Stereo Vs. Mono

I have a nice six eye mono copy of Brubecks "Gone with the Wind" and was always hunting around for a six eye stereo version. I recently got my hands on a very clean copy - it would grade NM visually - gave it a good cleaning only to play it and be disappointed with the amount of background noise. The mono version was far superior in every way. I went and compared a few late 50s early 60s stereo with mono pressings and discovered that the mono always sounded better. Since they were early stereo recordings I guess they hadn't perfected their techniques or something. Any ideas? I am still amazed at how mono can have the depth and soundstage that it does. A few times I have set my ARC Ref Phono to mono and forgotten about it getting well into stereo album before I realize that it's still set to mono.
I think mono is the way to go too! Of course I only have hearing left in one ear.

Stereo or Mono

I remain,
Ntscdan, nothing wrong with your observation.

I have a number of mono recordings that are superior to stereo. In fact, there were more than a few early stereo releases recorded in mono format, then "electronically enhanced" to simulate stereo. These are almost always worse than the original mono.

Noise on stereo (or mono) is a separate issue. As for visual grading, an LP can be handled with the utmost care (perfect label and cover, no obvious scratches) and yet be played to death. Quality of sound is determined by groove wear and how good the pressing was in the first place.

I've purchased records in such poor condition, they look as though they won't play at all. Some surprise me with perfect sound and quiet running. Still, I seldom risk buying this condition unless they are priced low and otherwise unavailable.
Albert - you are certainly correct about visual grading - I find the old thick mono vinyl can look pretty bad and still play nicely - I am not using anything crazy for a cartridge - Grado Reference that came with the VPI - I have been thinking about splurging on the helikon but don't know if it's worth almost twice the dough - I have noticed that finding first pressings of anything is getting more and more difficult - atleast here in Vancouver, although I travel frequently and can't pass by a vinyl emporium of any kind - expect of course those hip hoppy, dj scratchy places
In all logical sence the small band is best to listen in mono. I also tend to collect different versions of the same album if it's possible.
I have Jacques Loussier trio "Plays Bach" Vol 1. in Mono and Stereo versions.
In Mono there is almost no compromise in soundstage and far more natural superior reproduction. The time comes to have enough mono records, I'll probably have a dedicated mono-cartridge and turntable able to accommodate two tonearms.
Albert is as usual "correct." One of the problems with early stereo recordings was that people didn't know how to do them. The engineers had years of experience with mono and it showed in the recording. Often a stereo mix was done almost as an afterthought.
A similar learning curve was easily observed with the advent of digital recording. They were supposed to sound great, but the fact of the matter was they sounded like #%@*! It took several years for them to sound good, but the newer offereings are much better than those available in the early 80's.
I very much enjoy the few monos I have and wouldn't shy away from buying mono again.
Many earlier stereo pressings were too challenging for a stylus to track and, in essence, had to be "dumbed down" for the new stereo gear. The mono versions sound a lot better. Compare the mono release of Dylan's "Highway 61" with the original stereo release. Mono is much better.