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Do Vinyl Records Sound Better in Black Than in Color?

Vinyl records have made a none too surprising but incredibly strong comeback. More and more people, both old and young, are choosing to experience music differently. 

From the player to the record and its covert and artwork, vinyl gives people a truly magical experience with music. It’s almost like listening to it for the first time again because of the almost ritualistic ceremony one does when opening a fresh new vinyl record.

With the resurgence of vinyl records in popular culture, one thing that is currently changing is how they look. Back in the past, records were almost exclusively black. But today’s artists are taking the opportunity to bleed as much of themselves as they can onto their music—beyond the sound and cover art, the color of the record is chosen with intention too.

All those years black colored records dominated, while today, more people are choosing to manufacture their records in different colors. Some are even in their clear natural form. 

The question is, does this affect the quality? Because whether it was in the past or present, black is still the most common option. Let’s explore why that is.

Black Vinyl Records

Vinyl records have always been associated with the color black. The natural color of PVC comes out clear, so naturally, vinyl is also clear. It becomes black by adding another ingredient—black carbon. This gives the record its beautiful black sheen and strengthens it when mixed with the PVC pellets. 

The records end up being a lot more rigid and, as a result, stronger and long-lasting. In the past, using dyes to color records didn’t add much to the product’s overall durability, which could be why it wasn’t as popular back then. 

Black vinyl records are also cheaper and easier to produce since production plants can buy the necessary ingredients in bulk. Making colored vinyl requires different ingredients in varying amounts, which obviously ramp up the pricing. 

Colored Vinyl Records

First, let’s discuss why colored vinyl has become so popular these days. From primary or solid colors to splatter or multi-colored vinyl, there’s something for everyone. Although owning and listening to records has become part of popular culture once again, it’s not as big as it used to be.

In the age of streaming, vinyl can be considered more of a niche now. That said because it’s such a holistic experience for people. Record companies have seen it fit to give them more to be excited about. While the classic black vinyl is beautiful, colored vinyl can look like a piece of art. It provides both the older and the newer generation listening to records a new thing to look forward to.

But do they sound as good as black vinyl? Some people have noted hearing slight or glaring differences, but it’s all down to preference, in all honesty. A colored vinyl made 20 years ago has nothing on the quality of colored vinyl made just five years ago. The ingredients, the process, the source of the color play a significant role in creating records that sound just as good as black vinyl. 

To create a colored vinyl, different colored dyes are mixed with PVC. And the difference, you will find, is in the mixing. The way a record sounds will depend on how well this process is done. And yes, some colors sound better than others. Essentially, the more color is mixed, the more ingredients are added, the trickier the mixing process can be. 

The Bottom Line

Do vinyl records sound better in black than in color? As we’ve said, it comes to personal preference. Suppose you’re comparing a black vinyl with a solid primary color vinyl, probably not. Of course, that depends on where the colors were mixed and who mixed them. 

But essentially, you should be getting the same sounds quality. It’s with the more colorful, multicolor, and splattered vinyl where you might notice a more significant difference. In our opinion, with the advancements in production and technology today, it might not be too long before all of these can compare equally.

If you’re looking for a place where you can buy and sell records, this is exactly where you want to be. Music Connection is the premier independent record store in Manchester, New Hampshire. We’re passionate about what we do and love connecting people, old and new, to the beauty of vinyl records. Sign up for our newsletter now to receive exciting updates about the store!

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