Stupid vinyl question

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike Broadman, Sep 26, 2002.

  1. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Ok, this is going to make me look incredibly stupid, but...

    Can someone please explain what the deal is with the speeds of records? 78, 33.5, 45...

    Why the different speeds? Does it have to with sound quality, how much music can fit on a record, etc?

    (Yes, a record is an alien object to me. I'm a child of the digital age.)

    Thanks.
     
  2. Michael St. Clair

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  3. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Ah. So if I buy regular ol' records from some store on the street, they will most probably be 33s?
     
  4. Michael St. Clair

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  5. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    Aside : saw some CD-R's in a store today, they were designed to look like vinyl (that's often been done on cd designs), and I guess you only have a 1" or so diameter centre to write in black ink what you've recorded...
     
  6. Marvin

    Marvin Screenwriter

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    I'm not sure but I think the 45 vs 33 thing was a format war way back when (between RCA and someone else). I think they resolved it by agreeing to 45 rpm for singles and 33 1/3 for albums.
     
  7. Martin Fontaine

    Martin Fontaine Supporting Actor

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    I could understand that a faster recording would give better qualify (Just like SP/LP/EP on VHS) but what's this with the total length? Why would a longer record sound worst? Other than the fact that to make it longer would mean at 33 RPM.

    As for the outer tracks sounding better, I think it has to do with the "CAV" nature of vinyl records...

    Funny that reading this site I learned all this even though when I listened to vinyl records I didn't know these things! Ok, so I was 10 when I got that all in one shelf system and bought 2 LPs which I no longer have and probably wouldn't want to listen to them anyway - although they ARE female artists which means that I've had a thing for girl voices for a lot longer than I think!
     
  8. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Longer records have a narrower groove. Wider grooves sound better. I think the wider the groove, the more signal can be in the groove. D.J. 12" singles with one song at 45 RPM can sound awesome. I have some 33 RPM LP's with 25 minutes+ on the sides that truly sound dreadful. I can't give you a good technical explanation, sorry. That's as close as I can get. Best wishes!
     
  9. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    On a related note, I got a catalog from Acoustic Sounds the other day, and they have some classic rock and jazz albums available in recently redone 45s and 33 1/3s. The 45s are said to have been limited and are now out of print. Some of these titles are well over $100, and most are over $50. The 33 1/3s are $20 each. If I get any (e.g., Dave Brubeck Time Out, Miles Davis Kind of Blue, and Carole King Tapestry to name a few), I'll get the 33 1/3s.

    NP: The Best of Miles Davis CD (recent Columbia release)
     
  10. mike_decock

    mike_decock Supporting Actor

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    I think the historical order is as follows (please correct me if I'm wrong):

    After the wax cylinders (early 1900's), it started with 78 RPM records on 10" discs (mid 30's, I think). I believe they were originally pressed on shellac. These are pretty rare by today's standards and the format is practically dead except to collectors. Their rarity was sped on by WWII when people were asked to donate their unwanted 78s because shellac was in short supply and needed for coating gun barrels for corrosion protection.

    These were followed up by 33 1/3 RPM records (mid-late 40's, I think) on a 12" disc which offered a lot more music on one side. Up to 20-25 minutes instead of having to get up every 3 minutes to flip a 78 over. These are what is known as the LP (Long Playing) record.

    The 45 (7" disc) is the standard for singles. I think that singles were actually the bigger sellers for much of the 40's - 60's.

    There's been quite a few hybrids, too. 45 RPM 10" records as well as 33 1/3 RPM 10" records served well for EPs.

    There was also a 16 RPM format introduced by the car manufacturers so you could have a record player in your car! This didn't catch on too well since there weren't a whole lot of labels pressing in this format and people couldn't play their existing records.

    Lately there have been quite a few 45 RPM 12" records produced by the audiophile lables. 45 RPM gives you more space for information which results in higher fidelity.

    For the most part, when people talk about records, they're talking about 33 1/3 RPM, 12" discs.

    We've had close to a century's experience in trying to get music out of a groove! I think we've gotten pretty good at it.

    Except for going from mono to stereo, the LP has remained virtually unchanged for half a century.


    -Mike...
     
  11. Marvin

    Marvin Screenwriter

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  12. KeithH

    KeithH Lead Actor

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    Marvin, most audiophiles don't acknowledge the "quadraphonic period" as having ever taken place. [​IMG]
     
  13. mike_decock

    mike_decock Supporting Actor

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    And now they're trying to bring the concept back disguised as "multichannel surround sound".

    -Mike...
     

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