There was a time when vinyl records were the only way to listen to music. While those days are long gone, vinyl has made a resurgence in recent years. People appreciate the sound quality of vinyl records, and they also enjoy the experience of flipping through albums and looking at the artwork.

If you’re new to vinyl records, or if you’re just looking for more information, this blog post is for you! We will discuss the different types of vinyl records that are available on the market today.

Different Types of Vinyl Records

1) 12 Inch Albums (LP or Long-playing).

What are 12-inch albums?

These are the most common type of vinyl records. They were introduced in 1948 and have been around ever since. They usually contain up to 12 songs per side, with a total playing time of up to 20 minutes per side.

Commonly known as “LP” for “long-playing,” these records can be found in many genres such as rock, pop, jazz and classical.

Can you play 12-inch vinyl on any record player?

Yes, 12-inch vinyl can be played on any record player. However, if you have an old turntable with a ceramic cartridge it may not work so well with the newer types of vinyl found today.

The best way to find out is to try it and if it doesn’t sound right then you should invest in a new stylus or cartridge.

Additionally, if your record player is not up to date with modern technology then it may not be able to handle the higher frequencies found on 12-inch vinyl.

Related: What is the Difference between LP and EP in music?

2) Extended Play Vinyl Records (EP).

What are extended play vinyl records?

They are, as the name suggests, longer than a single but shorter than an album. EP records typically contain between two and six songs or musical pieces and often feature special mixes of songs that were released separately on singles.

The most common length of an extended play record is around 10 minutes.

Can an EP be on vinyl?

Yes, they can. In fact, many independent and major labels today continue to produce EPs on vinyl. While streaming and downloading are now the most popular formats used for music consumption, EP releases on vinyl have become increasingly popular among fans of classic musical formats.

Many record stores even carry a selection of EP records from various genres. For those who are looking to build a vinyl collection, EPs can be a great way to increase the variety in their music collection.

They also tend to be cheaper than full-length albums, making them an ideal choice for those with more limited budgets.

What qualifies as an EP?

Typically, an EP must contain at least two tracks but not more than six. The length of the record should be between ten to twenty-five minutes long and follow a specific genre or mood.

It is important to note that some extended plays may feature remixes of previously released singles, while others may include songs that have never been heard before. Ultimately, an EP should be a concise, cohesive collection of music that can stand on its own.

Why an EP is better than an album?

EPs are a great way to introduce people to an artist or band’s music. Since they contain only two to six songs, they can be much more accessible and affordable than full-length albums.

Also, EPs provide a chance for artists to experiment with different sounds and styles without having to commit to an entire album. It also allows artists to showcase a different side of their music or work with a variety of producers.

For fans, EPs give them the opportunity to explore an artist’s discography without investing in full-length albums. Furthermore, EPs allow for more frequent releases and updates that keep fans engaged and excited.

All in all, extended plays provide both artists and fans with an enjoyable and cost-effective way to experience music.

3) 7 Inch Singles.

One of the most popular and widely used vinyl records, 7 inch singles are a must-have for any music lover.

This type of record usually features a single song on each side, with one playing at 45 rpm and the other at 33⅓ rpm.

Commonly referred to as “45s” or “singles,” 7 inch singles are a great way to sample an artist’s music.

Is a 7 inch vinyl a single?

Yes, a 7 inch vinyl record is considered a single. A single typically features one song per side and plays at 45 rpm and 33⅓ rpm. While there are other formats of vinyl records such as 10-inch or 12-inch LPs, 7 inch singles remain the most widely used format for singles and EPs.

With their smaller size, 7 inch singles are an excellent way to get a taste of an artist’s music before buying the full album. They are also great for DJs, allowing them to mix and cut records with ease.

How much does it cost to press 7 inch vinyl?

The cost of pressing 7 inch vinyl record depends on a variety of factors such as the quantity being pressed, number of sides per record, the choice of materials and packaging, artwork design costs, etc.

Generally speaking, it’s possible to press 500 copies for around US$2500 or less. This can vary depending on additional services like mastering or artwork design.

4) 12 Inch Singles.

