Ladue Lead

Ladue sophomore builds record player

McGregor+prepares+his+machine+in+the+Engineering+Room+to+sample+some+music.
McGregor prepares his machine in the Engineering Room to sample some music.

McGregor prepares his machine in the Engineering Room to sample some music.

Photo by Will Minifie

Photo by Will Minifie

McGregor prepares his machine in the Engineering Room to sample some music.

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We walked into the engineering room where 15-year-old Sebastian McGregor had built his record player. Within a couple of minutes he pulled it out, set up the thing, and the metallic machine, which he hooked up to a portable speaker, began playing an old-sounding song. Sebastian had bought the record at a Red Racks. “I need to change the thread,” Sebastian says as the music comes on. “Dude I’m gonna be here for a while.”

I began my questioning by asking about various specifics of his “out of class” project. Responding very passionately, and pointing to his machine as he spoke, Sebastian explained the difference between 33-and-one-third and 45 RPM records, which he can play both of. “I have a deep interest and passion for vintage audio such as cassettes and records and I thought it would be really great if I could make one for myself,” McGregor said. It took him two or three weeks to make the contraption.

But McGregor’s love for technology extends away from small, cool projects such as this one. With a website, mcgtechnews.weebly.com, an Instagram account, @mcg.tech, and a YouTube channel, McG Tech, he shares his passion constantly through reviews, updates, and as of recently, how-to’s. “As a matter of fact, [my] website explains this step by step how to do this yourself,” said McGregor. “Anyone that tries to build this on their own can feel free to contact me.”

However, there were some aspects that he could not accomplish on his own. Hannah Behr, a teacher at Ladue, helped him in the Principles of Engineering class. “He needed a little bit of help in writing the code, the programming logic, to make the motor and the push buttons work the way he was intending,” Behr said. But other than that, McGregor did all the work on his own.

“One thing that I think is really cool that I observe and admire in Sebastian is the creativity to try something that he thought would be cool,” Behr said.

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Ladue sophomore builds record player