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Tuesday, October 9, 2018

From A to Z - those where the days...

... tubes-wise...

... many of the materials are quite poisonous and not allowed in current industrial productions.


Saturday, October 6, 2018

Denon DP-26 by Soundlabo

Why, ohhhh why DO I LOVE this very turntable from 1954?

€ 1


This can be the cost for a gem!

Go and browse the WEB for this very wax, folks... it's such a nugget... sparkling and zest... 

... don't expect music for the soul... but it will give shivers of joy!

The perfect rainy Saturday afternoon...

... yes, perfect for music and audio pleasure.

... master-dubbing for a friend (that's why Garrardzilla is OFF, under its plexiglas cover)... healing from last week stresses... 

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Bespoke Music

It's something I truly find intriguing... like it goes on time-loop, century after century...

Sergiei Diaghilev and Coco Chanel funded Igor Stravinsky in Paris... Betty Freeman funded Harry Partch and John Cage... John Adams dedicated to her Nixon in China... Beethoven himself was funded back in 18th Century by Razumovskij for some string quartets.

Do you wish to get a glimpse of immaterial beauty, of truly portable and timeless art?

Commission to a composer a piece of music for your loved one or a birthday or an anniversary... a piece of music is forever!

Some ideas? Go at your local conservatory of music and get in touch with composing class director... do you wish to go WEB and international?

Contact the following sites: Birmingham Contemporary Music Group or New Music USA or Richard Thomas Foundation or Third Ear

A bespoke piece of music is such a cool and poetic way to celebrate someone or something and a way to reach immortality... or at least a scent of it.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Keith Jarrett - La Fenice, out October 19th

Here’s the complete press release:
“This double album, long anticipated, presents Keith Jarrett’s concert at the Gran Teatro La
Fenice in Venice, from July 2006. The setting – one of Italy’s most famous classical venues –
may evoke some parallels with La Scala, the pianist’s much-loved 1995 recording, but each
of Jarrett’s solo performances is its own world, his protean creativity continually bringing
new forms to light. La Fenice (the phoenix) finds him channelling the flow of inspiration into
a suite of eight spontaneously created pieces referencing everything from the blues to
atonality. From the first flurry of notes, it is a consistently captivating journey. Between Part
VI and Part VII, Jarrett surprisingly but very touchingly segues into “The Sun Whose Rays”,
from Gilbert and Sullivan’s opera The Mikado.
Encores are the traditional tune “My Wild Irish Rose” (previously recorded by Jarrett on The
Melody At Night With You), the timeless standard “Stella By Starlight”, which the trio with
Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette often played (see for instance the albums Standards Live
and Yesterdays). The concert ends with a tender version of Keith’s tune “Blossom”, first
heard on the Belonging album with Jan Garbarek, Palle Danielsson and Jon Christensen back
in 1974.

La Fenice could be considered the culmination point of a series of solo concerts that began
the previous September with the The Carnegie Hall Concert. Reviewing that performance,
Fred Kaplan of The Absolute Sound wrote: “His concert pieces, all pure improvisations, are
models of economy, themes stated, explored, varied on, departed from, returned to, done –
and gripping from start to finish. The encores were similarly taut – and lyrical and gorgeous.”
Release of the Venice concert is timely. The 62nd International Festival of Contemporary
Music of the Biennale di Venezia has honoured Keith Jarrett with its Golden Lion for
Lifetime Achievement. It’s the first time that a “jazz” musician has received this award,
which has previously been given to contemporary composers including, in recent decades,
Luciano Berio, Pierre Boulez, György Kurtág, Helmut Lachenmann, Sofia Gubaidulina and
Steve Reich. Of course, there is more than one way to be a contemporary composer, as Keith
Jarrett eloquently illustrates on La Fenice, shaping his musical structures in real time.”
The tracklist is as follows:
CD 1
  1. Part I (17:44)
  2. Part II (3:26)
  3. Part III (9:47)
  4. Part IV (7:15)
  5. Part V (6:36)
CD 2
  1. Part VI (13:32)
  2. The Sun Whose Rays (4:22)
  3. Part VII (5:30)
  4. Part VIII (7:15)
  5. My Wild Irish Rose (7:03)
  6. Stella By Starlight (6:33)
  7. Blossom (8:35)
Thanks to Ziad, Stephen, Jan, Heino, Matthias, and Christoph for sending me information about this release.
Update (September 22, 2018). “The Sun Whose Rays” is already available from streaming platforms such as Deezer or Spotify. Thanks to Gabriele for the link!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Disk of the Month - Steve Tibbets - Life of (ECM 2018)