12 inch singles are the most widely known type of vinyl record. These records usually feature a single song on each side and have a large hole in the middle, so they can fit onto any standard turntable.

They range from three minutes to twelve minutes in length, depending on the size of the record. This type of single is often used for club DJs and dance music.

Do 12 inch singles sound better?

The answer to this question depends on the individual’s preference. Some people prefer the sound of a 12 inch single because it has more space for sound, allowing for deeper bass tones.

Others find that records with shorter playing times are better for focusing on specific parts of a song, such as a vocal or instrumental solo.

What is the point of 12 inch singles?

The main purpose of 12 inch singles is to provide DJs with an easy and convenient way to play music for a large audience.

They are also highly sought after by record collectors due to their rarity, as well as their special features such as colored vinyl and remixes.

Additionally, many people enjoy the larger surface area of a 12 inch single which allows for a wider range of sound.

Finally, 12 inch singles are great for listening to your favorite songs at home due to their larger size.

5) 10 Inch Records.

A 10 inch record is usually better suited for smaller spaces and, because of their size, are more adaptable to different types of sound systems. They typically have a small selection of songs, which come on two sides.

6) 78s (Mostly Shellac Records).

The 78 record is the earliest type of vinyl record and was in use from 1898 to the 1950s. It was made of a shellac resin material and had a maximum capacity of five minutes per side.

The sound quality wasn’t great due to its low fidelity, but it did have the advantage of being durable, making them last longer than other types of vinyl records.

7) Flexi Discs.

Flexi Discs, also known as Flexi-Vinyl or Flexi-Discs, are thin vinyl records that are usually between 4 and 8 inches in diameter. They were invented by Peter Goldmark and first released in 1965.

These discs offer a more cost effective way to produce music compared to regular long-playing vinyl records. Their sound quality also tends to be poorer than long-playing records and they can easily warp over time.

8) Colored Vinyl Records.

If a regular black vinyl record isn’t your style, then you might be interested in colored vinyl records.

These are much more eye-catching and come in a variety of bright colors like blue, yellow, red, and even clear. Colored vinyl records can make an interesting addition to any record collection.

9) Dub Plates.

Dubplates also known as acetates, are special records made of lacquer-coated aluminum that are used by DJs and producers to test out their tracks.

They provide a high-quality sound that is much better than regular vinyl, allowing the producer or DJ to get an accurate representation of what their track will sound like when they release it.

Due to the high cost of producing dubplates, they are usually used sparingly. DJs and producers will often save their dubplates for special occasions when they need to make sure that a track is heard in its highest quality.

Furthermore, dubplates have become highly sought after collectibles due to their unique sound and rarity. Many DJs keep their best dubplates secret and rarely share them, making it difficult to find a copy of one.

Vinyl Record Speeds.

The speed of a vinyl record is measured in revolutions per minute (RPM). This means the number of grooves or “bumps” on the record that pass by your stylus per minute. Most records are designed to be played at either 33 1/3 RPM, 45 RPM, or 78 RPM.

33 1/3 RPM.

33 1/3 RPM, (revolutions per minute) is the most common speed at which vinyl records are played. At this speed, a record completes one full rotation in two seconds.

This standard was introduced by Columbia Records in 1948 and has since become known as the industry standard for playing vinyl records.

45 RPM.

This stands for revolutions per minute and is the name of a standard speed at which vinyl records can play. 45 RPM was introduced in 1949 as an alternative to 78 RPM, a much slower speed that had been used since 1898.

Records at 45 RPM were smaller and could hold as many as 4 minutes of music on one side. This was ideal for playing popular music such as rock and roll, which typically consists of 3-minute songs.

78 RPM.

78 RPM records were the standard format for playing music from the late 19th century until they were replaced in the 1950s by 45 RPM and 33⅓ RPM records. 78 RPM records could hold up to around four minutes of audio on each side, which meant that they were often cut into multiple tracks.

As technology improved, 78 RPM records soon began to be replaced by 45 and 33⅓ RPM records as the standard for music playback as these allowed for more audio to be fit onto one record.

Despite this, 78s remained popular in some genres such as classical and jazz, with some popular songs still being pressed into this format.

