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Thread: Do I need a mono setup?

  1. #1
    Join Date: Dec 2017

    Location: Lincolnshire

    Posts: 172
    I'm Martin.

    Default Do I need a mono setup?

    The background is that I'm having a new plinth on my Lenco and while the main arm is sorted I still have the opportunity to build the plinth so that it can take a second arm.

    Aesthetically I think I'd prefer to have just the one arm however once it's done there's no going back.

    If I do take the option it would be a 9" and most likely a mono cartridge of some description but I don't think those details are important, I think the important thing is do I really need to do this? I have no intention of creating myself a collection of old mono recordings so it will be purely for modern releases (post 1970 I guess) and anything that is reissued as mono. That means it won't be a huge number of records but even if it was would I be just as well playing them with a stereo cartridge anyway given that, as they're "new" they most probably won't be noisy and hence won't need the lack of vertical signal retrieval (or however it should be described) anyway???

    Does that all make sense and any thoughts please?

    Thanks in advance....

  2. #2
    Join Date: Mar 2016

    Location: Barnet, london UK

    Posts: 1,764
    I'm Adam.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by scotty38 View Post
    The background is that I'm having a new plinth on my Lenco and while the main arm is sorted I still have the opportunity to build the plinth so that it can take a second arm.

    Aesthetically I think I'd prefer to have just the one arm however once it's done there's no going back.

    If I do take the option it would be a 9" and most likely a mono cartridge of some description but I don't think those details are important, I think the important thing is do I really need to do this? I have no intention of creating myself a collection of old mono recordings so it will be purely for modern releases (post 1970 I guess) and anything that is reissued as mono. That means it won't be a huge number of records but even if it was would I be just as well playing them with a stereo cartridge anyway given that, as they're "new" they most probably won't be noisy and hence won't need the lack of vertical signal retrieval (or however it should be described) anyway???

    Does that all make sense and any thoughts please?

    Thanks in advance....

    Given your collection has little Mono and few records are now intentially released in Mono, I'd say No you don't need a dedicated mono arm. I have a large collection of original an reissued Mono cuts so felt compelled to get the most from them.

    If you were going to concentrate on collecting Mono cuts, I'd say without doubt use a dedicated Mono cartridge.
    The rewards of a mono set up can be very rewarding indeed... and sound far superior to playing Mono cuts on a Stereo cartridge, hitting the Mono button on the amp is not comparable either.

    Is your current arm a removable headshell tonearm? This obviously gives the most flexibility....
    "lack of passion is fatal"


    Vinyl: Thorens TD-124mk2 / Tenuto gun metal mat / SME-3012R ikeda rewire / SME M2-9R / STEREO: Jan Allaerts MC1 Boron / Shure M3D / Ortofon SPU A95 / Cartridge Man Music Master / Shure - SC35C (US) / SAEC C3 MC MONO: Miyajima Zero B 0.7mil mono / Miyajima Premium 1.0 / Amps & SUTs: Radford STA25 mk3 / AD Audio 'Satchmo2' pre & LCR phono / Hashimoto HM-7 SUT / ETR-MONO SUT Digital: SW1X Audio Design DAC 1 signature / Roon / Tidal Speakers: Tannoy 12" MGs' in RFC custom 'Rutland' Cabinets with RFC crossovers / Tannoy ST-100 Super Tweeters Cables: Duelund DCA16GA tinned copper / Kimber 12TC / SW1X Audio Design USB-SPdif / Duelund DCA20GA interconnects / SW1X Audio SPDIF Aero 6 / Mains Power Conditioner / Box Furniture rack / Audiodesk Systeme Vinyl Cleaner / a very beautiful & understanding Wife!

  3. #3
    Join Date: Dec 2017

    Location: Lincolnshire

    Posts: 172
    I'm Martin.

    Default

    Thanks Adam and yes it's a Jelco 850L so I realise I could swap cartridges as and when needed and given your confirmation of what I think I knew already seems the most sensible approach. Just trying to make sure I didn't end up in an "I wish I'd done it..." situation

  4. #4
    Join Date: Mar 2016

    Location: Barnet, london UK

    Posts: 1,764
    I'm Adam.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by scotty38 View Post
    Thanks Adam and yes it's a Jelco 850L so I realise I could swap cartridges as and when needed and given your confirmation of what I think I knew already seems the most sensible approach. Just trying to make sure I didn't end up in an "I wish I'd done it..." situation
    I do think it's a legitimate itch though!
    If it were me, i'd do it and find as many fantastic old Mono cuts as i could!
    "lack of passion is fatal"


    Vinyl: Thorens TD-124mk2 / Tenuto gun metal mat / SME-3012R ikeda rewire / SME M2-9R / STEREO: Jan Allaerts MC1 Boron / Shure M3D / Ortofon SPU A95 / Cartridge Man Music Master / Shure - SC35C (US) / SAEC C3 MC MONO: Miyajima Zero B 0.7mil mono / Miyajima Premium 1.0 / Amps & SUTs: Radford STA25 mk3 / AD Audio 'Satchmo2' pre & LCR phono / Hashimoto HM-7 SUT / ETR-MONO SUT Digital: SW1X Audio Design DAC 1 signature / Roon / Tidal Speakers: Tannoy 12" MGs' in RFC custom 'Rutland' Cabinets with RFC crossovers / Tannoy ST-100 Super Tweeters Cables: Duelund DCA16GA tinned copper / Kimber 12TC / SW1X Audio Design USB-SPdif / Duelund DCA20GA interconnects / SW1X Audio SPDIF Aero 6 / Mains Power Conditioner / Box Furniture rack / Audiodesk Systeme Vinyl Cleaner / a very beautiful & understanding Wife!