I've always been - as far as I remember - a loyal fan of Steve Tibbets and own ALL his discs and disks, including the elusive first, private pressing of Yr, his first one.

This "Life of" comes after a long hiatus of 8 years from the previous one... BUT the wait with Steve and his long.time music partner Marc Anderson on assorted percussions is always worthwhile.

I'll leave to Steve's words the description and background of the album in the making...

Steve with his trusty Martin D12-20... amazing pix.

On my part, only an heartfelt advice: buy it.


Monday, September 3, 2018

The Full Monty

Like in a lengthy, yet natural process, I finally gave a listen to Misho's C3M and RIAA Phono stage... in Gotorama.

I got the same extremely positive impression I previously had with smaller system, only better!

Dynamics, detailing, inter-notes silence, RFI and noise rejection... just WOW!

It's really a stellar sonic quality combo, folks... no but, no if, no maybe... only YES! and definitely so...

If a pictures says more than an hundred words, imagine four pictures;-)

Bravo, Misho!

Bravo, Yanislav!

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Andy Irvine & Donal Lunny - The Plains o' Kildare

Two greats, two incredibly gifted musicians, two legends who both were in Planxty, the Irish supergroup I so much loved...

This superb video shows the two old masters en plein air dueting on their bouzoukis, Andy singing...


Saturday, September 1, 2018

High-end guitar - Gianni Pedrini venetian-cutaway acoustic guitar (1998)

Yes, high-end acoustic guitar is something I seldom experienced, despite I own or owned some nice guitars... the only other high-end guitar in my possession is a Lowden S-35 Rio/alpine spruce.

(a partial view of the stable)

What's the difference between a good acoustic guitar and an acoustic high-end guitar?

The price-tag?


The woods used?


The sound?


Like a voice, it's unique! You cannot be wrong... no misundestandings!

It's something special, harmonically rich, supremely resonant, lively, impressing at every note.

I recently acquired an acoustic guitar made by an italian luthier - Gianni Pedrini - in 1998: mahogany back and sides, italian alpine spruce, zero-fret at nut, no trussrod, no end-pin... 500 grams of resonance, overtones and sonic beauty.

The luthier is - maybe - the last member of old school of Northern Italy luthiery of Gallinotti, Giulietti, Raspagni, the latter where Pedrini worked for long years as an apprentice, first, and then a collaborator and whose master-grade woods supply was inherited by him after Maestro Raspagni passing.

Music coming from an unique instrument, made 20 years ago by an obscure, skilled, gifted italian artisan!

I simply cannot stop playing it.

P.S. - Gianni Pedrini was also the maker of this beast...

... and of this beauty, an Hauser-style classical guitar, made in 1994.

WoodenAmp C3M line stage

I tried Misho's C3M preamp with Gotorama, at last...

... have been a truly destroying August for yours truly, folks... daily job at its worst, ever!

Music healing power was disturbed by very high temperatures and humidity which worked against my energies... but, with first rains and average 25 degrees Celsius, VOILA'... I got some enthusiasm and curiosity winning on (work-related) stress.

Some interesting notes by Misho himself: "The amplification factor is only 6 dB - (2 times actually), and it's more than enough for any conventional system (as you already had tried on smaller system 🙂. I hate to see a lot of over-amplification that will be lost in attenuators - so I prefer amps to work as close to maximum open sound path as possible. Yet, in a case if multi way system it may face a different requirements of course."