Today, 78 RPM records have somewhat of a cult following among collectors who appreciate the vintage feel that comes with playing this classic format. Additionally, many DJs still cut their music on vinyl and use 78s to spin and scratch.

Rare RPM (8 1/3 And 16 2/3).

This is a term used to refer to vinyl records that have been pressed at an uncommon speed. While most music is pressed at a standard 45 rpm or 33 1/3 rpm, some albums are released at speeds of 8 1/3 and 16 2/3 rpm.

This was done for various reasons including the length of time it took to make the master and to accommodate certain record players that could not handle standard speeds.

These rare RPMs are highly sought after by vinyl collectors who appreciate the oddity of having a unique format of an album. They can be hard to come by as they were not pressed in large numbers and can command high prices depending on the rarity of the release.

What’s the difference between 33 45 and 78 records?

33 and 45 refer to the revolutions per minute (RPM) of a vinyl record, while 78 RPM refers to the speed at which an old-style phonograph would play. Vinyl records at 33 or 45 RPM are larger diameter than 78s, allowing for more playing time on each side.

The grooves in 33 or 45-RPM vinyl records are wider and less dense, meaning that the sound quality is often better. 78s, meanwhile, were made of a different material that had shorter playing time but higher fidelity.

This is why many albums from the 1950s or earlier exist as both 33/45 RPM records and 78s; some people prefer the sound of one format over another.

Are most vinyls 33 or 45?

Generally, the most common format of vinyl is 33⅓ RPM (revolutions per minute). A record that runs at this speed is known as a long-playing or LP record.

The 45 RPM format was designed specifically to accommodate singles and shorter songs. Most 7-inch singles are recorded on 45 RPM records.

To keep track of the different speeds, record players have a switch to select the proper speed. Some players allow for both 33⅓ and 45 RPM records, while others can also accommodate 78 RPM as well.

Depending on your needs, you should choose a player that has the right settings for the vinyls you want to play.

Can you play 78s on a normal record player?

The answer is yes and no. Yes, you can play 78s on a standard record player with the correct speed setting and stylus. However, a standard record player will not have the capacity to reach 78 RPM speeds, so if your 78s are recorded at that speed you will need to invest in a turntable specifically designed for playing them.

Furthermore, the stylus on a standard player is not suitable for 78s, and you will need to buy a new one. To ensure optimal sound quality and playback, it is also recommended that you invest in an amplifier specifically designed for 78s.

Why is it called a 78 record?

Well, the answer dates back to the early 1900s and the invention of vinyl records. At that time, 78 RPM (revolutions per minute) was considered to be the ideal speed for vinyl records. As a result, these discs became known as “78 rpm records” or simply “78s.”

Although 78s have since been replaced by newer formats, the term “78” remains in use as a shorthand reference to this type of vinyl record. Even today, some collectors still refer to them as 78s, particularly if they specialize in collecting vintage records from that era.

When did 45s replace 78s?

In the mid-1950s, 45 RPM vinyl records began to replace 78 RPM records as the main format for single releases. The smaller size of 45s meant they were cheaper and easier to store than 78s and they also allowed artists to produce longer recordings without having to flip the record over.

The increased portability of 45s also made them popular among consumers. By the 1960s, 45 RPM records were dominating sales and while some 78 RPM singles were still released in the early part of that decade, they had become virtually obsolete by 1965. As a result, 45 RPM records have endured as the primary format for single releases ever since.

In recent years, digital music formats such as MP3s and streaming services have become increasingly popular, but 45 RPM records are still beloved by music fans who enjoy the authenticity of a physical format. A resurgence in vinyl sales over the last decade has seen 45s regain popularity among audiophiles who appreciate their warmth and clarity.

Conclusion

Vinyl records are a great way to enjoy music from the past and present. They come in various styles, sizes and shapes, making them perfect for any collection. From vintage 78s to modern 33s, there is something for everyone in this classic format.

No matter what type of vinyl record you choose, with proper care and maintenance, you can enjoy your collection for years to come. So, start digging through the crates and spin some tunes!

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