Using a double Y Cord for mono recordings

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by sberger, Jan 5, 2005.

  1. Tony Plachy

    Tony Plachy Senior Member

    Location:
    Pleasantville, NY
    My apologize, however, I think the proper expression is "let dead dogs lie" although I have heard die instead of lie on occasion. Random noise is random noise whether it comes from groove walls or transistors or tubes in a phono stage.
     
  2. Tony Plachy

    Tony Plachy Senior Member

    Location:
    Pleasantville, NY
    Jeff, Take a look at my profile. You can decide if my system is resolving enough. So I must have low resolution ears! You heard a difference between those cables not because of a voltage drop due to the cables high resistance, but because they have different amounts of capacitance and inductance due the materials used and the design of each which causes slight changes in the waveform as it goes through the cables. You might hear a slight difference when you add the double Y due to the slight change in capacitance and inductance that the double Y adds, but you should still be able to hear ( and hopefully appreciate ) the reducti0on in noise when you use the double Y.
     
    luckyno13 likes this.
  3. qwerty

    qwerty A resident of the SH_Forums.

    Some comments on the change in sound.

    If the adapter is put between the TT and phono, the capacitance will increase, and that will change the sound on some systems. This will not be an issue if placed between the phono stage and the amp.

    I recall one post (on one of the several long threads on this topic on this site) where one person used a cheap+nasty double-y and enjoyed the benefits, then upgraded the double-y (to Monster brand if my memory serves me correctly), and commented on improved sound quality. It stayed in my memory because I wouldn't have thought Monster would have been a notable improvement. AudioQuest have the adapter in their range ("splitters"), which might be better quality.

    Also, I note that it's possible to by the splitters as a small metal device, which would have a signal path of a few mm rather than a few cm. This might be an advantage, but would depend on the quality of the metal in it's construction, given the price of them I would expect it to be utilitarian rather than audiophile. I haven't experimented with this to comment on it's audio characteristics.

    Of course, and perceived change in sound would be dependent on your overall hardware and the ability of the listener to be able to discern these differences. It may be an issue for some listeners/systems, and not for others.
     
    33na3rd likes this.
  4. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    Location:
    City of Angels
    I never said that I shouldn't, couldn't, or didn't hear the reduction in noise using a Y cable ON A MONO LP. Again, it sounds like you are agreeing there, yet you post it as an argument. How weird.
     
  5. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    Location:
    City of Angels
    NO, I believe that Steve Hoffman explained that the ticks and clicks when they go out of phase with each other on a mono record, will cause them to cancel out when summed. It is not just the random noises that just magically disappear (like in an amp). It's the phase cancelation effect.

    The proper known expression btw is "Let Sleeping Dogs Lie".
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2021
  6. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    Location:
    City of Angels
    Yes, people are hearing a lot of different sounds from different cables. We went through this, and no proof could be established. NO MEASUREMENTS COULD BE RECORDED. I remember that Vidiot (form member with professional credits) stepped in, and said if a cable beyond a good fine quality one results in much better sound, one should ditch that one right away because it is coloring the sound. Fine cables and connectors should do their job. They do not all sound different, and you are hearing things that are NOT there.

    You are wrong and should not be hearing different flavors of sound with different price points. It's all been gone over in these forums, and no measurements or sound samples have EVER been presented defending this false premise.

    I think you should put up the proof with some graphs or sound recorded samples, or as they say "shut up."
     
  7. qwerty

    qwerty A resident of the SH_Forums.

    Compare a cheap+nasty cable with a high-end cable on an audiophile system, and there will be a difference in sound. Differences may be subtle to non-existent once over a particular point in the quality continuum, but it is much easier to notice a difference in a quality system with the two extremes, establishing that cables can sound different. However, using current technology, I accept that with current technology and ways to measure cable electrical properties we can't measure the difference why there is a difference (except for the case of capacitance in a phono cable). That's not to say that there is not a difference. And it's not to say that the difference is due to high-end cables adding to the sound or if it is due to the cheap cables detracting from the sound.

    We also need to take into account human differences. When I would spend time in a friend's audio shop many years ago, his method of selling a system was to start with a basic system, then slowly change components until a point was made when the customer couldn't detect an improvement in the sound quality. That was the point where he would recommend the system for purchase, as the customer wouldn't be able to detect any benefit from a more costly system. I found it fascinating to observe the different points of perception, how many customers had a much lower threshold for discerning difference to me. I was gratified to learn that my threshold level was close to that of the owner and senior salesmen, who's threashold (appropriately) was a few rungs higher. The point of this is that some people can detect differences in cable, and other people have difficulty perceiving the difference. Ultimately, it's about us having the system that best suits our needs. If you can't hear cable differences (or don't believe that they exist), you are fortunate as you will be saving lots of money! But please accept that others may perceive a difference, or at least allow them this harmless belief if it is false.
     
  8. qwerty

    qwerty A resident of the SH_Forums.

    Audioquest have these on their website, called "splitters". I would assume they are better quality than Radio Shack, but from memory I don't think they specify which cable in their range is used for the splitters.
    It would be very easy to create a high-quality version yourself if you are good at soldering. Get four quality RCA sockets. Bend the -ve lugs away from the switch, and position two sockets the two positive terminals can touch. Silver solder them together. Do the same with the other pair of sockets. Then rotate/move the four -ve lugs so they all touch, and sliver-solder them together. Get a very short piece of quality audio interconnect, and solder between the two +ve terminals. Wrap in insulation tape. You have a double-y, with only the sockets and a few mm of cable in the signal path, plus your extra interconnect cable.
     
