Identifying mono records

Discussion in 'Music and Recordings (vinyl , 8-track, etc.)' started by Cspirou, Nov 5, 2015.

  1. Cspirou

    Cspirou Friend

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    I have acquired a bunch of records from my grandfather. They are pretty old so I wouldn't be surprised if they were mono however how do I know for sure? I tried looking for something that said "stereo" or "mono" and found nothing. Should I automatically assume that they are mono?

    As an aside, is there a major difference with a one channel mono system and a two channel mono system? I would think that one channel would be better because you might get some unfavorable interference with 2 channels.
     

  2. OJneg

    OJneg The Most Insufferable

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    Jacket or label should state whether stereo or mono. What era are we talking? Hope they're not shellac 78's?
     
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  3. Cspirou

    Cspirou Friend

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    Early 70's and probably older. They say they are 33's.
     
  4. OJneg

    OJneg The Most Insufferable

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    It's stereo (99% sure)
     
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  5. Azteca

    Azteca Friend

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    What he said. By late 60s mono was rare. In 70s, unheard of except possibly some reissues of even older records.
     
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  6. Chris F

    Chris F Boyz 4 Now Fanatic - Friend

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    For Latin music mono issues ended around 1971. Prior to that in the 60s most of the major labels issues both mono and stereo cuts. Usually for Latin stuff the mono issue is better because the stereo stuff is hardpanned. For certain really well done recordings however, the additional detail you get from on the stereo master wins out over the solid image of mono.

    Dunno about other genres but I would guess it's probably close to the same.
     
  7. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    I used to be able to recite the bit of the label that said something like, This stereophonic recording can be played on compatible monophonic equipment.

    It would have been the late sixties when I learnt it, and would probably have been earlier, had my parents had any importance for music listening, other than the wireless. They did not replace the dead Radiogram that played 78s.

    But hey... my deprived childhood... that's another story! :pirate07:
     
  8. Shaffer

    Shaffer Facebook Friend

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    Typically, mono albums exhibit their noise components outside the center image. I'm talking about a stereo system. This can be eliminated, for the most part. Here's how:

    http://forums.stevehoffman.tv/threa...ords-in-true-mono-how-to-do-it-cheaply.81073/
     
  9. shaizada

    shaizada Friend

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    Normally, pre 1960's is pretty much mono. Then Stereo came about and was a big deal so all the records showed "Stereo" on the cover with great pride :)
    Many times, during this period, the mono was just a folded down stereo record as they pressed both kinds. Later on, Stereo was the mainstay.

    If you aren't sure about a particular pressing, check out the catalog number on Discogs...they have a good database. Also, when it doubt, just play it and you will know for sure ;) J/K

    Man, get a mono cartridge and play those mono records...it sounds so good, sometimes I wonder if going Stereo was truly an upgrade or not.
     
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  10. Dino

    Dino Friend

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    I wondered the same thing.

    A while back, I spent a week listening to mono CDs exclusively. I would go back and forth between single speaker and two speaker listening. No scientific stuff, just leisurely listening while paying attention to the difference. (I did have the three speakers and my listening seat carefully positioned.)

    That was an educational experience for me. Only if I moved out of the sweet spot, did I hear any difference. The only difference was with one speaker the sound was anchored to that single speaker and with two speakers the sound would shift towards the speaker to which I was closest. Sitting in the sweet spot, they sounded the same to me.

    I found it kind of amazing to hear so much dimensionality (width, depth and height) from a single speaker playing mono recordings.

    Also, I tried a similar experiment back in the 70s with a Left - Mono - Right speaker setup. My McIntosh C-26 Preamp had a Center channel (Mono) output and I added a third Smaller Advent Loudspeaker and a Crown D-60 amp switched to mono. I found that I could switch the stereo amp off and listen in single speaker mono - same results as above.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2016
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  11. Merrick

    Merrick Friend

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    I highly recommend cataloging the records via Discogs, you can then search your collection for "mono" and anything in mono will pop up. Very handy.
     
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  12. Cspirou

    Cspirou Friend

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    @Dino - I was always little annoyed with the concept of a sweet spot. Not that it doesn't exist, but more that after spending all this money and time on a stereo system that only one person can truly experience the system to its fullest potential at any given moment. I always presumed speakers were a shared experience so it's a little annoying. Seems like single speaker mono has advantages if listening with other people. Something the kids are already doing with Bluetooth speakers and the Beats Pill.
     
  13. Dino

    Dino Friend

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    @Cspirou - Yeah, in my experience, while a stereo can sound quite good outside of the sweet spot, the sweet spot always exists. The spot where everything locks in and the magic really happens.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2016
  14. Dino

    Dino Friend

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    I wonder how old your grandfather's records are. IIRC the first mass produced Stereo LPs came out in the late 50s. So prior to that, having Mono or Stereo on the cover/label would not be necessary.

    I wonder when Stereo records actually became popular. (Also it varied from country to country.) I would imagine that the earlier Stereo records would proudly have Stereo displayed on the record while Mono records would have been the default and may not have mentioned Mono until Stereo got a head of steam in the market.
     
  15. Thad E Ginathom

    Thad E Ginathom Friend

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    By the time I left home in about 1970 and started living in houses where people had real sound systems, I was hearing stereo, and that included stuff that I was catching up with from the sixties.

    Stereo is not as recent as the youngsters think. I'm not the only oldie around here: it would help if people answering history questions let us know if they are talking from experience. Like, 78s, yup: been there did that, didn't get the duvet cover because they were yet to be invented!
     

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