Mono

Hi-Fi discussion
User avatar
flatpopely
Site Admin
Posts: 1306
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:28 am
Location: York, England
Contact:

Re: Mono

Post by flatpopely »

I've got a Beach Boys 'Pet Sounds' 180gm mono reissue, sound great to me.
Flat Earth rocks with PJC!

LP12/Ittok LVII (c/w Ivor T pixie dust) Tranquility/RubiKon/ASAKA/RadiKal
Topping D10 - Soundblaster X-Fi HD
SONY CDP 338ESD
Nakamichi 580 (RP53 Head)
SONY TC-K444esII
JVC AX-Z1010TN
Linn SARA (YNWAN bespoke build)
reffc
Posts: 1017
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:40 pm

Re: Mono

Post by reffc »

Mono LPs can be played on stereo playback kit but won't sound at their best. For best results and to hear how magic some pressings can be they do indeed need a dedicated mono cartridge and for best results also benefit from a dedicated mono phono preamp. The mono carts tend to be quite heavy so need a heavier arm than the usual 12 to 15g effective mass. Ortofon produce some great arms and carts for mono but they're not exactly inexpensive!

Tom ("montesquieu" on the forums) has a wonderful mono set up and I have heard great results from his dedicated set up.
User avatar
VTA
Posts: 1006
Joined: Fri May 15, 2020 4:35 am

Re: Mono

Post by VTA »

I am all for any excuse for another turntable just for Mono records, hell I would like to build a scaled down table with small platter and shorter arm just to play 45 singles as I think it would be cute!

Would a mono cartridge and a mono button on the pre-amp (or a set of cables to convert to mono) get you 90% of the way there?
LP12/VP Revolution/Prefix/Hicap/Supernait/Kudos X2, ProAc 1sc’s
Troika, Karma, Klyde, Asaka, Asak, OC9ML/II, 33PTG/II, DL103R
Javelin, LV/II, PU3, 774, RB600, RB300 Modified Excalibur
Roon, NUC, Aries Mini w/Teddy Pardo PSU, DC1, NDac w/Teddy Pardo XPS
wd40addict
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2021 3:31 pm

Re: Mono

Post by wd40addict »

DL-102 for LPs and AT-MONO3/SP for 78s here. Definitely worth it!

Most surprising moment was when a friend and I both heard a depth image from a particular 78!

Note a lot of 'mono' cartridges are actually stereo with internal strapping. The 102 is the real deal, not so sure about the AT.
reffc
Posts: 1017
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:40 pm

Re: Mono

Post by reffc »

VTA wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 4:34 pm I am all for any excuse for another turntable just for Mono records, hell I would like to build a scaled down table with small platter and shorter arm just to play 45 singles as I think it would be cute!

Would a mono cartridge and a mono button on the pre-amp (or a set of cables to convert to mono) get you 90% of the way there?
Unfortunately not as simple as that as the mono signal split between left and right channels can't be replicated accurately by summing to mono a stereo gainstage and playing using a stereo cartridge. You'll get a summed mono signal, but devoid of the proper soundstage effects and detail that you can only get using proper mono cart and discrete mono signals for left/right. A mono phono preamp allows you do do this and feeds the channels to the stereo preamp/integrated inputs which then correctly replay the signal without any channel mono summing needed. That's as explained to me by someone who builds them.
User avatar
hifiaf
Posts: 2695
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2020 12:49 am
Contact:

Re: Mono

Post by hifiaf »

wd40addict wrote: Thu Apr 08, 2021 5:42 pm DL-102 for LPs and AT-MONO3/SP for 78s here. Definitely worth it!
The DL-102 sounds like a great choice — true mono, MC, reasonably priced.

Would it match up well with any of the “spare” arms I have around at the moment — Ittok, RB300, Roksan Nima?

I was thinking I could use Naim boards or my Dynavector P75 as a phono preamp. But a mono phono preamp really makes a difference, does it?
Adam
reffc
Posts: 1017
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:40 pm

Re: Mono

Post by reffc »

Part of the reasoning for a mono phonostage Adam is to do with the required RIAA for some of these old mono recordings, especially the 78's and the early 33/1/3 mono pressings. It's not the same equalisation as for later stereo LPs as different standards were used. Graham slee does produce one with various RIAA curves for this reason.

For those wanting to push the boat out further, Graham Tricker (TRON) also custom builds mono phonostages with variable loadings to your choice. You can also pick up used ones but they hold their value as mono set-ups are oddly making something of a comeback due to the popularity especially of decent quality late mono pressings and some 78's where for example, you may only find those recordings in mono. I have a few including a 1920's Django Rheinhardt LP (fabulous!) and a rare and superb Earl Hines recording. With only a few of these LPs I can't justify a mono set up so just use my stereo pick ups but they're noisier in use than a proper mono set up for these pressings.

The reason for a mono cart rather than a stereo cart is that mono has only modulation in the lateral plane (horizontal) and doesn't use the 45/45 of stereo carts.

As such, mono carts only pick up lateral modulation and anything in the vertical is reproduced as distortion or noise, hence using a stereo cart will result in more noticeable surface noise than using a mono cart.

The combined effect of using a mono cart and phonostage with the corrected curves is more accurate playback with lower noise = more detail. They sound MUCH better played back in a true mono set up with less noise and really good sound. A misnomer is that mono doesn;t do depth of field but it does, depending on how good the recording mic set up and acoustics were.

The Denon 102 is an excellent choice at a reasonable price as unlike some mono carts which have no vertical compliance at all, it won't ruin your stereo records which you can still replay in mono through a mono set up (using later standardised RIAA). The 102 has enough vertical compliance to allow for this.
Last edited by reffc on Thu Apr 08, 2021 7:28 pm, edited 2 times in total.
wd40addict
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2021 3:31 pm

Re: Mono

Post by wd40addict »

The DL-102 is a very heavy cartridge by modern standards (13 grams). I use it in a Rega R200, but have to screw additional weight into the thread in the back of the arm.

You would need to read up the arms you have to see if they're capable of balancing it.
reffc
Posts: 1017
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2018 8:40 pm

Re: Mono

Post by reffc »

Yep...you need to be thinking of and arm mass of 20gr plus for a mono cart really. You can also use a unipivot with viscous damping as they seem to work well too. The ones I see used most commonly are Ortofon Classic arms fitted with their SPU mono carts. I would personally echo the suggestion above of a DL102 though for far less money!
User avatar
VTA
Posts: 1006
Joined: Fri May 15, 2020 4:35 am

Re: Mono

Post by VTA »

Does a MONO cartridge still output to two (left and Right) cables?
LP12/VP Revolution/Prefix/Hicap/Supernait/Kudos X2, ProAc 1sc’s
Troika, Karma, Klyde, Asaka, Asak, OC9ML/II, 33PTG/II, DL103R
Javelin, LV/II, PU3, 774, RB600, RB300 Modified Excalibur
Roon, NUC, Aries Mini w/Teddy Pardo PSU, DC1, NDac w/Teddy Pardo XPS
Post Reply