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Thread: true mono cartridge?

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    Question true mono cartridge?

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    hello,
    i'm looking for cheap true mono cartridge (i.e. with one coil) with possibility to add stylus for normal groove 78, possibly MM but might be MC. any suggestions except Denon DL102?

    I've got now Shure M78S and after ripping vinyl i do M/S process extracting only MID. But I hope to get better results with mono .
    Regards!
    /vogler

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    I wasnt aware you could still buy a new cartridge with only one coil/output. I dont quite understand what you are hoping to achieve. If you sum the normal L + R outputs you get the pure horizontal information (lateral cut) anyway. I dont understand what extra you would get if you used a single coil output.

    As to your M/S processing I dont understand that either. That normally refers to a mic recording technique using two microphones with a later matrix technique. Vinyl records or earlier 78's werent recorded like that.

    If you want to extract the pure lateral information just sum the left and right outputs of a normal stereo cartridge. This doesnt get rid of anything except the vertical modulations, which with a mono recording is good as there is no useful information vertically recorded. You end up supressing turntable noise both at the cutting stage and at the playback stage.

    I think you are on the right track re playing back old mono records by only extracting the lateral information, but :

    1. You can use a stereo cartridge just as well
    2. It's not an M/S technique, just playing back the mono discs as they were intended to be played back.

    Cheers Tim

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    As far as I understand ripping in stereo mono lateral recordings gives me L channel with:
    - horizontal information
    - horizontal + vertical noise
    and R channel with:
    - horizontal information
    - horizontal + vertical noise (but different than on the L channel).

    This is at least what i hear - music (and noise) is in center and lots of stereo (side) noises. That's why i though to use M/S. When writing about M/S i'm thinking rather about something like this:
    http://www.izotope.com/products/audio/ozone/__ms.html

    In case of your suggestions.
    L+R sums me:
    - horizontal information,
    - horizontal noise,
    - vertical noise.

    What is better than mono ripped and leaved stereo as it gives me +3 dB for SNR. But according to my ear worse than M/S.

    Mono cartridge gives me only:
    - horizontal information,
    - horizontal noise.
    But i'm not sure if its worth way to go. I'm going to rip and reconstruct some really old and really noisy plates that's why I don't want to miss any chance to get their sound better. Hopefully you can help me to confront my internet knowledge with your experience.

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard King View Post
    Have these cartridges only one coil. It's common for companies to turn stereo to mono just by joining cables inside of cartridge and renaming them as "mono".

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    www.gradolabs.com



    They make mono carts and stylus for 78 RPM records as well.

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    needledoctor is where I get all my vinyl equip. they'll have all the Grado stuff amongst their offerings.
    I'm not a mono-nut myself, but I understand there is a marked difference between what you get by summing a stereo cart and using a mono cart.
    It's a physical thing. The mono discs were cut with only horizontal info in the grooves and, like most things vinyl, you get closest to the original by using the correct physical play-back gear.
    The mono-nuts claim a huge difference, I suspect it's less than that but as to whether it's worth the money .... I'm not sure.
    But the real analog mavens like Michael Fremer claim the difference is large enough to be worth it.

    As for whether those particular carts have only one coil ...... it's not really that common for audiophile type companies like Grado to wire a stereo cart mono and call it mono.
    But just pick up the phone and call the needledoctor guys.
    I've found them to be very friendly and helpful and they really know their products.
    If you know the secret codes you can get by the mastering boss on level 8.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vogler View Post
    As far as I understand ripping in stereo mono lateral recordings gives me L channel with:
    - horizontal information
    - horizontal + vertical noise
    and R channel with:
    - horizontal information
    - horizontal + vertical noise (but different than on the L channel).

    This is at least what i hear - music (and noise) is in center and lots of stereo (side) noises. That's why i though to use M/S. When writing about M/S i'm thinking rather about something like this:
    http://www.izotope.com/products/audio/ozone/__ms.html

    In case of your suggestions.
    L+R sums me:
    - horizontal information,
    - horizontal noise,
    - vertical noise.

    What is better than mono ripped and leaved stereo as it gives me +3 dB for SNR. But according to my ear worse than M/S.

    Mono cartridge gives me only:
    - horizontal information,
    - horizontal noise.
    But i'm not sure if its worth way to go. I'm going to rip and reconstruct some really old and really noisy plates that's why I don't want to miss any chance to get their sound better. Hopefully you can help me to confront my internet knowledge with your experience.



