While perusing the 2019 Record Store Day list, I couldn’t help but be surprised by one product: three-inch vinyl. That’s right. Mini-albums. In addition to the usual wealth of Classic Rock deep cuts and indie treasure, Record Store Day is now associated with bite-sized vinyl and its own three-inch turntable.
As record enthusiasts know, vinyl comes in twelve-inch, ten-inch, or seven-inch discs. One-fourth the size of an LP, three-inch records require their own turntable. Standard players are not formatted for the tiny discs.
The three-inch turntable is popular in Japan, but is known as the 8-ban record player. The special device can play up to four minutes of audio per side.
Is The Three-Inch Turntable Worth Buying?
The Record Store Day turntable is a production of Crosley. Their three-inch record player was first unveiled in January 2019.
This Crosley turntable can only be a worthy purchase for space-deprived music fans and extremely enthusiastic collectors. The new-ish records are more storage-friendly than 45s, but the old medium for singles can at least be spun on a traditional player.
For what it is worth, the multi-faceted Crosley turntable that I used a decade ago was a nifty device hampered by average sound quality. I have had a far better listening experience with my Audio-Technica turntable.
That being said, if a fan is going for this Record Store Day item, they are probably looking for something different than sound clarity. The niche player could attract some attention as a novelty.
Few expected vinyl or even cassettes to regain any popularity. Three-inch records are a long shot to be a viable purchase, but Record Store Day is about fun indulgence in unique and rare music.
Record Store Day’s Three-Inch Albums
To complement the turntable, nine mini-records are being produced for Record Store Day. Four of the bands who are releasing three-inch vinyl are Foo Fighters, Culture Abuse, The Interrupters, Rancid, and Bad Religion.
The remaining songs come from Jack White. In addition to a solo record, The Raconteurs, The White Stripes, The Dead Weather are all on the tiny LP roster.
This is the second post in a recurring Music Monday series leading up to Record Store Day 2019 on April 13.