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Thread: Still Cannot "Get Over" Mono and Old Recordings

  1. #301
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    I've got a Brunswick Cortez, the Rolls Royce of acoustic phonographs. It sounds fantastic. There are great suitcase phonos like the Victrola VV-2-55 and VV-2-65. Shellac with a steel needle is great. I don't care as much for the sound of the electrical pickups in that changer.

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    Senior Member 13hm13's Avatar
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    This recording is from 1952. Even YouTube streamed at super-lossy 128k (audio), it sounds superb ....



    Conus Violin Concerto - Jascha Heifetz

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    Senior Member Bill H.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larkenfield View Post
    Not only is one missing the effects of stereo, one is now missing one of the two speakers that one normally uses — which is why some do not prefer to hear mono through one speaker or one side of a set of headphones. I never found this necessary, and in a good mono recording the ears adjust even if they're used to stereo... It can sound entirely natural and one becomes forcused on the preformance. But if I wanted the true authentic vintage experience of mono recordings, I'd buy a vintage phonograph, use the same vintage "needles" (stylus), and listen through its most typically used single speaker. The sound quality through one of them can sometimes be satisfying and astronishing... There's a life-force, an authenticity to it, that cannot be duplicated even by expensive s-s systems.

    IIRC, isn't that how one record label (Nimbus?) did the masters for their acoustic CD reissues? They played the disks using a vintage Victrola/gramophone, set up in a room acoustically adjusted for best aural playback (by whose judgement I don't know), and then recorded the sound coming out of the horn. Somewhere I have a Nimbus CD or two of tracks by John McCormick and other singers from the early 1900s that were done that way.

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    I have the Nimbus SACD surround Caruso collection. It sounds pretty good. They took a phonograph with a huge horn and put it on the stage of a concert hall and miked it as a real singer. It worked very well. However if you listen to it in stereo, it sounds terrible because all the hall ambience is plastered over the top of the record. There's still something that the horn adds to make the sound directional that you don't get from speakers. I've never heard any Caruso record on disc sound quite like they sound on my phonographs.

    The first release of the Nimbus surround discs were in some bizarre matrixed surround format that nobody had. They got terrible reviews because everyone was listening to them in stereo. Later, they released them in 5.0 on SACD. I have a bunch of them, mostly modern multichannel recordings, and they sound very good in native 5.0.
    Last edited by bigshot; Jul-11-2019 at 17:13.

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