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Recreating Turntable Settings from Films into Your Home

Anyone obsessed with vinyl music will also be obsessed with turntable setups of films. With their music interests aligning with their film movie interests, people will spawn various reasons for recreating a vinyl set. Whether the vinyl record played an iconic part in the film or is purely aesthetic, recreating setups will be equivalent to showcasing keen interests. This article outlines some trope turntable sets on film and iconic vinyl setups to show up on screens.

What Turntable Setups Get Featured in Films

Films exaggerate scenes for emphasis, so it’s no wonder if these films would showcase a different portrayal of turntable setups.

Every sophisticated turntable set has lavish decorations that embellish it and rich classical archives of records. Turntables symbolize the conventionally refined grace from the rich with their music tastes realigning to antique vintage culture. Films would go so far as to use ancient phonographs as stage props to emphasize this point.

Film characters that show an avid interest in turntables also have setups similar to that of an extravagant upperclassman. They bear similarities based on their record player’s decorations, turntable desk, and a separate space for the structure. The only difference lies with how immersive, diverse and substantial the contents of their record libraries are.

Record studios, radio stations, and broadcasting networks will also share the same setups as the previous two variations. However, as the studio implies proper sound quality engineering, films would also use highly advanced auxiliary devices. These peripheral devices include speakers, amplifiers, desk-sized equalizers, and multiple turntable discs to accommodate music requests.

In a humbler home setup were milder versions of the turntable. As with most U.S. households, most people cannot invest much in their music hobbies. This results in toning down the interest into mere leisure with a smaller scale of investment in equipment. Instead of a tall shelf’s worth of music records, homeowners would only keep a cabinet filled with their favorite artists. Instead of having other peripheral devices, a household would only have the necessary turntable-preamp essentials.

Their vinyl records will come from a low-end price, as with its container; some people see that the record discs and the turntable only fit in one space. The sound quality will depend majorly on the cartridge set, so it’s advisable to include high-performing brands like Nagaoka cartridges for the must-needed stylus replacement.

Turntable Parts for Setups

To reconstruct turntable setups from films, you must know both the essentials and the peripheral devices for the design.

The plinth is the turntable’s bulk part of the setup; the chassis holds the underlying electronic components of the vinyl player. Vinyl plates, on the other hand, sit on the plinth base. A slip mat is necessary not to damage the player and the disc that will ride on it.

Apart from the body is the system that makes the turntable function as it is: the tonearm. Tonearms are flexible and slender rods that contain both the stylus and cartridges on their end. In practice, the stylus will ride on the record’s grooves while the cartridge reads the vibrations from the stylus tips.

That being said, as with turntables constantly appearing in many films in the 90s, here are some of the iconic cameos that vinyl players gave.


Addiction to Classical Music – A Clockwork Orange

A criminal’s quirks can be uncanny, given their actions are unpredictable. A mirror scene in clockwork orange readily portrays a criminal’s eerie state. It was a perfect screen time showing a stark contrast between the orchestral classical music and the bloody religious figure. In hindsight was Alex’s ghastly stare that pierces through the blockbusters.

The gaudy turntable is large, found at the center of the table and among the rest of his audio systems. It has rather sparkling turntable parts, from the table to the visible gold spindles that the clear dust cover encloses. Although Alex did not use the turntable to play a Beethoven classic, the device was a sounding symbolism that complements the whole scene.

Turntable in Warden’s Office – Shawshank Redemption

A spark of motivation brewed in Andy’s heart as he saw the arrival of what he had requested for so long. Carefully, he scans a record disc and immediately rushes into the warden’s office to play it over the P.A. This turntable scene in the locked warden’s office is iconic for defying despair as inmates look at the speaker with a bright outlook rather than pure curiosity.

Recreating the warden’s turntable is easy. The turntable features a square bulk body, assuming that there was a built-in amplifier in the audio system. Brown seems to be the recurring theme for the turntable plinth, same with its fat straight tonearm.

Bath Time Music – Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

An attack immediately followed right after the first meeting of Indiana Jones and Dr. Elsa. The assailants ransack both of their rooms, flipping these rooms upside down. As Jones reveals that he had the diary all along, Dr. Elsa confronts her and asks for an explanation. One escalation leads to another, and the two are taking turns kissing.

Before the chaotic rooms turned into a steamy exchange of discourse, the screen showed Dr. Elsa’s bath setup and the black portable turntable. The portable turntable has inferior sound quality but makes up for its built-in speaker that makes amplifiers inessential.

Best Plot Armor – Mars Attacks

Humanity’s survival is in danger as aliens rampage through suburban areas. Even the grandmother who’s passionately listening to her vinyl is not safe from the ravages of the aliens. As she looks back on her attackers, her earphones get plugged out from the jack, and the alien’s head explodes from the music. Broadcasting it to a radio studio where the music reaches more devices was the only redeeming chance to save people.

Mars Attack features two contrasting setups of the turntable. On the home variant of the turntable were a shelved turntable and a pre-amplifier on top. The more professional turntable setup has wires hidden along with any signs of an amplifying device.

Armed Forces Radio Station – Good Morning, Vietnam

What should be the best action when the eccentric personality is irreverent and disrespectful to the immediate superiors? Such is the case with Andy and his comedic pleasantries on air. Though revered for his bright attitude, his antics do not entirely follow the strict military conduct of radio service.

Recreating Andy’s broadcasting room means turning a room into a music lab. Andy’s turntable features a studio turntable that hosts two discs simultaneously. There are also respectable amounts of cascading equalizers and amplifiers wired to the record vinyl and his microphone, along with a library of rock and rock records.



  1. Imagine not including the makes and models, typical half assed journalism.

  2. Very interesting article but you forgot to mention one of the most iconic film scenes of a turntable in action. It was in the end of the “party scene” in the 1980s film Sixteen Candle were a Denon DP-62/72 was shown playing a pizza! OMG that was no way to treat such a beautiful turntable but it sure was funny!

    • Medication Time in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Iconic Scene with tt in it

  3. A Clockwork Orange is actually a bad example, since Alex only plays micro cassettes, in the movie.

    • Wrong. Not only micro cassettes. There was a Transcriptor turntable in movie!

    • Gaudy? The turntable in A Clockwork Orange is a Transcriptors Hydraulic Reference, and it’s an absolute work of art. Terrible article.

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