Wise and self-explaining, as at first glance, when I connected the Wooden(pre)Amp to Nuforce MCA 20 Stealth and Thomas Mayer 4 ways crossover, I had a strange feeling, like the volume settings worked in a different way... the 6 dBs amplification factor, of course!

After getting accustomed to this feature, I only appreciated the HUGE, majestic low-end, untamed and unfearful, the breathing, lively mids and the silky highs, and everything in-between.

The C3M line-stage is deadly silent, hum-wise, and extremely dynamic, but not rough: it's elegant, unforgiving but not coldish or razor-like.

Shimmering cymbals, acoustic guitar harmonics and over-tones are moving, percussions, large and smaller, are very natural shape- and size-wise.

I planned shortly after connecting the preamp to keep it and insert, step-by-step, the Misho's phono-stage... BUT - lacking of proper time schedule and relaxed mode necessary for this kind of evaluations -   I'm greatly enjoying disks and tapes on Gotorama.

The mighty Garrardzilla looks, unused under its plexiglas cover, waiting for better times... 

I don't care what's the source or media if the results are this good...

Really impressive... cannot wait next time I'll be able to spend a couple of hours, alone - me, myself & I - in my studio with my music.

Gotorama is a cocooning, healing machine... and I cannot live without it.

Thanking my pal Misho Myronov and his partner Yanislav Yankov for such a statement: WoodenAmp.


Saturday, August 18, 2018

R.I.P. for a Poet - Claudio Lolli passed away...

... yesterday: he was 68 years old.

Claudio was a sincere, straightforward artist and I loved his music in a strange way: it was the music which made me comfortably sad, owning a seldom heard sort-of confidence, a complicity between listener and artist, as he really, empathically felt me.

It was the music I listened to when I was feeling bluesy... as a teenager I was, sometimes... love pains, you know.

A Claudio Lolli's disc represented a safe harbour, a warm nest for the hurting soul of a younger me.

I cherished his discs for decades and listened to them sometimes, fondly remembering the feeling they gave to me and appreciating how his music was sounding timeless.

Timelsss like poetry is...

RIP for Claudio Lolli... a non-compromising artist and someone whose passing away makes me thinking about death...

Will give a spin to his records... cannot think a better way to remember him.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Andreas Kuhn's Studer C37 Heaven

Since I got my Studer C37, some months ago, I was in BIG troubles to find a reliable, knowledged and specialized-enough technician able to deal with all and every aspects and secrets of this 50+ years old behemoth, iconic tape-machine, someone able to bring the recorder up-to-specs, ready for third-millennium careful use.

A 4 hours traffic-jam at St. Gothard's tunnel... fortunately with 23,5 Centigrades temp...

The 75 kg kid in the trunk... 

 My hotel and Thun Castle

My C37 and two of the Zen-like original Studer's special tools for heads and tape-guides alignments... the screwdriver isn't only a screwdriver! 

My Studer C 37 on the workbench 

Andreas and yours truly with a sought-after 4-tracks Studer J-37  

... one of the issues, a lightened fuse-holder... unfortunately, not a blown fuse. 

 ... one of best Andreas' friends in the workshop: an hydraulic lifter, mandatory for moving around these beasts.

By chance, instinct, whatever... while searching for a tech-head, I found THE tech-head!

Andreas Kuhn - a Swiss gentleman - has an impressive curriculum whose details - I apologize - I'll keep for myself, and his personal story is a one-of-a-kind one... enough to say it's a family-story of deep passion for one of the most famous Swiss manufacturers: Studer.

A much welcome obsession!

I recently had the honour and pleasure to meet him at his workshop and spent some i n c r e d i b l e  hours with him: after chatting and sharing common experiences and assorted life facts, after a while he suddenly changed his mood - like he sort-of invisibly wore the elegant white coats as the Studer's technicians and employees, as seen on the classic Studer's leaflets from the '70s - he took a deep overlook to my C37, inspecting every mechanical alignment and issues, everything which needed some attention, mechanically and electrically.

