Why Does Mono Sound Bad To Me?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by MrMojoRisin, Apr 9, 2017.

  1. Grant

    Grant A Brady-Boomer Musical Free-Spirit

    This whole back and forth is ridiculous! It reminds me of back when we were in elementary school, and the boys would all do that "My dad is smarter than your dad!" "Oh yeah? My dad is smarter and can beat up your dad!". "Oh yeah? My dad can arrest your dad!" "So what? My dad can drop a bomb on your whole house!" kind of childish crap.
    Licorice pizza and Strat-Mangler like this.
  2. Carl Swanson

    Carl Swanson Resident blabbermouth

    I prefer stereo to mono, but realistically, some of the music I like is NEVER going to be available in stereo . . . at least, not in my lifetime.

    Enjoy what you listen to. None of it amounts to communism or animal abuse.
  3. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    Mono = party guy
    Stereo- headphones ..late at night guy.
    Mono way more sexier.
    Stereo nerdy
    Both appealing.
    Licorice pizza likes this.
  4. tmsorosk

    tmsorosk MORE MUSIC PLEASE

    Sprucegrove Canada
    Mono = old guy.
    leeroy jenkins likes this.
  5. alexpop

    alexpop Power pop + other bad habits....

    ....with exceedingly good taste.:agree::laugh:
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  6. fogalu

    fogalu Forum Resident

    Killarney, Ireland
    Why does mono sound bad to me??

    Doesn't sound too bad to me.
  7. RhodesSupremacy

    RhodesSupremacy yeah, man

    23yo here & I disagree!
  8. BKphoto

    BKphoto JazzAllDay

    well, thats the first ridiculous thing I've read today, doubt it will be the last...
  9. Grant

    Grant A Brady-Boomer Musical Free-Spirit

    On the contrary, from all I have been reading on the internet for the last 20 years, it is the old guys who are the most virulent stereo fans.
    tmsorosk likes this.
  10. Yes, I understand compression. As I mentioned before, having been in broadcast radio, not only did we deal with compressed special radio station promotional records, usually mono, but the sound output was run through CBS Labs unit called a limiter. It brought up the lows and cut down the highs, giving as close to a consistent signal as possible. AM radio back then had a narrow frequency range and we didn't want to blow out those car radio speakers.
    I've heard some fantastic mono mixes which were done well but most of the mono I've heard was done very poorly. A few days ago I was listening to a recent 45 pressing of the Beach Boys' "Wouldn't It Be Nice" b/w "God Only Knows" and it was a very poor mono mix. Hal Blaine also played sleigh bells on one of the tracks and they were practically non-existent. Though the single was punchy, the top end was cut down and higher frequency sounds were not brought up.
  11. Very true. Us "old guys" brought up in the mono era consider stereo a breath of fresh air.
    dalem5467 and Tony Cruse like this.
  12. DrZhivago

    DrZhivago Hedonist

    Adelaide Australia
    I started getting into ‘Mono’ only recently. Mainly through the Beatles and Dylan reissues. I am using my ol' trusty Project 2-Xperience with 2m Blue cart and double Y-Cord for this purpose. Not doing any comparative listening, nor attempting to draw conclusions or form any preferences. Merely enjoying myself in re-discovering my favourite music through the different lenses(mixes). I also believe this offers invaluable insights into the creation process of an album.

    I’d say, even after many years of listening different mixes, one should not go down the path of dealing in absolutes. It’s also somewhat pointless as everyone’s journey is different.

  13. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

    Exactly right. BTW, there is a great soundstage when listening to Benny Goodman At Carnegie Hall. Harry Belafonte's "Calypso" is another great mono recording with a great soundstage in it and Marshall at Audio Fidelity loves this recording and is aware of the soundstage of Calypso and issued an SACD of the album years ago, right from the mono recording.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2017
  14. tmsorosk

    tmsorosk MORE MUSIC PLEASE

    Sprucegrove Canada
    The only folks we know that like mono are way older than us:shh:. What can I say ?
    MaxxMaxx4 and Licorice pizza like this.
  15. BKphoto

    BKphoto JazzAllDay

    or don't listen to jazz...
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  16. SandAndGlass

    SandAndGlass Twilight Forum Resident

    As it was in the beginning! And I have no problem with a single speaker playing in a room and filling it with sound. That way, you can enjoy moving around the room and doing things that you might normally do in that room, such as playing pool. You are not relegated to sitting in a single chair sweet-spot, with your head in a vice, doing "critical" listening. You can enjoy music, while you are also enjoying life. Seems like a double winner.

