2 Wonderful Stereo LP's RESCUED by: MONO MODE and BALANCE

to be sure, I played these with both of my MC cartridges, alignments all refined that morning. Identical imaging results. Everything else I'm familiar with that I played just before these sounded wonderful

1st STEREO rescued by MONO MODE

we have a wonderful live performance by the Bill Evans Trio at the Village Vanguard, 6-25-1961


Stereo Imaging very strange: Bass Hard Left; Drums left, just inside of the Bass, nothing in the middle, Piano Hard Right. It seemed like a big wide stage, players at opposite ends (impossible at the Village Vanguard). And the respectful audience’s few noises very indistinct.

McIntosh Mode Control to the Rescue: Moved to MONO MODE position (still receiving the stereo info from the stereo cartridge, the hard left sent to both speakers, the hard right sent to both speakers).

What a wonderful performance, like a great mono recording, everything ’together’, distinct, and the few audience sounds became real, added to the awareness it was a live performance.

A terrific musical experience.

2nd: Remote BALANCE to the rescue.

another superb album, duets by Lee Konitz and Red Mitchell


Balance was: Sax just a bit right of center; Bass mid left, not hard left, but a definite asymetrical presentation, they didn’t seem to be playing together.

REMOTE BALANCE, a few clicks to the right, bingo they performed together. An example of a lot being gained by a small balance refinement.

Oh they are great together!
Just thinking: to confirm the imaging: My friend had two of the Bill Evans Riversides, he gave me this one. I'll ask him to bring his copy here, and I can play mine on his system as well.
Stereo albums with hard pans are not a good thing. Almost never done today. 
I am sure most people know this but a lot of those early stereo LPs with what Russ calls a hard pan are derived from mono tapings. I don’t know exactly how they did it, but the result is often an empty space between the two channels. Also, I suppose that since Stereo was a novelty, there was an attempt to exaggerate channel separation for the novel effect compared to mono . Even when stereo recordings were first made.
"...Also, I suppose that since Stereo was a novelty, there was an attempt to exaggerate channel separation for the novel effect..."

Exactly this. 
“Curiouser and curiouser!” cried Alice.

Well, you don’t know what’s what about any individual LP. However, nobody who has ever been in the Village Vanguard would create or approve what ’this particular’ LP presents. It’s in pristine condition btw.

I know exaggerated separation, born in 1948, hooked on music beginning age 10, 1958 the year stereo lp’s began in earnest. Got a SS card to get a job age 13 (needed money for beer and cigarettes), I also began buying LP’s 1961. FM and FM Stereo took over AM on my watch, as had Color TV earlier.

My weekly budget was $6. Hard choice: two $3. stereo LP’s; or three $2. Monos. Played on my brother’s crappy equipment, I thought about: mono now, or stereo for the future when I had better equipment like my friend next door. This was when it was ’happening’, new LP’s EVERY week!

IOW, I lived thru that era, this is far beyond that, NOTHING in the middle.

One of my two MC cartridges, AT33PTG/II has 30db separation and 1 db channel balance, the other Goldring Eroica LX 25/1. I played both, toe’d the speakers as I do for two listeners, left aimed right chair; right aimed left chair, let’s call that Toe-In X. Sitting in the middle I got a ’listenable’ stereo performance, but the MONO MODE was still preferable.

Thoroughly puzzled, as this was made in 1961, clearly labeled Stereo, and Jacket says there is a MONO LP, Riverside RLP 376. I easily found many reviews, evidently this is considered one to the best Jazz performances ever, and many favorable reviews do not mention the hole in the middle.

One even mentioned a famous story about how it was recorded which I will look for. If anyone finds the story, please post the link, thanks.

I ordered this 2012 re-issue Stereo LP yesterday, to see what’s what on it:


And, now, to begin some detective work:

My Jacket: Riverside Stereophonic RLP 9376. Appears Genuine.
Orrrin Keepnews’s notes say: Orrin was involved in the work on this album, and he previously supervised 3 sets of their prior recording sessions.

Thinking something has to be wrong with my LP I checked it’s paper label which has confusing info:

stamped: side one: RLP 129376 A 111 (side two ...B).

paper label: SMJ-6201 (SRS-6091) (RLP-12-9376-A)

curved print on outside edge of paper label:

"made in Japan by Victor Musical Industries, Inc. from a master recording owned by Locele Record Company."

Does anyone else have a version of this recording?
lew, elliott, others,

Many of those false stereo releases were labeled "electronically enhanced for stereo".  I always avoided those.

And certainly many early true stereo recordings had exaggerated separation between L and R channels.  Some called that the "ping-pong effect".  I suspect that was one reason for appreciation of the mono records when labels offered dual releases.  Plus quieter backgrounds, more solid bass, etc., etc.

Also for me while s starving student in college the mono LPs were priced at $1 less than stereo (or more).  That impacted how many records I could buy. ;^)
Another Quirky Stereo Album recorded 1961, Blue Note: Donald Byrd Quintet


btw, these results are exactly the same, but reversed, using Stereo or Stereo Reverse Mode, meaning the anti-skate is good, the balance is good, speaker’s L-Pads match each other L/R, IOW, it’s what’s on the LP!

Donald’s Trumpet always Hard Left. Zero mid left; Piano Centered; Bass/Drums/Sax ’bunched’ on the right. And, during solos, if drums: hard right, if sax: hard right.

Three fixes:

1. Use Goldring Cartridge with less separation
2. Use Toe-In X to tighten the group together
3. Balance: 3 clicks to the left, which moved the Piano to mid-left filling the hole, spread the bass/drums/sax a bit wider. Solo’s still hard right, but now the full drum kit had some width to it, very nice.

These guys play well together!

engineered by Rudy Van Gelder, one of my favorite engineers, I cannot count how many times I look at my friends when amazed at a great sounding/imaging LP to find it was Rudy.

What was he thinking/drinking?

I read once that when Stereo Recording began, the big labels: RCA; Columbia ... had their existing team of Mono engineers record in Mono, then, switch to the new Stereo engineers, and pay the studio and musicians to repeat the performance.

Rudy couldn’t afford that, so he decided: record it once in Stereo, and mix Mono from the Stereo original back at the shop. So we cannot say it is Stereo created from Mono.