Mono Recordings

I was listening to my brand new copy of Analog Productions "The Chirping Crickets" sitting here at the computer way of axis and the sound was wonderful. I decided to check it out at the listening position and it was surreal. Music coming from a slit in space. The first thing that popped into my head was the Outer Limits intro. Off axis you would not know it was Mono and instruments and voices attain their normal sizes. I'm not sure where the passion for mono recordings comes from. Obviously in some instances you have no choice. There is a lot of incredible music from the early to mid 50's that is incredible but given the choice I would go for the stereo version. Getting the Beatles collection on CD in Mono seems a bit odd to me. Except for the old music can anyone tell me what the attraction to mono recordings is?
For me a mono recording has it's biggest impact in vinyl format.  Less detail in mono compared to stereo but a good mono recording certainly has it's own soundstage and in my view it's more pure to the live performance.  No crazy panning from left to right by the engineer in stereo and overall more slam in mono, especially when I listen quality first pressings in 50s/60s jazz realm.  Give me a quality 1st pressing Bluenote on a NY label over any stereo LP any day!
Well, this isn't an answer....more of a remark....if I listen to a recording that was originally in mono, that's the way it sounds best to me.
Mono can be excellent.  I have a rig dedicated to it in vinyl and a large collection of mono opera, classical, jazz and early country.  Julie London’s Cry Me a River is sublime.  I play it through both speakers.   Haven’t tried only one central speaker.
The appeal of mono rock recordings has two main points. The early Beatles and Dylan recordings, and others, often had voices in one channel and instruments in the other. Not ideal. Mono versions of those recordings sound better to most people.

The mono versions of some albums, aside from the channel issue, have different mixes than the stereo versions, more prominent vocals for instance, and the mono mix is preferred by some people.

I generally prefer stereo unless there’s a specific problem with the album, but there are mono fans.

Mono jazz recordings from the Fifties have some of the best sonics! Partly due to an all-tube recording chain without multi-tracking and noise-reduction.
roberjerman sez ...

  • "Mono jazz recordings from the Fifties have some of the best sonics! Partly due to an all-tube recording chain without multi-tracking and noise-reduction."

No doubt and I agree totally. I’ve been collecting jazz records since high school way back when mono was all you could get. Many of these all-tube recordings have you thinking ... who needs stereo?

Here’s a couple to try out that are excellent:

I can’t vouch for the reissues, but the originals sound fantastic.

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