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Stereo or Mono?
Dude111
post Aug 29 2012, 20:53
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Im curious what you guys prefer??

I have always preferred Mono because everything is combined together and to me sounds the best..

I didnt see any threads discussing it so i thought i'd start one and see where it goes smile.gif

This post has been edited by Dude111: Aug 29 2012, 20:56
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derty2
post Aug 30 2012, 09:27
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I am not a recording engineer, but I have always assumed that Mono was the only professional recording methodology used in studios all the way until the late 1960s.
Given my taste for authenticity, I expect to only see a Mono recording of things made before 1970 (or so).

However, I recently got a bit confused over this issue. . .
The other day I walked into a record store and casually browsed the Vinyl releases. I saw an audiophile 180g reissue of the album "Kind Of Blue" by Miles Davis (recorded in 1959).
I picked it up, inspected it, and noticed that it was labeled as Stereo !!! I asked the shop assistant how an album from 1959 can be released as Stereo ...and he did not have an informative answer to give me.

If any of you guys reading here have deep knowledge of recording history, technology and distribution, can you shed some light on all of this. Thanks.

I wish record companies and distributors always gave complete notes on the provenance of their releases, rather like the "changelog" you get with a long-standing and respected piece of software (such as foobar2000). Without such info, purchasing music seems like playing an obfuscated game of roulette.
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Porcus
post Aug 30 2012, 10:34
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QUOTE (derty2 @ Aug 30 2012, 10:27) *
The other day I walked into a record store and casually browsed the Vinyl releases. I saw an audiophile 180g reissue of the album "Kind Of Blue" by Miles Davis (recorded in 1959).
I picked it up, inspected it, and noticed that it was labeled as Stereo !!! I asked the shop assistant how an album from 1959 can be released as Stereo ...and he did not have an informative answer to give me.


Stereo pressings hit the consumer market in 1958 (edit: Nessuno: was the 1956 recording released in 1956? Anyway, stereo pressings were available to consumers before KoB), and Kind of Blue was released in stereo (and mono).

BTW, once you had LPs marked “Stereo (also playable on mono)”, the reason being that a mono pickup had a fatter stylus which wouldn't fit every stereo LP. It could very well be that some pressings later were marked “Stereo” because they were pressed for a stereo stylus (i.e., “Stereo” meant “Don't play this with a mono pickup”, not that there was actual stereo content) -- examples, anyone?

This post has been edited by Porcus: Aug 30 2012, 10:40


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pdq
post Aug 30 2012, 14:57
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QUOTE (Porcus @ Aug 30 2012, 05:34) *
BTW, once you had LPs marked “Stereo (also playable on mono)”, the reason being that a mono pickup had a fatter stylus which wouldn't fit every stereo LP. It could very well be that some pressings later were marked “Stereo” because they were pressed for a stereo stylus (i.e., “Stereo” meant “Don't play this with a mono pickup”, not that there was actual stereo content) -- examples, anyone?

I actually lived through the period of having to look specifically for the stereo or mono version of a record to match your hardware. My recollection was that you should not play a stereo record on some mono players because unlike a mono record, in which needle movement is strictly horizontal, a stereo record involves vertical movement as well, and some mono cartridges would damage the groove because they were not designed to move vertically.
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Aug 30 2012, 15:26
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QUOTE (pdq @ Aug 30 2012, 09:57) *
QUOTE (Porcus @ Aug 30 2012, 05:34) *
BTW, once you had LPs marked “Stereo (also playable on mono)”, the reason being that a mono pickup had a fatter stylus which wouldn't fit every stereo LP. It could very well be that some pressings later were marked “Stereo” because they were pressed for a stereo stylus (i.e., “Stereo” meant “Don't play this with a mono pickup”, not that there was actual stereo content) -- examples, anyone?

I actually lived through the period of having to look specifically for the stereo or mono version of a record to match your hardware. My recollection was that you should not play a stereo record on some mono players because unlike a mono record, in which needle movement is strictly horizontal, a stereo record involves vertical movement as well, and some mono cartridges would damage the groove because they were not designed to move vertically.


All true. The good news is that playing mono records with stereo cartridges produced no such excess wear. If you tied the channels together somewhere down the chain, any false vertical signals were cancelled out.

Stereo/mono switches were ubiquitous in those days for this reason, and also because stereo FM could be noisier than the same signal in mono.
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dc2bluelight
post Aug 30 2012, 18:42
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QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Aug 30 2012, 09:26) *
Stereo/mono switches were ubiquitous in those days for this reason, and also because stereo FM could be noisier than the same signal in mono.


