All about vinyl records

More than 150 years ago, mankind learned how to save and reproduce sound. The methods of recording during this time were mastered many. This process began with mechanical rollers, and now we are already accustomed to using compact discs. However, the vinyl records, which were popular in the last century, began to gain popularity. The demand for vinyl records has grown, and together with him people began to show attention to vinyl players. Surprisingly, many representatives of young generations do not even have the concepts that such a record is, and why it is necessary.

What is vinyl records?

Gramplastine, or as it is also called a vinyl record, looks like a flat circle of black plastic, on which on both sides, and sometimes and only one, an audio recording is performed, and it is played using a special device – player. Most often on the plates it was possible to meet musical records, but, besides the music, they often recorded a literary work, a humorous plot, sounds of wildlife, and so on. Gramplastics require careful storage and circulation, so they are packed in special covers, which are decorated with colorful images and bear information about the content of recording.

Vinyl record can not be a media of graphic information, as it is capable only to save and reproduce audio sounds. Today, many copies released in the last century in our country or abroad are the subject of collecting.

There are rather rare grams issued by limited edition, the price of which among collectors is tangible high and is hundreds of dollars.

History of origin

The first records appeared in 1860. Edward Leon Scott de Martenville, a Frenchman and the famous inventor of that time, created a phonoavatographer’s apparatus, which could harden the needle of the sound track, but not on vinyl, but on paper wrapped from the soot of the oil lamp. The record was short, just 10 seconds, but it entered the history of recording.

As the story shows, subsequent attempts to make a sound entry in the XVIII century were rollers from wax. The sounding device has engaged in his needle behind the ledges of the roller and reproduced the sound. But such rollers quickly came into disrepair through several use cycles. Later, the first models of the plates that began to do from polymer shellac or ebonite appeared. These materials were much stronger, and the sound quality with their help was recreated better.

Later, special devices with a large pipe, extended at the end – were gramophones. The demand for plates and gramophone was so great that enterprising people opened the production of this product.

Approximately 20th years of last century, gramophones were replaced by more compact devices – they could be taken with themselves in nature or to the country. The device worked with a mechanical device that activated by a rotating handle. You probably have already guessed that we are talking about the pattephon.

But progress did not stand still, and Already in 1927, the technologies for recording sound on a magnetic film appeared. However, large bobbins with the records were difficult to store, they were often ground or rushed. Simultaneously with magnetic ribbons to the world, electric foams, which were already familiar plain players for us.

Production technology

How gramzapsy is doing now is slightly different from their way of manufacture in the past century. For production, a magnetic tape is used to be applied with the original, suppose music. It was the original basis, and from the tape the sound was copied to special equipment equipped with a needle. It is a needle and cut on a platter from wax basic workpiece. Further, in the process of complex electroplating manipulations from the wax original, they made a metal cast. Such a matrix was called inverse, it was possible to print a large number of copies. The most upscale producers did another cast from the matrix, he was iron and did not carry signs of inversion.

Such an instance could be repeatedly replicated without loss of quality and send by plants that produce records that produced a large number of identical copies.

Device and principle of operation

If you increase the image of the vinyl plate 1000 times under the microscope, then you can see how the audio tracks look like. The tight material looks like a scratched uneven groove, thanks to which, with the help of a pick-up needle and plays music while playing a plate.

Vinyl plates are monophonic and stereo, and their difference depends on how the walls of these sound grooves look like. At monoplastinations, the right wall does not differ from the left almost nothing, and the groove itself looks like a Latin letter V.

Stereo plates arranged differently. Their groove has a structure that the right and left ear perceive in different ways. The essence is that the right wall of the groove has a slightly different pattern than the left wall. To play stereoplasting, you need a special stereo sounding, it has 2 piezocrystals, which are located at an angle of 45 ° relative to the plane of the plate, and each other these piezocrystals are located at right angles. In the process of movement on the grooves, the needle catches the pushing movements on the left and right, which is reflected on the sound channel of the playback, creating a surround sound.

Stereoplasty began to be released in London in 1958, although the development of stereo heads for the player was made much earlier, back in 1931.

Moving along the audio track, the screwing needle vibrates on its irregularities, this vibration is transmitted to the oscillation transducer, which resembles a certain membrane, and the sound turns onto it that enhances its device.

Advantages and disadvantages

Nowadays, it is much easier to use recording in the already familiar MP3 format. This entry can be sent for counting seconds to any point of the globe or accommodate on your smartphone. However, there are connoisseurs of high cleanliness of recording that find the vinyl records have a number of indisputable advantages over a digital format. Consider the advantages of such plates.

  • The main advantage is the high sound quality, which has the properties of the fullness, volume, but at the same time are pleasant for hearing and does not have noise. The plate has unique naturalistic reproduction of voice timbre and sound musical instrument, no distortion of him and denunciation to the listener in the original sound.
  • Vinyl records do not change their qualities during long-term storage, for this reason many performers highly appreciate their creativity, produce music albums only on vinyl carriers.
  • Records performed on the vinyl record is very difficult to fake, as this process is long and does not justify yourself. For this reason, acquiring vinyl, you can be sure that the fake is excluded, and the record is genuine.

