mcfate

180 gram vinyl = better sound, fact or fiction?
« on: April 29, 2008, 04:32:44 PM »
Any vinyl gurus out there?  

It seems as the vinyl market has become more and more boutique-y, there is more hype around 180 gram vinyl as being "audiophile quality".  

I've spoken with 3 different vinyl pressing guys who say the weight of the record does not in anyway change the groove, therefore the audio is in theory the same "quality" regardless of thickness, right?

Am I getting this all confused?  Does 180 gram refer to a denser type of vinyl, or a thicker piece of vinyl of the same density as say, 160, 140, or 120 gram?  Are there sonic differences, wear differences, or no differences?

Please illuminate!  Thanks!


180 gram vinyl = better sound, fact or fiction?
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2008, 04:49:08 PM »
It can't enable the record to have a deeper groove, so in all honesty, it's really just a piece-of-mind thing. I guess a thicker record *might* be less likely to warp in storage (providing it's properly stamped and stored in the first place).

One of the forum's vinyl mastering engineers, Paul Gold, remarked that the heavier vinyl *might* measure slightly better rumble due to putting more material between platter and stylus - but the emphasis was on *might*.

The extra 20 or 40g might give your platter a small amount more momentum to combat wow (clutching at straws here).

Some of the records I have with the deepest bass aren't on thick vinyl...

'Tis a marketing thing in all honesty. Props to you for supporting vinyl!


Justin
Prepare yourself. You are about to become the voice of Interplanetary Parliament.

sonicmook56

180 gram vinyl = better sound, fact or fiction?
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2008, 08:10:59 PM »
I do like the way 180g vinyl feels when I'm handling it, but have never noticed a difference in sound what so ever.

Most of my heavy gauge records are indeed "re-masters" or "25th anniversary edition"..

I always thought it was a marketing thing.

 :wink:

Gold

180 gram vinyl = better sound, fact or fiction?
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2008, 08:38:52 PM »
Basically, no. It's aesthetic. It is exactly the same vinyl compound that is used for everything. There are different vinyl manufacturers and some manufacturers make slightly different compounds for different customers/presses.

In general the heavier the record gets the harder it is to press. The cycle time of the press gets exponetially longer as the weight goes up. It's harder to heat and cool the material. A light record is harder to press flat (not warped or dished) but it's easier to form the groove.

Personally I don't like the feel of 180g. It's got that '72 El Dorado feel.

Scodiddly

180 gram vinyl = better sound, fact or fiction?
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2008, 08:26:00 AM »
Reduced wow & flutter because of a higher inertia from the greater mass?

Walrus

180 gram vinyl = better sound, fact or fiction?
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2008, 09:35:56 AM »
Quote from: "Scodiddly"
Reduced wow & flutter because of a higher inertia from the greater mass?

Possibly reduced Flutter with higher mass, as the rotational speed of the platter would require a larger force to induce flutter type variations in speed. However, Wow could become worse as the turntable motor would be working harder to accelerate or slow down the platter when subject outside influences.

(I know what I'm tryinng to say, but I'm not sure if I've written it clearly.... :? )
Kevin.

Gold

180 gram vinyl = better sound, fact or fiction?
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2008, 12:19:39 PM »
Quote from: "Walrus"

(I know what I'm tryinng to say, but I'm not sure if I've written it clearly.... :? )


I think you're saying it's time to change the belt.

Walrus

180 gram vinyl = better sound, fact or fiction?
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2008, 12:35:27 PM »
Quote from: "Gold"
Quote from: "Walrus"

(I know what I'm tryinng to say, but I'm not sure if I've written it clearly.... :? )


I think you're saying it's time to change the belt.

You mean this elastic band won't work??
Kevin.

kato

180 gram vinyl = better sound, fact or fiction?
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2008, 03:29:20 PM »
Deeper bass comes via wider grooves, not thicker vinyl.


A good mastering job is what makes some vinyl sound better than others.

dolo72

180 gram vinyl = better sound, fact or fiction?
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2008, 03:53:35 PM »
I prefer the lighter press vinyl mainly because its easier to handle when your djing and cutting up. In fact i have refused presses when the tests came back too heavy. I havent noticed a great sound difference being down to the weight - like people have said its the groove width and keeping your minutes down under 11 mins or preferably less which will make the difference. Of course good mixes/tunes and a mastering engineer that listens to the mix before they master will also have more impact.


Gold

180 gram vinyl = better sound, fact or fiction?
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2008, 04:59:44 PM »
Quote from: "kato"
Deeper bass comes via wider grooves, not thicker vinyl.
.


The phyisical dimentions of the groove have nothing to do with sound quality, frequency response, dynamic range, ect. They have everything to do with trackability. Low frequency causes the most groove swing. The deeper the groove is the less chance there is of the stylus popping out.

Edit: to clarify, the groove represents the signal but the base depth of the groove is set by the operator. This base depth is modulated by the waveform.

If I'm cutting a 24:00 side I'll use a 2mil base depth. If I'm cutting a 10:00 side at a very high level I'll use a 3-4mil base depth.

kato

180 gram vinyl = better sound, fact or fiction?
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2008, 05:58:42 PM »
Quote from: "Gold"


If I'm cutting a 24:00 side I'll use a 2mil base depth. If I'm cutting a 10:00 side at a very high level I'll use a 3-4mil base depth.


I'll trust a mastering engineer on this one.   :thumb:

The guys who tell me that deeper bass is possible with wider grooves frequently pepper their language with 'dudes.' Although, they had me convinced that's why 12" hip hop singles can deliver more bass than the 33 1/3 LP. (I've believed that since I was about 14.)

keefaz

180 gram vinyl = better sound, fact or fiction?
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2008, 06:11:17 PM »
Maybe less surface noise with deeper grooves ?
(mmh maybe with time, more dust can go in the deeper grooves, though)

Gold

180 gram vinyl = better sound, fact or fiction?
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2008, 08:31:02 PM »
Quote from: "kato"
Although, they had me convinced that's why 12" hip hop singles can deliver more bass than the 33 1/3 LP. (I've believed that since I was about 14.)


Well this is somewhat correct. Level is directly related to the amount the groove wiggles back and forth. If you look under a microscope at a correlated (in phase) sine wave cut into a record it looks like a sine wave moving laterally accross the disk. An uncorrelated sine wave looks like a sine wave except it gets wider and narrower because it's moving in the vertical plane.

All frequencies are not created equal. Low end takes up more room on the disk. The reason for the RIAA curve is to make the low end take up less space to fit more time on the disk and to boost the high end so it isn't lost in the noise floor.

The longer the record is the closer the grooves have to be so the lower the level has to be.


 

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