Thinking of buying a Mono cartridge...need help, thanks

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by bayen, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. bayen

    bayen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    philadelphia Pa
    Hello. After reading a current thread regarding a Grado mono cartridge, I've decided to look into owning one. I'm fairly new at this and have a few questions. I can't afford an expensive mono cart and was thinking about purchasing either the Grado MC+ or ME+. When listening to mono now I usually combine the L/R channels using the old double "Y" cord trick. I've had great success using this method. Are the Grado mono carts manufactured differently for mono playback or are they like a stereo cart (same construction) but wired for mono? I don't want to purchase a mono cart if the only difference is the wiring and not the way the stylus performs in the groove. Also, anyone have experience with the Grado MC+ or ME+ and can explain the difference or make a recommendation? Thanks for the help
     
  2. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Well-Known Member

    Location:
    East Bay, CA
    No, I called Grado specifically about this. They are proper mono cartridges and constructed intrinsically differently than a stereo cartridge.

    There are is a Grado in the Prestige series that is a mono cartridge that is affordable, though you haven't stated your budget.
     
  3. Scott in DC

    Scott in DC Forum Resident

    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Mono

    I have also been considering mono cartridges. See below for the cartridges I have been considering, specifically the Spirit model. These are true mono cartridges.

    Scott

    http://www.miyajima-lab.com/e-mono.html
     
  4. Reader

    Reader Forum Resident

    Location:
    e.s.t. tenn.
    I've been thinking about getting a mono cartridge also but haven't decided yet. I've been playing a lot of old mono 45's and a few mono LPs lately and was wondering if the mono cartridge would improve the sound much if any.

    Is there going to be an improvement in sound in using a mono cartridge instead of using a mono switch on an amp or the "Y" cord with a stereo cartridge as mentioned by bayen? This is my main question before I take the next step in buying any new hardware.

    Are there many options for a good but inexpensive mono cartridge?
     
  5. Reader

    Reader Forum Resident

    Location:
    e.s.t. tenn.
    This may be a silly question but I don't know the answer.

    Will a true mono cartridge damage a stereo record? I understand about the change in the sound of the recording but will the stereo disc be physically damaged?
     
  6. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Well-Known Member

    Location:
    East Bay, CA
    Yes.

    Yes, but you have to define what you mean by inexpensive. For some, $1000 is inexpensive, for others, it's $99.

    Soundsmith makes a range of affordable cartridges available in mono, their SMMC series.
     
  7. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Well-Known Member

    Location:
    East Bay, CA
    Why would you want to play a stereo record with a mono cartridge?
     
  8. bayen

    bayen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    philadelphia Pa
    Thanks Puma Cat. I think the Grado MC+ and ME+ are part of the Prestige series. The MC+ is around $90.00 and the ME+ close to $150.00. The ME+ comes close to what I'm willing to spend at the moment. Good to know that the Prestige series carts are constructed differently than a stereo cart.
     
  9. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    Please be careful. Mono recuts from about 1968 on were cut with stereo tips!
     
    McLover likes this.
  10. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Well-Known Member

    Location:
    East Bay, CA
    Good to know...I should play my Toshiba/EMI Blue Notes and Speaker's Corner mono remasters with my stereo pickup, then.....save the mono cartridge for my "real' monos...
     
  11. bayen

    bayen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    philadelphia Pa
    Good to know. Most of my mono lp's are pre -1968 but if you didn't mention this I would have most likely played my Beatles 1982 mono's with a mono cart set-up...thanks for the tip!
     
  12. bayen

    bayen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    philadelphia Pa
    Well, after reading this post plus the other current "mono cart" post and a few posts on other forums, I've decided not to jump at the Grado mono cartridges until I understand a bit more on the subject. It gets a bit confusing...reading about the number of coils a true mono cart should have..the difference in stylus tip etc. etc. I'll check back, thanks
     
  13. Reader

    Reader Forum Resident

    Location:
    e.s.t. tenn.
    My range for the mono cartridge was about $150.00 max.

    Also, I wasn't planning on playing stereo records with a mono cartridge. I was talking about playing one by accident.
     
  14. bayen

    bayen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    philadelphia Pa
    Back again. Here is the main thing I'd like to know (I may post the same question on the other thread), will the Grado ME+ sound better than comping the L-R channels with the double Y cords? After reading some info this afternoon I'm beginning to think the Grado ME+ isn't a true mono cart...compared to vintage true mono carts. This has something to do with the number of coils used, the stylus tip and a bunch of technical stuff that's a bit over my head. When using the Y cords for mono LP playback any noise is centered and less noticeable. If the Grado ME+ is constructed to perform like a true mono cart and extract information from the groove differently it should sound better, correct? Thanks
     
  15. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Well-Known Member

    Location:
    East Bay, CA
    I think I already answered that question with a yes...
     
  16. bayen

    bayen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    philadelphia Pa
    Great..that's all I wanted to hear, thanks:righton:
     
  17. sberger

    sberger I like dirty records

    I'm not sure, but I thought I read (perhaps in the Music Matters' threads) that it was ok to use a modern(or perhaps non-conical?) mono cart with later mono lp's cut with a stereo head? Could somebody confirm or deny this?
     
  18. Puma Cat

    Puma Cat Well-Known Member

    Location:
    East Bay, CA
    Yes, this is what Steve is talking about in Post #9.
     
  19. hvbias

    hvbias Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northeast
    Steve any comment on .07 vs .1 mm stylii on mono carts? I believe more or the modern mono carts are using .07 mm stylii so it should be ok.
     
  20. sberger

    sberger I like dirty records

    Deepak kinda beat me to it, but here's the posts from the Music Matters threads that I referred to:


    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hypnotoad
    This has been addressed, fyi. 99% of modern mono cartridges should be fine. They have stereo-sized needles (.7 mm) and so work fine on stereo grooves. I think EMT is the only modern company that makes an original mono-sized needle (1 mm), which should only be used on original mono records, cut before (if I recall correctly) around 1967. Music Matters are cut with a stereo cutter-head, but your modern mono cartridge should be fine with them.

    To which Joe Harley replied:

    Correct. Thanks Toad!

    cheers,

    Joe
     
  21. jazdoc

    jazdoc Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bellevue, WA, USA
    I recently mounted a Miyajima Premium BE mono in my system and am incredibly pleased with the results. I think you would be happy with the Miyajima sound. I haven't done any comparisons to other mono cartridges.
     
  22. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    Hope your wife didn't see you.


    People, one more time, be careful of the mono cart you install. Make sure it can play a stereo groove without damage. Over and out.:wave:
     
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  23. sberger

    sberger I like dirty records

    But just to be a nudge, Steve, and to continue on a couple of earlier posts, is there any reason to think that a modern .7mm stylus on a modern mono cart would cause any damage to a stereo groove on a modern mono lp(such as those cut by Music Matters, AP, etc)?
     
  24. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    Probably not. But every time this subject is brought up with Kevin Gray, he shakes his head and closes his eyes.

    Kevin has been cutting records since Doors/SOFT PARADE. Take that as you will.
     
  25. sberger

    sberger I like dirty records

    Appreciate it. Thanks.
     

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