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. sassi

    sassi Forum Resident

    I just made an experiment with a double Y-cable and my beat-up 1st UK mono Rubber Soul. Wow, now it is very listenable! Thank you so much Steve for this! Been playing vinyl and mono records on a stereo cart for a long time but never figured this out before. :goodie:
  2. keith65

    keith65 Forum Resident

    Agree but for some one-speaker mono can be pretty cool...but with you on this.
  3. Paul K

    Paul K Senior Member

    Toronto, Canada
    I have a question about using the mono switch on my McIntosh MX110.
    I use it and it's the only place that the highs are slightly attenuated as opposed to using the R to L&R and the L to L&R.
    Steve have you found that this happens?

    Keep in mind this is a verrry slight attenuation...nothing rolls off. Just a slight tiny bit less of it.
    Cart is aligned perfectly.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2014
  4. Dr. J.

    Dr. J. Music is in my soul

    Memphis, TN
    Why would anyone want to listen to mono records through one speaker only? It's more than just volume, right? I can't speak for the Beatles in mono, but all my well-produced mono records sound almost like stereo--in the sense that I often get the vocals in the center of the soundstage with the other instruments floating out of the left and right speakers. It's pretty awesome to see people's reaction when they swear music is coming out of my center channel speaker and then put their ear up to it and hear nothing.
  5. matt0505

    matt0505 Forum Resident

    When I look at that picture on the previous page I guess the first thing that comes to mind is how does that Y cable setup really make a difference?

    I're sending 2 cables into 1, and then you're sending that 1 back out of 2. What is really the difference between that and just using one Red/White cable?
  6. MrRom92

    MrRom92 Forum Supermodel

    Long Island, NY
    You're summing the signal which removes out of phase information - which on a mono record, is all noise. It makes a very big difference. Somewhat less on a new or minty mono record, but still a difference as there is still surface rumble and other noise that isn't quite "surface noise" per se but is still inherent to even the best of vinyl records. Think of it as a signal purifier. You can expect more stable imaging and a perfectly centered mono "soundstage" on the best of records. Those in worse condition will have surface noise dramatically reduced, and the remaining noise less noticeable and distracting.

    Also, as for the diagram that was posted previously, I would recommend using it after the phono pre-amp and not before it, if possible on your setup.
    Stone Turntable likes this.
  7. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Los Angeles
    Glad I could help.
  8. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Los Angeles
    Please, people, read the above. Do you understand why now? Important if you're going to play hours of mono vinyl.
    MrRom92 likes this.
  9. Evan

    Evan Senior Member

    That's what I have. I purchased the cables at Radio Shack. Cost me $15 for both. Makes a big difference.
  10. hoggydoggy

    hoggydoggy Forum Resident

    Quicker still is to permanently pop a regular double RCA lead into your phono stage of your amp, and bridge the gap between your TT's cable and the other cable with these (female-male into a female-female),

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    If you then keep one of these handy,

    you can easily switch in and out of mono-stereo and back again, without wrestling around the back of your hifi unit - I keep the join in my cables just tucked alongside my amp, where I can reach them (the only limitation in access for me is the TT earth cable, which isn't very long).

    Anyway, it's a great process - it cost me all of a fiver for the two RCA adapters and my various VG/VG+ mono LPs go up a whole notch in quality, when summed.
  11. ssmith3046

    ssmith3046 Forum Resident

    Arizona desert
    That's a beautiful preamp. I have a C29 preamp that has the same options on the mode selection switch. Sure simplifies playing mono.
  12. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Los Angeles
  13. scotpagel

    scotpagel Forum Resident

    Mesa, Az
    Or do this using the tape monitor input if your preamp has it and so you can switch that input on when listening to mono
  14. nesboy43

    nesboy43 Forum Resident

    New York
    For those wondering how to create the mono loop option:

    I drew up a sketch of what I am going to do for my set up. This is for anyone who has a stereo with a record or tape monitor button/setting. You can use adapter boxes or do Dual Male to Female RCA plugged into a Single Male to Dual Male RCA. Thanks to Easy-E for explaining everything to me.


