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Old 6th Nov 2019, 11:11 am   #1
Herald1360
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Default Mono vs stereo cartridge damage etc

There's frequent mention of possible damage to stereo records from being played using a low vertical compliance mono pickup cartridge. Whilst logically this makes sense, does it matter if the damaged records are only going to be used in the same mono player? An old jukebox in particular comes to mind.

To my mind, the damage to the record is only going to be to the vertical "channel difference" signal- presumably the horizontal "sum" signal (the mono signal) will stay unaffected.

Has anyone ever measured this?
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Old 6th Nov 2019, 11:27 am   #2
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Default Re: Mono vs stereo cartridge damage etc

I've always wondered about this too, Chris.

I've definitely got quite a few 1950s/early 1960s stereo classical LPs and EPs from reputable companies (DG, Decca etc.) which look absolutely pristine under light and magnification, and which have obviously been well cared for (sleeves mint, and inner dust sleeves still present and the right way round), but which sound absolutely grim when played, with huge amounts of distortion in loud passages.

I've always assumed that what I'm hearing is some kind of damage done by inappropriate equipment by the original owner, but I can't be certain. And whether the cause was a damaged stylus, low compliance, too high a tracking force, or using a mono cartridge, I suppose we'll never know.

Nick.

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Old 6th Nov 2019, 11:35 am   #3
Herald1360
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Default Re: Mono vs stereo cartridge damage etc

Hi Nick,

Do they sound any less distorted if you switch to mono?

They may have been lovingly played on ancient equipment in their day.
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Old 6th Nov 2019, 12:21 pm   #4
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Default Re: Mono vs stereo cartridge damage etc

No, I think they still sound horrible, but I will test and report back.
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