Modern mono pressing on "true" mono cart.

Discussion in 'Turntables' started by jonnyglass, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. jonnyglass

    jonnyglass New Member

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    I just upgraded from an Audio Technica AT33Mono to a Miyajima Spirit cartridge. I mostly listen to jazz records and the majority of the collection are pre-mid-60's mono pressings. I though the AT sounded good, the Miyajima is a revelation, it's wonderful to rediscover the collection using it.

    One question I have is regarding playing modern mono pressings using the new cartridge - those that are cut using a stereo cutting head. The cartridge included a warning not to play stereo LP's - the cartridge doesn't have vertical compliance so it will damage the record. I was unsure whether this warning would also apply to mono records which were cut using stereo equipment. I would guess that it's ok, but wanted to see if there was a more informed opinion from the group before doing so.
     
  2. eb2jim

    eb2jim Super Member

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    I would suggest with rare exception, the warning is still on the mark. It's the idea that the signal on the source tape is mono, and labeled as such for the disc to be properly labeled. Because lawyers, as they say. But the pressing is almost always a modern stereo microgroove disc. I do believe the recent Beatles mono discs were cut authentically as a vintage mono cutting head would have done way back. A modern stereo needle/cart set up will glide on through no problem. But a larger mono needle and cart on a stereo cut disc might do the old groove wavy thing that we all used to see when a stereo disc got plowed by an older mono rig.
     
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  3. malden

    malden Super Member

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    My understanding is that "Microgroove" was a term used for early mono cut LP records which are compatible with true mono cartridges with 1 mil stylus tips. As far as I know, there are no "stereo Microgroove discs".
     
  4. eb2jim

    eb2jim Super Member

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    I used the term to call the smaller stereo trough something. It is probably just a stereo groove. Sounds less fun.
     
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  5. 4-2-7

    4-2-7 Smart Ass Sponsor Subscriber

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  6. jonnyglass

    jonnyglass New Member

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    The Miyajima has a .7mil conical stylus but no vertical compliance.
     
  7. malden

    malden Super Member

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    So we know you are safe with early mono pressings that were designed for the fatter 1 mil tip, ( .7 mil tip plays them just fine). But what about mono records that were pressed after the introduction of stereo discs? Can they be played with the Miyajima? I'll page him again... @KentTeffeteller
     
  8. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

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    Yes, .7 mil with proper vertical compliance (many neo modern Mono cartridges are) are just fine doing so. Miyajima is good doing so.
     
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  9. stratokaster

    stratokaster Active Member

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    My understanding is that in all stereo cutting heads, one of the coils is wired out of phase in order to produce only horizontal modulation when the head is being fed mono signal. It means that theoretically you should be okay playing modern mono discs with your Miyajima cartridge.

    I hope somebody more knowledgeable will correct me if I’m wrong.
     
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  10. beatcomber

    beatcomber AK Member

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    The last sentence is incorrect. Microgroove is a marketing term that was developed to distinguish LPs and 45s from 78s, which required a 3 mil stylus that is incompatible for LPs and 45s. Stereo came along later, but stereo discs are indeed also "microgroove."
     
  11. KentTeffeteller

    KentTeffeteller Gimpus Stereophilus!

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    Also, mono microgroove discs were cut lateral (side to side) and Stereo also added a recommended narrower tip radius and vertical (up and down) modulation. This system was pioneered by Westrex. Also, Stereo discs demanded lower tracking forces.
     
  12. sberger

    sberger Hard Core Geezer Subscriber

    Not anymore. They changed it to a .4 elliptical in October.
     
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  13. jonnyglass

    jonnyglass New Member

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    I special ordered a conical.
     
  14. sberger

    sberger Hard Core Geezer Subscriber

    Cool. I'd rather have a conical too. Did you get it directly from the company? I can't find an online dealer in the States.
     
  15. malden

    malden Super Member

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    I'm no expert, but every record I have that is labeled "microgroove" is mono. Those records, I'm assuming can be played with a true mono cartridge with a 1 mil stylus tip.

    Do you know of any stereo records that are labeled "microgroove"? I'm not using the term in a general sense, I'm referring to records specifically labeled "microgroove".
     
  16. jonnyglass

    jonnyglass New Member

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    Like this?
     

    Attached Files:

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  17. malden

    malden Super Member

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    Is that an original pressing or a re-issue?
     
  18. jonnyglass

    jonnyglass New Member

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    Those are original labels from prestige and riverside early 60's.
     
  19. malden

    malden Super Member

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  20. beatcomber

    beatcomber AK Member

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    Now, on a related note, the marketing phrase “high fidelity” was used by record companies in two different ways.

    Originally it was used to differentiate LPs cut with the RIAA equalization curve, which was standardized in 1954; the curves used on pre-1954 records was all over the map.

    By the 1960s, “high fidelity” was often used by the marketing department as a euphemism for mono, ie: “available in both stereo and high fidelity.”
     

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