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Forced Mono is better than 'stereo' in some cases

Discussion in 'General Audio Discussion' started by Frank Sol, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. 313guy

    313guy extra ordinary member Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Auburn Hills, MI
    Could part of the reason for the extreme stereo effect stereo be due to the fact that the gear of the day didn't have the separation to which we have become accustomed? It may have sounded much different (better?) on that old Philco "Hi Fi' set with its ceramic cartridge and sapphire needle.:scratch2:

    btw, +1 on the theory dewdude. doubt anyone will like mine as much.:no:
     

     

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  2. AnalogDigit

    AnalogDigit Realistic fan.

    Messages:
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    I perfer mono recording of even stereo releases of songs. I have a 45 of Rolling Stones Brown Sugar and Bitch that is in mono. I find I like that 45 more than the stereo release. The fake stereo that is on the early Beatles recordings are annoying. I prefer the mono versions.
     
  3. michaelhigh

    michaelhigh mind's eye music

    Messages:
    6,122
    Location:
    Lenzburg, IL
    UK With The Beatles (US Meet The Beatles with the classic black and white photos) MUST be heard in mono. The unjudicious spread of one vocal on one side and everything else on the other is absolutely absurd. Useless, and if the music weren't so iconic (truly; this album changed my life when it first came out) and historically significant I'd eschew the recording altogether:thumbsdn:.
     
  4. beatcomber

    beatcomber AK Member

    Messages:
    17,905
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    I'm pretty sure that your 45 is the stereo mix folded to mono. Not too many dedicated mono mixes were done in 1971.
     
  5. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

    Messages:
    25,787
    Location:
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    The Crown panoramic Stereo separation adjustment on the IC 150 preamp was well thought out. I wish other pre amplifiers had that feature.
     
  6. jazzmans

    jazzmans Super Member

    Messages:
    2,271
    Location:
    devils playground, NV
    Rubber soul is the same way, I found this out when sharing earphones with someone, either I couldn't hear the vocals on Yellow Submarine, or I couldn't hear the drums, depending on which earphone I had.

    My apt has a great knob that switches gradually between L+R to L-R depending on which way I turn it. It's very useful for some of the weirder early stereo mixes, and some of the really weird early dead recordings. (read the liner notes of two from the vault for interesting details)

    To be honest, for everything except sitting in the sweet spot (99% of my listening is far, far away from the sweet spot) a mono signal into a single speaker would work better and be a lot less clutter. I contemplated doing this very thing before I found that 12 way speaker switcher, (make everything mono and then use L for one room and R for another room)

    It is cool in my backyard, however, I have three sets of speakers and they are set up one pair in the furthest U of the south, then R in the furthest south corner, L in nearly the middle, R of the second pair in the furthest north corner and L around the corner (my yard is a big U shape) so I can sit nearly anywhere and still get a stereo image, only it's a flipped stereo image if I'm between the L of one speaker set and R of the other.
     
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  7. bobins08

    bobins08 Loving the dream Subscriber

    Messages:
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    I would prefer to say forced mono is usually better than fake stereo.
     
  8. bobins08

    bobins08 Loving the dream Subscriber

    Messages:
    6,068
    Location:
    St. Louis, MO
    Most early Beach Boys was mastered in mono, some of it later remixed to duophonic, which is a horrible fake stereo.

    Blame Capitol Records for this, not Brian Wilson.
     
  9. musichal

    musichal poet emeritus Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Norman OK
    Many of Bruno Walter's recordings are in mono and sound better with the mono control activated, especially his Mozart.
     
  10. oblomov

    oblomov Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    625
    Location:
    Alexandria, Virginia
    I have also eyed with some jealousy those old sixties amps with the "blend" control.

    My, a variable control taking you from full-on stereo to mono. What a brilliant idea:)

    The most egregious offender that I have found is Sonny Rollins' Way Out West. Sax HARD panned to left, bass/drums the same to right. For the entire album! I always find it difficult to get through.
     
  11. tom3

    tom3 Super Member

    Messages:
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    I'd mention one good example of this. Ventures - Walk Don't Run. Bought the original 60s album in mono with yard mowing money, played it to death. Got the new heavy disc stereo version and the original dynamics are gone, just doesn't sound right. Good stereo and smoother sound I guess, but, well, it sucks. That was a good solid rock guitar album, in mono.
     

     

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  12. tcdriver

    tcdriver AK Subscriber Subscriber

    Messages:
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    Some preamplifiers of the early stereo era were very versatile. An excellent example is the Harman Kardon Citation IV. Notice the MODE switch functions and the BLEND control; the best of all worlds.

    Citation IV - Mode & Blend.JPG Citation IV - Blend.JPG
     
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