  5. #5
    Join Date: Jul 2011

    Location: Near M1/M6 junction

    Posts: 1,697
    I'm Peter.

    Default

    I think what you say is correct. IME, the very best mono cartridges certainly do bring things to the party that a stereo cartridge (via the mono switch on my phonostage) can't bring, but the expense really isn't justified for a small collection. Also, I reckon a cheap mono cart usually gets trumped by a good stereo cartridge used in mono mode. True that one advantage of 'true' mono carts is that they reject a lot of surface noise, but with a diet of decent quality pressings, that will be less of a problem for you than for the charity-shop scavengers

    The 850L is a superb arm, btw.

  6. #6
    Join Date: Dec 2017

    Location: Lincolnshire

    Posts: 172
    I'm Martin.

    Default

    Thanks both, very much appreciated but Adam, you're not helping

    On the assumption I stick with what I have and, if I buy a mono cartridge of some description, then will it play via my stereo SUT as normal? I am obviously making the assumption that, as much as my knowledge will allow me, the cart and SUT will be matched.

    For further info along with the 850L I have a SPU#1E and also an Ortofon type 2-15K SUT as well as a Fidelity Research FRT-5 (don't ask, I slipped up on ebay and ended up with both).

  7. #7
    Join Date: Mar 2016

    Location: Barnet, london UK

    Posts: 1,764
    I'm Adam.

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by scotty38 View Post
    Thanks both, very much appreciated but Adam, you're not helping

    On the assumption I stick with what I have and, if I buy a mono cartridge of some description, then will it play via my stereo SUT as normal?
    yes i have used a SPU Mono GM MkI and a Denon DL 102 with a Stereo Step Up (Hashimoto HM-7) to very good effect
    "lack of passion is fatal"


    Vinyl: Thorens TD-124mk2 / Tenuto gun metal mat / SME-3012R ikeda rewire / SME M2-9R / STEREO: Jan Allaerts MC1 Boron / Shure M3D / Ortofon SPU A95 / Cartridge Man Music Master / Shure - SC35C (US) / SAEC C3 MC MONO: Miyajima Zero B 0.7mil mono / Miyajima Premium 1.0 / Amps & SUTs: Radford STA25 mk3 / AD Audio 'Satchmo2' pre & LCR phono / Hashimoto HM-7 SUT / ETR-MONO SUT Digital: SW1X Audio Design DAC 1 signature / Roon / Tidal Speakers: Tannoy 12" MGs' in RFC custom 'Rutland' Cabinets with RFC crossovers / Tannoy ST-100 Super Tweeters Cables: Duelund DCA16GA tinned copper / Kimber 12TC / SW1X Audio Design USB-SPdif / Duelund DCA20GA interconnects / SW1X Audio SPDIF Aero 6 / Mains Power Conditioner / Box Furniture rack / Audiodesk Systeme Vinyl Cleaner / a very beautiful & understanding Wife!

  8. #8
    Join Date: Dec 2017

    Location: Lincolnshire

    Posts: 172
    I'm Martin.

    Default

    Great thanks again.

  9. #9
    Join Date: Apr 2016

    Location: Brussels

    Posts: 16
    I'm Sven.

    Default

    why not a "cheap" but excellent mono cart, the Grado ME+?
    Omega SAM, Harbeth P3ESR, KEF LS50; First Watt SIT3, Conrad-Johnson ET3SE, Eastern Electric M88, Sansui AU999; Tavish Adagio, Ayre P5xe; Sansui A603, A23, Audio Creative Mediator 40; Garrard 301, Thorens TD124, PTP Solid9, Technics SP10 MkII, Linn LP12; SME 3012 3009 SeriesII, Schick 9" 12", Naim ARO, Audio Creative GrooveMaster II; Ortofon SPU, S15, MC20 MkII, Denon DL103, Fidelity Research MC201; Atoll DR200 Sig; Metrum Onyx; Nakamichi CR4; GRIMM, Atlas, A23; Duelund DCA12GA and 16GA.

  10. #10
    Join Date: Dec 2017

    Location: Lincolnshire

    Posts: 172
    I'm Martin.

    Default

    Thanks Sven, just putting a cart on the arm is not an issue and judging by the discussion so far it's probably what I'll do.

    My question was more around the validity of setting up a second arm for the same purpose and it sort of seems that unless I want to make a "thing" of mono I may be as well served doing just as you suggest...

    I didn't really want the faff of changing settings each time and even though a cart/headshell change is no big deal I still have to consider VTA/VTF unless I minimise it even further and stick with SPUs. That would, I believe, limit me to the Mono GM for more modern/stereo head cut mono records unless I'm mistaken???

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