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. qwerty

    qwerty A resident of the SH_Forums.

    I think Mal explained it here:

     
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  2. Thanks a lot!
     
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  3. wolfyboy3

    wolfyboy3 Now I'm Prune Tracey

    Hi guys first post here so take it easy on me... Above, Steve Hoffman says in this quote that you can place the y adapters between the turntable and the phono stage (highlighted sentence fragment). I am hoping he is correct about this, since I have been doing it for the last 30 minutes on my new tt. Anyone else with experience doing this? Should I stop immediately? Thanks.
     
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  4. qwerty

    qwerty A resident of the SH_Forums.

    Hi Wolfboy, welcome to the forums. I hope you find it an enjoyable place to hang out.

    If you post any comments about your hifi, it is expected that you list your equipment in your profile - this will put a context to your comments and help others assist you. Whilst there are participants here who have mega-expensive systems, there are many who have entry-level gear. So don't be embarrassed if your gear is nothing special at this stage. All audiophiles start with basic gear, then start the upgrading cycle!

    Now to your question:

    • If you plug your turntable into a phono preamp, which is then plugged into your amplifier (integrated amp or a pre-amp), then the best place for the double-Y is between the phono preamp and the amplifier.

    • If you plug your turntable into a "phono" socket in the back of your amplifier (integrated amp or a pre-amp), then you have no option where the double-Y goes - it must be between your turntable and the amp. Technically, this is not the best place for it, as the leads between the turntable cartridge and phono stage need to be low capacitance (whereas line-stage RCA interconnect does not need to be low capacitance). The double-Y could increase the capacitance, which may result in a slight decrease in some high frequencies. This shouldn't be a concern given the benefits of listening to mono records with the adapter. No damage will be done using it in this way.

    • Some notes:
    - If your amplifier has a mono button/switch, use this instead of the double-Y.
    - Only use the double-Y for listening to records pressed as mono - using it for stereo records won't give an accurate mono experience.
    - Hope you enjoy your new turntable and the records experience!
     
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  5. wolfyboy3

    wolfyboy3 Now I'm Prune Tracey

    qwerty- thanks for the informative response. I updated my profile with my system info just now. I have an integrated with a phono input and no pre at all so I guess it goes where I put it before- between the tt and the integrated. I listened to a mono pressing of Rolling Stones- Big Hits- High Tides and Green Grass- and it sounded really nice. Thanks again for your help!!
     
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  6. qwerty

    qwerty A resident of the SH_Forums.

    [QUOTE="wolfyboy3, post: 17822773, member: 83165"... I listened to a mono pressing of Rolling Stones- Big Hits- High Tides and Green Grass- and it sounded really nice...[/QUOTE]
    A great album to enjoy in mono - I was given one recently. Enjoy.
     
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  7. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

  8. RPM

    RPM Forum Resident

    Location:
    Easter Island
    Is this safely doable with xlr cables from-to balanced outputs-inputs?
     
  9. qwerty

    qwerty A resident of the SH_Forums.

    I would expect that it's the same with balanced cables, but I don't have much experience in this area, someone with more technical knowledge may be able to give a more informed opinion.

    However, since this thread opened, I've read a number of technically-informed opinions saying that a double-y configuration may not be advisable for some amplifiers. I'm not a technie, so can't (from memory) explain why, but the reasoning is something like a double-y (or equivalent) changes the load expected by an amplifier. While some amplifiers can cope well (which is why many say the double-y works without problems), some amp's don't (valve amps may be more prone to difficulties). The addition of a couple of resistors inline with a mono adaptor is more technically correct (and only costs a few cents more).
     
  10. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Why My Uncle purchased three is a mystery to me sir.
     
  11. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    If your integrated amp or receiver has a tape loop you can make a poor man's mono button. Connect a Y-adapter (will combine both channels into two) from the tape out jack. You now have a mono signal and one RCA plug. Take an adapter that will be RCA female on one end that will split into two RCA males on the other. Now connect the RCA female end to your RCA male plug. Connect the two RCA male plugs into the left and right Jack's of your tape input loop. Any time you want mono (say to play back mono records) just switch your tape loop to TAPE. Voila! Instant mono button. You can connect and EQ into the tape loop and use the TAPE LOOP switch to take it IN and OUT of the circuit. So when you don't need an equalizer in your system affecting the sound you can take it out as easy as pie.........3.14

    Many music stores like Long and Mcquad also sell adapters and splitters of this kind. And of much better quality. Well....I if you don't mind paying the price.
     
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  12. john morris

    john morris Everybody's Favorite Quadron

    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    Good question. As long as you keep it XLR balanced all the way through then there shouldn't be a problem. There are XLR adapters and splitters.

    On a similar issue I had a friend who was transferring all of his reel to reel 7.5 ips tapes to digital. At the time it was to a HB professional CD recorder back in 2001. Some of his tapes were mono. I told him to take the best channel (loudest with the least noise) and split it with a good adapter so a real mono signal could go to his CD recorder. Even when I was 15 I knew to do this when I was copying a mono cassette to another cassette. And yet some mastering engineers are unaware of this. I purchased some Beach Boys Hits CD back in the late 90's and all the mono singles were way of centre. Like 10 0' clock of center! Couldn't they hear this? No way these were copied off any quarter inch full track machine. They used quarter inch half track. Are they that clueless?

