Author Topic: Beatles Mono Box set  (Read 2461 times)

Offline rollo

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Beatles Mono Box set
« on: October 24, 2014, 07:07:50 AM »
  So it has come to my attention that the mono release was cut with a stereo cutter. Not cool. Soon to be released is a box set cut with a mono cutter.
   I wonder how may other reissues in mono were cut with a stereo cutter. Are we getting a true mono ?


charles
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Offline tmazz

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Re: Beatles Mono Box set
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2014, 08:26:00 AM »
  So it has come to my attention that the mono release was cut with a stereo cutter. Not cool. Soon to be released is a box set cut with a mono cutter.
   I wonder how may other reissues in mono were cut with a stereo cutter. Are we getting a true mono ?


charles

I will be interested to hear what if any sonic differences there are. They way I understand it the benefit of playing mono LPs on a true mono cartridge is that a stereo cart playing Mono LPs will pick up extra noise on worn or less than well pressed records. In the case of the recently released Beatles set the records are new , so wear is not an issue and great care was taken in the cutting and pressing of the LPs themselves they should have a very low noise floor to begin with. Given that I wonder what the sonic differfences will be between the two releases.

I can understand from a business perspective why the set would be cut using a stereo cutter. First off I am sure there are not many mono cutters still around and it would be an effort (extra cost) to resurrect one for this project and even in audiophile circles the percentage of people who have a dedicated true mono cartridge is pretty low, so for the most part the LPs would be played on stereo rigs anyway.

I sent an email off to Acoustic Sounds and asked them how they cut their Mono Jazz releases. I will update this thread with anything I find out.
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Offline richidoo

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Re: Beatles Mono Box set
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2014, 08:33:10 AM »
This article sums up the (stereo) mono cutting event:
http://www.analogplanet.com/content/beatles-get-back-mono-and-aaa-vinyl

Recap: They were cut on Neumann VMS-80 lathe, with SX-74 (stereo) cutter head, considered by many to be the best mastering equipment ever made. The original mono, analog master tapes were used on mono head Studer. The tracks were re-EQ'd to modern audio standards, because the original LPs were mastered with tube electronics for the playback equipment of the day, with minimal bass response. So you get more of what is really on the master tapes.

When a stereo head is used to cut a mono record, the dual drive coils are electronically synchronized. They are fed identical signals except for phase, just like a balanced signal. Since the coil signals are identical there can be no vertical motion, within the precision limits of the cutter head design. In this case the cutter is the most precise ever made, so there is little chance of vertical cutter motion.  Besides, a mono cartridge is totally blind to vertical groove movement, even if it existed.

But I am not a Beatlemaniac, so please excuse my irreverence. There are some top mastering companies that maintain vintage mono cutters. Do you have any more information about who is producing the new true mono masters?

More info about cutting mono:
http://sessionville.com/articles/cutting-vinyl-records-in-mono-and-stereo

Bernie Grundman studio maintains vintage true mono cutting heads so there must be a demand for it.

Offline tmazz

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Re: Beatles Mono Box set
« Reply #3 on: October 24, 2014, 08:40:51 AM »
Thanks  Rich.

I didn't realize they used out of phase signals to lock the cutter head in the vertical plane. Makes sense.

So even though the lacquers were cut with a stereo head they are still physically mono records.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2014, 08:42:35 AM by tmazz »
Remember, it's all about the music........

Nola Boxers
Sunfire True SW Super Jr (2)
Quicksilver Mid Monos
ARC SP-9
VPI HW-19 Mk IV/SDS/SME IV/Sumiko Blue Pt. Special
EE Minmax DAC/Bluesound Node/Denon 2910
TWL Power Cords/MIT Cables