Translucent & coloured vinyl - Thoughts?

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melakaraya
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Translucent & coloured vinyl - Thoughts?

Post by melakaraya » Mon Jun 04, 2012 4:53 pm

We all know that coloured vinyl has a terrible reputation when it comes to playback quality, in many cases with just cause.

This is certainly true in the vast majority of marbled vinyl, 'solid' coloured vinyl and picture discs that I've owned and heard.

I do find that translucent vinyl doesn't seem to have this issue in many instances, in fact, most that I do own don't suffer noticeably in comparison to normal black vinyl.

Are there any known sound deterioration issues around the use of translucent that I'm not aware of?

Some recent examples of the use of translucent vinyl, all of which sound fine to my ears:

*2-X-Treme - X-Treme Theme/That Piano Track - Ninety Two Retro
*Unreleased History Of Doctor G - Sublogic Recordings
*All the Scientific Wax Retro Releases.

Any opinions or advice welcome :D

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Re: Translucent & coloured vinyl - Thoughts?

Post by Adam Timeless » Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:43 pm

I must admit am not really too fussed about the appearance of a piece of vinyl. My main thing is the quality of the pressing. Plain old black crack does it for me, its normally cheaper to press onto black anyway so I'd rather the pressers outlay costs were lower and the consumer price as well.

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Re: Translucent & coloured vinyl - Thoughts?

Post by stuz74 » Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:43 pm

My copy of DJ Taktix's 'The VIP Mix' on clear vinyl still sounds as great as it did when I got it in 1994. Did a rip of this recently and there's no sign of deterioration at all.

I know that picture discs have a layer of printed plastic overlaying a regular slab of vinyl which then has the audio pressed onto it, hence the hissy sound you get. I read somewhere about someone complaining that they've had the printed plastic layer of picture discs peel away, but don't take that as gospel.

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Re: Translucent & coloured vinyl - Thoughts?

Post by melakaraya » Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:43 pm

stuz74 wrote:My copy of DJ Taktix's 'The VIP Mix' on clear vinyl still sounds as great as it did when I got it in 1994. Did a rip of this recently and there's no sign of deterioration at all.
Welcome to B2VOS :)

That's the point I was asking, I've never noticed any significant audio deterioration with clear vinyl, either from new or as time passes. Just toying with the idea of using it for a release, so want to gauge whether it'd put people off or not :)

Maybe Will and Dave could share their thoughts, as they have first hand experience with clear vinyl releases relatively recently?

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Re: Translucent & coloured vinyl - Thoughts?

Post by Thumpson » Tue Jun 05, 2012 5:37 pm

Will they still wear out quicker than black vinyl though?

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Re: Translucent & coloured vinyl - Thoughts?

Post by Traffic Cone » Tue Jun 05, 2012 8:23 pm

yeah i have a fair few records that are all one colour, either opaque or translucent, and they sound alright to me. only ever really noticed the sound being not so bright on anything with detail, marbled or picture discs...

mind you, could just be my duff ears!

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Re: Translucent & coloured vinyl - Thoughts?

Post by melakaraya » Tue Jun 05, 2012 9:17 pm

Thanks Dave, Thumpson & TC.

Unless someone can prove otherwise, I think the answer to my question relating to clear/translucent vinyl and sound degradation is 'no'.

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Re: Translucent & coloured vinyl - Thoughts?

Post by dj_gyr8 » Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:43 pm

Hi,

Its not the colour, its the density of the vinyl.

I.E. if its hard then its great for sound.

You get a lot of waste with the higher density clear and coloured vinyl, hence why most plants don't use it - or charge much more for it.

Thus, if you opt for clear or coloured vinyl now, the price is still a bit higher, but the vinyl is a lower density and thus the sound quality is lower...

IMO stay away from non-black vinyl unless...

1) you know the plant will use high quality high density vinyl, which is doubtful

2) you have previous experience...

If it was 20 years ago, I'd say - GO FOR IT - as most plants used the good non-black vinyl, but now, I'd say NO NO NO

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Re: Translucent & coloured vinyl - Thoughts?

Post by AtomSmasher » Wed Jun 06, 2012 4:43 pm

My copy of 'Cocaine' by Rhythm Section is on white/marbled vinyl and has pretty much sounded crappy since 1992. Very hissy.....
The only other coloured vinyl i owned was 'Feel The Energy' by Blame, which was ok. Having said that i never really liked it that much so it wasn't exactly rinsed out.....

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Re: Translucent & coloured vinyl - Thoughts?

