For so many vinyl lovers out there, the turntable is still king. A turntable lets you hear your favorite albums in all their glory with an unaltered sound quality. But is it worth getting vinyl for this? Do you actually get a better sound from a 180 gram vinyl pressing then a standard pressing of the same album?
While some say that 180 grams creates a superior sound, most professional audiophiles and music producers believe that not only is it not the case, but also would never recommend going for a more expensive version of some albums just to get one or two songs on them.
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Things to look before buying 180 gram Vinyl:
Professional music producers recommend that if you want to buy vinyl, make sure that the following details are not compromised in any way.
1. Sound quality:
The sound should be as clear as possible with as little surface noise as can be. To ensure this, make sure there is as little background as possible and the hissing or crackling has been totally removed from the vinyl. Also look for a good frequency response range and clarity on the mids and lows.
2. Press quality:
Take special attention when inspecting the vinyl pressing quality. The surfaces should be shiny and clean, without any blemishes or lines visible. Make sure that the grooves between the songs are well-defined and not just smooth blobs of melted plastic. A good pressing will also have nice flat surfaces with no warping or deformities.
3. Pressing consistency:
If you are buying a reissue, make sure all the songs on it are of standard high quality. It should have similar sounding volume levels, no waves in volume changes, consistent distortion rates and similar sounding bass, mid range and treble ranges.
4. Dust cover:
The dust cover should be in good condition, without any folds or creasing. Also look for dents where the vinyl has been stored against other records.
Features in a good 180 gram Vinyl:
Many of the 180 gram vinyl records will have some special features that some bargain bin copies won’t have. Here are some of the features you might find on a good pressing:
- Clear and crisp sound quality: This is one of the most important aspects to consider when buying a vinyl record. Most 180 gram records will have a more pristine, clean and clear background which means that all of your music is audible and you don’t have to strain your ears just to hear what’s going on in it. When it comes to clarity, one might even mistake a 180 gram album for a CD!
- Less surface noise: The surface noise a vinyl record has is a big problem when it comes to listening to music in a clean environment. The surface noise can even cause distortion in the sound when played at high volumes. If you are going for a quality-made vinyl pressing, then you might expect it to have less surface noise and distortion when compared to your average non-vinyl record.
- Cleaner sound: In most cases, the heavier pressings have less digiback overs and have a cleaner sound. This is because the extra weight adds low frequency power which helps in cleaning up the overall sound of your records.
- Greater durability: A heavier pressing will generally last longer when compared to a lighter one. This means that you won’t need to replace your records as often and won’t have to worry about them getting damaged after a few plays.
- You can play your vinyl records almost anywhere you want with the added durability of the heavy pressings.
- The background is as clear as possible, so as not to detract from your listening experience.
- Heavyweight vinyl offers the best sound quality
- More durable records to last longer
- Expensive even for a 180 gram pressing. For the quality, you’ll have to pay a lot more. You’ll have to decide if it’s worth it to you.
Undoubtedly, 180 gram vinyls are a notch higher when it comes to quality and sound clarity. The added durability is a big advantage, but the price might be a little too steep for your liking. Still, if you’re having trouble deciding which pressing to buy, then going for the heavier pressing might be a good decision.
You can always get a standard version of that album from somewhere else if you want to save some cash. Maybe you’ll end up liking the quality of the heavy pressing more. Whatever you decide, always make sure that you check the labels and find out what pressings they have and if it’s a quality pressing or not before parting with that cash.
Q: Does 180g vinyl sound better than standard vinyl?
A: Here are some truths about some of the most frequently-held debates. What we’re told: 180g vinyl sounds better than standard vinyl. 180 gram is a heavier grade of vinyl that many believe coaxes a richer audio palate than lighter, standard grades. Sure, 180g LPs ride more smoothly on a turntable thanks to their weight, but the benefits end there.
Q: Do newer 180 Gram Records sound worse?
A: My personal experience is that newer 180 gram records often sound worse than older 140 gram records. Heavyweight vinyl is not a guarantee for good pressing and good sound at all. There might, however, be a few minor benefits with 180 gram vinyl. At least in theory. Let’s look at the pros and cons of 180 gram vinyl.
Q: What are the benefits of 180 gram vinyl?
A: People attribute a whole host of sonic benefits to 180 gram vinyl, including noise reduction, deeper bass/higher treble, and increased stereo imaging (the perceived spatial locations of various instruments, vocals, and other sonic elements in relation to others).
Q: How big is a 180 gram vinyl record?
A: The size of a 180 gram vinyl record is just the same as the size of a standard 140 gram vinyl record. Which is 12 inches. How thick are vinyl records? A standard 140 gram vinyl record is approximately 2.1 mm thick.