Everything is clear in Andreas' mind: he knows all secrets of C37... he really heralds and represents the heritage of Willi Studer and famed "Swiss Precision".

We laughed a lot, talked of everything: I truly met a nice, nice chap.

... and my C37 is in the VERY best hands money can buy...

(to be continued)

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Tim Buckley's Complete live at Troubadour recordings

"In early September 1969, Tim Buckley played four sets over two days at LA club The Troubadour, along with a rehearsal set, all of which were recorded. These shows featured Buckley at his improvisational best, each performance of every song being different from other performances of the same song. 

On these recordings, Buckley was accompanied by his guitarist Lee Underwood and congas player Carter C.C. Collins, along with John Balkin on bass and Frank Zappa/Captain Beefheart drummer Art Tripp. 

These recordings have been issued across three CD releases in 1994 and 2017, but this 6 LP box set is the first time that they have been gathered together in one release. Features extensive and explanatory annotation by compiler Pat Thomas, along with photos and ephemera."

Release date was July 13th, 2018... but already temporarily out of stock on Amazon.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Coltrane's Lost Album is any worth?

From April 1962 to September 1965, while under contract to the record label Impulse!, John Coltrane led a more or less consistent working group with the same four musicians. After his death in 1967, this group—Coltrane on tenor and soprano saxophone, McCoy Tyner on piano, Jimmy Garrison on bass, Elvin Jones on drums—became known as Coltrane’s “classic quartet.” The group was powerful, elegant, and scarily deep. It was also a well-proportioned framing device. It made an artist with great ambitions easier to understand.

It is possible to hear conviction and morality in some of the classic quartet’s best-known music—like the devotional A Love Supreme, recorded in late 1964—as clearly as you can hear melody or rhythm. As a consequence, all of it can appear set on one venerable plane. As it moves inexorably from ballads, blues, and folk songs into abstraction, the classic-quartet corpus can seem an index not only for the range of acoustic jazz but for possibly how to live, gathered and contained, as if it were always there. But the corpus is only what we have been given to hear. And then one day a closet door flies open, a stack of tapes fall out, and a dilemma begins.

A fair amount of Coltrane’s music has been released after the fact, but nothing that would seem, from a distance, quite so canonical as Both Directions At Once, which is 90 minutes worth of (mostly) previously unheard recordings made at Rudy Van Gelder’s studio on March 6, 1963—the middle of the classic-quartet period. The Van Gelder studio, in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, can be considered part of the framing device. It was where the group did nearly all its studio work. For reasons of acoustics, it had a 39-foot-high, cathedral-like, vaulted wooden ceiling, fabricated by the same Oregon lumber company that made blimp hangars during World War II. Coltrane’s music during that period, possibly encouraged by the cathedral-like room, became blimpier and churchier.

Why have we not heard these tapes before? It’s hard to imagine that they could have been blithely ignored or forgotten. The 2018 answer is that mono audition reels of the session were only recently found in the possession of the family of Coltrane’s first wife, Juanita Naima Coltrane. (Impulse! didn’t have the music; the label’s master tapes may have been lost in a company move from New York to Los Angeles.) The 1963 answer is unknown, and probably more complicated.

Coltrane’s contract with Impulse! called for two records a year. Whether that day’s work in March was to be conceived at the time as a whole album, or most of one, is uncertain. The extent to which you believe the record’s subtitle—The Lost Album—might be the extent to which you are excited by the news of Both Directions. I can’t quite do it, but there are other reasons to be excited.

It may be hard to hear as a coherent album for back then, though it is easy to hear it as one for now, in our current, expanded notion of what an album is. The music does not seem, in its context, to be a full step forward. It’s a little caught between shoring up and surging forth. (The after-the-fact title—alluding to a conversation Coltrane had with Wayne Shorter about the possibility of improvising as if starting a sentence in the middle, moving backward and forward simultaneously—helps turn a possible liability into a strength.) It can give you new respect for the rigor, compression, and balance of some of his other albums from the period. It is at times, as Coltrane’s son Ravi pointed out, surprisingly like a live session in a studio; parts of the music sound geared toward a captive audience. That may be the best thing about it.

