What Is the Significant Difference in Sizes of Vinyl Record?

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Since the return of vinyl records, many folks are taking this classical format as their hobbies.

For someone who first wants to go deeper into records, the size of the vinyl record will be a little confused.

This article today will provide you information about three standard sizes of vinyl records.  

If a vintage vinyl record is your cup of tea and you are building your collection, follow this article, and you will become the master of this timeless format.

Or maybe you are new to this hobby; you can learn a lot from this short article.

About Vinyl Records

When it comes to vinyl records, size is not the only attribute that identifies the kind of your records. The more precise way to distinguish them is based on the speed, also known as revolutions per minute (RPM). It references the rate that your records will spin on the turntable. 

Record size differs due to the speed, and the length of music can be stored. There are three standard sizes of vinyl records available in the market: 7 inches, 10 inches, and 12 inches. So we will take a closer look at these species to tell them apart.

Sizes of a Vinyl Record

Sizes of a Vinyl Record

7 inch

The 7-inch single (or “45”) is the smallest and most common form of a standard vinyl single. First introduced in 1949, it was the ideal alternative to 78-RPM shellac discs. It is strongly appreciated as an affordable record, thanks to the lower price compared to the 12-inch.

7inch vinyl record

Due to the affordability, there are many 7-inch singles converted from CDs album. It contributed to the early era of rock and roll in the 1950s and 60s. In modern days, it contains cuts of songs that are the special editions for the fans of record. 

Generally, 7-inch record singles are perfect for supporting the 12-inch full-album coming after. However, to promote the album sale, bands also release the deluxe edition in 7-inch formats with B-side and other rarities. 

However, due to the small size, the capacity of 7-inch is less than a full-length disc. Generally, if your record is at 45 RPM, it can fit around 5 minutes of music per side. At 33 RPM, you can put 7 minutes each side. Since it is for EP (extended play) and single release, you can put three to five songs in 7-inch records.

10 inch

Nowadays, the use of 10-inch records is popular among classical music fans. Classical albums might be multi-disc releases that include more than one 10-inch long-play records that are grouped. Hence, they give the listeners the album packed at once that are longer than 7-inch records.

10inch vinyl record

In terms of capacity, 10-inch is the disc of average size. At 45 RPM, you can fit around 8 minutes each side. And at 33 RPM, you can have 13 minutes of music per size playing around.  

10-inch seems to be the least common-used record among the three since the capacity of 10-inch is quite unnecessary for one pop song but not enough for two. But it is the records that collectors are excitingly seeking for their collections. 

78 RPM is the rarest format and only found in 10-inch discs. It is the long-forgotten speed that you can only find them in your grandparents’ old boxes. This format was generally published before 1950.  

So if you are an avid collector, you should take a look at some antique shops and old boxes around your house. Moreover, make sure to have a 78 RPM turntable since this format requires special needles to play.

12 inches

12inch vinyl record

The 12-inch single variation is associated with the funky and driving rhythm of the disco era in the 1970s. It is also popular in clubs where the DJs use them to play dance music. And in the 1980s, it is often used for the remix version of pop music. Even the Factory Records, who only released 7-inch discs, switched to produce 12-inch full albums. 

With its bigger capacity, 12-inch makes vinyl records nearly draw the tie with other modern media. While CD store an hour of music, a regular 12-inch vinyl album, recording at 33 RPM, is capable of 45 minutes for both sides. At 45 RPM, it can store 15 minutes for one slide, which means half an hour if taking the advantages of both sides. 

45 RPM is the less common speed included in the 12-inch album. However, it is claimed to bring better sound than the same speed on the 7-inch one. Compared to LPs, it has a wider groove spacing and shorter time hence allows a broad range of recording and more realistic sound.  

12-inch album is the most typical in every collection. This will bring you to the old land of classic and beloved memories. It is also a perfect choice to relax after a long, tiring day of work. So if you are in love with vinyl records, you should have at least one 12-inch albums included in your collection.

Wrap Up

All in all, the most significant difference in sizes of vinyl records is the diameter of the discs. But you, as a vinyl collector, should pay attention to the speed and the length of music fit in the records. I hope that this article can bring you helpful information about vinyl records and give you some suggestions about your collections. 

If you have anything to ask, leave it in the comment section below. I will try my best to answer you. Thank you for reading!

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