I bought recently a couple of LPs of Miles Davis’ ‘Kind of Blue’. I was delighted, on their arrival, to discover that they were pressed on blue vinyl (which I don’t think I had paid extra for, as a special pressing).
I recall reading, some time ago, that any LPs not pressed on black vinyl are technically inferior and more likely to exhibit surface noise. (I haven’t tried either of these new ones yet.)
So is it true that non black vinyl is inferior for record pressing?
I’ve seen this mentioned before and from what I have read, the general consensus is no, colored vinyl is not inferior to black. Black is not natural either so they are all colored in way or another. My recent ones have been Kraftwerk, Robert Plant/Alison Krauss and The The, all of which sound excellent.
Out of personal experience in my vinyl collection I have quite a few coloured vinyl albums that outperform quite a few of my black vinyl albums by quite a margin. In terms of surface noise I have coloured vinyl with no noise and enough black vinyl with noise and have even returned some black vinyl that was unlistenable due to surface noise.
I have the first Billie Eilish album on coloured vinyl and it is one of the most impressive ones I own in terms of sound dynamics and lack of surface noise.
So IMO the mastering and pressing of the album is far more important than the choice of vinyl colour.
FWIW all my vinyl have been washed on a Project RCM and are housed in antistatic sleeves.
With everything being exactly the same, that being same master with the same printing process, from what I have read I am still leaning towards black vinyl. Although this I cannot confirm in practice as I am not going to buy all my coloured vinyl albums twice.
But moral of the story, when there is a nice special edition on coloured vinyl or the album is only on coloured vinyl I do not think twice to buy and enjoy it.
This, on the other hand, I can confirm. Tried one not to long ago. It was a printing from the same company of a record I already own and and it was so bad I stopped it worried that it was damaging my stylus.
Generally I avoid coloured vinyl as ime it does tend to be more “noisy” and always has been. However, there is currently a fashion or trend for coloured vinyl and I have bought them where no standard Black option was available and I still find more problems than with Black.
Vary basically Black vinyl has carbon added which as I understand is said to act as a stabiliser, strengthens the vinyl and makes it more consistent and predictable in the pressing process.
Removing the carbon and introducing colourent dyes to the PVC I understand affects the purity of the vinyl and doesnt stabilise/strengthen it in the way carbon does. The colouring of vinyl can also mask otherwise visible (with black) obvious defects that might normally be rejected before leaving the pressing plant.
Its possible to make good quality coloured records but a lot more care needs to be taken in production which I suggest most mainsteam record companies dont take due to costs.
That said, many believe natural PVC (which is milky clear) with neither carbon or coloured dye is pure and sounds best (subject to meticulous manufacturing standards and care)
On a different note, many moons ago coloured vinyl were used for genuinely limited edition variants. Nowadays it seems to be more a fashion/marketing gimmick with what often seems like any colour you like as long as it’s not Black. Personally, I would rather see companies taking vinyl records more seriously and making quality pressings, rather than reducing them to fashion accessories for bearded hipsters to hang on the wall
In short, personally, as I care more for the pressing and SQ I will always get the Black pressing, coloured is less consistent, its possible to press them well but it’s more of a gamble
Not if you intend to listen to them. Picture discs are a blank vinyl with a picture sandwiched between the vinyl and a top layer like a laminate onto which the groove is pressed, so your not actually playing a viny record but the top laminate layer.