Mono record sounds like stereo

So I have been playing stereo records for 40 years.  I’ve recently acquired some Verve Japanese reissues. Listening to Metronome All stars tonight and there is clearly separation. I hear horns predominantly on the left and xylophone and drums on the right.  This is on an Ortofon SPU synergy stereo cartridge. Is this normal ?  I’m sorry.  I’m new to Mono.  I bought about 50 verve and Blue notes last week and got some monos on accident.  My system is balanced and the room has extensive treatment so I’m lost !   


Mono LPs can sound absolutely wonderful, and in some cases, you don’t miss stereo. This is because your brain is doing the work of supplying a stereo- like image. Your brain knows where the horns are usually located in an orchestra, and likewise where the violins are located, etc. In addition to that the recording, even with a mono microphone and mono mode picks up phase differences among instruments, and the many sources in an orchestra, and that may contribute to the sensation of a stereo image. However, if you interrogate yourself, while you’re listening, you will realize it’s a feaux image, although nevertheless, satisfying. 

To be honest I had never heard, nor been interested in Mono. I just never had exposure. Now I’m really intrigued. All I need is another rabbit hole !!  It will be interesting to take it a step further with a suitable arm and cart.  I really appreciate all of the responses to this thread.  Adrian

@adrianleewelch , first off let me say nice setup. My 311 horns are dwarfed next to those 15s...

Last week I pulled the trigger on an Otho Cadenza Mono. Being I have about 60+ Mono’s original pressings of Jazz & Big Band. I love how the drums are in front of me, instead of coming from either the R or L speakers. Every instruments is delivered with authority in my system. IDK what the hell I was waiting for?

Enjoy the music everyone!

I just wanted to confirm if my AT-33 mono is MC as I bought it a long time ago

this popped up, it happens to be my combo of MC Stereo and MC Mono


Audio Technica AT33PTG/II and AT33 MONO

Post by omegabri » 10 Jan 2018 10:49

Hi guys

I've just finished putting my new Audio Technica AT33PTG/II and AT33 MONO MC cartridges on to two matching Pro-Ject aluminium Signature headshells, and setting them up on my turntable.
I've moved up from an AT440mlb MM cartridge. Having briefly listened to a mixture of lp's, using the new carts, I can say that I am extremely pleased!
The AT33PTG/II gives more positioning of instruments than the AT440mlb (which is still an outstanding cartridge). The sound stage portrayed by my speakers seems to have more depth, the response of the MC cart seems sharper, and draws out more detail.
The AT33 MONO is, to me, simply astonishing! I've never had a dedicated true mono cartridge before, and listening to mono now just blows my mind. Outstanding isn't a good enough term. I'm definitely looking forward to dragging all my mono lp's out now!


Also mentioned above, I am using my old but nearly new AT-440ML on my Office TT. I used to alternate it with Shure's V15Vxmr, preferred the Shure due to it's damped brush (helped with my flexible flyer wood floors), and it's beryllium cantilever, until I looked sideways at the beryllium and it shattered.

AT's current version of the AT440 is the VM540ML, it is the one I recommend as a 'starter' upgrade MM Stereo cartridge, due to advanced stylus shape, tight channel balance 1.0 db, fairly wide channel separation 28db, fairly light tracking force 2.0g.