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

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

  1. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    I am receiving from Grado the ultimate mono cartridge, the Grado Labs Epoch Monaural. List price, probably the same as the stereo, 12k.

    It will be interesting to compare with the only mono cart I have (from the modern era) the Grado Prestige ME+. We'll see what happens.

    Remember gang, it's fun to play a true mono record with a true mono cart from the modern era, but don't forget, check your record in stereo mode and combine channels to see if any high end loss or swish occurs. If it does, your "mono" record was cut in stereo on a stereo machine and needs to be played in stereo, even though the music is in mono.
     
    All Down The Line, patient_ot and DRM like this.
  2. blue

    blue Mastering rules

    Location:
    sweet spot
    Steve do you know how the mono records of Analogue Productions, Music Matters and Classic Records were cut? All on a Stereo machine?
     
  3. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    Not a clue in the world, but someone here would know..
     
  4. Tullman

    Tullman I prefer analog

    Location:
    Boston MA
    Close to $17,000 with VPI base and arm.:drool: Now that is a commitment to mono.
     
    All Down The Line likes this.
  5. I've amassed quite the collection of early to mid 50's mono lp's over the last few months --- where is a good source for purchasing one of these (the GE VR ii)? I am also assuming these are 1.0 mil styli? Does it work well with pre-RIAA LP's?

    In the past, I've used a 1.0 mil Rek-O-Cut stereo stylus for this era, and summed it with a Y cable, or used a mono switch on the amp (when I had one) and had decent results.... but want to try something different and compare.

    I am also getting ready to try a DL-102 for my late 50's and early 60's mono LP's that were cut for 0.7 mil --- I think I recall you and I exchanged PM's on this some months back --- I think I recall you owned one of those too. What do you think of that cartridge?
     
  6. LOL I just noticed this thread was started in 2010.... still have the same questions, but understood @action pact if your set up or answers might be a little different than 8 years ago!! :)
     
  7. blue

    blue Mastering rules

    Location:
    sweet spot
    I thought you might know for the mono releases you did for AP and MM...
     
  8. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    The Denon DL-102 is fine for this job, as it has proper vertical compliance for playing Stereo discs safely in mono. Designed this way for the needs of the Japanese NHK Radio and TV. A broadcast cartridge. MC, high output.
     
  9. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    The GE VR II was introduced in 1954, Puma Cat. The GE RPX was introduced in the late 1940's.
     
  10. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    The only company which currently uses a fully mono, vintage mastering setup, is the UK company, Electric Recording Company. They use rebuilt 1950's era equipment.
     
  11. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    Or a full track tape is played on a half track head. ANY LP or 45 RPM MONO disc post 1968 with very rare exception MUST BE PLAYED on a STEREO cartridge tracking at acceptably light weight (5 grams MAXIMUM) and must have sufficient vertical compliance to avoid damage. Major exception being the Electric Recording Company in the UK, who uses vintage restored mono equipment for mastering their records. Everyone else with very rare exception used either Westrex, Haeco, Ortofon, or most commonly Neumann Stereo cutting heads.
     
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  12. Dubmart

    Dubmart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    I believe there is another facility either ready or nearing completion, they have several lathes and I believe at least one will have a mono head, I've seen photos and it's a very impressive set up with very serious people behind it, unfortunately I'm not at liberty to say more, in fact I may have said too much.

    I'm also not sure how the Disc Union Blue Notes reissues were cut, they went to a great deal of trouble to replicate as many features as possible so I'd be surprised if they used a stereo cutting head, but I have no information either way.
     
    googlymoogly likes this.
  13. blue

    blue Mastering rules

    Location:
    sweet spot
    I try to ask Kevin Gray, maybe he answers what was the gear that was used for his mono works with Steve for AP and MM and his own for Disk Union (I have two of them that were never reissued by AP or MM and they sound great). It s hard to get answers from Grundman but I might give it a try, too.
     
  14. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Forum Resident

    Location:
    Australia
    Over my head.
    Oh unless just a reference to needle thickness?
    I have tons of Mono 60's records so if i switch carts to Mono it is worth it for the greatly enhanced sound though i can't play Stereo records unless i annoyingly switch carts around?
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018
  15. action pact

    action pact Forum Resident

    What Steve is saying is do not use a mono cartridge lacking vertical compliance (ie: GE VRII) to play mono recordings on discs that were mastered after c.1968. That's when the mastering houses converted to stereo cutting heads, and stereo-cut LPs will be damaged by cartridges that cannot track a stereo-cut groove.

    Most (if not all) modern mono cartridges are perfectly safe for playing stereo records.
     
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  16. Fishoutofwater

    Fishoutofwater Forum Resident

    I never knew that playing mono Lps was so confusing. I will stick to my Y cables:)
     
    Bigbudukks likes this.
  17. missan

    missan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Stockholm
    Why would the records be damaged?
     
  18. action pact

    action pact Forum Resident

    Because the cantilever can't follow the up and down direction of the cut, instead slicing through it.

    See the bottom right corner:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018
  19. missan

    missan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Stockholm
    What up/down, it´s mono.
     
  20. action pact

    action pact Forum Resident

    Mono recordings cut with a stereo cutting head are still technically stereo records.
     
    McLover likes this.
  21. missan

    missan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Stockholm
    Not really, technically they are of course mono records.
     
  22. All Down The Line

    All Down The Line Forum Resident

    Location:
    Australia
    I have a few mid 60's mono lps with nasty brief cocentric gouged lines.
    Is this likely due to;

    A 78 needle?
    A broken or damaged needle?
    Other?
     
  23. action pact

    action pact Forum Resident

    You mean the kind where the groove is basically worn down to nothing? It sounds like a loud shishhhhhhhhhh? I've seen records like that.

    My guess is some ******* kid played it with a sewing needle!
     
  24. McLover

    McLover Forum Resident

    Location:
    East TN
    Sorry, it's still a Stereo groove being cut on that Stereo cutter head and stylus. Remember it must also played on a Stereo cartridge or a mono cartridge which has vertical compliance like the Denon DL-102. After all, said record has vertical components and still needs the same compliance and tracking weight guidelines as a Stereo disc does.
     
  25. missan

    missan Forum Resident

    Location:
    Stockholm
    I think it´s good to play all mono records with a cartridge with vertical compliance.
    If a mono record cut with a stereo head have vertical info; something isn´t correctly done. Maybe there are quite a few that aren´t, and that is the problem. But as I said, a well done mono, even if using a stereo head, doesn´t have any vertical info.
     

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