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Benefits of a mono cartridge

alby

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HI

I am going through my record collection , cleaning and putting the records in nice new crisp inner sleeves. I have come across some 33rpm mono records ( jazz classical and blues) not huge number 20ish , is it worth trying a mono cartridge , i have never owned one and if there a cheapish one I wonder what it would be like to hear the record as intended.

Thanks

Alby
 

Jazid

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James
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It rather depends on the cut of the mono records. Some are cut with a stereo head so are essentially dual mono' and a stereo cartirdge will play them fine. Others are cut with a mono head so only lateral compliance is needed. These have wider grooves and can benefit greatly from a mono cartridge; typically people say they get a more layered presentation and a significant reduction in surface noise.The stereo stylus sounds bad because it is sitting too far into the bottom of the groove and picks up noise from the dirt and imperfections there.
The problem is which record is which, and what stylus diameter do you need to play them with. Conical stereo styli are typically 18uM diameter, mono styli are 25uM.

78s are another ball game entirely.

Here's a good website on this:
 

Non-Smoking Man

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Strictly speaking, and to be blunt, a collection of 20 assorted mono records is insufficient to justify the outlay you would need to beat just playing them with a stereo cartridge.

Having said that, I'm a convert having gone the whole hog with a Miyajima ZeroB cart and a dedicated single generator phono stage. And I recommend that you visit the record fairs in your area and pick up some dirt cheap mono records and build a collection and work towards something similar.

Based on your musical tastes and pocket you need to choose whether to go route A or route B:

1. Route A is to pursue reissued monos and buy a 0.7 mm diameter diamond in your mono cart;

2. Route B would be to pursue earlier mono recorded on older recording equipment and opt for a 1mm diamond.

(Jazid explains the difference above.)

In my case I'm a jazz fan and as the original 50s Blue Notes etc., are beyond my reach financially, my jazz collection tends towards affordable reissues.
So I chose the .7mm ZeroB. There is also a 1mm Zero available for the older stuff.

Finally, do some research on the concept of 'true mono'. That is, a single generator cartridge rather than a stereo cartridge 'strapped' for mono. A starter cartridge I would recommend is an AT33PTG mono. This is an affordable MC which will play into a conventional MC input and a conventional meat and potatoes hifi system. Ortofon also have a range of mono cartridges they brought out to coincide with the AbbeyRoad Beatles mono box set.

You find that many mono enthusiasts, such as Montesquieu on here, use arms with removable headshells to facilitate changing from stereo to mono, or, indeed, mono to mono if they have both 0.7 and 1mm.
Bon voyage..

Jack NSM
 
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