Black Vinyl vs Color Vinyl vs Picture disc Review

Do you ask to yourself the question : what is the best edition between the black vinyl, the “beige” vinyl, the red vinyl and the picture disc?

For this comparison, we listened to 4 vinyls from Lana Del Rey’s Chemtrails Over The Country Club album.
You can find the complete review of this album here with 7 editions (4 vinyls, cd, Cassette and Streaming).

For these 4 vinyls we have :

The Black vinyl


The Beige vinyl

the red vinyl

the picture disc vinyl

To compare these records, in addition to the music samples that are available here, we analyze the dynamic, the spectrum and the surface noise.

Dynamic

For the dynamic, we use the DR value, with the average DR of the album and the minimum and maximum DR.

 Vinyl BlackVinyl BeigeVinyl Picture DiscVinyl Red
GLOBALDR11DR11DR10DR11
MinDR10DR10DR9DR10
MaxDR12DR12DR12DR12

Except for the Picture disc, the Black, Beige and Red vinyls have the same DR value. The Picture disc release is therefore a bit inferior to the other three vinyl releases.

Spectrum

For the spectrum comparison, we use the black vinyl as a reference.

Vinyl Black (Blue) vs Vinyl Beige (White)

For the first comparison, the spectrum of the Black vinyl and the Beige vinyl are totally overlapping. So we have the same sound balance.

Vinyl Black (Blue) vs Vinyl Red (White)

As for the first comparison, the spectrum of the Black vinyl and the Red vinyl are totally superposed. We have the same sound balance between the Black, Beige and Red vinyls.

Vinyl Black (Blue) vs Vinyl Picture Disc (White)

As in the last comparison, the spectrum of the Black vinyl and the Picture Disc vinyl differs in the yellow and green areas. We notice a higher treble level above 3kHz for the Picture Disc vinyl.

We have a slightly different sound balance between the Picture Disc vinyl and the Black, Beige and Red vinyls.

Surface Noise

For the Noise Surface comparison, we use the black vinyl as a reference.

Vinyl Black (Blue) vs Vinyl Beige (White)

The surface noise of Beige vinyl (in White) is up to 7 dB higher above 200 Hz than the Black vinyl (in Blue), which is the most sensitive area for noise. Above 400 Hz, the trend is reversed, and Beige vinyl has up to 5 dB less noise.

Vinyl Black (White) vs Vinyl Red (Blue)

The surface noise of the Red vinyl (in Blue) is up to 8 dB higher above 1000 Hz than the Black vinyl (in White), which is the most sensitive area for noise. Above 1000 Hz, the noise level is identical between the two releases.

The surface noise of Picture Disc vinyl (in Blue) is up to 10 dB higher between 100 Hz and 1000 Hz than Black vinyl (in White), which produces a noise specific to Picture Discs. Below 100 Hz, the noise level of picture discs is several dB lower than that of black vinyl.

The surface noise of a vinyl is very depending on the type of vinyl. Picture Disc vinyl is the noisiest, which is due to the printing of the record.

Conclusion

The Picture Disc version differs from the other 3 vinyls (Black, Beige and Red) by a more important surface noise and a different tonal balance (more treble). It’s a version made more for decoration than for listening.

Regarding the black, beige and red vinyls, the three versions are similar except for the surface noise. Black vinyl is slightly less noisy. To make a more accurate comparison, we would need to have a pressing of identical quality (which is not the case here with the Beige vinyl) for all the vinyls to note the differences between the materials more precisely.

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