It is often thought by many that a record pressed onto Heavyweight 180g Vinyl produces a better sounding product. This is certainly not the case.
Some think that a Heavyweight 180g Vinyl 12″ for example would have a lower noise floor than a standard 140g, it doesn’t. Others think that a 180g 12″ has deeper grooves than a standard weight 12″, this is simply not true.
Whether you have your record pressed on standard weight vinyl or heavyweight, the pressing will use the same vinyl compound. It is the quality of the compound that determines the noise level in the pressing. The depth of the grooves will be determined at mastering stage by the cutting engineer, and the plant have no control over this during the galvanic processing.
So why do people prefer heavier vinyl? Perhaps simply because it feels better, it’s a weightier product and feels more substantial.
Heavyweight 180g Vinyl can reduce the amount of wow and flutter audible on a record, the larger mass enables the platter to move at a more continuous speed. However on low end turntable the added weight can cause extra pressure and friction on the platter.
Heavier weight vinyl records are less prone to warping which has always been my reason to press to 180g. More care is needed during the manufacturing process to press onto the heavier weight, the records take longer to cool, and often the pressing plants only have a limited amount of machines setup to cope with this weight, so often pressing times can be a little longer.
There are two requests I often receive when a Heavyweight 180g Vinyl 12″ pressing is always recommend, firstly when no centre labels are required. Due to the way the record is pressed, the centre labels are responsible for the record keeping it’s shape and not dishing. A heavy weight 12″ pressing would greatly reduce the chances of warping or dishing. Similarly, a laser etched record which often only require one centre label on the a side. It is always advisable to press onto 180g for the same reasons.
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