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. Somerset Scholar

    Somerset Scholar Ace of Spades

    Location:
    Bath
    Are there still people out there who think a double Y (or mono button) helps with modern mono reissues?

    Old 60's pressings, yes.

    New ones.....?
     
    DK Pete likes this.
  2. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Why wouldn't it?
     
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  3. timmikid

    timmikid Forum Resident

    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Ofcourse. Mono is mono. Old or new.
     
  4. qwerty

    qwerty A resident of the SH_Forums.

    It's not about how old the pressing is. It's about playing a mono record with a stereo cart, the mono will cancel a lot of out of phase noise.
     
  5. Somerset Scholar

    Somerset Scholar Ace of Spades

    Location:
    Bath
    Mono is not Mono. Plenty of set up variations. Anyone here playing with just the ONE speaker?

    The double Y used with some of my older pressings makes a noticeable difference. Always a positive improvement in SQ whilst reducing noisefloor. Sometimes quite significantly.

    Modern pressings in mint condition? I'm hard pressed to notice any difference so far with the double Y, which is not surprising as the records are cut to be played with stereo equipment.
     
    Chemguy likes this.
  6. You didn't say 'mint condition' in your earlier post. But, since you did, what about vintage pressings in mint condition?
     
  7. Somerset Scholar

    Somerset Scholar Ace of Spades

    Location:
    Bath
    Vintage pressings in mint (or near mint) condition do sound better. The biggest advantage I have found using the double Y, though, is with vintage pressings that are less than stellar. Some significant leaps in SQ.
    I have done some experimenting with different double Y cables (of varying
    quality) and this makes a very slight difference to the sound quality too.
     
  8. So, you do agree that a 'modern' pressing can be as noisy as any vintage one and can, therefore, benefit from summing the channels?
     
  9. Somerset Scholar

    Somerset Scholar Ace of Spades

    Location:
    Bath
    I haven't found that to be the case, no.
     
  10. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    It doesn't matter if the pressings are new or old. Mono records, regardless of how they are cut, only contain lateral musical information. Any vertical information is noise. Summing to mono, regardless if by using a Y-cable or some other method, eliminates that vertical (out of phase) information.
     
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  11. dlokazip

    dlokazip Forum Transient

    Location:
    Austin, TX, USA
    Given that I finally got around to trying the Y-adapter, I found the above discussion quit interesting. Therefore, I decided to perform a test with the few mono LPs that I own. Two vintage pressings. Two recent pressings.

    1. Jimi Hendrix Greatest Hits, Barclay, 1971 pressing: Slight improvement here. Some tracks more than others. "Hey Joe" was the most improved.
    2. Elvis Presley Sun Sessions, RCA, 1976 pressing: Wow! This LP came to life through the Y-adapter. Suddenly, all the instruments are crisp and clear. Really digging Bill Black's bass. (Of course, you know how Elvis sounds.)
    3. The Beatles, Mono Masters, Apple, 2014 pressing: The difference is almost negligible. I noticed an improvement on some sections of some tracks, but overall, not much difference. I may even prefer some tracks without the Y-adapter.
    4. Frank Zappa, Lumpy Gravy-Primordial, Zappa/UMe, 2018 RSD pressing, 45 rpm: Slight improvement here, but more consistent than the Hendrix record as it is not a compilation.

    Four records is hardly a good sample size. The Elvis record confirms that the results can be dramatic on a vintage LP. The Beatles record seems to confirm that the Y-adapter may not improve the sound much at all on more recent mono pressings. The Zappa record refutes that, but not by much. The Hendrix record indicates that the results on a vintage record are not always dramatic.

    So, that's my experience. Your mileage may vary.
     
  12. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident

    Location:
    Levittown. NY
    There's one continual consistency I find with listening to mono recordings in "true mono". Any sibilance I hear when played in "stereo mode", in lack of a better term, is either eliminated or significantly decreased. For that reason, whether I'm playing a mono 45 or album, I automatically switch the switch.:D
     
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  13. dlokazip

    dlokazip Forum Transient

    Location:
    Austin, TX, USA
    I certainly found that to be the case. It is a good argument for a switch. Reaching behind the preamp to disconnect and reconnect cables is not something that I would want make a habit.
     
