Mono Reissues and the Conical Stylus


Hi Folks,

Recently I started buying mono reissues from Speakers Corner, Impex, and have recently ordered a few from Analogphonic. They're all of the 'long haired' variety. In the process, I've come to discovery threads where posters claim that the newer mono reissue grooves are cut in a V (stereo) shape rather than the vintage U (mono) shape.
My AT 33 mono cartridge comes with a conical stylus and from what I can tell, so do the better mono cartridges, i.e. the Miyajima Zero Mono. This of course would then create an issue where it pertains to using a conical stylus in a V shaped groove.

Around November, I plan to purchase a Jelco tonearm for my modified Thorens TD 160 and after that, will be looking to upgrade to a higher end mono cartridge. However, I don't see that they're would be a viable solution to the stylus dilemma given that I will only have one tonearm. I do by the way own a collection of early mono records but would like to find a cartridge that better crosses over between my vintage pressings and my reissues. Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
goofyfoot
Dave, here are a couple of sources which explain different styli and groove dimensions as well as other things.

https://www.badenhausen.com/VSR_History.htm

https://dgmono.com/2017/02/17/modern-mono-playback/

I think we're loosing site of what matters, being what stylus type would work well between older mono pressings and newer mono pressings? The reason why I believe this is in need of discussion is because stylus geometry changed with the evolution of the record. I don' think anyone would disagree that the 1 mil. conical stylus, while optimal for early mono records, wasn't ideal for later stereo records. 

I understand that early mono styli track well and sound fine riding higher in the groove than a stereo styli needs to (i.e. pinch effect) however this is not he only reason for considering what differences between styli are important.
Here is a nice article on the subject.  https://dgmono.com/2018/04/06/deep-groove-mono-and-the-great-groove-width-mystery/
It is the stylus radius that is the most important measurement not the shape of the stylus. The smaller stereo stylus might theoretically pick up more noise from trash at the bottom of the groove but if you have clean records what does it matter? Older Mono record from before 1962 and re releases made from the same masters have a slightly wider groove. The shape of the groove is exactly the same 90 degree V with a very small radius at the bottom. 
If you are wealthy and can buy cartridges indiscriminately, wonderful. I am not. I would rather spend my money on one great cartridge than two not so great cartridges. I have quite a few mono records and I never switch cartridges to listen to them. Might they sound better with a conical stylus and a mono specific coil layout. I do not know as I have never been able to make that comparison. I do know that a modern stylus has significantly less mass than a large conical stylus. Consequently all other factors being equal the modern stylus will track better and cause less record wear. 
miijostyn,

thanks for the URL. My nude conical is 0.65 mil and I have no real objections to the richness of sound that I’m getting from 1950’s mono. So maybe a mono cartridge with a Shibata stylus of 0.7 mil or more could be fine; I’m not certain but I do think that the shape of the stylus is also an important consideration, just as the tonearm is.
My parents own.ed a major number of mono recordings from their times living in the states in the 50's. A part is musically so-so, but there are treasures like eg. the Mozart sonata recordings with Walter Gieseking. I always liked the magical sound of these recordings "even" played with my stereo cartridges like Koetsu Black, Monster Genesis 2000 and others. (Turntable were at some time Merrill Heirloom, then WTT Signature and lately a modified Technics SL1210, I used the ET2 arm, where possible). I BTW used these mono recordings to tweak lateral azimuth by minimizimng the"null" mono signal via electrically mono-ed- out-of-phase channels.
After reading several enthusiastic UK reviews of the Miyajima Mono cartridges I started to get intrigued and asked friends, and finally bought a Miyajima Zero and mounted it on a friends Lenco "monster" with Adanalog air bearing arm, where we could "directly" compare a modded (and very good sounding) Denon DL103 vs. the Miyajima on mono recordings.
I was quite smashed by the difference. "Stereo illusions" excepted, I rarely heard as lifelike true timbres and dynamics, and as much colours, and the bass was in a class by itself - in a never heard of way. The "virtual mono" coming from the stereo cartridge somehow simply sounded broken and fluttering, somehow instable.
I truly recommend trying to hear - no, experience this difference for yourself, if you are interested in mono recordings.After listening, some observations and thinking trickled in: Stereo cartridges have to track and electromechanically decode vertical information, mono cartridges do not. For stereo cartridges there is a certain design freedom regarding lateral and vertical compliance, eg. resonance frequency, but in the end vertical resonance will practically never be above 20Hz. The stiffer the suspension, the less the cantilever moves vertically - and that's where almost all extra-musical LF "rubbish" lays.The Miyajimas suspension is much stiffer vertically than laterally, and stiffer than any cartridge I ever saw. And IMO / IME this reduces flutter / Doppler distortion from excess cantilever movement by (almost) an order of magnitude.It reduces this on both a mechanical level and by not decoding it electromagnetically. Which means the coils. cores, and magnetic circuits are much less modulated / saturated by LF, where saturation is at its worst.Internally or externally mono-ing will simply not do the same distortion elimination trick. (It might simply be a marketing decision to sit on a me-mono-too-bandwaggon :-).
Yes, probably cartridge tips will make a difference too...
I don' think anyone would disagree that the 1 mil. conical stylus, while optimal for early mono records, wasn't ideal for later stereo records.
I agree that the 1 mil conical is not a goof choice for micro-groove but I also do not believe it is the best choice for early mono recordings.   I prefer the sound of the micro-ridge compared to anything else for all of the mono I have played with.    The simple fact is that back in the day the 1 mil conical wasn't the "best option" it was the "only option".  Just because more advanced profiles didn't exist in the 50's doesn't mean they engineers and enthusiasts  of the day wouldn't have used them for playback if given the chance.
 
here is a "to scale" image comparing a micro-ridge to a 0.7 mil conical.
http://www.intactaudio.com/forum/files/micro_vs_conical_187.jpg

dave