For screen reader problems with this website, please call815-729-10508 1 5 7 2 9 1 0 5 0Standard carrier rates apply to texts.

0% Financing | We offer 6-12 month Financing, click for more details

National Vinyl Record Day: The Vinyl Lover's Ultimate Guide

by Reyna Thomas

As you may already know, National Vinyl Record Day on August 12th is a day dedicated to all vinyl music! In addition to being one of the coolest ways to listen to music, did you know that vinyl records come in all sorts of different shapes and sizes? On top of that, there are so many different ways of referring to them. So, in honor of National Vinyl Record Day, here's a quick rundown of the different types of vinyl records out there:

Vinyl Record Speeds

Vinyl records play at different speeds. RPM, short for revolutions per minute, indicates how many full rotations a record makes in a minute.

The majority of records are made to be played at either 78, 33 1/3, or 45 RPM. You won't find any brand-new 78 RPM records these days, so you won't need to worry about that speed. These records are no longer manufactured since they are brittle and don't produce the same sound quality.

But out of the two RPMs available now, 45 RPM records have better sound quality than 33 ⅓ RPM records do. This is due to the fact that they can convey more intricate and subtle sound patterns since they contain more grooves for the turntable's needle to read. For music or audio tracks that don't necessarily require a sophisticated sound profile, 33 1/3 records are more economical and suitable since they hold up to 25 minutes of music per side, unlike 45-rpm records, which typically can hold up to 5 minutes.

person browsing records in a vintage shop

Types of Records

Not only do vinyl come in different speeds, but they also come in different types as well. But don’t worry about keeping them all straight; we’ve done that for you!

LPs

LPs, otherwise known as long-playing records, are the most common type of vinyl record. They are typically around 12 inches in diameter and can hold almost a full hour of music. LPs are the biggest vinyl records available, both in terms of physical size and the amount of music they hold. They usually play at 33 ⅓ RPM, but finding a 45 RPM 12-inch LP is not far-fetched, especially if you're looking for better sound quality.

person browsing vinyl discs

EPs

EPs, or extended play records, hold less music than LPs. EP does not refer to the record they are pressed on; it only refers to the length of the recorded music. You can find EP records in both 45 RPM and 33 1/3 RPM formats, so if you want the optimum quality sound for your music, it’ll be no trouble. And since EPs don't have a set format they can be recorded on any size record, including 12-inch, 10-inch, or 7-inch records.

Colored Records

Vinyl records can occasionally be made in vibrant colors like orange or blue, although the majority of records are composed of black vinyl. Usually, colored records are done for aesthetic or marketing reasons.

Colored vinyl is disliked by some audio purists because they think it alters the music's sound. There isn't any hard evidence that colored vinyl albums sound any different from standard black ones, though. So, why not enjoy having different colored vinyl in your collection? And if you ever want to sell your collection for any reason, colored designs can net you more money than regular vinyl

man listening to his vinyl's

Picture Records

Another intriguing aesthetic variation of vinyl is picture records. These records include images that are either painted on or built into the vinyl itself. Picture records typically have inferior sound quality than plain black and colored vinyl because the pigment used to produce the pictures directly interferes with the vinyl grooves. But they still look cool!

Vinyl for Everyone

Knowing the different kinds of vinyl records can help you expand your collection while keeping your priorities in mind.

If you consider yourself to be an audiophile and value sound quality above all else, search for 45 RPM records. Focus on LPs if you like to collect whole albums or an artist's whole discography.

woman using her vinyl record player

There are many different types of vinyl records, and each one has a special appeal for vinyl fans and collectors. And if you’ve wanted to see what the fuss is all about, National Vinyl Record Day is the perfect day to begin your vinyl collection! You can also visit a local record or music store, browse through the records, and reminisce on the old days.

However, you decide to celebrate Toton’s TV hopes you have a blast! And if you’re looking for new audio equipment or want to add to what you have, you’ve found the right place! We have the home audio equipment to turn any room into a concert venue, so check out our selection today! And if you have any questions, just give us a call!