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  14. 99thfloor

    99thfloor Forum Resident

    Location:
    Sweden
    Since the whole idea is to reduce surface noise in relation to the music, if you have a new record (which shouldn't have surface nosise) there isn't much point in combining the channels, it may actually instead introduce new problems such as phase issues, since modern mono records may no be properly transferred.
     
    eyeCalypso likes this.
  15. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ Hearing In Stereo Since 1959

    Location:
    Salem, MA

    Nicely done.

    Your report is pretty much right on the money.

    For me, the dropoff in fidelity (diminished resolution) by adding the y-cable into the path was just too much of a sacrifice. I'll be looking for a good mono cartridge equivalent to my stereo one.
     
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  16. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident

    Location:
    Levittown. NY
    I hadn't even considered that it mattered till I heard the sibilance on certain tracks on the 2014 mono Rubber Soul. Then, the info on this very thread , plus some further research, opened my eyes. My stereo amp doesn't have a built in mono switch so I bought one made by a forum member. Money very well spent.
     
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  17. Greenmonster2420

    Greenmonster2420 Forum Resident

    Location:
    Central Ohio
    Yes there is a lot of sibilance across the Beatles mono LPs. Mono switch solves it. But I no longer have one on my main system. I have considered buying a stand-alone mono switch but wonder about effect on fidelity, particularly if I further upgrade my interconnects.

    I have considered asking Manley to install a mono switch on my Chinook.

    Edit: “solves” is probably a little strong but it greatly helps it in the presentation and solves the smearing effect.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2021
    DK Pete likes this.
  18. DK Pete

    DK Pete Forum Resident

    Location:
    Levittown. NY
    Absolutely yes. Prior to buying the little switch box, I used our host's suggestion of the Y cable hookup. Huge difference with current day pressings of old mono albums.
     
  19. Nanotear

    Nanotear Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I bought a mono cartridge from Japan. It's fantastic for all my mono reissues. Haven't taken the plunge yet to get one that's the right size for vintage mono LPs...
     
  20. Chemguy

    Chemguy Forum Resident

    Just double Y’d the set up.

    The Beatles mono box records still sound pretty much the same. I’ll listen more carefully for sibilance reduction this weekend.

    I thought my Masterpieces by Ellington did sound nice...but it always has. Lou Rawls Alive was quite strong.

    I’ll keep trying it out!
     
    dlokazip likes this.
  21. jupiterboy

    jupiterboy Forum Residue

    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    Adding a mono switch or Y is a great time to very accurately measure to make sure both L and R are the same distance from listening position. I have the newer Beatles mono and I'd confidently say they are super quiet pressings, so there's less for a mono switch to do—less variance in L and R thus less to cancel or reduce in voltage and burry in the mix.
     
  22. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Even the best pressings have audible noise. And summing to mono helps with splatter in the upper frequencies.

    There can in fact be issues if mono tape is played and subsequently cut in stereo, but that should rarely be the case with modern pressings. If anything it would be a bigger issue in the era after fake stereo started to lose favor but before digital mastering.
     
    kt66brooklyn likes this.
  23. kt66brooklyn

    kt66brooklyn Senior Member

    Location:
    brooklyn, ny
    I'm listening to an old Dial lp by Charlie Parker right now. The mono button takes the band out of the rainstorm of the early vinyl pressing and highlights the fact that the original recordings were actually pretty good!
     
    eyeCalypso likes this.
  24. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Guys, you're confusing the **** out of me. If the tone or sound of the music changes when you combine channels, something is wrong. This is simply a surface noise reduction technique. It's not supposed to mess with the sound of the music.

    Put on a record, play only the silent lead in or lead out groove in stereo. Now combine channels, noise drops a lot. That's all it does.
     
  25. Nanotear

    Nanotear Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Here's a simple question: If I'm using a mono cartridge, should I also set my receiver to Mono or is that already covered by the cartridge itself? (I have a vintage Marantz). Thanks!
     

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