Why do you like mono better than stereo?

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GoogaMooga
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Why do you like mono better than stereo?

Postby GoogaMooga » 11 Jan 2020, 23:44

What is it about mono? Aside from that whole Wall of Sound aesthetic/fetish, mono just seems more correct, less manipulated. I like the density of it. No separation. All of the sounds coming out of both speakers. Or just having one speaker, and having a good time with that. Mono is solid, stereo is reedy.
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Re: Why do you like mono better than stereo?

Postby Matt Wilson » 12 Jan 2020, 01:38

Love me some mono. I prefer it actually, when listening to most music before 1968. After that, true mono mixes become more rare. By 1969 there are hardly any dedicated mono mixes to be found.

It's easier to tell you the mono mixes I don't prefer to be honest. The Doors and Strange Days are better in stereo. I haven't heard all of Are You Experienced in mono, but Axis Bold as Love sounds better in stereo. The second Country Joe & The Fish LP is better in stereo, and probably the Byrds' Notorious Byrd Bros and Cream's Disraeli Gears are better in stereo. Likewise, the White Album.

Can't think of too many more, really.

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Re: Why do you like mono better than stereo?

Postby Dr. Baron » 12 Jan 2020, 19:19

I am not convinced that either has any inherent properties that make one inherently preferable over the other. It depends.
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Re: Why do you like mono better than stereo?

Postby The Slider » 12 Jan 2020, 19:28

I always prefer a good stereo mix to a good mono one (Pepper)

But I prefer a good mono mix to a bad stereo one (Piper)
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Re: Why do you like mono better than stereo?

Postby GoogaMooga » 12 Jan 2020, 21:44

I've got The White Album in mono, and that's the way of my Beatles up to 1968. Telling that the mono box was ltd ed, while the stereo is readily available. Mono seems to be for connoisseurs and dare I say it, anoraks.
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Re: Why do you like mono better than stereo?

Postby GoogaMooga » 12 Jan 2020, 21:46

Sometimes I wish stereo was never invented. I have never listened to quad, though, but imagine it is not very good. My Santana "Lotus" was quad vinyl, but it played okay on my stereo. Don't recall if it sounded "funny".
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Re: Why do you like mono better than stereo?

Postby trans-chigley express » 13 Jan 2020, 04:19

GoogaMooga wrote:I've got The White Album in mono, and that's the way of my Beatles up to 1968. Telling that the mono box was ltd ed, while the stereo is readily available. Mono seems to be for connoisseurs and dare I say it, anoraks.


I don't think the mono box was ever really a limited edition, they kept making them for as long as people were buying them. You can still get them now.

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Re: Why do you like mono better than stereo?

Postby trans-chigley express » 13 Jan 2020, 04:22

GoogaMooga wrote:Sometimes I wish stereo was never invented. I have never listened to quad, though, but imagine it is not very good. My Santana "Lotus" was quad vinyl, but it played okay on my stereo. Don't recall if it sounded "funny".


I had a Quad LP of Tubular Bells and even though I only ever played it in stereo it did sound a bit "funny". It also had an added section with a model aeroplane that was meant to sound like it was flying around you if played in quad but just seemed to go from speaker to speaker in stereo.

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Re: Why do you like mono better than stereo?

Postby GoogaMooga » 13 Jan 2020, 08:00

trans-chigley express wrote:
GoogaMooga wrote:I've got The White Album in mono, and that's the way of my Beatles up to 1968. Telling that the mono box was ltd ed, while the stereo is readily available. Mono seems to be for connoisseurs and dare I say it, anoraks.


I don't think the mono box was ever really a limited edition, they kept making them for as long as people were buying them. You can still get them now.



IIRC, it was announced as being ltd ed, albeit in large quantities. Isn't it OOP, prices skyrocketed?
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Re: Why do you like mono better than stereo?

Postby The Slider » 13 Jan 2020, 08:18

The mono Don't Pass Me By is lots faster so it is over quicker
For that, the mono White Album has a head start

I prefer the Mono mixes up to Help, then the Stereos from Rubber Souls onwards
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Re: Why do you like mono better than stereo?

