Does Colored Vinyl Sound Worse? A Myth or the Truth

People scrambled to get their hands on the cool colored vinyl, but there was an open joke about them.

Over the years, it was well-known that colored vinyl was not up to scratch. However, record companies distanced themselves from this and sold them on the cool factor. In reality, music lovers want to listen to their favorite band in high quality that vinyl brings.

I fell foul to the sales gimmick, and it was without exception, colored vinyl would play with a lot more noise and pops than its black counterpart.

With the new craze for vinyl upon us, are the records companies still up to their old tricks, or are we safe buying that cool colored vinyl?

The production of records has come a long way over the past 20 years. Modern colored vinyl production is on par with their black counterpart and will sound the same. There is one exception to the rule, and it is believed that white vinyl and picture discs sound worse.

Ok, so colored vinyl should be fine to buy. However, we will cover a few more details and an old colored vinyl that is an exception to the rule, and people scramble to buy.

Colored Vinyl Production Process

All vinyl records are made in the same way and from the same material PVC (polymerizing vinyl chloride), and this in its natural state has no color.

During the production process, titanium dioxide is added to other additives. If this were not added, the vinyl would be clear in appearance. Once these additives go in, black carbon is also added, this is to give the extra vinyl strength and the traditional black look that we first think of when we picture a vinyl record.

To make colored vinyl instead of adding black carbon colored dyes are used. Back in the day, the vinyl lost its strength but with the modern production process. Unless there is an error in the production process, the difference between the two is negligible.

As we said above, there is still the exception to the rule, and these tend to be white, clear vinyl, and picture discs. Since it’s hard to add additives and keep the vinyl white, it can lead to low sound quality.

With this said, with the average listener’s better production process, the sound drop will be hard to hear.

Glow-in-the-dark records are one more that has a lousy repartition. It is said that the pigments used in the production process deteriorate over time, and this affects the acoustic properties. This leads to lots of surface noise and pops. I have owned three Glow-in-the-dark records. I replaced them all.
So to sum up, colored vinyl, in most instances, will have a perfectly good sound quality, and any failings will be down to imperfect production process.

Vinyl Production Process Video

Are Colored Records Worth More Money?

Buying a new vinyl, we know if there is the option of a colored vinyl copy, this will always cost you a few extra dollars. The production process is the main reason behind this with the added additives. This puts costs onto the vinyl. This is understandable, but there is more that drives up the cost. The colored vinyl is often limited, and a much smaller batch is produced so that you will pay a little extra again for this privilege.

For us, lovers of music, the thought of buying vinyl as an investment seems strange. However, people do, and I even know people who don’t even take the wrapping off and play there new record.

So, with this in mind and the things we touched on above with the record label selling colored vinyl on the cool factor and the limited amount. All these factors drive increasing demand for colored records and a much higher market price.

With all this said, yes, colored records are worth more money and many collectors will jump on a new vinyl that is in a wacky colored vinyl over its black counterpart.

Are Black Records Worth More Money?

So, does this mean black records are worthless?

Not in all instances, but in most cases, yes.

For instance, Aphex Twin’s Selected Ambient Works Volume II black vinyl is worth more since fewer black copies were produced. However, this is an exception more than the norm.

With all things vinyl records, it’s about demand, and if a record has fewer copies, it’s going to be worth more money. So, as in most instances, fewer copies of the colored variety are produced, which will be more expensive.

What White Vinyl Breaks The Rules?

Ok, so do all white vinyl records have low sound quality?

The Beatles ‎– The Beatles was released: 22 Nov 1968

This album comes in the traditional black and white, but it’s thought that the white pressing was much better than the black.
But good luck trying to find a copy to have to listen and see the difference. First, you will need to find a white copy for sale; you will need some deep pockets.

So, yes, white can be better, or so we are told, but this is an exception more than the norm.

Wrapping Up

I hope I have answered your question. However, this is a debate that will rumble on for many years to come.

I was always in the buy black camp after some horror colored vinyl, but that has slowly changed over the years. With the better production process, they have got so much better and, in most instances, won’t be able to tell the difference in sound.

All you can do is give a colored vinyl a try, pick an old record up from a thrift store see how it plays. Don’t discount it from just this. Try a modern production colored vinyl and see how you like that.

I want you to try an old album to see what I have to put up with when I first started vinyl.

A point worth mentioning is that many poor playbacks are down to dirty vinyl, so make sure you know How to Clean Vinyl Records.