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Archiving Your Vinyl Collection

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Hi all. I'm currently in the process of digitising my vinyl collection. I would say that about 90% of my collection are mono recordings. Should I record them in stereo or mono? Your thoughts would be most welcome, especially the pros and cons of either format. Obviously the remaining 10% that are stereo will be recorded & archived as such.

Thanks,

Dave

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:hatsoff2: HI ALL ....No matter how much I have tried over the years, never can I keep my records in atchive order, so any good tips on all aspects of storage, and listing would be also welcome from myself, I am a very oral person? :thumbsup: DAVE

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Hi all. I'm currently in the process of digitising my vinyl collection. I would say that about 90% of my collection are mono recordings. Should I record them in stereo or mono? Your thoughts would be most welcome, especially the pros and cons of either format. Obviously the remaining 10% that are stereo will be recorded & archived as such.

Thanks,

Dave

you should definitely record them with a mono cart / stylus, which rides in a totally different part of the groove (much higher) than a stereo stylus. Records that are styrene burnt from stereo carts will often play great with a mono cart because it doesn't touch the damaged parts of the groove. If you have a record that plays styrene burnt in mono you should try a stereo cart to see if it sounds better.

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Cheers Steve. I have tried recording my mono 45's in stereo but was getting a lot of distortion. This was pretty bad as I listen through headphones quite a lot. I also use cooledit pro which is a great piece of software.

Boba, I don't have a mono stylus, rather I use a converter box between my turntable/preamp and digital recorder which mixes my stereo cartridge output down to mono . Do you think it's worth my time buying a mono cartridges? Also, do you know of any good Web resources for stylus?

Edited by Only Dreaming

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Cheers Steve. I have tried recording my mono 45's in stereo but was getting a lot of distortion. This was pretty bad as I listen through headphones quite a lot. I also use cooledit pro which is a great piece of software.

Boba, I don't have a mono stylus, rather I use a converter box between my turntable/preamp and digital recorder which mixes my stereo cartridge output down to mono . Do you think it's worth my time buying a mono cartridges? Also, do you know of any good Web resources for stylus?

I don't know what advantage of your stereo-mono converter box is, it doesn't do anything that mixing stereo to mono in cooledit won't do. If anything, it's one more stage of recording that could lessen the fidelity. A real mono cartridge / stylus will make a real difference. You should have a stereo one and a mono one on hand so you can switch easily. Use the mono one in general and test with a stereo one on recordings that don't sound good (esp styrene burned records).

I haven't bought a stylus / cartridge online in a while, I used to use garage-a-records.com . They will mount the cartridge into the headshell and wire it up for you which is like an impossible task for me (I don't understand how anyone manages to do it actually). You can email them and ask for advice as to what you should get in your price range, etc. There is also needledoctor.com which I think is a popular site but I don't think I've used them.

Mixing stereo to mono for both stereo and mono recordings will generally reduce crackle / pops as crackles and pops are generally louder in one of the two channels, so you're cutting the gain on the crackle. I don't know how it would fix distortion though.

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Thanks for your advice Bob. I'll e-mail the sites you suggested. As for using Cooledit pro to convert from stereo to mono, It works perfectly but the (one channel/waveform) mono wave does not convert to MP3 via EAC and Lame. Just to clarify, the stereo to mono converter box still gives me a left and right channel/waveform but they are both mono, if that makes sense. In my experience mixing stereo to mono eliminates 90% of the distortion from a typical mono 45 that I have. I use a Stanton D500 stylus but maybe the distortion would be less using a different stylus.

Thanks.

Dave

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buy my stylus's on ebay from 'get the needle', cheapest i could find, but would like to know of any places cheaper.

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buy my stylus's on ebay from 'get the needle', cheapest i could find, but would like to know of any places cheaper.

Paul, can you give me a link for this seller ? TIA..

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Thanks for your advice Bob. I'll e-mail the sites you suggested. As for using Cooledit pro to convert from stereo to mono, It works perfectly but the (one channel/waveform) mono wave does not convert to MP3 via EAC and Lame. Just to clarify, the stereo to mono converter box still gives me a left and right channel/waveform but they are both mono, if that makes sense. In my experience mixing stereo to mono eliminates 90% of the distortion from a typical mono 45 that I have. I use a Stanton D500 stylus but maybe the distortion would be less using a different stylus.

Thanks.

Dave

I'm surprised you can't make a mono mp3 but if you wanted to do this in cooledit, you would just do stereo->mono and then do mono->stereo and you will end up with a left and right channel that are identical. I guess this is tedious if the box does it for you.

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I use a Stanton D500 stylus but maybe the distortion would be less using a different stylus.

Yes.