Postby Quaco » 13 Jan 2020, 09:55

Stereo is great. I love crazy wide panning sometimes, or just a warm sitting-in-between-all-the-instruments feel. In general, it shouldn't be that different from mono unless called for for creative reasons.

Some things sound better in mono, for sure. The one that always comes to mind is the Stones' Their Satanic Majesties Request, which is kind of diffuse and lacking impact in stereo, but packs a drug-addled punch in mono.
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Re: Why do you like mono better than stereo?

Postby soundchaser » 13 Jan 2020, 22:48

GoogaMooga wrote:What is it about mono? Aside from that whole Wall of Sound aesthetic/fetish, mono just seems more correct, less manipulated. I like the density of it. No separation. All of the sounds coming out of both speakers. Or just having one speaker, and having a good time with that. Mono is solid, stereo is reedy.


Are you able to have a soundstage? I think well produced stereo is wondrous.

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Re: Why do you like mono better than stereo?

Postby Hepcat » 12 Feb 2020, 03:35

GoogaMooga wrote:What is it about mono? Aside from that whole Wall of Sound aesthetic/fetish, mono just seems more correct, less manipulated. I like the density of it. No separation. All of the sounds coming out of both speakers. Or just having one speaker, and having a good time with that.


Not I. I'm no fan of mono at all.

I love stereo. I love the separation. I love hearing certain instruments distinctly from one speaker, and other instruments distinctly from the other speaker. It's the first thing for which I listen when I spin a new LP.
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Re: Why do you like mono better than stereo?

Postby Muskrat » 12 Feb 2020, 14:47

Other than the sins of early stereo - sharp left/right separation being the worst - I actually preferred the process and its increased definition. Now that I’m deaf in one ear, Back to Mono!
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Re: Why do you like mono better than stereo?

Postby Flowere » 12 Feb 2020, 14:57

Hepcat wrote:It's the first thing for which I listen when I spin a new LP.


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Re: Why do you like mono better than stereo?

Postby Geezee » 12 Feb 2020, 16:37

never been able to get my head around stereo, quite literally. my brain just doesn't seem to be able to process/enjoy two separate streams- i can (no joke) actually get a headache from stereo. i much prefer the bigger punch you can get with mono, and to me greater overall clarity - and while you can perhaps distinguish certain individual parts/instruments better with stereo, it seems to me you really have to be listening very passively in mono if you are not also able to hear and appreciate them there. i've rarely had the experience that an album "comes alive" in stereo when my initial experience has been in mono. whereas some stereo albums (including most of the Beatles stereos) really are flat compared to their mono counterparts. Generally, i find stereo a bit too contrived and studio-ey.
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Re: Why do you like mono better than stereo?

Postby Hepcat » 12 Feb 2020, 17:01

MALLETT wrote:
Hepcat wrote:It's the first thing for which I listen when I spin a new LP.


Who taught you English - Henry the Eighth?


No, admittedly I can no longer name all my English teachers but I don't recall Henry being among them. Maybe it's just a mental block.

Nonetheless, I'm now very careful about dangling participles in public. You know how they are about such things these days. Last time I did so I was very nearly arrested.

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Re: Why do you like mono better than stereo?

Postby Six String » 12 Feb 2020, 20:11

Still Baron wrote:I am not convinced that either has any inherent properties that make one inherently preferable over the other. It depends.


Is the correct answer. I would prefer a mono over stereo when they are mixed like the early Beatles albums. I hate that type of early stereo imaging. Anytime there's a big hole in the center of the soundstage I prefer mono and it really comes down to the mixing of the music even for mono. A good mono mix has good spacial qualities and a punch to it that can be missing in early stereo albums. It really is a case by case situation.

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Re: Why do you like mono better than stereo?

Postby Jimbo » 16 Feb 2020, 07:52

Disappointed to hear A Lighter Shade of Pale in mono.

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