FM Stereo requires 20dB more raw receiver "quieting" to equal noise performance in mono. It's a bandwidth thing, the L-R info is centered around a 38KHz suppressed carrier, and in the FM demodulated baseband noise rises with frequency. L+R (mono) is just plain audio modulation, so the noise issue is far less. The mono switch is still around today, but it's now called "blend", and is often an active, dynamic, non-user-adjustable reduction in stereo separation based on demodulated baseband noise, or dumber, signal strength. Full blend usually offers at least some mid-band stereo, but not much. This is one area where HD radio wins, it maintains full separation right up until the point where it stops working at all.

I mixed some live music to mono for an AM station to broadcast live a few years back. I found the mono mix to be actually more challenging than the stereo mix, giving me respect for those early recording engineers doing mono. And they often did it all with one mic, and no mixing!
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Posts in this topic
- Dude111   Stereo or Mono?   Aug 29 2012, 20:53
- - jayess   QUOTE (Dude111 @ Aug 29 2012, 14:53) Im c...   Aug 29 2012, 21:21
|- - Ron Jones   QUOTE (jayess @ Aug 29 2012, 13:21) I pre...   Aug 30 2012, 21:37
- - LithosZA   Stereo, because Binaural recordings require it and...   Aug 29 2012, 21:28
|- - Glenn Gundlach   QUOTE (LithosZA @ Aug 29 2012, 12:28) Ste...   Aug 31 2012, 08:38
|- - dc2bluelight   QUOTE (Glenn Gundlach @ Aug 31 2012, 02:3...   Aug 31 2012, 15:59
- - dc2bluelight   There are lots of reasons some people prefer mono....   Aug 30 2012, 05:15
- - greynol   When played through a pair of stereo speakers, is ...   Aug 30 2012, 05:24
- - dc2bluelight   Just one more comment...I recently heard a mono re...   Aug 30 2012, 05:28
|- - Nessuno   Recalling past threads here at HA, a fact is that,...   Aug 30 2012, 08:52
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (dc2bluelight @ Aug 30 2012, 05:28)...   Aug 31 2012, 11:37
|- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (2Bdecided @ Aug 31 2012, 06:37) QU...   Aug 31 2012, 11:43
|- - 2Bdecided   QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Aug 31 2012, 11...   Aug 31 2012, 17:13
- - derty2   I am not a recording engineer, but I have always a...   Aug 30 2012, 09:27
|- - Nessuno   QUOTE (derty2 @ Aug 30 2012, 10:27) I am ...   Aug 30 2012, 10:32
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (derty2 @ Aug 30 2012, 10:27) The o...   Aug 30 2012, 10:34
|- - Porcus   No, the Walcha recording was not released in stere...   Aug 30 2012, 10:46
||- - Nessuno   QUOTE (Porcus @ Aug 30 2012, 11:46) QUOTE...   Aug 30 2012, 10:58
||- - Porcus   QUOTE (Nessuno @ Aug 30 2012, 11:58) QUOT...   Aug 30 2012, 19:31
|- - pdq   QUOTE (Porcus @ Aug 30 2012, 05:34) BTW, ...   Aug 30 2012, 14:57
|- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (pdq @ Aug 30 2012, 09:57) QUOTE (P...   Aug 30 2012, 15:26
|- - dc2bluelight   QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Aug 30 2012, 09...   Aug 30 2012, 18:42
||- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (dc2bluelight @ Aug 30 2012, 13:42)...   Aug 30 2012, 19:14
||- - pdq   QUOTE (dc2bluelight @ Aug 30 2012, 13:42)...   Aug 30 2012, 21:25
||- - dc2bluelight   QUOTE (pdq @ Aug 30 2012, 15:25) QUOTE (d...   Aug 31 2012, 06:47
||- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (dc2bluelight @ Aug 31 2012, 01:47)...   Aug 31 2012, 11:39
||- - pdq   QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Aug 31 2012, 06...   Aug 31 2012, 14:20
||- - dc2bluelight   QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Aug 31 2012, 05...   Aug 31 2012, 16:29
||- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (dc2bluelight @ Aug 31 2012, 11:29)...   Aug 31 2012, 20:03
|- - Porcus   QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Aug 30 2012, 16...   Aug 30 2012, 19:26
- - hlloyge   I have read somewhere that some instruments on alb...   Aug 30 2012, 10:05
- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (Dude111 @ Aug 29 2012, 15:53) Im c...   Aug 30 2012, 12:51
- - lvqcl   QUOTE (Dude111 @ Aug 29 2012, 23:53) Im c...   Aug 30 2012, 19:51
- - dc2bluelight   In the US, FM Stereo Multiplex was approved by the...   Aug 31 2012, 17:29
- - pdq   But isn't PLL just one technique for pilot fre...   Aug 31 2012, 18:05
|- - dc2bluelight   QUOTE (pdq @ Aug 31 2012, 12:05) But isn...   Aug 31 2012, 19:18
- - george84   Hi, It uses an advance rectifying process that...   Nov 17 2012, 00:23


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