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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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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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Discussion Starter #3
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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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 :bigsmile:

edd
 

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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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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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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?? :gulp:

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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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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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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Re: What's your Top 10 "must have" Vinyl LP Records?

Booooyaaah! :D



How do you tell the weight?

I spotted Cowboy's From Hell that I'm going to try to get next week. Sure, this stuff is just re-released, but I like the album art; most of the newer stuff I'll buy will be displayed. The deal on the RCA fell through, so I'm going to start saving pennies to build a ~15W valve amp to go with a vintage speaker of some sorts..
 

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Re: What's your Top 10 "must have" Vinyl LP Records?

Sometimes the weight will be marked somewhere on the cover or label, but you can tell by the thickness of the record. If it is flimsy then it is lightly 120 gram, while a stiffer record will be 180 or 200 gram, almost as stiff as a Frisbee. Some pressings are 150 gram. You might also check your catalog number against the discographies, which will usually indicate if it is a higher weight.
 

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Re: What's your Top 10 "must have" Vinyl LP Records?

I looked around and can't find anything about its weight. I checked a random LP out of my collection from Atlantic and it was on the center label. ATO list nothing other than the name on their site. Is using a scale an accepted method? We have a digital kitchen scale that reads in grams.

This whole weight thing is new to me. I see why, just never knew. My experiences with vinyl started at the end of that format and has been rekindled since my mother dropped off our collection. She told me to sell them; too many memories for that. I asked my sister where my thriller lp was at and was told she bought it so she kept it.. Whatever. The only radio she owns is in her car so I imagine she thinks its worth something. Not going to argue with her over it since Im not really a MJ fan
 

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I moved our posts about the weight over to this "What is 180 Gram Vinyl?" thread.

You could weigh them, but you can definitely tell the difference just by picking them up and comparing them.
 

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Thanks Sonnie. I was going to suggest deleting the post, as it clutttered the thread; sorry about that. I'm still finding new stuff on this site everyday, so I'll be more dilligent about where I post.

When I get some time I'll compare a few LPs. I've been trying to preserve this copy, but I'll think I'll just buy another and keep it sealed :) When I did pull out the record in the picture above, it felt a bit flimsy compared to some of the other vinyl I have. So I'm betting its a 150.
 

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i have a few 180 gram and sacd of same recordings . i think that the Stones Out of Heads sounds better in the sacd version . I also have a copy of most of the Beatles and Stones in DTS and / or sacd and 180 G or Half Speed Master. Abbey Rd the original pressings and the Mobile Fidelity pressings are the best of anything i have every heard . Hands down , maybe MMT or the White LP . All the normal cd versions including the newest release of Abbey Rd have lost alot of the original quality . The Elton john sacd of Tumbleweed Connection is also right up there , as far as quality . I have a 180 pressing of Pet Sounds and that is good also . So as far as 180 the quality control is much better . The people that press those albums know , the people that put out the extra $ for them know their stuff . Like everyone within this group .
 

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I haven't looked closely at my Beatles or Stones albums. They are probably the most played since my mother and her sisters bought them new. The sleeves are decent for 40 year old paper. I don't have a vinyl brush, so im not sure if they're still playable. My stylus is bent and +20 years old as well, so I can wait to find out. Never have been a huge Beatles fan.

When I got them a few years ago, my intentions were to digitize some of the folk music my mom loves and can't buy on CD. I dropped a Steppenwolf LP on the table and played about 5 minutes until the stylus was lifted off the record by a huge dust ball lol
 

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I came across this forum via google. Is there anything on the sleeve, or the label, or even the run off whih tells you what weight the vinyl is? I have a couple of Peter Gabriel Albums that are still in their shrink wrap and I don't want to open them to weigh them. They are PG IV (Known as 'Security' in The States) and III on Geffen records so I expect they will be the lower spec.

If an album is open, which is more usually the case, is it simply a matter of putting the vinyl on a set of scales?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Trust me, you will instantly know 180g or 200g vinyl. You don't need to weigh it or anything. It's like feeling the difference between a regular Lp and 3 LP's stacked together. You won't be able to wobble it at all to make that "wubba wubba" sound.
 

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180 gram vinyl is no guarantee of a quality pressing, but anyone attempting a high-quality pressing will be doing it on heavier vinyl these days. I've definitely had bad 180 gram pressings - mostly the work of major labels, doing re-issues. And, unfortunately, returning them is often fruitless as the whole run is botched.
I try to get audiophile-grade records, whenever available, and prefer boutique labels like MoFi, 4 Men /w Beards, Simply Vinyl, Audio Fidelity, and others like them, who really make an effort at using the best original tape, mastering, and pressing techniques. The majors, as always, are out for a quick buck and, as we know, openly despise their own customers. So, caveat emptor!
 
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