An Investigation of Modern Physics by Brian Williams
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  • Why Stereo?

    Posted on August 3rd, 2010 Brian No comments

    I have over 3000 recordings on records, CDs, tapes including reel to reel.  Out of all there is only one track that benefits by being played in stereo. This track is Duelling Banjos, in which the audible separation of the two banjos is crucial. This leaves 2999 tracks for which stereo recording and playback is of no benefit. Stereo was (and still is) a gimmick without any logic

    Are we claiming that all the musicians from orchestras to the Beatles have been getting it all wrong over the last 200-300 years? Should they scatter themselves around the various venues so that we can get a stereo effect? Should the opera singer stand at the opposite end of the concert hall to the orchestra? If they did I think you would find it very aggravating.

    For over 20 years I used a KT 66 push-pull mono amplifier for parties, general get-togethers etc, and my guests included many stereo enthusiasts. yet I was never asked why I was only using mono. This was not because my guests were too polite to say anything, it was because they were listening to the music, or criticising the music or oblivious to the music. Whether it was in stereo or mono was irrelevant.

    For those of you old enough to remember the introduction of stereo players will also remember the demonstration records in which you heard all sorts of unusual effects like footsteps walking across your room etc. Did you ever buy a recording with this type of effects on it? Apart from the original demonstration records very few were ever made.

    A few years ago the BBC ran a demonstration of quadraphonic radio broadcasting and it was quite impressive, with people apparently walking and talking behind you. However, clever as it is, it really has no practical application to the public. Possibly about once a year some program could be broadcast that would benefit from this, but for 99.9% of the time it would be useless.

    Stereo and quadraphonics in television are actually aggravating because they distract you from the program because if a parrot apparently speaks behind you, you have a natural tendency to look towards it, thus missing something more important on the screen.

    It really is time we got back to common sense in general as well as physics.