Ongoing History Daily: Which colour of vinyl sounds better?

Most vinyl records are black. That’s the result of mixing in a certain amount of carbon into the raw polyvinyl chloride that goes into making the record. But for promotional, marketing, and collectible reasons, vinyl can also come in a rainbow of colours.

However, it’s helpful to know that records that come in any other colour than black may not sound as good. There’s something about how the carbon helps stabilize the polyvinyl chloride that makes the grooves store information more faithfully.

What records sound the worst? In my experience, picture discs are better for looking at than listening to. And neon, glow-in-the-dark, glittery, and spattered-colour records sound the worst with plenty of surface noise.

If you must collect coloured vinyl, stick with the standard colours. They tend to sound okay.

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.

2 thoughts on “Ongoing History Daily: Which colour of vinyl sounds better?

  • January 26, 2023 at 7:02 pm

    I have red a vinyl Rush Hemispheres Album.

  • January 28, 2023 at 11:59 pm

    I recently bought Alice of Tom Waits, blue color, and I was quite disappointed. You can hear statics all the time. And even when you touch the vinyl (I mean, without playing it) you can hear the static. Bummer, it’s one of my favorite records ever


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