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. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ CMO (Chief Musical Officer)

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Do you think the quality of the connector can make a difference in sound by themselves?
     
  2. We were talking about conductors, not connectors. I specifically asked you if you were referring to conductors for clarification. Connections are a whole different thing.
     
  3. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ CMO (Chief Musical Officer)

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    There are many here who aren't as discerning. Some are more than others. The difference in focus between listening to an mid-'60s mono with a mono cartridge or y-connector vs. a stereo cartridge can be dramatic, and that will pull many in. The loss of fidelity, particularly if you're not listening and/or have a budget system, is going to be more subtle. But the 3" y-connector certainly is quite audible in my system, both with how it helps, as well as what it takes away.

    Heck, Clark Johnsen (RIP) once demonstrated that a simple sheet of impregnated paper laid upon an amp can alter the sound. It was quite astonishing to hear and see it in person.
     
  4. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ CMO (Chief Musical Officer)

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    But a connector is yet another part of the system for which the signal flows through. Are you acknowledging that the connector can make a sonic difference (for better or worse)? I betcha that there are many here who would even be skeptical of that.
     
  5. Of course, you need a good connection. Who would argue about that? But, once again, you seem to be veering away from the conductor discussion. So, I'm not really sure what your original point was.
     
  6. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ CMO (Chief Musical Officer)

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Why wouldn't the conductor also make a difference? Is it just the length of it? If so, how long do you think a wire has to be to have a sonic impact?
     
  7. Ohm's law.
     
  8. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ CMO (Chief Musical Officer)

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Ohm's Law:
    [​IMG]

    This doesn't prove anything. We know that different wires sound different, so I don't think that fact is explained by the above equation.
     
  9. marcb

    marcb Senior Member

    Location:
    DC area
    Yes. Two stereo to mono Y RCA connectors connected to one of the stereo outputs and the stereo inputs of your preamp.

    Pretty much like everything else except you’re adding a selector box...;)
     
  10. Done.
     
  11. Joel Shapiro

    Joel Shapiro Forum Resident

    For 10GBP, you can add a mono switch to any Graham Slee phono pre. If you're in the market for a phono preamp anyway....
     
  12. Joel Shapiro

    Joel Shapiro Forum Resident

    Who sells that?
     
  13. Joel Shapiro

    Joel Shapiro Forum Resident

    Grado has a .7 mil spherical stylus for DJ (DJ100/200) that will work in the mono prestige carts, as confirmed to me by Grado. Use the standard elliptical stylus for 60's records and another cart with the DJ stylus for 50's records (you can use the elliptical stylus that came with the 2nd mono cart as a back-up stylus).
     
  14. 2141

    2141 Forum Resident

    Steve, I have a sweet old Scott 299-C tube amp. I believe it's 1962 or '63 vintage. Sounds fantastic, love this amp! This is what I use to play vinyl. The amp has a stereo to mono selector switch. I assume this switch is summing the 2 channels in the same way you're recommending here. Is that the case, or would it still be advantageous to slip a Y cord in there and sum the stereo that way?
     
  15. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    It is summing the channels, yes. Play the leadout groove in stereo, then in mono. Hear how the noise decreases by a lot? Magic.
     
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  16. 33na3rd

    33na3rd Forum Resident

    Location:
    SW Washington, USA
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2020 at 11:14 AM
  17. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ CMO (Chief Musical Officer)

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    The mono button does the same job. No need for a y-connector.
     
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  18. 2141

    2141 Forum Resident

    Yes, just tried it. Excellent, big difference! This is how I usually run mono, but never did A/B comparison on lead out groove. More good stuff! Thanks, Steve! :winkgrin:
     
  19. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

    Glad to help.
     
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  20. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Actually, physics!

    (For those that don't already know, the actual music is cut laterally, which ends up in phase, while much of the vinyl noise has a vertical component, which ends up out of phase. When you sum to mono that out of phase information - noise - is reduced.)
     
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  21. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host Thread Starter

  22. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ CMO (Chief Musical Officer)

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    At $35, it's worth a try for many.

    However, again, it's putting another contraption in the way.

    It's also another set of cables. For me, I have Tara Labs "The One" between my phono stage and my integrated (which is where this box should be placed, NOT between the tonearm and phono stage). To get another pair of The One ICs, in order to maintain the quality, would be to get the shortest pair they make, a .6m pair (RCAs on both ends). Retail price? $2,695.50 (I got my pair used a long while back, but they were still about $1000, and BOY, were they superior sounding to ANYTHING I had ever heard in my system! - much more open, quicker, with greater inner detail, and more musical. And I tried about eight different makes and models of ICs, including a $4700 retail pair of ICs made with palladium. The latter were great, but out of my budget.). The point is, it's not merely another $35 for anyone with a better system.

    I can get a helluva dedicated mono cartridge for half the retail price of the additional set of cables. Putting a cheap pair of ICs and a mono/stereo switch box between the The One ICs? Your system is only as good as its weakest link. The switch, along with cheap cables, is not likely to be sonically invisible. It wouldn't likely be in my system, anyway.
     
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  23. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    It is likely to be in most systems.
     
  24. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ CMO (Chief Musical Officer)

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Which, sonically visible, or invisible? It will depend on the listener and the system. Will the benefit outweigh the sonic cost? That will be up to the individual. The more resolving the system and more sensitive the listener, the more it will likely be noticed. There's no point in conjecturing in that regard.

    I know that, in my system (and you can see it in my Profile), putting a stereo to mono y-connector setup I bought from Radio Shack resulted in a greater focus with mono recordings, which is expected, but audibly less fidelity in other areas such as a grayer sense of color and texture, and frequency extremes rolled off. And this was placement between the phono stage and integrated.

    With modern mono recordings, ones cut with a stereo head, summing the channels wouldn't make a difference, to my understanding.
     
  25. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Most systems.
     

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