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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Lenkong - the bearing

A labour of love for Lenco... aehm, Lenkong B-55.


... and proud.

Yes, the pup-bearing shown near the new,  bespoke one is original, stock B-55's...

Monday, July 21, 2014

Lenkong - the platter

First pixes of Lenkong 55 platter... just before painting at the workshop.

Yes, you're right: the platter is larger, three times heavier and "thicker" than original...  ha! 

Here for comparison the original platter... a bell!

... stay tuned... matching, hi-precision bearing will be showed, soon.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Ortofon 2M SE mono cartridge

New Lexan-body mono MM cartridge from Ortofon... read the informative introducing essay.

Pre-order it now.

Motorbiking Dept. - Forcella Lavardet - the San Francisco's Lombard Street in the Dolomites

Always a deeeep joy motorbiking at Forcella Lavardet, from Casera Razzo, in the Dolomites.

It was yesterday: Damiano with his KTM 990 Adventure and myself with my BMW Kalahari enjoyed it a lot!

Forcella Lavardet, of course... Lombard Street was years ago:-)

Scheuchtronic arm from Germany

That's really interesting...

Germany uber alles!

Friday, July 18, 2014


Some hours ago I had one of the most pleasing, relaxing and smooth listening experiences of my life...

I placed a chair outside my studio after turning ON the Gotorama, placed Emiliana Torrini's last disk and then shot me the full Bjork's Debut disk... a full Icelandic experience with cuban influences... an hecho a mano Hoyo de Monterrey's cigar was my companion for about one hour, 2-3 p.p.m. (puffs per minute) and enjoying the tobacco smell, fresh air and music and sound coming from my music system, as well.

I wasn't after sweet spot, imaging, resolution and other audiophile lunaticness... yet the music was so rich and full-bodied I felt so well...

Like eons ago Vinnie Gallo wrote on Joe Roberts' "Sound Practices" pages: "A stereo system should sound like THE VERY BEST RADIO you ever listened to!" 

I already wrote about this, but... Gotorama did it so!

... it's almost a Satori... a midsummer satori.  


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Vinyl cleaning and vinyl wooden glue

... brrrrrr... 


Thanking Kris Madden...

Blog of the Month - everything CSN&Y from The Netherlands

Thanking Dolf from Amsterdam... amazing job, indeed.

Cool, also if I already read this on Neil's biography... :-) ... and YES,  definitely: the barn is the one on the back cover of "Harvest"...

Rescue my records!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Rare Wax Dept. - Pink Floyd - Live at Hamburg, February 1971 aka M-502

I own this very record since 1972... it's a Pink Floyd's concert, recorded at Hamburg Musikhalle in February 1971, a 2-records set of seldom heard quality, both musically and sonically... the vinyl is still deadly silent after 42 years and the songs are soooo vivid and lively, the Floyds are still the Floyds, a great group of young beautiful minds... and yes, M502, as this very record is known among fellow collectors, it's more original than original, IMO, as the foldable cover is a superb psych silk-screened and when open, it's a female, legs open and the eye isn't an eye, actually... but the origin of life...

Some facts: 

    Matrix / Runout: -M-502-1-
    Matrix / Runout: -M-502-2-
    Matrix / Runout: -M-502-3-
    Matrix / Runout: -M-502-4-
German copy of original release bearing the above hand-carved matrixes so that “M-502″ has been adopted as the name for the original 2 LP set.
Other issues can be recognized by:  -  front cover says “Pink Floyd” or “Pink Floyd Live”, lesser print (no silk-screen) & audio quality (distortion in louder passages); back cover may have track list using two different types of fonts.

The real thing - i.e. the sought-after original... 

... but I still loves and cherishes my M-502:-)

Thanking The Amazing Kornyfone's site... a goldmine!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Mind-travelling - motorbike globetrotting books

While at home, recovering from some back-troubles, I found in my library the following: some are - sincerely said - crap, while some others are really superb insight books about globetrotting and the mystic of travelling...

My most beloved are Helge Pedersen's "10 years on 2 wheels", Chris Scott's and Volpicelli's... and the the Robert Edison Fulton Jr.'s vintage cool book, of course...

Waiting for - hopefully - better health, as best wealth is health... and some motorbike ride, off-road, of course_)

Monday, July 14, 2014

His Bobness' Facts - New Columbia acetates found in NYC and real estate related

A cool find... from New Morning sessions, recorded in Nashville...

