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Prototyping - listening in mono
Prototyping - listening in mono
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Old 24th August 2017, 05:49 AM   #1
ErikdeBest is offline ErikdeBest  Switzerland
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Prototyping - listening in mono
Default Prototyping - listening in mono

Good day!

When building/developing/finetuning an amplifier, I generally work on a single channel - I think most people do so?

But how do you listen to your (mono) proto amp? For the moment I am summing a stereo signal to mono, feeding this to the amp, and listening to a single speaker - but thinking about "improving" this. So my question is:

How do you develop and listen to your newly created (mono) amplifiers?

Cheer, Erik
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Last edited by ErikdeBest; 24th August 2017 at 06:32 AM. Reason: make question clearer - I hope
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Old 24th August 2017, 06:21 AM   #2
sser2 is offline sser2  United States
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You can use a true mono source, like an LP, if you are afraid of screwing sound by mixing channels. A purist may go even further by using a true mono cartridge, like Ortofon's SPU. Also, there are many CD re-issues of old mono recordings.

As a side note, down-mixing of multi-channel recordings to two channels, which most recording companies are guilty of, indeed royally screws the sound. Deutsche Grammophon is probably the worst offender.

The best mono records of the past are not flat, as one might think - they have a lot of spatial information. One example is Mercury Living Presence. They did true mono recordings by placing a single U47 microphone in a sweet spot of a recording venue. Played through a high quality mono system, these records sound 3-dimensional. Resolution of micro detail is a key. It is similar to HD TV being perceived as having more depth than now defunct low resolution format.
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Old 24th August 2017, 06:39 AM   #3
artosalo is offline artosalo  Finland
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Quote:
How do you develop and listen to your newly created (mono) amplifiers?
I also build a single channel amplifier for tests and development.
At first I optimize the performance of the amplifier with test equipment.
I pay attention to get minimum THD, flat frequency response, best possible transient response at high and low frequencies, optimum S/N, optimum GNFB, etc.

When listening I connect my standard pair of speakers in series, located in the living room, because this is my reference.
The mono signal is simply formed with a mixer, nothing special in here.

At this point, my main focus is on measurement results. Listening has bigger role later when the stereo version is ready.

Last edited by artosalo; 24th August 2017 at 06:43 AM.
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Old 24th August 2017, 09:41 AM   #4
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sser2
The best mono records of the past are not flat, as one might think - they have a lot of spatial information.
A single channel is a single channel. It can give us clues about the LF frequency response and reverberation time of the venue, but it contains no actual spatial information. For that you need at least two channels.
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Old 24th August 2017, 09:57 AM   #5
scottjoplin is offline scottjoplin  Wales
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Mono can give a sense of depth due to relative loudness of instruments. Early recordings were "mixed" in this way by having a single microphone and the musicians at various distances from it, maybe stepping closer when they took a solo. Our image of depth is created in ours brains due to learning, experience and psychoacoustics
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Old 24th August 2017, 01:05 PM   #6
billshurv is online now billshurv  United Kingdom
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Prototyping - listening in mono
Quote:
Originally Posted by sser2 View Post
. A purist may go even further by using a true mono cartridge, like Ortofon's SPU. .
Hate to be a pedant, but SPU stands for 'Stereo Pick Up'. Their mono cartridge predates the SPU (C25 series).
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Old 24th August 2017, 01:14 PM   #7
audiomagnate is offline audiomagnate  United States
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DF96 View Post
A single channel is a single channel. It can give us clues about the LF frequency response and reverberation time of the venue, but it contains no actual spatial information. For that you need at least two channels.
Quote:
Originally Posted by scottjoplin View Post
Mono can give a sense of depth due to relative loudness of instruments. Early recordings were "mixed" in this way by having a single microphone and the musicians at various distances from it, maybe stepping closer when they took a solo. Our image of depth is created in ours brains due to learning, experience and psychoacoustics
There's gobs of spatial information in a mono signal. Perceived depth isn't dependent on two channels.
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Old 24th August 2017, 01:46 PM   #8
Pano is offline Pano  United States
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Prototyping - listening in mono
^ Yep. When I had my lava cave system, I was amazed at the depth in many mono recordings. They aren't very wide but they can be deep. Fun.
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Old 25th August 2017, 09:54 AM   #9
DF96 is offline DF96  England
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There is no spatial information in a single channel. There may be proxies for spatial information, such as loudness or frequency response, thus giving us the illusion of spatial information. In a two channel system these are augmented by genuine spatial information.
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Old 25th August 2017, 10:31 AM   #10
Jakob2 is offline Jakob2  Germany
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Originally Posted by DF96 View Post
There is no spatial information in a single channel. There may be proxies for spatial information, such as loudness or frequency response, thus giving us the illusion of spatial information. In a two channel system these are augmented by genuine spatial information.
Scottjoplin did already correctly mention that even in a mono source some "depth of image" information is included.
Clues are level and ratio between direct and reverberant soundfield and that is all what is needed to create the illusion of spatial depth. Even a rudimentary illusion of different height is possible by smart use of psychoacoustic effects.
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