Vinyl Record Sizes Explained In 5 Minutes

Vinyl Record Sizes Explained In 5 Minutes

There are four basic types of vinyl record sizes, and each has its own characteristics.

7-Inch Record

7-inch singles: Also called 45s, these records come in a variety of different shapes and weights. They are typically smaller than 12 inches in diameter and are known for being the most commonly used for funk music. The max players that can play 7-inch records are 2 – one on each turntable.

7-inch vinyl record: This is the standard 12-inch record format and has a diameter of about 7 and ¾ inches. Some may see it as the “golden standard” for vinyl records, but its popularity is declining since the advent of digital music players. Most new albums come in a 7-inch format. However, some albums may include their own printed inner sleeve to create vinyl records.

7-inch singles: This album format is perfect for smaller projects looking for just one 12-inch record. Since this is the standard on CD singles, it makes for a perfect album format.

7-inch plastic ‘sleeve’ record: This format is the most common for cassette tapes and film, but VinylRecords.com has a 7-inch plastic record sleeve that you may print to use as a template.

10-Inch Record

10-inch record: These vinyl records are the smallest in the 12-inch format. This type of record is sometimes referred to as an EP, which means “extended play.” They typically have four songs but can also come with more songs. These records were the predecessor to the 7-inch format and are nearly identical in size, except they may be heavier than most 7-inch vinyl records. The max players that can play 10-inch records are 2 – one on each turntable.

12-Inch Record

Larger vinyl records come in 12-inch sizes. Some formats are only available on vinyl records, like classical music or soundtracks to movies. You can also purchase others on CDs and cassettes. 12-inch records have a diameter of approximately 12 and ½ inches. Most new albums come in this format due to the larger space needed for artwork and lyrics. The max players that can play 12-inch records are 2 – one on each turntable.

LPs

LPs are the most common form of a vinyl record, as they can store more music than compact cassettes or CDs. These records come in a variety of sizes and weights. The max players that can play LPs are 1 – on each turntable.

LPs: These are the standard form of vinyl records and can be washed in a dishwasher and not fade over time. Sometimes referred to as “vinyl” or “45s,” these records come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. These are the standard for most albums. LPs are the most common format of vinyl records and have a variety of sizes and weights.

EP’s

EPs are the predecessor to the 7-inch format and were used by many musicians to release singles that didn’t fit on an album. The max players that can play EP’s are 2 – one on each turntable.

Compact Cassette

These were popular in the 1960s and 1970s because of their smaller size than LP records and could fit more music into a smaller space. Unfortunately, compact cassettes have mostly gone out of style, especially with digitized files and MP3 players.

33 1/3 RPM

This is the standard vinyl record size and speed that most albums are pressed on. When buying new, blank records, make sure you get single plays at 33 1/3 RPM. If you try to play them at 45 or 78 RPM, it will wear out the record quicker.

45 RPM

Increasing numbers of albums are coming in 45 RPM because of their higher fidelity sound quality over 33 1/3 RPM. However, 45s tend to be a little more expensive than their 33 1/3 counterparts.

78 RPM

This is an older format used before 33 1/3 RPM and 45s. Most people today use 78 RPM records for music in vintage automobiles, jukeboxes, and old phonographs.

Now that you know the basic types of vinyl record sizes, it’s time to start planning your next album. However, before you buy your record press, make sure you have the correct vinyl cutter. This is necessary to make clean cuts into your blank records so they can play properly on your turntable.

Rob is a musician and audiophile at heart. He plays 5 instruments. Besides music, Rob enjoys a good whiskey and the outdoors.
Robert S. Thompson
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