Post by melakaraya » Wed Jun 06, 2012 9:15 pm

dj_gyr8 wrote:Hi,

Its not the colour, its the density of the vinyl.

I.E. if its hard then its great for sound.

You get a lot of waste with the higher density clear and coloured vinyl, hence why most plants don't use it - or charge much more for it.

Thus, if you opt for clear or coloured vinyl now, the price is still a bit higher, but the vinyl is a lower density and thus the sound quality is lower...

IMO stay away from non-black vinyl unless...

1) you know the plant will use high quality high density vinyl, which is doubtful

2) you have previous experience...

If it was 20 years ago, I'd say - GO FOR IT - as most plants used the good non-black vinyl, but now, I'd say NO NO NO
OK, that's great info, but how exactly do you gauge the density of the vinyl used, presumably we're not talking simply about weight, are we?

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Re: Translucent & coloured vinyl - Thoughts?

Post by dubplate records » Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:01 am

I'd guess mate
when ordering weight is one of the options,as is what sleeve you want etc
so if you go for colored make sure the vinyl is of equal or high quality :)

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Re: Translucent & coloured vinyl - Thoughts?

Post by dj_gyr8 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 1:51 pm

Hi,

I suggest you call a few plants and tell them you want coloured vinyl, but not the coloured vinyl they use now, but the higher quality stuff that was used years ago.

If you explain you want the sound reproduction to be that of highest quality black vinyl...

Most coloured vinyl is used for promo stuff, hence why the quality is often not required.

Note, most coloured vinyl is cut at 45rpm with one track per side, so cutting 2 tracks per side at 33rpm with approx 12 minutes is not a good idea.

Remember, our music has some crazy bass frequency, so this is where the problem lies...

I know ppl who have cut on coloured vinyl, but asked for the sound level to be set lower, so the quality stays good. IMO, this is NOT a good idea...

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Re: Translucent & coloured vinyl - Thoughts?

Post by will2003 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:05 pm

Don't want to dismiss comments on here, but the colour has nothing to do with the quality. It's to do with quality control at the pressing plant, and how carefully they temperature control their presses. Higher quality black vinyl makes a more durable record, not a better sounding one. All records are made from little pellets of vinyl that are fed into the hoppers on the presses, melted to the correct temperature and then pressed into vinyl discs / records. The coloured pellets behave differently, thermally, to straight black vinyl pellets, and it's hard to get the temperature controlled so accurately with the coloured stuff - I've been told that at certain temperatures it'll press fine, and sound fine, but will be much less durable and wear out quicker when played. Get the temperature the other way round and it'll be too brittle and hard, and will sound poor - BUT, it will come on and off the presses easily, which makes life easy for the factory operators.

Get the temperature right, and it will press as well as conventional black vinyl and sound and last as well too. The reason people think black vinyl is the best is because it's what 99% of records are pressed with, and it's what the factory operators are most familiar with using and pressing correctly.

The really high end plants like Record Industry and Optimal can press coloured vinyl to exactly the same specs as black vinyl, regardless of what common consensus is.

Oh and @ Gyr8 - the highest quality vinyl is actually high grade clear vinyl, black vinyl has a colour added just like any other colour of vinyl. Quality has to do with the grade of the vinyl pellets chemically - just like you can get good quality or shitty quality cling film, rubber, engine oil, PVC, any petrochemical product.

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Re: Translucent & coloured vinyl - Thoughts?

Post by dj_gyr8 » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:27 pm

Hi,

As I was saying...

You get what you pay for, and with our small numbers we cannot pay for top quality unless we want to lose money :-(

Will, I've been to 3 different plants, and I agree fully with your comments, but it really does differ from plant to plant.

I remember my friend working for EMI and they got top quality no matter what colour the vinyl was, but that was because they had a bottomless pit of funds.

I think this chap wants 'cheap' coloured vinyl, and that aunt possible these days.

If you really want coloured vinyl you have to get 1 track per side...

Mixing in the colour isn't often done well, causing problems.

Imagine if you could 'do-it-yourself' as then you'd put in max effort and get max quality

PS: normal grade vinyl is not pure clear, very far from it, hence why its coloured black, otherwise it appears 'dirty'

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Re: Translucent & coloured vinyl - Thoughts?

Post by melakaraya » Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:32 pm

dj_gyr8 wrote:I think this chap wants 'cheap' coloured vinyl, and that aunt possible these days.
Assuming you're referring to me, I certainly don't remember mentioning the word 'cheap' :lol:

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