Co.Design

The World's Most Minimal Record Player: Hand Powered, Made Of Paper

Gives a whole different flavor to "desert island discs."

When graphic designer Livia Ritthaler moved to London to complete her bachelor’s degree, she found herself with "neither the money nor the space for a record player." So she built one.

Her ultra-minimalist gramophone is made of just paper, wood, and metal and it’s operated by hand. Meaning: You twirl the record with your fingers. It is, of course, completely impractical. But it works! Here it is in action:

What I find amazing about this is how robust the playback is. Where I come from, record players are these high-precision weighted machines, carefully tuned for perfect sound. Yet, here’s a classic song being played with a technique not far off from emergency fire-making. The whole contraption wobbles as it spins and still it’s completely audible. It’s kind of nice to know that even if civilization completely collapses, we’ll be able to listen to tunes.

"I tried a lot of weird things to get it work," says Ritthaler, "but now everyone can use it very easily." She recommends 78rpm records, "because they are easier to spin consistently."

[via Design Made in Germany.]

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7 Comments

  • Lisong Simonlee

    真棒,简单的美。
    What a beautiful thing. More simple, More connotation. 

  • Hot Waitress

    Haha.. way to reinvent something that already existed for so long. Technically speaking, the first commercially available record players were just that - a hand powered device, with a needle and a cone.

    Still pretty cool though!

  • Livia

    Did you ever see a video from Simon Elvins work? I would love to have a look if it works as good as mine, or even better.

  • Ssbaskurt

    I remember seeing this as a kid on one of those PBS science shows you'd sometimes see in school and the early morning block on TV.