Mono Playback

analog music reproduction discussion

Mono Playback

Postby SDS-PAGE » Wed May 07, 2008 1:01 am

This might sound a little wierd, but I am thinking about building a dedicated monoral system. I was initially looking at just utilizing mono switch on my ST-70 to do that, but I hear that there is a wealth of musical information imbedded in the microgrooves of mono LPs. One added advantage would be the lack soundstage to worry about with mono setup.

Anway, what I need to know are brands of monoral record players are out there with a true mono cartridge - single magnet or coil? I see there is Rek O Kut. Anything else? Thanks!
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Postby DerekVa » Tue May 20, 2008 4:21 pm

I'd take a look at the Denon DL-102 cartridge. It is (essentially) a mono version of the DL-103. It has horizontal coils (e.g. no vertical motion) so it is a true mono cartridge (like the Lyra Helikon) and should be very low-noise as a result. Keep in mind that it is an MC cartridge and does require a step-up (transformer or otherwise).

I'm planning on putting one on my NA Interspace at some point in time since I've come into quite a lot of (free) mono classical, opera & jazz recordings over the last few years (with a bunch more on the way).

-D
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Re: Mono Playback

Postby nigelwright7557 » Sat Jun 27, 2009 4:05 pm

SDS-PAGE wrote:This might sound a little wierd, but I am thinking about building a dedicated monoral system. I was initially looking at just utilizing mono switch on my ST-70 to do that, but I hear that there is a wealth of musical information imbedded in the microgrooves of mono LPs. One added advantage would be the lack soundstage to worry about with mono setup.

Anway, what I need to know are brands of monoral record players are out there with a true mono cartridge - single magnet or coil? I see there is Rek O Kut. Anything else? Thanks!


You could simply add the two channels together to get combined mono.
A couple of resistors would do this job fine.
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Postby erichayes » Sat Jun 27, 2009 9:15 pm

Poke around for a GE VR-II or RPX (if you're considering 78 playback as well). The VR-IIs were quite popular in the '50s and '60s, and can be found in Webster-Chicago (Webcor), Garrard, Collaro and other changers of that era.

The RPX requires tone arm modification, as it has a push-to-turn stylus selector button on the top to switch between the 33/45 and 78 styli.

There's a little controversy regarding what stylus diameter to use with mono LPs. Old farts like me remember when stereo records first came out that the manufacturers recommended a separate stereo cartridge dedicated to playing stereo records, and another cartridge (such as the VR-II or RPX) for playing mono records. Playing earlier stereo records with a 1 mil stylus was instant death to the record, but playing a mono LP with a .7 mil stereo stylus caused the stylus to "bottom out" in the groove, creating noise and premature stylus wear. Newer members of the Monaural Aficionados tend to pooh pooh the latter, but my ears don't lie to me (my brain does, but that's another story . . .).

Bear in mind, also, that rumble doesn't factor into the monaural equation, since there is no vertical moment involved. If you should find one of the aforementioned changer/turntables in good shape, buy it and resurrect it. "They don't make 'em like they used to".
Last edited by erichayes on Sat Jun 27, 2009 10:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby erichayes » Sat Jun 27, 2009 9:23 pm

Oops-- forgot to mention that some jukebox manufacturers used VR-IIs, and that replacement styli are available. Just search for GE VR-II for links.
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