Included on the album—which comes either as a single-disc version or a double-disc with alternate takes, both including extensive liner notes by historian Ashley Kahn—is a sunny, bright-tempo melody (the theme from “Vilia,” written by the Hungarian composer Franz Lehár for the operetta The Merry Widow); a downtempo, minor-key, semi-standard (“Nature Boy,” from the book of eden ahbez, the California proto-hippie songwriter); one of Coltrane’s best original lines, in four different takes (“Impressions,” which he’d been working out in concert for several years); a couple of pieces for soprano saxophone which are representative but not stunning (“Untitled Original 11383,” minor-key and modal, and “Untitled Original 11386,” with a pentatonic melody); “One Up, One Down,” a short, wily theme as a pretext for eight minutes of hard-and-fast jamming; and “Slow Blues,” about which more in a minute.

Coltrane was already building albums from disparate sessions, a practice that would soon yield 1963’s Impressions and Live at Birdland, two records that set live and studio tracks side by side. He may have been stockpiling without a clear purpose; he also had to consider what would sell. Since his recording of “My Favorite Things” in 1961—a hit by jazz terms—Coltrane had become recognizable. His subsequent working relationship with Bob Thiele, the head of Impulse!, was based on the notion that he could expand that audience, not shrink it. Six months before the Both Directions session, he’d made a record with Duke Ellington; the day after it, he’d make another with the singer Johnny Hartman. He was entering the popular artist’s paradox of striving to repeat a past success and trying not to run aground on retreads.

The sense of strength and inevitability we associate with Coltrane’s music didn’t just tumble out. It was likely a byproduct of diligence, restlessness, exhausted possibilities, obsession and counter-obsession. He thought about progress. He passed through serial phases of exploring harmonic sequences, modes, and multiple rhythms; when he acknowledged one phase in an interview, he was generally looking for the next. At the height of the classic quartet, he often didn’t have the time or psychic space for study and practice. “I’m always walking around trying to keep my ear open for another ‘Favorite Things’ or something,” he told the writer Ralph Gleason in May, 1961. “I can’t get in the woodshed like I used to. I’m commercial, man.” More: “I didn’t have to worry about it, you know, making a good record, because that wasn’t important. Maybe I should just go back in the woodshed and just forget it.” At the time, a record like Both Directions might have seemed an open admission that he could have used less worry and more woodshed.

What he meant by “another ‘Favorite Things’” might have been a similar act of counterintuition: a sweet, sentimental tune made paranormal, a curiosity that could break out beyond the normal jazz audience and anchor a hit record. If “Vilia” was intended for that role, it isn’t strong enough. “Impressions,” on Both Directions, in its first known studio recording—especially take 3—sounds sublimely focused. But I’m not sure Coltrane plays it here any better than he did sixteen months earlier at the Village Vanguard, the live version he’d choose later in 1963 when finally issuing the tune, on the record of that name. (It’s complicated, I know.)

“Slow Blues” is the one. There is no narrative here, as there sometimes was with Coltrane’s originals; it is not expressly about love or hardship or religious joy. But Coltrane turns himself inside-out. First, he phrases in bare, hesitant strokes, using negative space; then he begins to whip phrases around, repeating them up and down the horn in rapid, shinnying patterns, reaching for inexpressible sounds, getting ugly. (McCoy Tyner’s solo, directly following Coltrane’s, is tidy and elegant, thorough in its own radically contrasting way.) There is the idea of the “new,” and then there is something like this track, which transcends the burden of newness.

I imagine three possible problems someone might have had with putting “Slow Blues” on a record in 1963. One is that, at 11 and a half minutes, it would have taken up a third of the record. Two is that a long blues probably wouldn’t be properly commercial unless there was some sort of story attached to it. And three is that, as was the case with “Impressions,” “Slow Blues” doesn’t explicitly show progress. Hear Coltrane on the long, slow “Vierd Blues” from the Sutherland Hotel in Chicago in 1961. It’s not great sound quality, but it is great in every other way. “Slow Blues” grows from the same root. It’s no “better,” really, but it’s better to have more of it, and better recorded. It is possible to take in Both Directions At Once, some of it middling by Coltrane’s standards and some of it extraordinary by anyone’s, without much thought about sellability or progress. In an ideal case, both qualities are overrated anyway. This is an ideal case.

