Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: What Sounds Better?  A Vinyl LP or a 7-Inch Single?

Question: which form of vinyl has better sound?  Is it the long-playing 12-inch album that plays at 33 1/3 RPM?  Or is it the 7-inch single that spins at 45 RPM?  Well, it’ depends.  Here’s why. 

As the stylus tracks the grooves on an LP towards the centre, various physical factors can make everything sound worse.  Let’s not get into the physics or the geometry of it all, but both are determining factors.  With a 7-inch single, sound quality remains consistent from the outer grooves to the inner ones—UNLESS you try to put too much music on a side. After about three minutes worth of grooves, audio quality begins to degrade rapidly for the same reason as we have for the inner grooves on an LP.

So like I said, the answer is “it depends.”

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38134 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

Let us know what you think!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.