    Some of this tapes were as above commercial releases but some were recorded from mono records but with a stereo cartridge. I told him to combine the channels from the output of his reel to reel and then split the one mono signal into two on it's way into the CD recorder. This way his mono records would be way quieter.
     
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  13. krisjay

    krisjay Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maine
    I have an old Radio Shack 3 in 1 out stereo source selector box. Shouldn't there be an easy mod to make the 1 out into a mono out? Kind of turning it into a 3 turntable in 1 mono out box.
     
  14. Joey_Corleone

    Joey_Corleone Forum Resident

    Location:
    Rockford, MI
    I think you would essentially have to sum the L + R channels of one of the inputs internally. No idea how you would actually achieve that, but I think that is how those types of boxes work
     
  15. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ CMO (Chief Musical Officer)

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Keep in mind that any added contraption thrown into the change will affect the sound. Imagine what it would do for the sound if you putting a cheap piece of crap quality amp in your system? Or put in a pair of $5 earbuds in lieu of a good set of headphones. Wiring just doesn't pass the signal through a system. It alters it. The best stuff alters it the least. I have a Y-connector I fashioned from Radio Shack. While it does solidify the image for mono playback, it reduces the fidelity as well. The frequency extremes take a hit, and the midrange is less detailed. I have a Benz Micro wood M2 cartridge, so it's a very good one. Chatting with Michael Fremer a while back about it, he recommended that I'd be better off playing my mono records with my Benz cartridge, and try to get a commensurate mono cartridge to play the mono records (He thought the advantages of mono playback while playing records through a cheap mono cartridge wouldn't outweigh the benefits of the fidelity that my Benz gives me.).

    I'll say this, though. I once had a Grado mono ME+ cartridge (wired as such), which came with an elliptical stylus. I was surprised as to how really good it was and how much it solidified the image and rhythm with mono records. Unfortunately, Grado is now fitting all of their mono cartridges with styli that are designed to be played with 1960s+ records. With the ME+ I had at the time, I could get a replaceable stylus, and I also got a stereo one to put in it. The stylus that came with it sounded really good on 1950s mono records, but didn't on the 1960s records. The stereo one sounded really good on the 1960s records, but not on the 1950s ones. I'd still like to find a mono cartridge designed for playing 1950s records that will also be compatible with my original VPI JMW-9 tonearm.
     
  16. Are you saying a short piece of wire (jumper) across Left and Right terminals within the switch box will significantly change the sound based on the quality/size of conductor?
     
  17. krisjay

    krisjay Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maine
    There is a very basic mono switch box that many have bought off this forum. It has a lot of praise, all reviews I have seen have described no change in sonics. I can't see how a simple switch box /source box, being a passive device could change sound in any meaningful way. All I'd be doing is turning the stereo out into a mono out. If I can figure out how to that is. I don't see it having an effect on sound, simple RCA in and outs which are used everyday in peoples equipment.
     
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  18. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ CMO (Chief Musical Officer)

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Yup, it can. And it does. How much it does, you can hear for yourself. YMMV. But putting a simple, short Y-connector between the phono preamp and the regular preamp made a significant difference to my ears.
     
  19. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    Something in your system, probably your cart is losing phase coherence when you combine channels. Not the fault of the wire.
     
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  20. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ CMO (Chief Musical Officer)

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    It's impossible for it not to change the sonics. Some might hear the differences more than others. A less sensitive system and listener may not think it is a big deal. But to say adding wire and connectors don't make any sonic difference is just not true. Just the mere swapping out things like RCA connectors make a sonic difference. It's more of a question is whether it bothers you enough.
     
  21. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ CMO (Chief Musical Officer)

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    It's not a matter of coherence. It does focus the image for mono. But you're adding connectors and wire. Are you telling me that what you add and its quality doesn't make a difference? Then tell that to Kevin Gray and his upgrading of wire at CoHearance. Tell that to Joe Harley, who works for Audioquest cables.
     
  22. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Steve is talking about phase coherence on the stereo side, not the mono side. Just like playing a tape with incorrect alignment and summing to mono.

    Not when it's an inch or two.
     
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  23. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ CMO (Chief Musical Officer)

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    I have personally heard otherwise. Again, even a connector can make a sonic difference. The better the wire and connector, the less it will intrude, though.
     
  24. Like someone said above, wire length matters. An inch or two will not have an impact unless the gauge is thinner than a hair.
     
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  25. krisjay

    krisjay Forum Resident

    Location:
    Maine
    There must be a lot of people who must not be hearing the difference in sonic qualities brought on by a mono switch box. Many, many have been sold and I still can't think of one review that spoke of ANY sonic difference(other than positive results)when the switch box was added. I'm not saying it isn't conceivable, I am saying the possible difference is so minute as most human hearing would find it not perceivable. I am speaking of the mono switch box being sold on this forum for years, which is universally praised. I doubt it would keep that kind of reputation if it altered sound quality in any negative fashion. Either way, this is kind of silly and my last post about a couple inches of wire and RCA connectors causing problems, as I don't think it does in this scenario.
     

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