To me and to my ears, this Coltrane's recording - plainly said - don't add anything to his impressive legacy... the low sound quality, grainy and veiled, just makes an offense to Van Gelder's recording art... the "master" has been a 4-tracks tape for home evaluation in Coltrane's possession, a tape which possibly got deteriorated by poor storage and the like... the music is a mild... WOW... the sound... definitely is NOT.

For die-hard collectors, only.

Site of the Day -

A cool site and great share from Graham Craig...

... all 130+ pages are Worth a scroll, but as suggested by Graham, from page 76 onward it's a MUST!

Enjoy the ALE and related horns bulding and assemblying!


Friday, July 27, 2018

The source

… it took years. Years of thinking and rethinking... dealing with the signals of such a low level... if 1 mV is 0dB level, I want -90dB to be perfect... this is something you do not really think about but yes. even -100dB. Yes, below the own noise level, yes, much below the surface noise level. just because we do hear it - otherwise humans will be extinct many eons ago. useful info - we can hear it effectively with the levels much less than the surrounding noise level... and the range.... where the top frequency just 1000 times more than the low...

The first tube - ECC808 by Telefunken is probably the best tube from the 12AX7/ECC83 family - with different pinout, so not interchangeable. has a very low noise floor, so withDC filament I was able to achieve -80dB noise floor of the whole preamp. Second tube is ECC82, quite usual, I'm using 5963 military version. and good in some application russian 6N6Pi as an output tube. Power supply has separate power rails for different stages, with own dedicated DC filters. Rectifiers used are Mullard EZ80

Well... my friend and partner Yanislav Yankov almost forced me to build first prototype, than the real one that we can offer. I'm still not sure if I'll be able to make many of such a RIAA pre amps, too much work, too much attention, too much precise tuning, too much of energy and life I have to put into each one I make... “

Misho so wrote about my far too short pre-review of his RIAA phono-stage and power supply.

On my part, I humbly try to describe the first-ear impressions as I experienced while listening to my system…

A Blogger like yours truly is only after sharing his passion – no Adsense or other ads to disturb the reader… and the Blogger himself…and no money, whatsover… I’m usually talking about something I own, bought or experienced, first-hand… or seldom get on loan from friends or… the friend-maker, like recently happened with Misho’s stuffs.

Trying to say I’m and remain out-of-mainstream audio industry like an elf at the borders of Dark Forest… I don’t care making any money with my sharing, I swear… yet, if I’m able, with my primitive writing to make people curious about this or that, well… I’m more than happy, as I also got enthusiasm and gladly like to share is.

Misho has been a long-time pal at a distance and we shared some common friends,  experiences and background music-wise… meeting him in person has been a 2018 highlight… the guy knows his business and is skilled and passionate and most important, loves giving to his customers THE VERY BEST he can do!

Not bad, uh?!?!

...  as you probably read in previous short reviews about his C3M Line-stage and EL12N SE power amp, I loved his sonic vision: clean, detailed, zest and lively as it can be…  actually, among THE very best I ever had in my studio, period.

The above statement would be enough and gladly close any speculation and description, but… NO!

Let me try… The Source.

I I strongly believe in chaos theory… nothing happens by chance… Quabbala teaches about numbers and their secret world of chance and beauty… like Universe has its rules, also the humblest life-facts and -interactions are unfathomable and mysterious as they can be.  

So what?

The Source.

Yes… yesterday afternoon, I felt it was the moment to take from the shelf where it was for the last two weeks, the freshly-made, brand-new RIAA phono-stage by Misho Myronov.

