Whether you're new to collecting vinyl or a seasoned veteran, vinyl terminology can get overwhelming. With so many different names for the same thing (like vinyl? record? vinyl record? LP? vinyl record album?), it can be confusing. Have no fear though, because we have put together a list of useful vinyl record terminology that you can whip out next time you find yourself in an independent record store or having drinks with your audiophile friend. Let's dig in:
Vinyl or Vinyl Record - a phonograph record made of vinyl
LP - a vinyl phonograph record played at 33 1/3 rpm and with seven or more tracks
Maxi Single - a music single release with more than the usual two tracks. Usually a 12 inch vinyl
Shellac - a phonograph record made of a breakable material containing shellac, especially one to be played at 78 r.p.m.
Phonograph - any sound-reproducing machine using records in the form of cylinders or discs
Turntable or Record Player - the rotating disk that spins the record on a phonograph
Liner Notes - the printed information on a record sleeve
45's - a seven-inch phonograph record played at 45 r.p.m., especially a popular-music single
Single - a music release with oner song on either side of the phonograph. Usually 7 inches and played at 45rpm
EP - a phonograph record that is typically played at 45 rpm and contains more tracks than a single, but fewer tracks than an LP
RPM - acronym for "Revolutions per Minute"
Picture Disc - a phonograph record with a picture on the vinyl.Remaster - to make a new master tape or record from an old master tape, usually to improve the fidelity of an old recording
Fidelity - the degree of accuracy with which sound or images are recorded or reproduced
Reissue - to mint, print, or publish for sale or distribution again
Pressing - any phonograph record produced in a record-molding press from a master or a stamper
Master or Stamper - a mold, usually of metal, from which disk recordings are pressed
Cartridge - an electromechanical transducer that is used to play records on a turntable
Stylus or Needle - a needle for reproducing the sounds of a phonograph record.
Tonearm - the mechanism that holds the cartridge and stylus over the record
Lead-in Groove - Appearing near the outer edge of the record and leading the stylus inward to the performance
Grooves - the track or channel of a phonograph record for the needle or stylus
7" Record Adapters / 45 Adapters - a little plastic piece that allows a 7" record to be played on a 12" turntable
Disc Stabilizer- a weighted disc placed at the center of a vinyl record to correct any minor warping or distortion
Variants- pressings of the same music release usually with different color or patterned vinyl. Can also include objects inside the vinyl.
Most of these definitions have been pulled from dictionary.com, a great reference if you want to learn more!