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Why are original 50/60's jazz albums more desirable in mono?

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  • Why are original 50/60's jazz albums more desirable in mono?

    I've listened to some mono pressings of some 60's Blue Note's and they sound lush. But I've never been in a position to compare an original stereo with it's mono equivalent. Do monos really sound better?
    Cheese Please Louise!!!

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  • #2
    Really a question for any Blue Note experts, but without knowing the records in question, some general possibilities are:

    * the stereo copies are fake stereo releases made from mono recordings
    * the mono mix was done by the main producer/engineer, and the stereo mix an afterthought for the early adopter audiophiles who bought anything with "STEREO!" and fancy sleevenotes about microphones
    * the mono copies are slightly earlier and the price reflects the "gotta have first pressing!" premium (many recordings were made in stereo with an eye to the future, even if the first release was only mono)
    * maybe those particular records just sound better - the mix, the mastering, even surface noise (a true mono cartridge won't pick up vertical movement, so surface noise is reduced)

    The first 3 really apply to 1950s records though. I think all the RVG Blue Note recordings would be stereo, he was recording in stereo pretty much as soon as it was available when he was at Vox (I just found a 50s RVG stereo recording of Vivaldi bassoon concertos the other week, not particularly exciting though!)

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    • #3
      Thanks. Very informative.

      Yes I didn't think about the special mono cartridges scenario, I guess that might be the crux of it for audiophiles of a certain ilk.
      Cheese Please Louise!!!

      http://www.facebook.com/diagonalband
      http://baron.bandcamp.com/
      http://autumnchorus.bandcamp.com/

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      • #4
        If you're on Waxidermy there are at least a couple of people there with collections of various 60s Blue Notes who may know more...

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Abominog View Post
          I've listened to some mono pressings of some 60's Blue Note's and they sound lush. But I've never been in a position to compare an original stereo with it's mono equivalent. Do monos really sound better?
          Backintheday - I never really bothered worrying about a mono or stereo Blue Note - it was all about getting hold of the item in question; that said some of the Blue Note Stereo's have a really defined split between the channels - e.g. nearly all the piano on the right - with the studio echo of the piano on the left, great for checking your cartridge/stereo/PA is wired up correctly

          The Mono Blue Notes - those much sought after first pressings, do sound awesome and loud, my Mono Grant's First Stand shakes the house to it's foundations:

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