Can Record Players Play All Sizes Of Records?


Can all record players play a 7-inch? If you’re new to vinyl and record players, you may have many questions regarding how record players work. This article will give you the answer to that question and more.

The vinyl record industry consists of different types of record players. But which record players will play which vinyl records? Here’s how it works:

1. Two-speed turntables play both 45 rpm (7 inches) and 33.3 rpm.

2.Three-speed turntables play 45 rpm, 33.3 rpm, and 78 rpm.

3.Select vintage will play four speeds: 45 rpm, 33.3 rpm, 78 rpm, and 16.66 rpm.

As you continue reading, get ready for more information to get you up to speed with the fundamentals of vinyl records and record players. 

Can Record Players Play All Sizes Of Records?

You can choose to categorize record players in terms of speed. In my experience, I find this sorting process much, and you’ll understand why in a bit. 

First things first is to explain the concept of rpm. 

What is RPM?

RPM breaks down to revolutions per minute. It refers to the speed at which a record spins on the turntable or the record player. 

So why is rpm so important? The ability of vinyl records to play the sound or music depends on the types of speeds the turntable or record player can play.

Different turntables or record players have different types of speeds they can play. The manufacturers are the reason for this feature. Some manufacturers will develop a record player with two speeds, while others will develop record players with three speeds. 

It’s essential that you check which speeds a record player can handle and correlate that information to the types of vinyl records you’ll be owning or collecting. 

How Do You Set Up A 45 Rpm Or 7-inch Vinyl Record?

During the 1950s and the 1960s, there was a controversial cold war between music producers in the US and the UK. Because of this unspoken war, the 45s or the 7-inch vinyl records came in two formats:

  • 7-inch vinyl records with a 1.5-inch hole (the US version)
  • 7-inch vinyl records with a 0.25-inch hole (the UK version) 

The 1.5-inch hole 45 is the most common 7-inch vinyl record. You can still find a 45 with a 1.5 -inch, but it’s best to know what’s the most common in the market. 

So how do you set up a 1.5-inch hole 45? You will require an adaptor. The adaptor must have a diameter of 1.5 inches and a hole of 0.25 inches. 

45 RPM Adapter - Aluminum, for 7 inch Vinyl Record Dome 45 Adapter, Stability and Durability, for All Turntables

This adaptor is the only way to play a 7-inch vinyl record. There are three types of adaptors:

  • Traditional adaptors 
  • Aluminum adaptors 
  • Plastic adaptors 

Here’s one thing to note at this point in the article, if you have a 7-inch vinyl record with a 0.25-inch hole, you will not require an adaptor. You can place it like the 33.3 rpm vinyl record. 

Now that the issue of adaptors is out of the way, it’s time to delve into how you set up using a 7-inch vinyl record. It’s pretty easy. 

  1. If you have a 45 with a 1.5-inch hole, take the adaptor and place it over the center spindle. You’re essentially placing it at the core of the turntable.
  2. After placing the adaptor, you place the 45 over the adaptor. 
  3. Finally, switch the speed of the record player to 45. Once you’ve done this, it is all about releasing the needle, and voila, mission complete. You have set up and played music from your 45. 

Can You Play A 45 With A Different Speed?

Yes, you can play a 45 with a different speed. It will not harm the vinyl record, but the vinyl record won’t sound like it’s supposed to. It may sound like it’s too fast or too slow, depending on which random speed you decided to try out. 

Always note that you should play vinyl records at their designated speed. Too fast or too slow, and it will sound a lot less more like music and more like background music at an animated TV show. You could compare it to having the Powerpuff girls opening song but more vintage and less joyful. Reality can be disappointing. 

How Much Music Can Fit On A 7 Inch?

A 7-inch vinyl record can have two songs—one song on either side of the player. One unknown fact is that a lot of people call 7-inch vinyl records 45s. 

Well? The standard is that majority of 7-inch vinyl records will play at 45rpm. However, some 7-inch vinyl records have a speed of 33.3rpm.

It’s best to conclude that rpm does not equate to the size of the vinyl record. The 33.3 rpm 7-inch vinyl records prove this exception to be true. 

If you want to change the song on a 7-inch vinyl record, turn the vinyl record and play the other side. It’s fast and effective.

Are You Interested In What Other Like-minded Individuals Are Asking On The Internet? Here Are Some Extremely Helpful Faqs.

1.Do all record players use the same size vinyl? If they don’t, how do you know what size to use? 

No, not all record players use identical-sized vinyl records. How do you know what size to use? You’ll have to check the manufacturer’s speed on the specific product or version.

Different record players will have different speed settings. These settings will determine which size or vinyl record rpm to use. If you don’t have a manual to guide you, you can always check online or on vinyl community forums. 

The vinyl records community is helpful on numerous platforms. However, you can find most of this information with a simple Google search.

2.Are there different sized vinyl records?

Generally, vinyl records come in two sizes:

7-inch vinyl records, which can play at a speed of either 45 rpm or 33 rpm. 7-inch records only contain two songs. You can find each of these songs on either side of the vinyl record.

12-inch vinyl records. You can play this vinyl record at a speed of 33 rpm. Moreover, they also contain an entire album. You can find the songs on this vinyl record on either side of the record. 

Please note that for you to play a 7-inch vinyl record, you will need an adaptor. Moreso, if the 7-inch has a 1.5-inch hole. The 12-inch vinyl record does not require an adaptor, and you can play it comfortably. 

3.How can you tell that a vinyl record is a 33, 45, or 78 rpm?

Fortunately, vinyl records come with a label that informs the user of the speed of the vinyl record. It may seem easy just saying that a record is a 7-inch or a 45, but if you’re new to the industry, it’s good to know that the vinyl records come with a label.

Another method you can use to check on the rpm of a vinyl record is by putting it on the record player and letting it play. Remember that no harm will fall upon the vinyl record while it’s rotating at the wrong speed. 

By switching between speeds, you can figure out which rpm and size a vinyl record falls. This method may seem a bit longer, but it will still get the job done. You can think of it as a trial and error method. 

Try till you get it right. Nevertheless, most vinyl records, whether old or new, will come with a label. Be sure to check the label, confirm the rpm, and play the music that you love. 

Sources 

1.Jenna Miles, The Beginner’s Guide to Vinyl Records: How to Build, Maintain and Experience a Music Collection in Analogue (Massachusetts: Adams Media,2017) 256.

2.Victrola, A Guide to Vinyl Record Sizes, Victrola, https://victrola.com/blogs/articles/a-guide-to-vinyl-record-sizes Accessed July 28th, 2021.

3.Rich Tozzoli, Here’s What You Need to Know About Vinyl, Yamaha https://hub.yamaha.com/audio/vinyl/heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-vinyl/ Accessed July 28th, 2021.

4.Audio Technica, What Do I Need to Know About 45 RPM Records? Audio Technica, https://www.audio-technica.com/en-us/support/audio-solutions-question-of-the-week-what-do-i-need-to-know-about-45-rpm-records/ Accessed July 28th, 2021. 

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