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Old 11th July 2006, 06:58 PM   #1
SPU_SPU is offline SPU_SPU  United States
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Default using stereo phono pre in mono?

i've recently realized that i prefer listening to my records in mono (with the Denon DL-102, using 1 speaker, 1 monoblock amp, 1/2 of my TVC, etc). i've even rewired my tonearm so that only one channel so to speak is being picked up (just 2 twisted wires exit the arm). anyway, what i'm not sure about "splitting in half" is my phono pre. i use a diyhifisupply Cole phono pre - if the tonearm wire is connected to only 1 input jack on the back of the phono pre, and only 1 output jack is being used out to my monoblock amp, am i losing any signal? a friend recommended i insert a shorting plug into the other input jack (what the hell's a "shorting plug"?). or should I cut/desolder some of the connections of the other channel? i don't plan on going back to stereo, but i really like the Cole.

thank you in advance for any advice
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Old 11th July 2006, 07:06 PM   #2
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a shorting plug is an plug shorted do ground

why mono ?
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Old 11th July 2006, 09:36 PM   #3
phn is offline phn  Sweden
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You aren't losing any signal. There should be no need doing anything with the preamp, unless you want to and know what you are doing. Won't make any sonic difference, though.

You know that Susumu Sakuma uses the DL-102? Sakuma applies 5 g instead of the recommended 3.
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Old 11th July 2006, 09:42 PM   #4
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I you are listening to stereo recordings in mono, shouldn't you at least pick up both channels from the record and then mix them to mono? Even though there is quite a lot of crosstalk on LP, you are actually listening to only one channel. Is that really what you want?
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Old 11th July 2006, 09:54 PM   #5
SPU_SPU is offline SPU_SPU  United States
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well, at first it was just kind of out of necessity. my wife runs her small antique business out of the first two floors of our house, so i'm left our tiny basement to set up. in addition, i had come into 1 old Tannoy Red driver practically for beans - great condition, just missing a partner. first record i listened to was Low's "Things We Lost in the Fire" and it was one of those WOW! moments and i haven't looked back. heck, i think about listening to records all day at work now and drive home like a madman so i have more time to, er, sit in the basement.

(also makes me wonder what kind of equipment this guy, steve albini, is using to record the bands he produces. incredible sound.)
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Old 11th July 2006, 10:11 PM   #6
phn is offline phn  Sweden
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I'm not knocking stereo. But it was originally for the tech nerds, just as surround is today. Stereo is great if you listen to stuff like Pink Floyd's Ummagumma album. But if you listen to, say, Muddy Waters, there's no need for stereo. Stereo has become something we take for granted. But unless you sit in the sweetspot, you are in fact listening to mono.

Good luck with your set-up.
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Old 12th July 2006, 05:17 AM   #7
lndm is offline lndm  Australia
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Quote:
Originally posted by Christer
I you are listening to stereo recordings in mono, shouldn't you at least pick up both channels from the record and then mix them to mono?
Second that. The channels were intended to see separate cable capacitances and loading resistances, phono is sensitive to proper loading.

Could it (partly at least) be the new loading conditions that you find sound better?
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Old 12th July 2006, 09:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by lndm

Second that. The channels were intended to see separate cable capacitances and loading resistances, phono is sensitive to proper loading.

Could it (partly at least) be the new loading conditions that you find sound better?
That too, but I was rather referring to that he looses the information from one of the channels, which would make it very strange as a mono source.


Phn,
I would too a large extent agree with you, but for a different reason. I listen to a lot of old recordings from the pre-stereo era, and it is surprising how many of those give a much better impression av acoustics and hall ambience than most stereo recordings. That has nothing to do with them being mono though, just that most stereo recordings are so badly recorded and produced that they destroy the acoustic information. Close up mics and multi-channel mixing were a big mistake, at least for recording classical music, and probably for many other types too. Some of the best stereo recordings in this respect are still the first RCA stereo recordings from around 1954, when they only used two, or at most three, microphones and did no mixing after taping it.

Note that I am not talking about technical qualities like noise, distorsion etc. but the acoustics and the feeling of being there, in the concert hall.
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Old 12th July 2006, 03:31 PM   #9
SPU_SPU is offline SPU_SPU  United States
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thank you phn, christer, and all for the insightful advice and comments. i suspect that i don't really understand how this denon dl-102 cartridge works and, what's worse, i may be using it improperly.

as mentioned above, right now i have a single wire soldered directly to one pin of the denon 102, and another single wire soldered to the other; these are twisted and both are soldered to where one input jack would be on the back of my phono preamp (sorry for the crude descrip). are you saying that i need to add 2 more wires from the cartridge pins (essentially replicating/doubling the current wiring setup) to the *other* (currently unused) input jack of my phono pre (i.e., operate the stereo phono pre "normally")?

i take it then that what i really need here is a preamp like an old McIntosh C22 with a mono button that can sum these 2 channels into, for example, just the L channel where the signal will then lead to 1 amp and 1 speaker.
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Old 12th July 2006, 03:36 PM   #10
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Ah wait a minute! Is that Denon thing a real mono cartridge? In that case, forget what I said. I assumed you were using a stereo cartridge to play your records in mono.
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