Stereo to mono

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#16 Re: Stereo to mono

Post by rowuk »

I do not know about stereo to mono, but there are quite a few magnificent mono recordings out there. I am listening to Strauss "Death and Transfiguration" played by the Concertgebouw Orchestra under Mengelberg during the second world war. It sounds like they know that the Nazis are coming - they are playing with such abandon. Mono can even sound multi dimensional.
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#17 Re: Stereo to mono

Post by steve s »

It was thought by many in the late 50s that stereo was inferior quality to a proper mono, quality system
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#18 Re: Stereo to mono

Post by karatestu »

I don't have much experience of mono recordings so can't comment on that. The only recordings I have are some old jazz stuff including blue note. It sounds good through two speakers.

Some stereo recordings sounded better than others when summed to mono. Led zep 2 was one that sounded awful.

I had a look at the air sound that was linked to above. Looks like some kind of new devilry to me but then I am just an old fashioned farmer.
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#19 Re: Stereo to mono

Post by Cressy Snr »

Now then!
I’ve been having a little play with mono in my system.
I have a Mo-Fi Studiophono with a mono switch so it was an easy task to throw said mono switch, then just feed the right hand output into the amplifier, then place the right hand speaker across the corner.
Looking back through this thread, Stu wasn’t that impressed, but true mono recordings, played through one speaker in the corner sounds superb in my room. Just shows how different things can turn out over varying systems.

I have some original old Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong mono LPs (charity shop finds from Malton around 10 years ago (ten ton pickup damage all present and correct :roll: ) and a few 1950s Decca Ace Of Clubs LPs with the eccentric run-out groove and all of these are wonderful over the single speaker setup.
It sounds like a hi-fi version of my parent’s KB valve radiogram when I was a kid: so nostalgic that it actually brought a lump to the old throat.

The great thing about single speaker mono is that all the questions of imaging, and soundstaging go out the window and all one is left with is the music itself. Listening becomes uncritical and of course, where you sit is a complete non-issue.

The fly in the ointment is of course that air and space is completely absent when stereo records are summed to mono.
DSOTM was let’s say ‘interesting’ The pan-potted effects on ‘On the run’ for example were all there in the single speaker, with no level changes as they would have moved across the stereo stage. “Live for today, gone tomorrow, that’s me’ was reproduced perfectly, again with no ‘mono compatible’ changes in level that I could hear, but the huge soundstage was not there, which of course it wouldn’t be. :lol: For example, the stereo Fender Rhodes type double track effect on Gilmour’s guitar on ‘Time’ caused his instrument to partially cancel itself out, when summed to mono, and it became pushed way back in the mix. Also, Nick Mason’s cymbal work got reduced in level, relative to the other parts of his kit. I can see a real need for a super tweeter with my Fanes now.
Nevertheless as the LP progressed, I became less and less concerned with the lack of space and focussed more on the music being presented. Indeed Roger Water’s bass playing sounded clearer than I’ve ever heard it, so it’s swings and roundabouts.

I like mono on one speaker, and will certainly be exploring it further.
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