Black vs. Colored Vinyl


I've picked up pieces of various threads about the different quality of vinyl used to make LPs.  What I've heard said is that the best vinyl to use is black, and that colored vinyl doesn't have the sonic quality of the traditional black vinyl.  Given that colored vinyl is all the rage these days and countless reissues of LPs we likely have multiple copies of anyway are hitting the market trying to encourage us to purchase yet another limited release, I thought I would reinvestigate the topic.  Anybody know of a quality resource that defines the different types of vinyl?  I heard about some vinyl back in the 70's used to make LPs that could be folded over like wonder bread being poor quality, and other LPs from the era that are solid and unbendable being good quality.  But today's market with all the groovy colors is a whole new world.  What y'all say?
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HI,
That was an issue in the past.
All vinyl is made from PVC which has no colour. To make it black you add black carbon and to make it coloured a dye without the carbon. Here there is an issue as black carbon strengthens PVC further.
Pictured clear vinyl is the weakest, has worst quality and more prone to early damage.
All depends from PVC quality, mastering and production process. Nice to have in the collection some issues in coloured vinyl, they mate perfectly with acrylic platters.
The same ''difference'' as between sapphire and ruby.
There's differences, yes. But they pale to insignificance compared to the range of pressing quality. 
I always stay away from colored vinyl because I can’t accurately cue a record into the desired spot. The color makes it impossible for me. The worst color IMHO is white.  
@stereo5 
Total agreement, especially light yellows and reds.  Quite difficult to drop the stylus where it needs to go. Yes white is terribly difficult too
I do have multiple copies of a lot of records, but I don't think I've ever done a back to back comparison of one on colored and black vinyl.  To my ears, the color of the vinyl doesn't seem to affect sound quality.  I kind of like colored vinyl.  

One thing to consider is that a lot of new vinyl is warped.  According to one of the owners of the local record store I frequent (at least until recently), if you use a flattener like the Orb, it will melt colored vinyl, but works fine on black vinyl.

There's also stuff like Quiex vinyl, which is purported to be harder and play better than standard vinyl.  Apparently a lot of radio station promos were pressed on Quiex II vinyl.  I have a few Quiex II pressings and they do sound good.  It looks black, but if you hold it up to the light you can see through it.
This is spewing black vinyl supremecy!!  But of course, I'm white and I'm terribly difficult too!!
I've always figured that because colored vinyl is usually used in special/limited editions, chances are that they might undergo a bit more post-pressing inspection.  And yes, I've found this to be true.  Then again, it all inevitably comes down to the label.  Columbia LPs are usually well pressed, no matter what.  ATCOs less so.
All  are wonderful it depends on the pressing quality colored LPs are good as will also mastering quality is very important.
Don’t forget the clear ones, no color, transparent 
I'm particularly fond of the marbled ones. 
Vinyl is vinyl and will soften and melt at the same temperature, so flattening a black vs. colored LP should not show a difference.  To make a black LP, carbon black is added as a reinforcing pigment, which means it increases the stiffness of the vinyl, but that also means it increases its brittleness - - they are the flip sides of the same coins, with property trade offs.  Now, the type of carbon black chosen and the amount of fill will influence where on the trade off spectrum a given pressing falls, so you really cannot make blanket statements about "black is best", because that likely encompasses a whole host of possible formulations.
Vinyl is vinyl and will soften and melt at the same temperature, so flattening a black vs. colored LP should not show a difference.
Are you speaking from your own personal experience, or speculating?

I prefer black because it's easier to see the grooves. That stated, I've never noticed it sounded better (or worse) than any other color. 
In the past, there were many who said clear was better sounding. Fremer said on one of his videos, in passing, that this wasn't an issue now. I haven't noticed any difference in SQ.

Regarding how black vinyl vs.colored vinyl reacts in a flattener....the coloring makes no difference. It's the wide variety of vinyl formulations that is the culprit. I have the experience with flattening required to make this statement.

I've called for a uniform vinyl formulation across the board in the past. I have no idea why anyone would be against this?
Getting pressing houses to improve quality across the board would be a good first step. None that I have run across for recent production are worth a hoot.
Thanks for chiming in slaw about the flattening.  What flattener do you have?  The guys at the record store swear that with their Orb unit they have problems with colored vinyl.
@big_greg,

I have an ORB,

These devices need thoughtful consideration regarding their use.

It's more a problem with inconsistency with vinyl formulations.
@slaw Thanks!  I know you're one of the resident experts on vinyl flattening.
The picture discs (a picture encased in clear vinyl) I've heard (Elvis Costello, Dave Edmunds) sound terrible. But they're made to look at, not listen to.
I tried playing a couple of picture discs and agree that a turntable's stylus should not be placed on them.
Interesting... Never owned one. Good to know 
Lol
i have one Magnum picture disc.
I tried to play it once.
It is now in a nice frame hanging on my wall........
The early coloured vinyl discs were terrible. A decade on, the composition of the vinyl mix has improved markedly. Having said that, as long as the dye used is consistent over the whole disc, that sound should be as good as the current black. That is for all pressings equivalently of 180g or equivalently 200g. The photo pressings are made differently, and as such are not quality items yet.
I have noticed that the good coloured pressings are limited editions, a are
thus more expensive. 😀🇦🇺
back in the 60s, mono recordings on the fantasy label were pressed on red vinyl. I have a few, and they sound ok.
I would think the vinyl composition was different at that stage. From then the vinyl used in the mass stampings of the mid 60’s to the 80’s again was a different composition. Then the release of CDs slowed everything vinyl (like the virus). There were only a few vinyl (that is the actual plastic stuff) manufacturers left and the composition changed and improved again to now 😁
From what I was told, leaving the vinyl to "rest" a bit after pressing improves the quality of the product.  Mass-produced pop records in the day were thin and flimsy due to "fast" production requirements so that they could put that million copies out there as fast as possible before another artist scored a big hit, I guess.
The quality of vinyl mix plays a tremendous role in the quality of the music reproduction.  I think we all know that.  What really got me was just how poor the sound quality is on picture discus.  On recommendation, I tried a picture disc (Toole; Lateralis) and what a waste of money that was.  Absolutely terrible in sound quality and by far the noisiest piece of vinyl I have ever purchased.  I played it once and said "never again will I allow that garbage to see my very expensive stylus".   I sold it on eBay, took a 40% loss, and the guy who bought it posted a high satisfaction rating.  Maybe he framed it or maybe he has a low-end playback system.  All I can say is that picture discs will never be a part of my vinyl collection.  
Just bought the new Mobil Fidelity remaster of Dire Straits.  Now that is some fine vinyl!  And as others have stated, the mastering/plating/pressing process is extremely important to the sound quality.  The new Dire Straits release has it all.  If only all of the new LPs were of that quality.  Although, at $50 a copy it does put many LPs out of reach for regular/monthly purchases.  For those of you looking for the finest, and especially if you appreciate Dire Straits, get this newly remastered release before they are gone.  This is a limited production quantity and at present Elusive Disc still has some in inventory.  It is quite the sonic experience.  And the music is spectacular.
@mammothguy54 Thanks for the information re mofi dire straits. I will be looking to order ASAP.
Agree with your experience with picture vinyl. 😬. A🇦🇺
I have an original Star Wars music sound track on colored vinyl.  The biggest different I can detect between it and black vinyl is the color.