Stereo Choice

Differences Between 78, 33 And 45 RPM


Did you grow up playing vinyl records? Perhaps you grew up listening to your parents as they play their various vinyl records and as of present time, you are feeling nostalgic about it since the vinyl records have already been given away and you would have to start your collection from scratch.

If in case you feel a bit bad that you have lost the chance to get a huge bulk of vinyl records from your parents or your grandparents, just think about it this way – perhaps, they were not able to clean the vinyl records enough and they were not well maintained. If this is the case then the vinyl will not sound the way that you would like them to be.

Differences Between 78, 33 And 45 RPM:

#1 78’s RPM


You have to know that the 78’s were first introduced to the public in the 1930’s. They are usually about 10 – 12 inches in size and you can play them with the use of a vintage and right now, a modern record player. They were still available up to the 1960’s. 78’s have a certain sound that is very distinct probably because it is already old. There will be a lot of extra sounds that may be heard together with the rest of the song that you will be hearing once you start playing.

For the 78’s, the music has already been recorded into both sides of the disc. This means that they can be played on either side. They have such big grooves though that record player usually needs to have big needles to play them. The needles will usually stay only on the outer portion of 78s when being played. The inner portion will not be played at all.

Cleaning 78’s may be a bit tricky because even though they are being labeled as vinyl records, they are not made out of vinyl. Rather, they are made out of plastic which means that trying to clean 78’s with the use of vinyl cleaners may do more harm than good.

#2 45’s RPM


Out of the three, 45’s are considered to be the most modern and they are also smaller than the typical vinyl record. Like the 33’s, they have narrow grooves which make them easy to be played in modern turntables and record players. Although they are modern, they can also be considered to be fragile. This is the reason why some people still pick 33’s over 45’s if ever they have a choice.

Cleaning 45’s can be the same as cleaning 33’s but you would need to be more gentle in cleaning because like mentioned earlier, 45’s tend to be a bit more fragile than 33’s. if you can, you may even want to purchase a vinyl cleaning machine so you can be sure that you will not be ruining the records this way.

#3 33’s RPM

The 33’s were first used after the 78’s. Like the 78’s they are also about 10 – 12 inches in size but what makes them different is they have narrower grooves which means that the record players that can be used to play them do not have to make a lot of effort into trying to make the record play. Unlike the 78’s that can only play about up to 4 minutes per side, the 33’s can already play up to 30 minutes per side.

Since 33’s are true vinyls, having to clean them can be easy as there are a lot of vinyl records that are available in the market at present time. You simply need to gently clean the 33’s with the use of a clean cloth and the cleaner and this will already be effective in keeping the quality of the vinyl.


Avoiding Static

You have to remember that no matter what type of vinyl record that you have, you can have vinyl that can form static after some time. This will make your records more prone to items that will cause them to deteriorate faster. Proper monitoring of your records will help avoid this situation from happening.

Hopefully, you have learned a lot about the differences of each record that you can play with the use of your turntable or your record player. Through the information that you have learned, you may become more specific about what you would like to purchase.

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