Record Store Day is now trying to popularize a niche vinyl format with new releases for the ‘RSD3 Mini Turntable’.
Vinyl sales are now threatening to overtake CDs — for the first time since 1986. So maybe this is the perfect time for a vinyl novelty. The tiny, 3″ vinyl format was first popularized by The White Stripes frontman, Jack White. White’s label — Third Man Records — imported the format from Japan for limited edition singles.
The original 3″ vinyl player was a cheap toy from Japanese toymaker Bandai. The format never caught on beyond White Stripes fans, but Record Store Day is hoping to change that.
Earlier this year, Record Store Day teamed up with Crosley to release a new 3″ vinyl player. Dubbed the RSD3 Mini Turntable, the record player launched on Record Store Day — April 13th. Four collectible singles from Third Man and Epitaph Records highlighted that initial release.
Now, Record Store Day has announced a classic rock 3″ vinyl single series.
Record Store Day teamed up with four of the most iconic names in the Sun Record Company catalog. Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Roy Orbison outline the new series. Vinyl specialist label ORG Music collaborated with Sun to remaster the original audio.
The four new records will go on sale in record stores on October 18th. That set will include the following classic rock singles:
- Johnny Cash – “Cry! Cry! Cry!”
- Jerry Lee Lewis – “Great Balls of Fire”
- Carl Perkins – “Honey, Don’t!”
- Roy Orbison – “Devil Doll”
Each release contains a record, artist bio, and a fold-out collectible poster of the artist.
Also trying the format out are the Foo Fighters, who pressed 5,000 “Big Me” 3″ RSD3 singles earlier this year (pictured above). The Foo Fighters release was packaged with the original, numbered run of the RSD3 mini-turntable.
Record Store Day is doing its part to keep this obscure vinyl format alive. The RSD3 uses the same moving-magnet cartridge and stylus found on Audio Technica’s LP60 turntables. The styling also resembles the classic Technics 1200 DJ turntables, but retails for $70.
It’s hard to tell whether this niche format will catch on a second time around — perhaps vinyl fans are more eager for obscure formats in 2019. One downside risk is that 3″ could muddle the market for 45s, especially among younger buyers. But let’s see how it goes.