Does coloured vinyl sound worse than black?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by peelaaa, Feb 29, 2016.

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  1. peelaaa

    peelaaa Forum Resident Thread Starter

    I keep reading online that vinyl that is not black has inferior audio quality.

    Is this the case for all vinyl that is not black and are some colours worse that others?
  2. gazatthebop

    gazatthebop Forum Resident

    "Vinyl is clear. There is however, an agent in the black vinyl that makes it smoother and quieter. Colored vinyl (other than black) can be noisier because it doesn't have this agent in it."
    Steve Hoffman 2007
  3. culabula

    culabula One-time Boulevardier.

    Belfast, Ireland

    Yet those that want it and can afford it all swear by white vinyl pressings of "The Beatles" (1968).
    Clark V Kauffman likes this.
  4. Paul Saldana

    Paul Saldana jazz vinyl addict

    SE USA
    Only white should sound worse. The white substance used to due the record can cause random pops (rumor has it that it is a kind of chalk). Other vinyl - colored or clear can be dead-quiet.

    The expensive machines designed to de-magnetize records before play are de-magnetizing the carbon used to make vinyl black -
    so a colored vinyl record with no black in it may actually sound better right out of the wrapper than a black one.

    I own records pressed in every color of the rainbow. Only the white ones annoy me.
    Faceman likes this.
  5. Paul Saldana

    Paul Saldana jazz vinyl addict

    SE USA
    That is down to the overall pressing quality and great fidelity of the cutting of the 1978 UK record, it has little or nothing to do with the plastic.

    The Beatles - The Beatles »
  6. peelaaa

    peelaaa Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Thanks guys, never knew about the different agents added to the vinyl.
    I have 2 albums that are white. The first is air- pocket symphony. That does have a few pops and sounds a bit gritty. The second is Let the right one in soundtrack. That one is perfect, no issues.
  7. tin ears

    tin ears Forum Resident

    Scotland UK
    Coloured vinyl can sound as good as regular black in my opinion, there are exceptions to this rule though. Glow in the dark vinyl for example is usually noisy. I own a couple of split colour records were you can hear a slight but audible increase in background hiss as the stylus passes from one colour to the next but it's minor and really only noticeable under headphones. It all depends on the specific vinyl formulation.

    Personally I've never had a problem with white vinyl and I must own about ten or so. Same with most other colours.

    Picture discs, on the other hand, are usually best avoided if you're looking for a quiet background.
    DVEric and Totti is god like this.
  8. Jim B.

    Jim B. Forum Resident

    If you want the best sounding record, rather than a collectors item, get the black vinyl everytime. Simple as that.

    I do have many coloured vinyl records and many do sound fine, but if I had the choice for fidelity purposes I's always go for black. It's always a gamble with coloured vinyl.
    Jrr, goodiesguy and patient_ot like this.
  9. I personally have not noticed any difference, and I have several LPs of which I have both Black and coloured releases.
  10. spridle

    spridle Forum Resident

    Gotta Groove has some nice stuff on their site about colored vinyl and the surface noise of different colors here. They have some really interesting things to read at their site that explain a lot about how records are made.
    pitro, Ash76, patient_ot and 2 others like this.
  11. dennis1077

    dennis1077 Forum Resident

    It seems like I've had tracking issues with color vinyl a little too frequently. I try to avoid colored vinyl when possible.
  12. Jackson

    Jackson Forum Resident

    MA, USA
    Why would color affect sound, this is almost as stupid as the CD/vinyl debate, and like that one it mostly comes down to mastering.
    rebellovw, scottcon, SammyJoe and 2 others like this.
  13. DTK

    DTK Forum Resident

    I have a couple of the 80s Beatles 45 picture discs, and they sound fine. I took great care of them and housed them in paper sleeves.

    But... picture discs are often housed in PVC sleeves that can leave residue and totally damage the disc. There is a thread on that issue I think.
    Man at C&A likes this.
  14. peelaaa

    peelaaa Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Thats what I thought. But these guys seem to know about it.
    Color Vinyl Records | Gotta Groove Records »
  15. Preston

    Preston Forum Resident

    KCMO Metro USA
    My rule with colored vinyl is that if I can't see through it, I don't buy it. The wonderful-sounding colored vinyl pressings I have are all translucent. The splattered or non-translucent pressings ALWAYS seem to be noisy. YMMV.
  16. I have about 1,500 LPS in my current collection and probably about 100 or so of them are pressed on colored vinyl. I have never noticed a difference between colored vinyl and black vinyl. Your mileage may vary.
    Jackson likes this.
  17. Sytze

    Sytze Forum Resident

    My pink vinyl copy of Pink Floyd's Animals is noisy as hell, although it looks NM.
  18. Indeed. All things equal (mastering and pressing quality) the differences should be minimal really.
  19. tim185

    tim185 Forum Resident

    Mine too. Have you got the french pressing?
  20. SethG

    SethG Member

    San Diego, CA
    Thank you for that observation, as soon as I thought about it, I realized I've noticed the same thing.
    Preston likes this.
  21. GroovySoundz

    GroovySoundz Active Member

    I have found coloured vinyl , more often than not, has a background 'hiss'. I have experienced this over the past 30 years or so on various turntables. I have that new recent releases on coloured vinyl do not appear to suffer as much from this 'hiss'. Maybe its the 'luck of the draw' with what I have found.
  22. Egg Crisis

    Egg Crisis Forum Resident

    Yorkshire, England
    I've noticed that coloured vinyl and picture discs don't seem to attract dust. Whereas black vinyl can get pretty dusty if not looked after I've always found coloured vinyl and picture discs to look pristine.
  23. Combination

    Combination Forum Resident

    New Orleans
    It's a color thing. You see dust easier on black vinyl, that's all.
    vinylontubes likes this.
  24. FunkyNut

    FunkyNut Forum Resident

    Then what about picture discs?
  25. mantis4tons

    mantis4tons Forum Resident

    Denver, CO, USA
    I find it very difficult to visually grade a lot of colored vinyl - scratches don't show up as well as they do on black vinyl. For that reason I try to avoid it when buying used records.
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