What is 180g vinyl and does it sound better?

2 mins read

When collecting newer vinyl you’ll find online stores stating 180g vinyl in the title of the record. You may ask yourself what this means, how does this affect the record, is it actually better, do I even need to care?

We’ll go through everything you need to know about 180g vinyl records below.

180 Gram Vinyl Explained

Quite simply 180g is the weight of the vinyl record – a thicker, heavier record is more durable and will keep it’s quality for longer.

Most vintage vinyl records measured somewhere between 120-150g. For years this was the standard and worked just fine. It’s recent years they have sold new pressings often labeled as Audiophile Quality 180g”.

As vinyl continues to make a comeback even in the 2020s vinyl thickness is continue to become something manufacturers are weighting up when it comes to quality. We’re now even seeing some vinyl records being pressed on 200g.

Does 180 Gram Vinyl Sound Better?

The technical standards of cutting grooves into a vinyl record from a master disc are exactly the same for all records regardless of weight. Therefore the thickness of the record doesn’t impact the sound quality.

The difference is mainly the quality and durability of the record itself. The perfect record would actually be pressed on a lighter 100g record, but this would be so flimsy it would likely not last long at all.

The Benefits of 180 Gram Vinyl Records

Although the weight of the record doesn’t affect the sound quality. There are some benefits that are worth discussing;

180g Vinyl is More Durable

Heavier / thicker vinyl records are more durable, especially if they are heavily played/used frequently.

When stored the thicker records will be less prone to warping meaning you’ll likely get better longevity to the record.

Heavy Vinyl Feels Nicer

When you take the record out of the sleeve you’ll feel the difference. It makes the record feel like a better-quality item than its predecessors. You’ll still obviously have to be careful with the record when placing down the needle as well as storing it, but keep the record in a good condition and you’ll have it for a very long time.

Decreased Wow & Flutter

On lower-end turntables you may find the additional weight puts extra pressure and friction on the platter, but on a higher-quality record player, you may find a thicker vinyl record actually reduces the wow & flutter with the platter being able to move at a more constant speed.

Better Isolation

A heavier record helps to absorb vibrations meaning the isolation is improved as the stylus remains protected from interference.

Is 180 Gram Vinyl Worth It? The Bottom Line:

Ultimately 180g vinyl records aren’t going to blow you away with different sound quality. You’ll get a longer-lasting, better-feeling record in your hand, but the sound comes down to audio setup and turntable quality.

Our advice is to buy what suits you most in this instance. If the record is going to get lots of play it may be worth investing slightly more in the 180g, but this won’t change the quality output.

Music enthusiast with a love for vinyl, gigs and festivals. Here to educate, review, discuss and share the love of music and vinyl records for the next generation.

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