Vinyl disks have disadvantages.

  • In the conditions of modernity, many musical albums are in very limited editions.
  • Making records sometimes make low quality matrices. The initial source of sound over time loses its initial properties, and after digitizing it makes the source code for further execution of the matrix, according to which the release of plates with unsatisfactory sound.
  • With improper storage, the plate can be scratched or deformed.

In the modern world, despite the digital formats of audio recordings, so far vinyl options cause genuine interest among connoisseurs of music and collectors.

Gramist formats

Vinyl gramplastine is made of polymer plastic, it is rather durable, but also flexible. Such material allows you to use such plates in many times, their resource with due to their treatment is calculated for many years. The service life of the plate largely depends on what conditions it is used – scratches and deformations will make audio recording unsuitable for listening.

The thickness of the vinyl disk is usually 1.5 mm, but some manufacturers produce plates whose thickness reaches 3 mm. The standard weight of thin plates is 120 g, and thicker analogues weigh to 220 g. In the center of the plate there is a hole that serves to put on the rotating part of the player. The diameter of such a hole has a size of 7 mm, but there are options where the width of the opening can be 24 mm.

Traditionally, vinyl plates are produced in three sizes, which are taken noted not in centimeters, but in millimeters. The smallest vinyl discs have the diameter of the apple and constitute only 175 mm, their sound will be 7-8 minutes. Next, there is a size equal to 250 mm, the sound time does not exceed 15 minutes., and the most common diameter – 300 mm, which sounds up to 24 minutes.


In the 20th century, the plates have undergone changes, and they began to do from the more durable material – vinylitis. The bulk of such products has a certain rigidity, but you can meet flexible species.

In addition to durable plates, produced and so-called test. They served advertising full gramzapsy, but were made on thin transparent plastic. The format of such test plates was small or medium.

Vinyl records did not always do round shape. Collectors can find vinyl hexagonal or square shape. Recording Studios often produced a plate of non-standard forms – in the form of animal figures, birds, fruits.

Traditionally, the recordings are black, but special circulations intended for DJs or for kids can be colored.

Care and Storage Rules

Despite its strength and durability, vinyl records require accurate circulation and proper storage.

How to clean?

So that the recorder is clean, before using its surface it is recommended to wipe with a clean soft cloth without a pile, collecting dust particles with light movements. At the same time, you need to try to keep the vinyl disc for its side ribs without touching the sounds of sound tracks. If the recorder is dirty, it can be washed with a warm soap solution, then tear dry gently.

Where to store?

Keep records needed on special open racks in a vertical position so that they are free and they could easily get. Place for storage Cannot be placed near central heating batteries. Packaging is used for storage, which is envelopes. External envelopes are dense, made of cardboard. Internal packages, as a rule, antistatic, they apply as defense against statics and pollution. Two envelopes are perfectly coping with the protection of the plate from damage.

At least once a year, the graplestine needs to be removed and inspecting using soft tissue accessories, wipe it and replace it again for storage.


If scratches or chips appeared on the surface of the plate, it will not be possible to eliminate them, since the recording is already damaged. If the disk from heat exposure is slightly deformed, you can try to straighten it at home. For this, the record, without removing from the package, you need to put on a solid and flat horizontal surface, and on top of putting the cargo, which will be slightly larger than the plate size. In this state, the plate is left for a long time.

The difference between plates and discs

Vinyl plates differ greatly from modern CDs. The differences between them are as follows:

  • Vinyl has higher sound quality;
  • Popularity due to exclusivity in the world market in vinyl records is higher than that of CDs;
  • The price of vinyl is at least 2 times higher than that of the CD disk;
  • Vinyl records can be used for the correct handling forever, while the number of CD playback cycles is limited.

It is worth noting that many music connoisseurs appreciate the records in digital format, but if you have a collection of vinyl records – this indicates a completely different approach to the art and high level of your life.

Tips for choosing

When choosing for its collection of vinyl records, experts recommend paying attention to such moments:

  • Inspect the integrity of the appearance of the plate – there is no damage to its edges, there is no deformation, scratches, other defects;
  • The quality of vinyl can be checked by turning with the plate in the hands to the light source – the light glare should appear on the surface, the size of which should not exceed 5 cm;
  • The sound level of the high-quality plate is 54 dB, deviations are allowed to reduce no more than 2 dB;
  • In used records with a magnifying glass, inspect the depth of the sound grooves – than it is thinner, the higher the safety of the recordplace, which means it is longer than the life of its suitability for listening.

Sometimes, acquiring a rare plate, exclusive connoisseurs may allow some minor defects, but it is unacceptable for new plates.


Abroad there always existed and still there are many industries producing vinyl, but in Soviet times such products were engaged in the company “Melody”. This brand was known not only in the USSR, but also beyond. But during the years of restructuring, the monopoly enterprise went bankrupt, as the demand for their goods catastrophically fell. In the last decade in Russia, interest in vinyl grams and records are reproduced again at the Ultra Production Plant. The launch of production began in 2014 and gradually it increases its turnover. As for European countries, the largest producer of Vinyl is located in the Czech Republic – this is the GZ Media company, which annually produces up to 14 million plates.

About how vinyl records in Russia do, look in the video.

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