What is 180 Gram Vinyl? - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #1 of 20 Old 03-13-07, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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What is 180 Gram Vinyl?

I have seen this term around, but I don't know exactly what it means. I suppose it has something to do with the mass of the actual record itself, or was somehow derived from some such historical meaning. I have seen references such as "180 G Audiophile Vinyl". I also saw a listing for 120, 150 and 200 G vinyl, among other things. Have a look here for the different vinyl categories.

I Googled and Wiki'd, but didn't find much (I didn't really look all that hard, and thought it might be worthwhile to have such a thread here).

So what's up? What's the good stuff? And the junk to avoid? And really, what are the differences between these differently categorized records?

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post #2 of 20 Old 03-14-07, 05:06 PM
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Re: What is 180 Gram Vinyl?

Otto

120-140 g is a "normal" vinyl LP, like most new releases in the 20th century. 180 g is considered audiophile grade and most new releases and re-releases available today come out in this format. The record is thicker and heavier so it may be less prone to warping over time. Some claim sonic benefits on 180 g's like better stereo imaging, less noise, wider bandwidth, etc. Another factor is "virgin" vinyl (often a feature hand in hand with 180 g and heavier LPs) which uses no recycled plastic which can contain impurities leading to a noisier record.

Another factor is playback speed. 45 rpm records inherently sound better than 33.3 rpm's. I own Radiohead's "Hail to the Thief" on 12", 45 rpm, 180 g LPs. I think this is the highest quality though you get less time per side. Plus I've only listened to it a few times as I have to take apart my turntable to switch the belt to 45 rpm mode. It sounds great.

I don't think you can say that all 180 g sound better than 120 g as the quality is largely dependent on the recording, mastering and pressing.

For example, you could have the original UK pressing of an early Black Sabbath album that will sound better than any US release because they were initially mastered differently.

If it's available and I can afford it I always opt for a 180 g pressing, I just assume it must sound better, though this may be a sonic placebo. When I'm shopping I take the 180 g sticker a stamp of quality though I'm probably just falling for marketing. On the other hand it is much more expensive to press 180 g virgin vinyl so you must assume the band or label cared enough about the record to do it.

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post #3 of 20 Old 03-14-07, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: What is 180 Gram Vinyl?

Thanks Kyle! As you know, I've recently obtained an old Thorens TT, and I'm starting to gather up some records -- really, just a couple off eBay. They were called VG to VG+ quality, but I don't know if they are 180 or not. Probably not, or the person would have specified (unless they just don't know about that stuff either).

I don't want to spend a bunch of money buying the highest quality audiophile records, but, on the other hand, I know that you usually get what you pay for (what am I really expecting from eBay?!?!?). The 180 G pressings I see are usually about $30. I might buy one a month for that price, and that's OK. It's a long-term thing, I know.

Thanks again.

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post #4 of 20 Old 03-15-07, 09:02 AM
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Re: What is 180 Gram Vinyl?

Most of my vinyl is your bog standard 120 gram stuff, bought cheap second hand from record shops etc. As said above, if its a good recording it will sound good on 120 or 200 gram.

For records i realy, realy like, ill stretch to the 200 gram super duper re pressings, ie i have most the classic records led zepplin releases, dark side of the moon on 180 gram etc, they make lovely collector type items too, usualy with realy nice heavy card sleeves etc.

www.acousticsounds.com is a good source for such things, they even shipped to the uk for me

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post #5 of 20 Old 06-16-09, 06:24 AM
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Re: What is 180 Gram Vinyl?

Quote:
geekwithfamily wrote: View Post
Otto

120-140 g is a "normal" vinyl LP, like most new releases in the 20th century. 180 g is considered audiophile grade and most new releases and re-releases available today come out in this format. The record is thicker and heavier so it may be less prone to warping over time. Some claim sonic benefits on 180 g's like better stereo imaging, less noise, wider bandwidth, etc. Another factor is "virgin" vinyl (often a feature hand in hand with 180 g and heavier LPs) which uses no recycled plastic which can contain impurities leading to a noisier record.

