The sound quality and durability of vinyl records
is highly dependent on the quality of the vinyl.
During the early 1970s, as a cost-cutting move
towards use of lightweight, flexible vinyl pressings,
much of the industry adopted a technique of
reducing the thickness and quality of vinyl
used in mass-market manufacturing, marketed
by RCA Victor as the "Dynaflex" (125
g/m²) process, considered inferior by most
record collectors. Most vinyl records are pressed
on recycled vinyl.
"virgin" or "heavy" (180-220
g/m²) vinyl is commonly used for modern
"audiophile" vinyl releases in all
genres. Many collectors prefer to have 180 g/m²
vinyl albums, and they have been reported to
have a better sound than normal vinyl. These
albums tend to withstand the deformation caused
by normal play better than regular vinyl. 180
g/m² vinyl is more expensive to produce
and requires higher-quality manufacturing processes
than regular vinyl.
most vinyl records are from recycled plastic,
impurities can be accumulated in the record,
causing a brand new album to have audio artifacts
like clicks and pops. Virgin vinyl means that
the album is not from recycled plastic, and
will theoretically be devoid of the possible
impurities of recycled plastic. In practice,
this depends on the manufacturer's quality control.