If you are an audiophile, chances are that you either are already on the vinyl bandwagon or are ready to get on it. The warm tone of the music and the look and feel of a vinyl record are all wonderfully enticing for the music lover. While one cannot argue with the sheer convenience of carrying all your music wherever you go on your phone, nothing can beat the atmosphere created by a vinyl playing your favorite music on a turntable on a lazy Sunday afternoon. No wonder custom vinyl record pressing is becoming so popular amongst music aficionados.
A regular collector of vinyl records will be familiar with the various options to consider when buying an LP – the size, the speed, custom jackets, etc. Many vinyl records also have a sticker on the cover that says “180 Gram”. There are many misconceptions, even amongst audiophiles, about what 180 vinyl records are and why one should or should not buy them. Here, we delve a little deeper into this.
What are 180 grams vinyl records?
As a vinyl enthusiast, you must have bought a few LPs or may have even gotten a custom vinyl record pressing done through a vinyl pressing company. There are different sizes of disk one could opt for – 7-inch, 10-inch, or 12-inch. Depending on the size you can also choose the rotation speed – 33 rpm, 45 rpm, or 78 rpm.
So, what does a “180 gram” sticker on a vinyl signify? This is nothing but the weight of the record. A 12-inch vinyl record usually weighs anywhere between 120 to 140 grams. 180 grams vinyl records are, therefore, thicker and heavier than standard vinyls.
180-gram vinyls are typically more expensive than the standard weight LPs. So, is it worth putting in more money to purchase a custom vinyl record pressing done on a 180 gram disk? Let us explore the answer to this question.
Do 180 grams vinyl records offer better sound quality?
There are many myths around 180-gram vinyls regarding sound quality. It is not uncommon to hear even audiophiles claim that a 180 gram vinyl pressing gives superior sound quality, less distortion, and maybe, even better bass. But the fact is that the weight of a vinyl disk cannot be a lone reason for the quality of sound recorded on it.
The sound quality of a vinyl record depends on many other critical factors.
- One of the main factors is the quality of the source sound. There are certain pointers to be kept in mind vis-à-vis the source music when one is creating a custom vinyl record pressing. These hugely affect the quality of music that finally gets recorded onto the disk.
- The quality of vinyl is also a major contributor to the audio quality of music on a record.
- Another vital factor for obtaining superior sound quality on a vinyl disk is the equipment used by the vinyl pressing company.
These contribute to the quality of the audio on a vinyl far more than the mere weight of the disk. Also, if someone claims that deeper grooves on a thicker disk help in giving superior audio output that can again safely be dismissed as a misconception. The reason for this is that there is a certain depth that is the technical standard and anything deeper than this does not get read by the stylus of a phonogram.
But don’t be quick to dismiss 180 grams vinyl records. While the weight does not directly affect the sound quality, there are other benefits that make the extra cost worth it. Let’s take a look at these.
Why Should You Opt for a 180 gram vinyl pressing?
The myth of a 180 gram vinyl having better sound quality purely by dint of its weight has been debunked. But certain reasons make the extra price for the extra weight of these records worth it. Let’s look at a few of them here.
- Owing to the extra thickness and weight, 180 gram vinyls are stronger and sturdier than their lighter versions. Hence, they are more resistant to damage due to rough handling or inadvertent careless storage.
- Again, the extra thickness protects 180 grams vinyl records from warping (getting bent). This is a huge advantage as warping can cause sound distortion and hence, affect the quality of music played on the disk.
- The relative heaviness of 180 grams vinyl records makes them more stable under the movement of the stylus on the turntable. This leads to far less vibration and hence, reduces the possibility of distortion in the sound.
- While this may not be a fool-proof reason, often the perceived quality attached to 180 grams vinyl records leads to the vinyl pressing company taking more care with the audio that they put out on these disks. But this obviously cannot be assumed as a given with a 180 gram vinyl.
The popular belief that the extra weight of a 180 gram vinyl ensures better sound quality is just a misconception. Other technical parameters have a much heavier bearing on the quality of audio output of a vinyl record. However, there are enough and more solid reasons for a music enthusiast to invest the extra money in buying a vinyl record with a “180 gram” sticker on it.
At ImpressVinyl 180gm vinyl record comes with a premium black poly-lined inner sleeve, luxuriously thick cardboard outer jacket, and beautiful record. Our records are pressed in a state-of-the-art facility in which every step of production is overseen by experienced technicians who ensure that your orders are produced as accurately and to the highest standard possible. So, go ahead and add a 180 gram vinyl to your LP collection from ImpressVinyl today.