SH Spotlight If you have a turntable you need to play your mono records in true MONO. How to do it cheaply..

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Steve Hoffman, May 14, 2006.

  1. CBackley

    CBackley Active Member

    I bought a mono switch from another member on this site, which basically just puts two Y cables into a box to accommodate my laziness, and it sounds pretty nice my basic equipment. If you have high-end gear and the willingness to swap arms or head shells, that's cool too.

    I'm also curious about the question someone posted a few posts above. What about mono records originally released prior to 1967 but reissued later. Would those be likely to have been cut with a stereo lathe?
     
  2. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Audiophile Music Mastering Your Host Thread Starter

    The big question is if the mono tape was played back on a stereo or mono machine. Since there is no way of knowing that, time to pack it in. Hurts my head.
     
    marcb and CBackley like this.
  3. CBackley

    CBackley Active Member

    Hurts my head too. I'll just use my mono switch. :) Life is short.
     
  4. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ Forum Resident

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Even so, that wouldn't necessarily negate all the advantages of a mono cartridge.
     
  5. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Audiophile Music Mastering Your Host Thread Starter

    Yes it would. If the mono record was cut on a stereo lathe from a stereo machine, playing with a mono cart might throw the music out of phase. Disaster.

    The solution? If you have a mono button, press in and out. If the highs vanish and the music starts to swish when activated, you're stuck playing your mono music in the stereo mode. If you have a mono cart, try your record on a stereo cart and then a mono cart. If the same thing happens, keep in stereo. Operator error is always a factor. Some mastering engineers in the 1960s and 70s really didn't give a crap.
     
    marcb and CBackley like this.
  6. blue

    blue Well-Known Member

    Location:
    sweet spot
    Do you know this for some companies you worked for (like AP)?
     
  7. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Audiophile Music Mastering Your Host Thread Starter

    I'm talking about any mono record cut from 1958 to now. So many things to go wrong...
     
  8. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ Forum Resident

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Why would it do that if the mono cartridge is only picking up one channel, the one cut laterally?
     
  9. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Audiophile Music Mastering Your Host Thread Starter

    Fulltrack tapes are always damaged in some way, either the left or right usually sounds worse. In stereo, you can pick the best sounding of the two channels and sum that channel to two speakers.
     
    rstamberg likes this.
  10. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ Forum Resident

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    And how would you do that if your preamp doesn't have a balance knob? Most purist preamps don't. Otherwise, you're still getting the bad track somewhere.

    I think I'd opt for the single signal from the laterally produced channel, minimizing ticks and pops.
     
  11. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Audiophile Music Mastering Your Host Thread Starter

    Not me, but then, I'm the guy who makes the sausage.
     
    kozy814, marcb and Ben Adams like this.
  12. blue

    blue Well-Known Member

    Location:
    sweet spot
    I meant if i.e. AP playback equipment for mastering is mono or stereo so if at least this step is correct for mono cartridge playback for some reissue companies.
     
  13. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Audiophile Music Mastering Your Host Thread Starter

    I have no idea what they do, sorry.
     
  14. James Glennon

    James Glennon Forum Resident

    Location:
    Dublin, Ireland
    Well, you started it, so there!:biglaugh:

    JG
     
  15. blue

    blue Well-Known Member

    Location:
    sweet spot

    Ok, I just thought you mastered a few mono recordings for some of those companies and therefore know about it, that's why asked.
     
  16. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Audiophile Music Mastering Your Host Thread Starter

    I master mono two ways. If the fulltrack tape is damaged, I split into stereo and pick either the right or left, whichever has the least amount of damage, sum that channel and master to vinyl on a stereo lathe. If the fulltrack tape is undamaged, I use a fulltrack headstack and master to mono on a stereo lathe.

    Everyone else, who the hell knows?
     
  17. lukpac

    lukpac Forum Resident

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Note it's not quite correct to think of the channels that way. A stereo groove is made up of 2 walls at a 90 degree angle to each other, out of phase with each other. Each wall is a channel. For centered (mono) information, that results in purely lateral stylus movement. For information completely out of phase, that results in a purely vertical stylus movement. For everything in between, that results in a combination of lateral and vertical movement.
     
    marcb likes this.
  18. teag

    teag Forum Resident

    Location:
    Arizona
    I had the AT Mono3/LP and returned it. Did not think it sounded any better than pressing the mono button on my McIntosh C2300 preamp. I then bought the Ortofon Quinted Mono and the world of great sounding mono suddenly blossomed into something that quite surprised me in a positive way. See next post.
     
  19. teag

    teag Forum Resident

    Location:
    Arizona
    Not my experience at all.

    Even the current mono releases, Beatles mono set and many others, sound way better on the Ortofon Quintet mono than with a Y cable or mono switch. I have a few Stan Getz mono LPs from the 50's that sound life like with this cartridge. And the Beatles and Stones recent mono sets sounds the best I have heard either group. That includes hundreds of Beatles/Stones LPs and CDs in my collection (almost a completest here).
     
  20. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ Forum Resident

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    And, to be clear, you're comparing the $524 retail Ortofon Quintet Mono to which cartridge(s) with which you used a mono switch and/or y-cable?
     
  21. teag

    teag Forum Resident

    Location:
    Arizona
    That's the one. My preamp has a mono switch so I use that. Although with the mono cartridge I sometimes don't bother using the switch and don't think it matters with the mono cart.
     
  22. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ Forum Resident

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    I think you misunderstood my question.

    You assert that the Quintet Mono sounds way superior to a y-cable and mono switch. You're likely only to use those with a stereo cartridge, therefore you're comparing the experience of a stereo cartridge with y-cable to a mono cartridge, right?

    Which stereo cartridges were you using to compare?
     
  23. teag

    teag Forum Resident

    Location:
    Arizona
    Got it. Sorry about that.

    I have the following stereo cartridges: Dynavector XX MK11, Sumiko Blackbird, Soundsmith Zephyr and Rega Exact 2.

    The Ortofon Quintet Mono sounds better than all of these when playing mono records - old mono LPs or recent reissues.
     
  24. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ Forum Resident

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    I have mentioned somewhere else that when I first got into mono, I had a Grado Statement stereo Master and a Grado ME+. There was no doubt that the Master did more of the audiophile things like detail and soundstaging better than the ME+, but the ME+ locked images and rhythm when playing the same mono records as I would with the stereo Master, and the ME+ sounded vastly superior, musically speaking. I had no mono switch or Y-cable back then. But one of the first records I played was an original Bell 45rpm 7" of The Box Tops' "The Letter". It's a great song, and sounded fine on the Grado Master. But when I switched over to the ME+($135 at the time), the single came alive. My wife, not an audiophile in particular, had been listening to the song when I played it with the Master. But when I played it with the ME+, she blurted out, "Wow, that sounds GREAT!". She almost never makes any comments on sound unless it's too loud for her.
     
  25. RandelPink

    RandelPink New Member

    Location:
    LA
    A couple of questions that I've tried researching but couldn't find specific answers to:

    1.) If using a stereo table with built-in pre (and not familiar with soddering to add switch) connected straight to powered/active speakers, can I still use double Y for mono output? I have the Beatles Mono BoxSet and wanted to get the most out of it.

    2.) Ortofon 2M Mono Special Edition Cart - I've read that this improved version is sometimes suitable for stereo as well. Could I use this cart full-time and still get stereo output or will it also slowly wear down records do to the wider stylus?

    Sorry if these have been covered, I have read several posts that are very similar but not exactly the same. Thank you!
     

Share This Page