I took away the EL12N amp by Misho and got back to my Partridge/300B monoblocks, always on smaller system with Tandberg 114-116-8 and disconnected the XLO Phono Reference cable coming from The Head TdP’s MC step-up, previously connected to the J-Fet Kaneda circuit Le Solstice preamp.

Placed the dedicated PSU and the light-as-a-feather RIAA, linked by an umbilical mini-XLR cable and connected via a silver cable to the C3M Line-stage.

The Source…

I went to my Ikea records bins and randomly searched for THE right disc to place on the Garrardzilla’s platter, already spinning, in its own alpine, cold quiet timeless beauty.

The Source… my fingers cherry-picked the 2-discs set by Ali Farka Tourè – i.e. – The Source (at last…)…

I love this disc and music and quite often I listen to one of the great, late Malian artist’s music with utmost pleasure.

The Source is the source: of Blues, of rhythm, of joyful music played with friends: the recordings took place in London shortly after the crew – Ali and his musicians cohort - from Mali landed at London Heathrow airport, when they headed to the studio, full of awe and expectation from the all-new adventure.

It was the first of many records-to-come, and not his first record made in Europe, but this very one truly owns something special

I was so lucky to attend to one of the first (the first, ever?) concert of Ali Farka Tourè at London’s Roundhouse, end of ‘80s (1987?) and it’s still well carved in my memory as one of the best concerts I attended in my whole life, where the joy of musicians was pouring like a spring from the stage to the audience… there I bought my first Ali’s disc, still cherished in my discotheque…

The Source, when the Lumiere DST cart on The Peak arm touched the grooves sounded to my old trusty ears like I got, after years, decades of search I finally arrived, exhausted by expense and infinite changes and system/gears iterations to the purest of springs, to the source of musical enjoyment where everything is clear and sounds like it should.

No tap-water, folks… I’m talking about a mountain spring where the real, natural water comes from the deep of Earth at 9 degrees Celsius to please the thirst… the pleasure when sipping to this is bar-none much better than when tasting a Petrus’ or Romanè-Conti’s or a 25 years-old Laphroaig single-malt.

If you know the feeling I’m trying to describe you DO know the sensation…

Guitar, acoustic and electric, small percussions, Ali’s voice and back-ground vocals… every single note is carved in space with it’s own life, yet functional to music and tune… it’s something I knew, in my mind, it was possible to achieve, same effect when I’m playing one of my acoustic guitars with a friend, duo… inter-woving notes, beatififully decaying and blending with other notes and guitar tones.

I knew that one day, unexpected, out-of-the-blue, I would be going to feel such a perfection… the decay, the coda of any tune on Ali’s The Source was an event I was waiting for… every tiniest movement of the musicians in the studio, standing still ‘til the tiniest signal was captured by the mikes, yet perceiving the tension after the emotionally-fueled performance just captured on tape… amazing sense of being part of the whole-thing: music, life, whatever… I listened to the four sides of double-discs set in trance-like, with senses tight and emotionally quiet and feverish at same time, if you get me.

Misho’s two-chassis RIAA phono-stage simply succeeded in achieving the top of goals for me as a music lover: being part of the musical event, also if recorded on a media and not actually happening in front of me with flesh&bones musicians!

Like a musican spends decades to perfection his craft and skills while making it looks easy while performing, same happens with Misho’s gears… you’re not bothered and distracted by technical redundancies, bulky appearance and hideous price-tags… the EUR 3,500.00 asking-price for the RIAA, for example isn’t frightening, at all… and after listening to the first notes, ready forgotten, becoming a HUGE plus.

This too-seldom experienced - I dare, never, ever experienced before - yet so here and recognizable as “musical pleasure” was the prize I got after a lifetime of search, pals.

I got it from the source – i.e. the system I assembled in years of trials & errors, faulty and successful attempts – arriving in a loop, a true circle of life, to the  source, the spring of musical pleasure, naked and pure, via The Source by Ali Farka Tourè: no way to think about better cablestubesracksroomchairearsgears… detailsimagingresolutiondynamicsslam… the mind emptied, silent and still as mountain-lake waters at dusk… sssshhhhh…