How Much Do One Hundred (100) Vinyl Records Weigh? (Why Does It Vary?)


How Much Do One Hundred Vinyl Records Weigh?

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Records have become considerably more popular in recent years with many people beginning to get into the collection or enjoyment of this old media format. Vinyl records sound great but one of the biggest downsides of any physical media is that it requires you to store it somewhere and it can be quite bulky and heavy. 

If you are trying to store a bunch or records or ship them then you might be wondering how much one hundred records actually weigh. 

The industry standard for vinyl records is that each record will weigh 180 grams. This means that 100 records will weigh approximately 39 ½ pounds. This can vary depending on the sizes of each record and how much the thickness varies in the 100 records. 

The weight varies a great deal because no two records are exactly alike. It also depends on the size of the records as a larger twelve inch record will weigh more than a seven inch record will. Records are not always to the industry standard either, especially those from what is called the Golden Age of Vinyl.

However, there are only so many ways to make a record, so there are some general guidelines and so the approximate weight of 39 ½ pounds should be quite close most of the time. 

The biggest reason people want to know this is when they need to ship their vinyl record collection. Keep in mind that the sleeve the record is in will also add to the total weight; this information is for the records alone.

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Current industry standard

As mentioned above there are some general industry standards that most records that are produced will follow. The most commonly known industry standard is one hundred eighty grams per record. Does that mean all new records have this standard weight? Unfortunately the answer is no, it doesn’t.

For one thing, it will depend on the size. Even modern records come in three sizes and the one hundred eighty grams per record is for the twelve inch size. The seven and five inch records will not weigh as much, due to the smaller size. So if you have 100 of them then the total weight will be significantly less. 

Vintage vinyl

Vintage vinyl records, those made before most musicians switched to digital music, is another story. There really wasn’t an industry standard for these older records. There was a weight range, and it can be seen in many different charts available online.

The average weight is one hundred fifty grams per record which translates to not quite 5.3 ounces. One hundred at that weight would be slightly over thirty three pounds. However, that doesn’t mean most records weighed that all of the time. By far the most common weight was lower.

There is a website from an audiophile who weighed every single one of his vinyl records. He found that most of the records were one hundred ten grams, or 24 ¼ pounds for one hundred vinyl records. The lightest record weighed one hundred grams and the heaviest weighed in at two hundred twenty grams. 

Novelty records

When record players became something every family could afford there were a lot of gimmicks used to try and entice people to buy a certain brand player. Records were made out of many things, and not all of them were vinyl. Some were chocolate and at least one was a postage stamp.

There were also gimmick vinyl records. Some were in books for children. The record wasn’t as heavy as some of the others available during that time frame, due to the weight of the book. However, many of them still exist. Finding an exact weight for them has proved to be quite hard so if you don’t have standard records then the weight listed above could be quite a bit different. 

Salesmen also saw vinyl records as a good gimmick. They recorded ads on them to give away for free. Like those found in books, they were fairly lightweight. Mass producing and giving away heavier vinyl would not be cost effective. One hundred of these would certainly be far lighter than 100 of the normal records would be. 

Why does record weight matter?

There is a good reason for all of the fuss over how much a vinyl record weighs. Aside from industry standards, many audiophiles believe that the weight of the record has a significant say in how it sounds. If it’s too light or too heavy it changes the sound quality dramatically. 

That point is debatable, but most modern vinyl records weigh in at precisely one hundred eighty grams. That is now the industry standard. Stars make sure that it states the record weight on the front label to entice fans to purchase them.

There is another aspect to weight. Shipping costs are based in part on how much something weighs. This is true whether or not it’s a stamp for a letter or a vinyl record. Ordering a record online, which is a popular means of acquiring them, requires paying attention to that detail. This is true whether it’s a modern vinyl album or a vintage one.

The reason for wanting to know how much one hundred records weigh is also a part of figuring out how to move them properly. Whether it’s from one side of the room to another or it’s from your current address to a new one, how many can a single person lift is greatly affected by the total weight. 

This question may not occur to those who are just now discovering the wonders of vinyl recordings. However, when the number of them exceeds two or three hundred it will be a question that you are likely to have. Thirty nine pounds is pretty heavy especially if you have them in a box that doesn’t have handles and is odd shaped.

Animal food bags such as for dog food will normally only weigh 30-40 pounds so 100 vinyl records will be around that weight. With the extra bulkiness that those records offer it could be quite difficult to handle more than 100 records at a time. 

Why are record companies and audiophiles harping about 180 gram records?

The answer depends on who you ask. According to one website, the weight of the record doesn’t have anything to do with the sound quality. However, these records may, in fact, sound better than ones with non standard weight. 

If it’s not because of the weight, then what is causing the difference?

Attention to detail.

 A lot of these records do have better sound, higher highs and lower lows. It’s not necessarily because the record weighs one hundred eighty grams, it’s probably because when they made the master they made sure it would be perfect. 

This is also where vinyl records differ from digitally recorded music; vinyl is analog and the soundwaves follow a curve. Digital is a lot of fast “snapshots” of the music. It misses small amounts of the sound as it takes the next snapshot. On a graph, the one hundred eighty gram record will show curves and the digital recording will show steps.

Conclusion

As mentioned in the beginning, how much one hundred vinyl records will weigh is dependent on many different things. These are the era they were produced, the size of the record and the quality of the product. If you don’t have a way to weigh 100 records you could weigh just one record from your collection and then multiply it by the amount of records. 

This way of measurement should get you close enough to the weight that you won’t have issues shipping the records with that weight on them. Most shipping companies give you 1-2 pounds of variance before they will pitch a fit and this method should be closer than that. 

Does it matter for sound purposes? Probably not, however, it is a lot harder to break a heavier record than a lighter one. 

Matt Robbs

There is nothing quite so enjoyable as bringing back memories from your childhood. We used to spend hours playing pinball in my friends basement and that really got me involved in everything retro!

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