There have recently been vinyl re-releases in mono, and there must be loads of mono LPs available at car boot sales and charity shops. Such is the strength of the new vinyl religion that there is now a marketing opportunity for the mono cartridge. In a review of such a cartridge, the reviewer says:
I feel that I am ‘going off’ stereo altogether. I am now determined to seek out more mono pressings on vinyl.
And here’s an article on portable vinyl players that eulogises the Dansette and other mono players that are only one step up from the Lego turntable. A worthwhile feature is the ability to play 78s too, apparently.
Within audiophilia there is without doubt a movement that is regressing to more primitive technology – but I don’t think the afflicted see it as a regression. They are too young to remember mono and 78s, and digital audio is pretty well perfect now, so this is the nearest thing to genuine progress that they can experience. Can it really be very long until they begin experimenting with purely-mechanical audio?
Update: another mono convert:
As I get deeper into black-disc connoisseurship, I’m more and more attracted to the gestalt of listening in mono… If I were a flush dude, I would have a dedicated mono system with a Miyajima Zero Mono ($1995) or a Miyabi Mono ($2800)
Last night I was listening to a Kinks album that comes with mono and stereo mixes for various tracks. Give me the stereo every time! Stereo separates the individual voices and instruments, and whether the ‘effect’ is real or artificial, it allows you to follow the individual lines with ease. Grotty recording of the individual instrument/voice tracks adds up to a wall of grottiness in mono, but with stereo the individual grottiness clings only to its own track, making the recording sound far better. Individual tracks that are clean can be heard uncontaminated. Stereo works superbly!