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A Portable Record Player for Wax Cylinders Using both Laser-beam Reflection and Stylus Methods

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The wax phonograph cylinder invented by Thomas Edison in 1885 was the medium for recording sound until about 1930. Although a lot of historically valuable cylinders have been preserved all over the world, most of them changed in quality by re-crystallization and had many cracks on their surfaces. We have developed a portable record player (3.4kg-weight, 45cm-width, 33cm-length, and 10.5cm-height) for the cylinders (2-minute, 55-mm diameter, 105-mm height, 400 grooves) using both laser-beam reflection and stylus methods. In this article, the record player is shown to be useful for carrying it by a hand and reproducing sounds in real time from damaged wax cylinders as well as the undamaged.

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