    Have these cartridges only one coil. It's common for companies to turn stereo to mono just by joining cables inside of cartridge and renaming them as "mono".
    The left channel is recorded with an equal horizontal and vertical component, actually at a 45 degree angle from horizontal. The right the same but at 90 degrees from the left. If you sum them you get only the horizontal, which is everything summed together.
    If you subtract left from right, you get only the vertical, which removes the centre information, leaving you with all the 'difference information', or everything that is not in the centre, but now summed into a new mono track.
    That's all you can do.

    The whole process is fairly inexact whether you use a stereo or a mono cartridge, You never totally remove all the horizontal or the vertical stuff.
    Sure, there might be a slight error caused in a stereo cartridge by the two coils having slightly different output voltages but it's probably insignificant compared to the inexactness of the process no matter what cartridge you use.
    Remember the separation between right and left channels is only maybe 20 to 25 db anyway.
    If say you have a guitar on the hard left and another on the hard right, at best you can only treat them summed into a new
    mono track,not as individual tracks. If you want just the left guitar all you can do is listen to the left channel. But you're still stuck with the centre stuff.
    Just be aware of the possiblilities but also the limitations of the technique.

    Cheers Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Gillett View Post
    The left channel is recorded with an equal horizontal and vertical component, actually at a 45 degree angle from horizontal. The right the same but at 90 degrees from the left. If you sum them you get only the horizontal, which is everything summed together.
    If you subtract left from right, you get only the vertical, which removes the centre information, leaving you with all the 'difference information', or everything that is not in the centre, but now summed into a new mono track.
    theoretically that makes sense, but I inspected closely my ripped wavs and lots of clicks are solely on left or on right channel. and it doesn't look like cartridge error.
    regards!

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    Quote Originally Posted by vogler View Post
    theoretically that makes sense, but I inspected closely my ripped wavs and lots of clicks are solely on left or on right channel. and it doesn't look like cartridge error.
    regards!
    I've missed your point here.
    You'd expect there to be clicks which are different on the left and right channels because they come from scratches and/or dirt on the separate walls of the groove. If you sum the stereo cartridge to mono, you still have the clicks, just added together. Same if you used your single coil mono cartridge.
    The solution for clicks is cleaning the record plus using a software declicker.

    Your raising the clicks issue makes me wonder if you are thinking like this: If you get a single coil cartridge maybe that will allow you to hear the centre "mono" track and not the hard right and hard left tracks, including those clicks.
    But it doesnt work like that. There is no way of removing the hard right and hard left information from the centre information as they are mixed in with each other.

    It is possible to listen solely to the left channel and not hear the right channel, and vice versa.

    It's also possible to subtract L from R and remove the "centre" track.

    But it's not possible to remove the side tracks, leaving the centre one. The algebra, if you like, doesnt give you that option.


    Tim
    Last edited by Tim Gillett; 03-02-2009 at 14:09.

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    but on a mono record there is no left track or right track. There's only the single track and the grooves going left and tight are really just reproducing the ups and downs of the waveform ..... just switched sideways.
    I'm not at all sure that the difference is great enough to be worth spending the money on a mono cart as far as I'm concerned. I've gotten to where I'm not that picky about getting 'perfect' sound.
    But every review I've ever read by vinyl reviewers said that if you have a large mono collection you get a better sound with a mono cart.
    The reason they give is that a needle is mechanically trying to replicate what the cutting head did. With a stereo record the cutting head cuts basically two 45% angled tracks on each side of the groove (simplified but acceptable for this discussion).
    But a mono cutting head cuts only side to side with no vertical info at all. Seems reasonable that a cart with its' suspension set up to respond only horizontally would come closer to what the original head did. The movements we're talking about here are often microscopic so a cart is super sensetive to any movement. If a mono record had, say, some vertical movement ..... it would be by accident and not intended to be there or reproduced as sound. A stereo cart could pick that up and reproduce it whereas a mono cart couldn't.

    Once again, I'm not trying to talk him into buying such a cart ....... I'm always quite satisfied with just running a stereo cart and it sounds like it sounds ...... good enough.
    But I've seen enough positive reviews of mono carts to think there probably is some amount of difference.
    It just depends on how insanely critical and picky you want to get.
    If you know the secret codes you can get by the mastering boss on level 8.

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