    I would go further and say most studio mixes are panned mono. There is no real ambience in the mix, which is why sound engineers use reverb and other such tools, to create the illusion.

    I can listen to either stereo or mono. If a record is in mono, fine. If it is in stereo, that is also fine. I'm really concerned with the music that the artist is presenting, and the recording quality itself, than the mono/stereo thing.

    Weeks back, I lost a channel on my Mini Torii, due to a tube being out. I took out my trusty stereo/mono, switch box, set the switch to mono. Then I moved the speaker cable, that was connected to the dead side, to the working side. Both speakers were than running in parallel and the tunes continued playing, until the replacement tube arrived.

    I once ran an amp for several years before noticing, that it had a stereo/bridged mono switch on the back. the back was black and the switch was a tiny slide type switch, which was black on black. I only found out by redoing the wiring harnesses. I plugged one RCA input off the preamp to the power amp and sound came out of both speakers. I realized what must have happened, found the manual and discovered the switch.

    I need to post the above, to the audiophile embarrassment thread.

    I like to listen to music with two to three sets of main speakers, plus two or more subs. Why do I do this? The answer is obvious, I am an audio heretic. But, besides that, I think that I am more able to recreate different acoustical environments, that do more than simulate, but can come close to recreating the ambience of original venues.

    But, again, that is just me!

    I keep saying that! I keep hearing about these "magical" imaging clues, which really are not there, as there is no such thing as imaging when individual instruments, or groups of instruments are captured in a studio setting and panned to create the illusion of stereo. A studio and sound engineers are necessary to create illusions, just like in the movie industry, they are the masters of their respective crafts and I'm perfectly fine with that.

    Not that the Beatles, were not brilliant, innovative and all that, but, in the beginning, they did not quite get the "stereo" concept down.

    The first time I heard a stereo Beatles album, that someone played for me, in the early 60's, they had the instruments coming out of one speaker and the vocals, coming out of the other. I must have been nine or ten, at the time, but I thought that there was a better way to do it, as AutomatedElectronics, has pointed out.

    The average studio in the 60's used 4-tack tape for their master's, then mixed to stereo? But that was what was available at the time.

    Totally agree, while mono through speakers is totally fine, with headphones, the sound is stuck dead in the center of my head, where it is lifeless, without dimension and boring. With speakers, the mono sound reaches each ear independently and also reflects around the room, giving it a realistic dimension.
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  17. Folsom

    Folsom New Member

    Eastern WA
    This is funny topic. I like mono on headphones. In fact I like headphone amps with crossfeed.

    Yes mono sounds like it's more in my head, but the thing is I find it more relaxing.
  18. Grant

    Grant A Brady-Boomer Musical Free-Spirit

    As I said, not in my experience.
  19. Licorice pizza

    Licorice pizza Livin’ On The Fault Line

    My personal experience with mono, based on the albums you mention is spot on. Most ROCK I have in mono leaves me underwhelmed. Unless it's a big production with orchestra, sitars, choral groups, etc... in addition to the guitars, bass and drums, it's gonna sound weak. Of course, others may disagree. Pepper and Revolver are two I love in mono way more than stereo. But those are exceptions to the rule, thanks to George Martin.

    By the same token, when I play a mono Lp of say, anything Percy Faith, Miles Davis's Miles Ahead, Sinatra's September of My Years or a good deal of folk and classical albums, the result is beyond belief. The sound is fuller and centered with lotsa details coming out of the speakers. That being said, I still love mono for the sounds it produced in it's heyday. But the album had to be colorful and well produced from the git go (the recording date) in order to give you the results you seek. Rock is very tricky in that sense because lotsa 60s rock was badly produced even though it was the IN thing.

    Hope that helps?
  20. Bingo Bongo

    Bingo Bongo No music, no Life

    I realize how much people love Beatles "Rubber Soul" in mono, but again, I did the comparison for the 1,000,000th time and when I switched back to Stereo, it still sounded soooooooooooo much better.

    Maybe it's gotta be 1,000,001 times....
  21. Licorice pizza

    Licorice pizza Livin’ On The Fault Line

    I totally agree. This one I prefer in stereo over mono.
  22. Licorice pizza

    Licorice pizza Livin’ On The Fault Line

    Spot on!! I'm not a big headphones guy and much prefer speakers to give me that reflection from the room.
    SandAndGlass likes this.
  23. Licorice pizza

    Licorice pizza Livin’ On The Fault Line

    Or "I know what you are, but what am I?"
  24. Licorice pizza

    Licorice pizza Livin’ On The Fault Line

    Truer words were never spoken.:shtiphat:
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  25. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    Thank you.
    Licorice pizza likes this.

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