need the to carry sensitive audio. I will include a link to where you can buy wire if you need to. And also, the record is supposed to spin counterclockwise so keep that in mind when designing your record player. if you finish your record player and it spins the wrong way then just switch the 2 wires on the motor and it will spin the other way. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000UE471O/ref=sxbs_p13n...

    This is WAY more then you need but you can look for a shorter length similar to this wire. And don't use this wire for the needle assembly (I mean I guess you can, but it may not sound too good, idrk)

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    Lusk-EliseTanMan7783

    Reply 7 months ago

    I finished the tone arm but I can't seem to figure out how to make the turn table. I don't know what materials to use to make the speed consistent and smooth. Thanks so much for your help thus far!!

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    sebmcgregorTanMan7783

    Reply 7 months ago

    Just wanted to say thanks for sharing all the needed links and diagrams, I needed help figuring out how to wire the tone arm and this helped a ton!

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    queer1

    1 year ago

    I really really love this idea. Turntables are pretty expensive and those that are under the $100 mark (e.g. Crosley) apparently aren't too good for your records as I've been reading around. And to be honest I am on an extreme budget and may be for a while so I really don't have any money to spend on such things or on anything not essential for living anyway. As a result I will have to rely on materials that I either have available or can acquire for free for any of the projects I have in my head. Anyway I have a couple questions. First and foremost what materials do you suggest for the platter and have you tried different options. And lastly with regards to the health of your vinyl and those of others who have tried this as well as mine, how damaging is your build to your vinyl and have you found ways to improve for less damage?

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    DeclanL2

    1 year ago

    It would be really helpful if you could post the links for your parts, I'm building this now and have run into a bit of a will with this

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    GarrettG16

    2 years ago

    Thanks for the post. Could you please post links to where you sourced your parts? Very interested in the potentiameter and the motor. Thank you!

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    GordonBlueGarrettG16

    Reply 2 years ago

    I would also be very happy about this!
    Really great instructable!

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    TanMan7783

    2 years ago

    i would really like to know what wire to use does anybody know?

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    TanMan7783

    2 years ago

    Does anyone know what iwre I could use?

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    TanMan7783

    2 years ago

    may I ask what wire you used and/or where you got it?

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    TanMan7783

    2 years ago

    never mind Igot it thanks for the intractable!