33 1/2 compared to 45 rpm ????

What are the sonic differences? Thank You in advance.

Roger Busby
Quite hard to answer, because it differs between records. Typically you'll find better detail, better imaging and room ambience, and more oomph.

Generally, everything is better, and many times it's not subtle at all. If you can live with changing sides & records more often, go with 45. :)
When you think about it, a really cool, higher rez, greater dynamic range variation on the LP would have been a 16" dia. 45 rpm format. Think about it--the gear and production methods were in place in the '50s through the '70s, but as far as I know, no one attempted to put the faster playback speed on the bigger format. Radio stations had turntables that played 16" transcription records. That's why 12" tonearms were sort of a broadcast standard--to span those big platters.

45 rpm on a 16" disc would have given about 20 minutes per side, the 12" arm would have minimized tracking angle error deviations, and the larger diameter and faster speed would have reduced or eliminated dynamic problems as the groove neared the center.

BTW, at a record show last weekend I picked up a direct to disc 45 rpm of Laurinda Almeida with a backing combo. Stunning sound. The music is dated '70s-sounding in places, but sonically it's the best in the house now.
33 = Long Play => same idea as you video camera long play or photo image sixe "small" on your camera (basically compressed). Before CD arrived I used to buy everything I liked and could get my hands on in 45 RPM format for this very reason. Night and day in my mind. Although individually you can get some really great 33's and some reallt bad 45's - so you can't completely generalize...
Osgorth has answered this well from my experience. The 45 rpm disc, all else being equal, moves a fairly significant step closer to what I would expect from the sound of the master tape: higher resolution, better image focus, improved clarity on the inner grooves. I hear this over and over again on the LPs I've compared where I have both a 33 rpm and a 45 rpm of the same material from the same mastering engineer.

For a quick discussion of why, read the comments from mastering engineer Kevin Gray at Music Matters.
Thank you very much for the link and all the feed back to make my journey in analog more pleasurable.

Roger Busby
Dear Roger: This is a critical subject ( posted by Rushton ) on what you ask:

+++++ " The 45 rpm disc, all else being equal, moves " ++++

If you ask because you want to buy 45 versions of " today " good 33 ones please do it with care: many ( I can say several ) of those 45 versions are inferior ( quality performance ) over the 33 same ones. Not every thing that " shine " is gold.

Regards and enjoy the music.
12 inch 45's sound better, but are over too soon. If you are all manual, they are a pain
Raul. Please explain further. I only buy new disks. I refuse to buy used. As in the new Matallica records. They offer em both in 33 1/5 and 45. I own not one 45. If 45 sound better then i am for purchasing the 45's.

I trust your judgement to the fullest as the same as Albert Porter but he never answers none of my threads :o( .

Roger Busby
Raul, that's interesting, can you please cite some examples where a 33rpm version bests a 45rpm version - of the same recording I mean?

That goes against everything I've experienced so I'm intrigued to learn what you have found. :)
Dear friends: I have some bad samples, one of them Cafe Blue ( Patricia Barber ) another one Black Orpheus.

Many of the first 30 LP 45 versions Analog Productions ( Acoustic Sounds ) are really bad. I suscribe to the Acousticsounds promotion to have in all that 45 version series the same limited edition LP serial number and at least some of my copies were inferior to the 33 versions, even in two of them I return it and when I receive the new one both were in the same condition.

I agree that in theory and like Rushton posted the 45 rpm recordings have advantages over a 33 rpm recording. When I say that not everything that " shine " is gold: what I mean is that not because we have a 45 version this one must be better than the 33 one, sometimes it is not because sometimes the 45 re-issue cut was made in the " wrong " way and this happen not only with 45 against 33 but take the Janis Ian " Breacking Silence ", the very first 33 rpm version is till today one of my test-reference recordings I use it so much that this original LP is with many clicks/pops. This LP was out of stock for sometime and I want to buy a new one to use it instead the " old " one, well Acousticsounds decided to print again and I buy it and you know what: it is inferior on quality performance to the " old " one even with all those clicks/pops, I'm still using the " old " one ( I have too a Test Pressing on that title that I try not use it very often ).

Regards and enjoy the music.
Thank You so much Raul. Well explained.

Roger Busby
I'm really enjoying those new Music Matters Blue Note releases and at $50 a piece are much cheaper than trying to find an old deep groove with little surface wear

the sonics are stellar - you really feel you are in the recording room on those ones

the only thing I hate about 45 rpm is there's a lot more records to clean (three step process on a Loricraft 10 minutes a record)
Very interesting, thanks Raul. I must've had luck then, or I should just compare more often!

I must say that most of my 45rpm's are pretty new releases, that might explain a few things. I'm listening to and am being stunned by Music Matters for example, but also to some of the older 1-sided Classic Records' 45 Series (which I find wildly better than the 33rpm's they released later).

I haven't heard many of the Fantasy 45 series by Analogue Productions unfortunately. Most of the ones I want are sold out and near-impossible to find. I've been looking for the 45rpm Saxophone Colossus by Sonny Rollins for some time, missed one at over $300 on eBay.. Surely it's not _that_ good, or is it? I have the older DCC LP which I find astonishing. Anyone knows if the AP 45rpm is better?
For audiotomb. More records to clean. STOP GETTING EM DIRTY.
i know own a few 45's. The recording engineers and everyone did there job so yes it sounds GREAT.
I guess I got lucky, I got the whole AP fantasy 45 series and all the MM bluenotes so far and all have been fine. Every time I plop one on I smile because Im getting the best out of the system I sweated to buy and build.
05-31-08: Rccc
I guess I got lucky, I got the whole AP fantasy 45 series and all the MM bluenotes so far and all have been fine. Every time I plop one on I smile because Im getting the best out of the system I sweated to buy and build.
And I just got their 180g 45rpm of Ry Cooder and VM Bhatt's "A Meeting by the River."

Holy moly! It's the new sonic crown jewel in my LP (or would this be EP) library.