  9. harby

    harby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    KAB has a $229 mono box with a remote switch. I thought I'd show you how to make your own without preposterous markup.

    [​IMG]

    Push the momentary toggle switch in the "mono" or "stereo" direction to choose. A momentary toggle switch springs back to center. Battery power is only used to switch positions.

    This uses a $5 retail Panasonic latching signal relay. It stays in the selected position even after power is disconnected.

    [​IMG]

    If you pulse 1.5 volts (AAA battery) through the 1-6 terminals, the relay connects terminals 4-5 and 8-9. If you pulse 1.5 volts through the 7-12 terminals, those terminals are disconnected.

    Here I use both positions of the relay to "mono" both signal and ground, so with RCA jacks with case-isolated ground, a balanced phono connection is maintained. A metal enclosure can then be chassis-grounded to the phono ground terminal for shielding. If switching a LOMC, it is best to first turn off the phono preamp to avoid thumps from the relay coils.

    The relay has circuit board pins, and you could layout all on a circuit board. Instead, you could just glue the relay "dead bug" style inside a metal box with the pins facing up, and wire point-to-point. Twist ground and signal wires together from RCA jack to relay for interference rejection.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2021
    mikeyt likes this.
  10. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ Hearing In Stereo Since 1959

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    There is no question that I hear differences between conductor materials and designs (i.e., metals used, ribbon vs. not, different types of shielding, etc.).

    So if differences don't necessarily show up in measurements, that doesn't mean that the differences don't exist. It means that the means for measuring them may not exist yet, or you're not using the right tools.

    And some people and systems are going to be more sensitive to picking up these differences. If your ears or system is not showing off differences between equipment, then that may say something about your equipment or you. You're not going to use your bathroom scale to measure a half-ounce of powder. It's not sensitive enough, right?

    Professional reviewers' systems are designed to be neutral and very revealing, so they can hear minute (or large-scale) differences for when a piece of equipment is swapped in for review.

    When it comes to cables or any piece of equipment, I listen for the differences wrought when it's swapped into my system. If there are differences, there are differences.
     
  11. JohnO

    JohnO Senior Member

    Location:
    Washington, DC
  12. AnalogJ

    AnalogJ Hearing In Stereo Since 1959

    Location:
    Salem, MA
    Thanks. But that's the level of y-cable I already put together, and I lose too much resolution with it compared to straight through.
     
  13. CNelson

    CNelson Forum Resident

    What happens if you take a single rca output of the turntable (either the left or the right) and send it to a 1-female-to-2-male output and from there into the phono stage ?
     
  14. qwerty

    qwerty A resident of the SH_Forums.

    Then you will be listening to either the left or the right channel from both stereo speakers in monaural sound.
    However, there are two considerations from this:
    1. Summing the l+r channels when listening to a mono record is not just about producing a mono sound. The summing addresses limitations in the stereo cartridge design (that allow compatibility to play mono records). The summed channels will not only give a mono sound (with noise being centralised and not stereo), but it will also reduce the noisefloor by several db, and give more life to the mono record.

    2. Any change to the wiring is best done after the phono stage. Introducing y-cables, etc. prior to that will add capacitance to the signal chain. These mod's are best done after the phono stage, when the signals have been boosted from the weak signal from the cart to a health line level.
     
    The FRiNgE and 33na3rd like this.
  15. harby

    harby Forum Resident

    Location:
    Portland, OR, USA
    Not good. You are applying two phono loads to a single phono cartridge coil. 47kOhm becomes 24kOhm; 220pF capacitance becomes 440pF capacitance. Bad sound.

    Also not good. You are only listening to the left channel alone, which, with its 45 degree tilt, transcribes both up-and-down and left-to-right movement.

    Mono records only move the groove laterally..

    [​IMG]

    L + R summing cancels out the vertical signal (within the tolerance of your cartridge channel balance and alignment). At bottom of this picture I previously compiled is a true mono cartridge - don't y-cable it to two phono inputs either..
     
    qwerty and The FRiNgE like this.
  16. levimax

    levimax Forum Resident

    Location:
    California
    +1 I tried this trick with 2 cheap Y-adapters before the phono pre-amp and it didn't sound right. I have a capacitance meter and measured the Y connectors... 400 pF each for a total of 800 pF added, this is HUGE and will throw off FR for almost any set up. As stated above put the Y connectors after the phono stage where capacitance will not affect FR.
     
    qwerty likes this.
  17. Davey

    Davey NP: Carmen Villain ~ Sketch for Winter IX: Perlita

    Location:
    SF Bay Area, USA
    The trouble is that some phono preamps don't work well with the outputs shorted together, it can increase distortion, sometimes dramatically, depends on the output circuit and value of protection resistors, how much negative feedback it uses, etc. So in those cases, I think a better solution is RCA T-adaptors on the phono input, and a very short cable to connect the inputs together when you are listening in mono, like shown below on my MS Phonomena II+. The connectors add about 10pF capacitance (which would always be present), and the cable maybe another 10-20pF (only when listening to mono records), depending on length and dielectric material ... the connectors also provide for the use of load plugs to change the input impedance ...


    [​IMG]
     
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  18. The FRiNgE

    The FRiNgE Forum Resident

    Excellent advice on not Y cabling a mono cartridge to stereo inputs.. it should be connected to ONE channel on a phono pre, then Y cable for two channel operation, post- phono-pre.. Yes!
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2022

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