Another factor is playback speed. 45 rpm records inherently sound better than 33.3 rpm's. I own Radiohead's "Hail to the Thief" on 12", 45 rpm, 180 g LPs. I think this is the highest quality though you get less time per side. Plus I've only listened to it a few times as I have to take apart my turntable to switch the belt to 45 rpm mode. It sounds great.

I don't think you can say that all 180 g sound better than 120 g as the quality is largely dependent on the recording, mastering and pressing.

For example, you could have the original UK pressing of an early Black Sabbath album that will sound better than any US release because they were initially mastered differently.

If it's available and I can afford it I always opt for a 180 g pressing, I just assume it must sound better, though this may be a sonic placebo. When I'm shopping I take the 180 g sticker a stamp of quality though I'm probably just falling for marketing. On the other hand it is much more expensive to press 180 g virgin vinyl so you must assume the band or label cared enough about the record to do it.
---------
Hi,
I would like to purchase Radiohead's "Hail to the Thief" on 12", 45 rpm, 180 g LPs from Acoustic Sounds. It has Product No.: ACAP 84543 and has 2 discs 180g, but does not say if it is 45 rpm or 33rpm. No facility to email and ask. Would anyone confirm if this is 45rpm?
Regards
william
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post #6 of 20 Old 11-03-09, 04:22 AM
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Re: What is 180 Gram Vinyl?

I don't think I have any records that are 180g. Haven't measured though.
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post #7 of 20 Old 02-28-10, 09:19 AM
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Re: What is 180 Gram Vinyl?

I just purchased "Out of Our Heads" by the Rolling stones on 180g virgin vinyl reissue, the UK import release, and it sounds the best of any of the old Stones recordings I have. Mind you I do not have the original vinyl to compare it to nor do I have the SACD version either, but it sounds far better than the original remastered CD or cassette (gasp) version which I do own. Now that I think of it...how many reissues are they going to make??

Very transparent and seems a "veil" was taken off the recording somehow. It's labeled as Audiophile quality but if anyone is familiar with the early Stones catalogue, there is plenty of what I call "grain" or fuzz to it. You can only make it so good from the master recordings.

As a side note, what I did notice is that one of the songs "west coast promo man" when remastered in the eighties lost much of the rhythm guitar lick that was in the original analogue recording, now in this release it very prominent again. Whether this has anything to do with it being on 180g vinyl, I can't say.

I do like it much better though.
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post #8 of 20 Old 02-28-10, 01:57 PM
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Re: What is 180 Gram Vinyl?

If you have any amount of normal pressings you will instantly know when you have a 180g album, much more substantial feel like it........easy to spot.
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post #9 of 20 Old 10-06-10, 02:47 AM
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Re: What is 180 Gram Vinyl?

Please pardon the newb.

"180 Gram" refers to the mass of the glob of vinyl (called a biscuit) that used to press the disc. One twenty and 150 gram pressings are thinner, and hence cannot be cut as deep as a 180 gram pressing. The deeper the cut, the more musical information that can be contained in the groove.

12" Forty-five RPM pressings are generally of better quality because the groove has better separation throughout the disc, as are "Half-Speed Mastered" pressings. The wider the groove, the more dynamic the sound (wider tonal variety)

Radiohead has many 12" 45 RPM pressings. I own "Creep" and "Paranoid Android" in this format.

chadnliz is correct. You can definitely feel a 180g pressing, especially if you have a 120g copy in the other hand. One note though, just because a record is 180g does not make for a superior listening experience. Many records being pressed in this era of digital convenience are made from digital masters, versus the nickel-silver analog masters of old. It is hard to know if a 180g pressing came from a digital or analog master, especially since analog mastering equipment is becoming more and more rare these days.

Jason
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post #10 of 20 Old 11-08-10, 07:01 AM
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Re: What is 180 Gram Vinyl?

I used to have a half-speed master of Magical Mystery Tour and it sounded fantastic!
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