Vinyl, Size And Speed – Understanding The Intricate Relationships

All vinyl records produce music from spinning around a center, which is the then picked up by the stylus and that’s the short version of a vinyl record player’s working. Now, most record players can accommodate varying RPM settings and you could theoretically play any record at any speed.

However, not matching a record with its optimal RPM will result in distortion of the music being played. For instance, running a ’78’ at 33 RPM will feel like you’re hearing the music in slow motion whereas doing the exact opposite (33 at 78-RPM) will have the singers sound like chipmunks.

It should be clear by now that 78 and 33 refer to the speed at which a particular record must be played. There is also the size factor. 12-inch records (because they have a diameter of 12-inches) are often associated with speeds of 33 1/3 RPM. Whereas the smaller 7-inch records spin at faster rates of 48-RPM.

It is for this reason that the alternative terms for 12-inch and 7-inch records is 33 and 45 respectively. Its worth pointing out here that these ‘size to speed’ combinations are more of a convention than a rule. So, don’t be surprised to see a 12-inch vinyl playing perfectly at 45-RPM.

Nevertheless, all records that you wish to purchase from us will cater to the aforementioned convention, because the one thing we don’t want to do is confuse our customers and/or readers.

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