    What this set up means is that you are telling your stereo to record or tape the Phono input, so the Phono information is being put through "Tape Out". By putting Tape Out through the Y cables and having the result enter through another input and listening to that input, it creates a nice Mono Loop.

    This way you can set your stereo to Phono input for standard stereo needles, but can change to recording/taping mode to play mono, no cable swapping required.
    King!, Maidenpriest, Dan and 3 others like this.
  15. icirider

    icirider Forum Resident

    Athens, GA
    Thanks, I'm going to give this a shot. I run my Pro-Ject turntable right into my Onkyo receiver (no pre-amp except "on board" the receiver if that makes sense). I do have a speed box, but otherwise a pretty basic set up by the board's standards I'm sure. I have some vintage mono stuff and the Dylan box so I'm sure it'll be worthwhile.
  16. Joe Spivey

    Joe Spivey Forum Resident

    Pretty new to this forum and mono records for that matter. I had picked up a RSD mono release of the July s/t album and noticed less than desirable 'surface noise' Didn't think much of it until reading this thread. I was excited to give the Y Cable a shot to see what would happen. Wow, I was totally amazed how it cleaned up the sound! Eliminated all the noise I was hearing before.

    Gotta say thanks to everyone on the forum who mentioned it hear! Also, it's been great reading and learning from everyone on here. Huge asset to someone like me who is new to vinyl.

    The Beatles are one of my favorite bands and it's been great to see everyones reaction and excitement over this all analog mono set. My listening experience with them over the years has been primarily old CDs. Looking forward very much to hearing these new albums - pre order completed today!
    Maidenpriest likes this.
  17. nightenrock

    nightenrock Forum Resident

    Even coming right out of your turntable?
  18. Stone Turntable

    Stone Turntable Independent Head

    New Mexico USA
    What can I say? My cable management sucks.

    Now that I've trumpeted that I'm too lazy/messy to Y-connect for mono, I'm seriously considering it.
  19. matt0505

    matt0505 Forum Resident

    I understand entirely, once something like that starts getting away from you it's really hard to correct it. You have the intention of doing it, you know it would be a really good idea, but then you actually go behind and take a look at it and it's a "Good lord, screw that" moment. It's just such a mess to look at and the thought of what it takes to go back and fix it is just painful.

    Fortunately for my setup the way I have it now while my cable management certainly isn't anything great, my phono preamp and the inputs to my receiver where they go are pretty easily accessible so I wouldn't feel inconvenienced to switch it up for the mono vinyl.
  20. icirider

    icirider Forum Resident

    Athens, GA
    It seems like with this set up it'd be easy for you to do an a/b summed to unsummed comparison, no? Should be interesting. Let us know, please. I'm going to see if my receiver will accept this method as well.
  21. Doug Sulpy

    Doug Sulpy Forum Resident

    We tried that a couple of years ago on a high-end stereo, and the results were spectacular. When placed dead-center, the sound comes out and envelops you and packs a real punch. The same mono signal coming out of two speakers (or four, for that matter) fills a room with sound - but it doesn't do the same thing.
  22. Combination

    Combination Forum Resident

    New Orleans
    You've got to go to a super high end audio store and ask the staff if you can do this with their best speakers. :p
  23. ptijerm

    ptijerm Forum Resident

    Thanks for posting. For visual learners, this makes the "Y adapter" discussion so much clearer.

    But now it's got me wondering...if someone were to implement this cable diagram for their system and leave it in place (rather than swap it out each time they switch from mono to stereo LPs), what impact would it have on the sound of stereo LPs?
    Mike Marshall likes this.
  24. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host Thread Starter

    Los Angeles
    They would be fold-down mono.

    BTW< it's not a Y adapter, it's a DOUBLE Y ADAPTER.
    ptijerm likes this.
  25. ptijerm

    ptijerm Forum Resident


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