How a Stereo Record Cutting Head Works – Vinyl record master Lacquer (Acetate)

With new found interest in vinyl, many people would like to be able to cut their own records. Although Mono cutting equipment can still be found at a price, stereo cutting gear is hard to find and expensive.

Many people would like to make their own stereo cutting head, but few understand the the motions involved and the parts seen in old patents. To complicate matters, the movements involved in cutting a record are small and can only be observed after a groove is cut as viewed with a microscope. It’s impossible to see the movements in real time without use of high speed cameras and slow motion video.

So, I decided to build a Cutting Head Movement Simulator to demonstrate the 45/45 method of cutting stereo record grooves. This simulator uses servo motors and is controlled with an Arduino nano processor. The simulator and processor are mounted on an actual 14″ Master Lacquer (Acetate) – just because I could…

Movements shown are highly exaggerated to make it easy to understand. Although using Servo’s and push rods result in massive angular errors in the real world and would never be used, they generate movements in this demo that are easily viewed.

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