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What's the deal with colored vinyl?


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#1 DJ Projexion

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 05:54 AM

So I've read on other forums that the gimmicky colored vinyls that come out supposedly are of less quality than the standard black vinyl. Any truth to this?

I'm just curious to know because I rarely purchase colored vinyls but am always tempted to for their potential collectors value in the future.

#2 Dirty Cyclist

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Posted 28 October 2013 - 03:31 PM

Hmmm... thanks for giving me a topic to research! It is funny, because I recently got a Lenny Bruce record on colored vinyl and I had my first listen yesterday. The record looked perfect, but there were a ton of pops. I was about to give some negative feedback, but I took a look at the record and it did look perfect. Some of the forums I read said it is harder to tell how good of shape colored vinyl is in.

This quote is telling "Despite its collectibility and cool factor, coloring vinyl involves a minor trade-off in sound quality that vinyl newcomers may not know about. The chemical properties of pigmented vinyl just don't sound quite as good as "virgin" black. Blackwell [Ben Blackwell, Third Man Records' head of vinyl production] estimates the sound quality is somewhere between 90 and 95 percent of that of a black record"

The full article is here: http://www.tested.co...-colored-vinyl/

I'm glad I did not drop $60 on the purple version of Twin Cities Funk http://secretstashre...twincitiesfunk/. Black for $20 makes more sense.. but given the option, I might get some colered vinyl moving forward. I don't have the sound system to hear the difference and they look fricking cool!

#3 DJ Semi

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Posted 30 October 2013 - 01:58 PM

In the realm of Serato vinyl (in which the colored editions are pretty popular), most people say the plain black vinyl track and feel better during scratching.

I personally like the "clear" vinyl because it almost feels thinner/lighter, making it easier to scratch.

#4 E.Powers

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 08:50 PM

Golden rule is that any additive to the virgin vinyl will decrease the fidelity of the end pressing. If you listen to 50's or early 60's Doo Wop red vinyl 45's they sound fucking horrible but are worth $$$. I haven't heard too many problems with the 80's through present pressing however. I just sat down with Erykah Badu's "Mama's Gun" which is a clear red vinyl double LP and it sounds clean, my copy is NM though. So I don't know if standards have changed or if there are problems with the colored vinyl that come in time, but again, those older pressings are very noticeable in the fidelity difference. However, in the department of being collectible, dudes will collect the shit out of colored vinyl, marbled vinyl, clear vinyl, picture disc, etc.... regardless of how they sound or not. Being collectible vs sounding good are two different things.

#5 orchidthegreat

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Posted 30 December 2013 - 09:14 PM

I've got many colored vinyl records and they all play fine, nothing significantly different

#6 Dirty Cyclist

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 02:11 PM

I've got many colored vinyl records and they all play fine, nothing significantly different


Well on my little set up I would be hard pressed to hear the difference, but I would be curious if a real audiophile could. I'd be interested to hear the record below on a pro set up... one thing I do know is, I won't be spending a lot of money on old color vinyl. I'm in it for the music, not the collectability of a record.

http://thirdmanrecor...5blueside2.jpeg

#7 orchidthegreat

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 02:49 PM

I'm in it for the music, not the collectability of a record.


I am in complete agreement of this, I've only ever purchased colored vinyl not knowing it was so, but I have yet to be discouraged in buying more. I know there are elitists that are obsessed with finding the highest quality sound which is fine. I however buy a lot of shit and dust covered records ten for a buck so when I see a clean copy of anything for a good price, I don't give a fuck if it's purple or not.
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#8 Dirty Cyclist

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Posted 06 January 2014 - 03:02 PM

I am in complete agreement of this, I've only ever purchased colored vinyl not knowing it was so, but I have yet to be discouraged in buying more. I know there are elitists that are obsessed with finding the highest quality sound which is fine. I however buy a lot of shit and dust covered records ten for a buck so when I see a clean copy of anything for a good price, I don't give a fuck if it's purple or not.

Funny, I got back into records because I could find them for $1 a piece, but I will admit, if the colored version is a available and reasonably priced, I will go for it. I don't know why... Of course all my records are for sale and if the colored version is worth a lot of money, well that shit is outta hear. The standard black is fine with me... I want the new to me music by any means necessary.

#9 Dirty Cyclist

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Posted 07 January 2014 - 07:13 AM

Interesting video that has some colored vinyl http://www.fuse.tv/v...record-pressing

#10 DAWHUD

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 09:44 AM

Collecting... dope. Playing... I phawking hate it. The lines are harder to notice because you can see through the bloody joints.
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#11 fungus

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Posted 09 January 2014 - 12:18 PM

"Despite its collectibility and cool factor, coloring vinyl involves a minor trade-off in sound quality that vinyl newcomers may not know about. The chemical properties of pigmented vinyl just don't sound quite as good as "virgin" black. Blackwell [Ben Blackwell, Third Man Records' head of vinyl production] estimates the sound quality is somewhere between 90 and 95 percent of that of a black record"

The full article is here: http://www.tested.co...-colored-vinyl/


Makes sense as to why so many records you see at Urban Outfitters have these "special colored vinyl" hype on retail stickers. It's something that must catch the attention of new record buyers, and seasoned record buyers are certainly not digging at UO

#12 BreadAndBuds

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 11:01 AM

I've noticed a few coloured records I've bought don't sound as nice as they look like they would, this makes a lot of since actually. I'd probably still grab them myself, at least older ones, for collector value, though.

#13 Dirty Cyclist

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 02:04 PM

Makes sense as to why so many records you see at Urban Outfitters have these "special colored vinyl" hype on retail stickers. It's something that must catch the attention of new record buyers, and seasoned record buyers are certainly not digging at UO

sure, but I kind of wanted the blue Yes, sir record

#14 E.Powers

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 09:07 PM

Collecting... dope. Playing... I phawking hate it. The lines are harder to notice because you can see through the bloody joints.


This is funny (and true) because many of the early pressings were deliberately pressed on colored vinyl to simply stand out in the disc jockeys crates and hopefully increase the play rate. Granted radio DJing and club DJing are two different things, still though the irony is there. Also, grading is always twice as long on these things...




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