Under such condition, the LP good sound produced by a cartridge is a magic, isn't it?
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I pity the poor styli! That's quite a bumpy ride they go on!
I've always thought record playback to be a fascinating thing.
It's a lot harder to make a connection and romanticize about pits and bits and bytes, isn't it?
So a question for the hardcore vinyl enthusiast. Is that record in the photos clean or dirty? Audiophile recording or no? Extra credit: What label?
Are the grooves really that small?
Electron microscopes are certainly the cutting edge, but maybe other more accessible kinds of microscopes or magnification devices could produce similar images for evaluation if one were interested enough to try?
according to wikipedia:
"The (electron) microscope has a greater resolving power (magnification) than a light-powered optical microscope, because it uses electrons that have wavelengths about 100,000 times shorter than visible light (photons), and can achieve magnifications of up to 1,000,000x, whereas light microscopes are limited to 1000x magnification."
I think 1000X magnification would do it well for record groove details.
SEM is commonly used in semiconductor, sample prep with gold sputtering is often practiced as well. what I am amazed about is during sample prep, chamber temp is usually quite high and might have melted the record, but that does not appear to be the case.
with semiconductor production marching toward 228/32nm, TEM is becoming a norm for ultra high resolution image. TEM requires sample to be "sliced off" from the substrate, you can see atomic level resolution though it will not look nearly as cool as the SEM pictures in this link.
btw, a dual beam SEM with voltage contrast will easily run over $1M.