The Setup

The needle: aka the stylus, moves along the groves of a record while the record player revolves the vinyl. The needle picks up the physical motions of the record by moving on the grooves and is held in place by the cartridge.

The cartridge: aka the transducer, translates the physical motions picked up by the needle into electrical signals. The cartridge is held into place by the tonearm.

The tonearm: aka I couldn't find another pretentious way to say it, holds the cartridge.

The platter: usually made out of rubber of cloth, the platter is where the vinyl rests on. If made well it should keep dust off of the record and keep the record in a steady position.