If you're serious about archiving your vinyl in digital format, the first thing I would suggest is to upgrade to a decent cartridge and stylus. Go for the Ortofon 2M Blue if you're on a budget (sells for about £140). There are far better options out there ofcourse but I've had nice results with 60s/70s vinyl using that stylus.

Records will only sound as good as the worst component in your setup allows it to.

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Yes.

If you're serious about archiving your vinyl in digital format, the first thing I would suggest is to upgrade to a decent cartridge and stylus. Go for the Ortofon 2M Blue if you're on a budget (sells for about £140). There are far better options out there ofcourse but I've had nice results with 60s/70s vinyl using that stylus.

Records will only sound as good as the worst component in your setup allows it to.

I don't think there isn't one generic stylus that will sound better on mono AND stereo recordings as well as mono or stereo recordings that have been damaged by a mono or stereo cart.

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I don't think there isn't one generic stylus that will sound better on mono AND stereo recordings as well as mono or stereo recordings that have been damaged by a mono or stereo cart.

not following you?

I'm just saying that any record - preferably non-damaged - will sound better with a high quality stylus as it brings out more info from the grooves than a cheap low quality stylus.

Edited by Sebastian

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Hi Sebastian. I think what Boba means is playing 45's that are worn or sound distorted (and several of my mint condition 45's do) through either a mono or stereo stylus can improve the playback quality. I appreciate your comments on upgrading my cartridge and stylus but is there really enough resolution in most of those old records/recordings to warrant spending so much? I am currently using a Stanton D500 sytylus and cartridge and really can't see any enough improvement in sound quality to justify spending so much on a stylus,but I do have an open mind.

Best,

Dave

Edited by Only Dreaming

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I'm surprised you can't make a mono mp3 but if you wanted to do this in cooledit, you would just do stereo->mono and then do mono->stereo and you will end up with a left and right channel that are identical. I guess this is tedious if the box does it for you.

You can make an Mp3 from a 2 channel mono recording (if that makes sense). If you try to Mp3 the one channel (I suppose 'true') mono file the resulting sound file simply comes out as white noise. I do find that the converter box saves a lot of mucking around and prefer converting to mono at source.

Best,

Dave

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I appreciate your comments on upgrading my cartridge and stylus but is there really enough resolution in most of those old records/recordings to warrant spending so much? I am currently using a Stanton D500 sytylus and cartridge and really can't see any improvement in sound quality when compared with a £180 stylus. I don't think that any improvement certainly wouldn't justify spending so much on a stylus upgrade, but I do have an open mind.

It's a matter of how important these things are to you, I guess, but all records will display more detail (especially the stuff that most people on this site are concerned with) if you use a high quality stylus. Whether it is worth the money or not is another question, I definitely think it is and could never go back to the cheap styluses that I earlier used.

Edited by Sebastian

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not following you?

I'm just saying that any record - preferably non-damaged - will sound better with a high quality stylus as it brings out more info from the grooves than a cheap low quality stylus.

I'm not saying to use a low quality stylus. I'm saying that a mono vs. stereo cart ride differently in the groove and some records will sound better with one vs. the other, especially if damaged and how they're damaged. There isn't a universal one that will make everything sound better. Additionally, a mono cart is much better than a stereo one for recording mono records.

Additionally, you're recommending a stereo cart for someone who wants to record mostly mono recordings.

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Thanks for the reply Bob. I'll go with your closing comment and sort myself out a mono cartridge. BTW. A mate of mine uses a top end system with a £180 cartridge fitted and I can't tell the difference between the 45's he records for me (in stereo) and the ones I produce with my mono conveter and a Stanton D500 cartridge/stylus. .

Thanks to everyone for their replies & input.

Happy ripping

Dave

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I'm saying that a mono vs. stereo cart ride differently in the groove and some records will sound better with one vs. the other, especially if damaged and how they're damaged.

You're absolutely right about that. Note to self: get a mono cartridge/stylus as well! :thumbsup:

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You're absolutely right about that. Note to self: get a mono cartridge/stylus as well! :thumbsup:

It seems the way to go Sebastian. I'll do a bit of a comparison when I get mine and try to post up some sound files. BTW, thanks for your input as well, that Ortofon cartridge certainly gets some first rate reviews.

Take care,

Dave

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It seems the way to go Sebastian. I'll do a bit of a comparison when I get mine and try to post up some sound files. BTW, thanks for your input as well, that Ortofon cartridge certainly gets some first rate reviews.

Probably 50% of my records are in stereo though, so I will have to have two set-ups. Preferably two turntables being sent into the same amplifier, one with a mono cartridge and one with a stereo cartridge (I'm using the 2M Black at the moment, it's amazing).

The Ortofon 2M Blue is indeed really good. For STEREO records, perhaps I should add. :wink:

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