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Stylus-to-groove speed

An explanation of the variable stylus-to-groove speed in vinyl records.

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Although the stylus-to-groove speed at the outer edge of a 12 inch (30 cm) record is adequate (just under 20 inches (50 cm) per second), as the stylus gets closer to the inside edge, the relative speed gets slower and slower, even though the record turns at the same angular velocity.

At the inside, the speed is almost down to a third of what it was originally, and the undulations of the groove have to be more condensed.

The result is a noticeably inferior sound quality.

By David Mellor Saturday February 22, 2003
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