Size of Vinyl Records: All You Need to Know

Vinyl 101

Robert Halvari, Creator at Notes on vinyl

Vinyl Record Speeds: A Quick Recap We must first wrap our heads around the three central speeds at which these kinds of record sizes will typically be played at to ensure that they are played back as close as possible to the source audio

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45 Revolutions Per Minute or 45 rpm 45 rpm records were originally manufactured to be played on the smallest of the more typical record sizes, that of the 7 inch disc, which is itself almost half the size of the largest of the most typical sizes,

33 1 / 3 Revolutions Per Minute or 33 1 / 3 rpm Soon after they were drafted into the mainstream realm, records that were intended to be played at 33 1 / 3 rpm – most commonly being on 12 inch discs – superseded the 7 inch 45 rpm record as the standard currency for exchanging sounds between producer and consumer, even remaining so to this day

78 Revolutions Per Minute or 78 rpm This speed is rare if not completely unheard of in the more modern era of vinyl production and consumption

Vinyl Record Size Chart Though there are theoretically an infinite amount of sizes and styles of record, there are but three main sizes that you are likely to find when out and about scouring your local record store.  Of these three sizes, you are much more likely to find two than one of the others.

7 Inch Record Size 7 inch records are usually played at 45 rpm for the sake of improved audio fidelity, for they are the perfect size for holding a single song on each side. The technical capabilities mean that they are able to hold 4 to 6 minutes on each side

10 Inch Record Size In being arguably the most liminal record size on a vinyl record size chart with a run time of 12 to 15 minutes at 33 1 / 3 rpm and 9 to 12 minutes at 45 rpm, there are no doubts as to the liminality of the medium in between its larger and smaller brethren.

12 Inch Record Size Also common is the playing of 12 inch records at 33 1 / 3 rpm, for this will mean that there is more space on the record to contain the music which is being released in this longer and larger 12 inch form. A 12 inch record can hold between 15 to 22 minutes of music per side.