Vinyl Record Glossary of Terminology

At HHH Records we want to be sure you know what exactly you are dealing with when discussing buying or trading vinyl records and singles. Use this glossary as a reference for terms you are not familiar with.
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Also See: Terminology HistoryRecording Time LineAbbreviations Glossary

Acetate: Lacquer acetate this is a one-off disc that is cut by hand in a mastering studio acetate disc is created by using a recording lathe to cut an audio-signal-modulated groove into the surface of a special lacquer-coated blank disc.
Alternate Take: A recording session with more than one take or recorded version of a song.
Art Sleeve: Record or CD sleeve with a pictorial drawing on it as opposed to a photograph.
Audiophile Pressing: A high quality pressing preferred by Hi-Fi aficionados.
Budget Issue: A record pressing that was originally sold below the full price.
Catalog Number: The catalog number can be found on record labels and sleeves. It is the manufacturer’s reference number.
Colored Vinyl: A vinyl record that comes in a color other than the standard black vinyl release.
Company Sleeve: A standard non-picture single sleeve with the record label logo printed on it.
Dead Wax: Is the area at the end of the record playing surface between the end of the recording and label.
Deleted: A music industry term referring to the removal of a record or records from a label’s official catalog, so that it is out of print, but usually at a record artist’s request.
Demo: Or Promo or White Label refers to releases such as this demonstration record not commercially available.
Die-cut Sleeve: Sleeve with a hole in the center.
DJ-only: Record issued for the purposes of radio play only.
Double Groove: A record that has two grooves concentrically on the same side.
EP: An extended play disc that has extra tracks EP’s usually come in a picture sleeve.
Envelope Picture Sleeve: Picture sleeve that has a envelope fold over flap.
Etched Disc: A one-sided vinyl record with laser-etched graphics on the other side.
Factory Custom Pressing: An unofficial record that has been custom pressed at an official pressing plant.
First Pressing: The very first time a record has been pressed.
Flexidisc: These are normally given away with magazines. They are thin and flexible discs.

Flipback Sleeve: A record cover held together with card flaps that fold from the front to the back of the cover.
Foldout Sleeve: A sleeve which folds out that normally open out to reveal a poster.
Freebie: A record given away free of charge as a promotion.
Inner Sleeve: Protective sleeve held inside the main cover that houses and protects the record.
Insert: An item that appears as part of a record or CD’s packaging such as a lyric insert, poster or postcard.
Interview Disc: A spoken word disc these are normally promotional and sometimes contain a press conference.
Jukebox Center: A record that has a large center hole for playback in jukeboxes.
Jukebox Issue: A record that has been specifically pressed for jukebox use.
Laminated Sleeve: A high-gloss plastic sleeve used for protecting your record covers.
Lead-in Groove: The quiet area at the very beginning edge of a record.
Limited Edition: A record or CD produced in a limited run they are sometimes numbered.
LP: Long Playing Vinyl Record.
Matrix Number: This is an alphanumeric code scratched or stamped into the run-out groove area of a gramophone record. It can provide a source of useful information about the edition of a record.
Maxi-Single: Term used in the 70’s for an EP.
Megamix: Normally associated with dance records, this is a medley of different tracks.
Mid-Price Release: A discount priced record.
Mispressing: A record or CD containing incorrect music or tracks.
Mono: One-channeled playback system.
Numbered: Limited edition with individual number.
Obi: Paper strip wrapped around the sleeve originating in Japan. It normally has details of the record or CD and its tracks.
One-sided Disc: A record that has playback on one side only.
Picture Disc: A disc that has a picture sealed within clear vinyl.
Picture Sleeve: The picture sleeve is used to house the vinyl record and it’s inner sleeve.
Plain Sleeve: A sleeve with no artwork.
Poster Sleeve: A sleeve that folds out to reveal a poster.
Press Kit: Information pack used for the purposes of promoting a new release.
Private Pressing: A record distributed by a private individual.
Promo: A promotional record used for publicity purposes.
Push-out Center: The connection in the center of a vinyl single so that it can be pushed out for use in jukeboxes. Usually records have either a 3-pronged or 4-pronged center.
Quadraphonic: Four-channeled playback system from the 1970s.
Re-recording: A song that was previously recorded by another artist.
Reissue: In the music industry, a reissue (also re-release, or repackage, or re-edition) is the release of an album or single which has been released at least once before, sometimes with alterations or additions.
Re-pressing: A later run of a record or CD that has not been deleted.
Run-out Groove: The groove at the end of the playing surface of a vinyl record.
Sampler: A compilation of tracks that are used to showcase an artist or record label.
Sealed: A record that has never been opened in its original shrink wrap. Many “sealed” albums on the marketplace have been re-sealed over the years and are passed off as never opened.
Shaped Disc: Shaped vinyl is the perfect media for limited edition and special collector’s items as well as promotional records. Shaped vinyl is when a standard round record is shaped into various geometric shapes using a cutting tool.
Shellac: Breakable material that was used for 78 rpm records. At first, the discs were commonly made from shellac; starting in the 1950s polyvinyl chloride became common.
Solid Center: Records that have a solid un-removable center.
Stickered Sleeve: A sleeve that has a sticker on it.
Stereo: A Two-channeled playback system stereo records went into production in the summer of 1958, the labels selected their most popular mono titles for most of their inaugural stereo releases.
Test Pressing: Pressed for quality control, this is a manufacturer’s test record.
Tri-center: A triangular push-out center used in the 1950s.
Tri-fold: A triple fold-out sleeve.
Uncut Picture Disc: A shaped picture disc that has not been cut to the correct shape.
Unissued: Also known as unreleased, this is a disc that has not been made commercially available.
Warp: A twist in the vinyl as a result of the effects of heat or damp.
White Label: A blank record label. It is usually found on promos, demos and test pressings.
Withdrawn: A record that has been removed from sale by the manufacturer.

Also See: Terminology HistoryRecording Time LineAbbreviations Glossary