Records were manufactured in many sizes not shown here, but these four sizes were the most commonly used. The largest record (16" transcription) was used by the military and radio stations. They were never for sale. The playing speed for the 7" is 45rpm, 10" is 78rpm, 12" and 16" are both 33.3rpm. The 7" and 12" require a 1mil stylus, whereas the 10" requires a 3mil and the 16" most commonly required a 2mil stylus.
Toward the end of record production, picture discs were manufactured. In addition to the 12" 33rpm to the left, 7" 45rpm with a small center hole also displayed group pictures and designs. Some claim these records produced a lower quality sound than black vinyl, but it was loads of fun to see them turn. Ten inch 78rpm had been discontinued before the concept of picture discs developed.
Like the 12" LP picture discs, 7" versions also were available. Whereas record size usually determined the playing speed, picture discs fell from the norm. Any size picture disc could have a playing speed of 45rpm, or 33rpm. Trial and error was usually the method of determining the correct speed.
Transparent and opaque colored vinyl is lots of fun for collectors. Colored vinyl was manufactured in all speeds and sizes. Notice the amount of Beatles singles. Dozens of them were released as jukebox records. They play very well and have good quality. Having these on a jukebox where the records can be seen, is lots of color and fun.
Before vinyl and before lacquer discs, there were plaster cylinders. These were played on a wind up machine with a wood, or brass horn for sound reproduction. No volume, bass or trebble controls. Flat, sharp and loud was the sound. Listen to this 1903 Edison recording, "Nearer My God To Thee." This title is noted as the last selection played on the Titanic before sinking.
January 8th 2005 marks the 70th anniversary of the birth of Elvis Presley. To celebrate this momentous occasion, RCA/SonyBMG launched the 18 UK #1's Collectors Series. Spinning at 45rpm, these discs produce superior quality sound. These records are rarely seen for sale and carry a high price tag when found. This is the best vinyl quality I've heard. Listen for yourself. This is a recording of an actual title in the collection.
Here are four samples of UK 45's. They have a small center hole, but can be easily punched out for use in a jukebox. Once the center is removed, it can not be replaced. Removing the center will depreciate the value of the record. Record labels often change. Johnny Nash's "Hold Me Tight" was originally released on the US JAD label and re-released in the UK on Regal. The Rolling Stones was originally released US on London and was re-released on the London label in the UK. UK Vinyl is superior quality when compared to US vinyl. I believe US vinyl was made from something being recycled.
This can get somewhat confusing, but two of these singles were imported from the UK, while the other two are from AU. They all have a solid center hole without the punch out. The hole can be made larger for jukeboxes, with the use of a dinking tool. This too depreciates the record and sometime removes artwork. Vinyl quality is superior to US vinyl.
COMPACT EP LP
The record (Top) is an AU extended play (EP), having a play speed of 33 PRM. Each play side has two song titles. This is a novelty to have, but with less audio quality. The record (Lower) is a radio commercial. "Snap, Crackle, Pop" was the theme for Kellogg's breakfast cereal, Rice Krispies. This record also has a 33 RPM play speed. Listen to the commercial. (Three cuts per side)