Homemade Record Player Embodies the Spirit of Lo-Fi [Video]

By Wesley Fenlon

Where's the sound coming from!?

Here's the problem with digital audio: it always needs electricity to function. Power's off, computer's dead. MP3 player battery's out of juice, the music stops. Where's the old analog reliability? Hanging out in London, it turns out: graphic designer Livia Ritthaler built the ultimate definition of the low-fi record player with a dowel, needle and paper cone. With no power source but a pair of human hands, a few dollars in hobbyist supplies can make music. Not exactly convenient, but it works.

The video below captures Ritthaler's self-turntable playing an audible, though slightly off-speed, piece of music. It's fun to see in action, but probably not as fun as showing the homemade gramophone to a kid and watching them puzzle out how it can produce sound without speakers.