... also of interest to the deepest pockets around:

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Book of the Week - The Peel Sessions by Ken Garner (BBC Books - 2007)

... a nice find, by chance... yesterday, while in a furniture shop, browsing for a new sofa, found this on a shelf... you know, those humble books which are bought by tons, just for the purpose of filling these demo shalves...

It's not the first time it happens... found in the years - and always for free - several interesting books, always in English as the books by the ton are mainly sold in England.

This book is marvellous... pixes, notes, complete Maida Vale Studio recordings sessions list and radio programs...

A goldmine... and my bedside table host for the next days.

John and BBC made the rock to live and grow.

His untimely passing away on Nov. 12th, 2004 while on vacation in Peru was a true mess and he's deeply missed since then also if his heritage is stronger than ever.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Best recovery wishes to Sakamoto-san!

The most sincere, heartfelt wishes goes to Ryuichi Sakamoto... may he win his battle.

The most ancient song?

In the early 1950s, archaeologists unearthed several clay tablets from the 14th century B.C.E.. Found, WFMU tells us, “in the ancient Syrian city of Ugarit,” these tablets “contained cuneiform signs in the hurrian language,” which turned out to be the oldest known piece of music ever discovered, a 3,400 year-old cult hymn. Anne Draffkorn Kilmer, professor of Assyriology at the University of California, produced the interpretation above in 1972. (She describes how she arrived at the musical notation—in some technical detail—in this interview.) Since her initial publications in the 60s on the ancient Sumerian tablets and the musical theory found within, other scholars of the ancient world have published their own versions.

The piece, writes Richard Fink in a 1988 Archeologia Musicalis article, confirms a theory that “the 7-note diatonic scale as well as harmony existed 3,400 years ago.” This, Fink tells us, “flies in the face of most musicologist’s views that ancient harmony was virtually non-existent (or even impossible) and the scale only about as old as the Ancient Greeks.” Kilmer’s colleague Richard Crocker claims that the discovery “revolutionized the whole concept of the origin of western music.” So, academic debates aside, what does the oldest song in the world sound like? Listen to a midi version below and hear it for yourself. Doubtless, the midi keyboard was not the Sumerians instrument of choice, but it suffices to give us a sense of this strange composition, though the rhythm of the piece is only a guess.

... more here.

Lenkong! Hooray for the New (pup) King: Lenkong is born!

... halas, hark... hooray... after
Garrardzilla, a new character enters: Lenkong.

Lenkong is a Lenco, yes, you're right: an humble, El Cheapo Lenco B-55, but not only a Lenco-on-steroids... it's a new breed, in the noble heritage and vision of Peter Reinders' PTP.

Peter choose to have his stainless-steel PTP chassis made and, later, his new custom-made bearing, keeping the original Lenco's platter.

I choose instead to have a new, larger diameter platter lathed from premium aluminium alloy with bronze inserts, not cast, but machined with tightest tolerances on all axis: 32 cm diameter, same as the mighty, sought-after Shindo's platter I owned since 1992 and so much admired.

An humble dream, bespoke platter.

The weight is about 6 kilos and the recessed top accepts Shindo's mat, cork mat... whatever you wish, as per your tastes; the platter will be soon lacquered to match the Lenco B-55's chassis color and to further improve rejection of also tiniest idler-wheel vibes.

It will be a very understated machine: I stripped down all unneeded levers under the chassis and epoxied and repainted the chassis, with epoxy and kevlar stripes underside to improve chassis rigidity, which now resembles a motor-only G-88 in concept.

As the top thickness and overall platter size is also augmented, a new bearing was conceived, designed and made, much, MUCH better in quality than the flimsy original PeeWee smallish, toy-like bearing!

The original bearing isn't bad, pals... nice for the 1,5 kilos original, stock B-55 iron platter... Lenco of Switzerland was very clever to optimize their technical efforts: nothing was over-engineered or over-sized, if not needed.

Must say that the iron platter is - REALLY - shitty and plain crap: magnetic like on first Thorens TD 124, you cannot use your premium MC cartridge, but only MM carts...

The precision of the stock platter is also matter of debate... not 0,00 or 0,0 mm... talking about millimiters of uneveness, quite noticeable while spinning!

So, enters "Lenkong"... what happens to a B-55 with such a new bearing/platter/mat combo?


It simply keeps the beauty and detailing capabilities of - say - a Lenco L-75 or of my trusty Lenco/Goldring G-88... only with a much, MUCH blacker, silent background and a notes decay to be experienced to be believed...

The added mass and peripheral thicker rim sure further improves things, but the thicker top platter is
THE HIT, folks!

With my stethoscope I simply cannot hear any noticeable noise from the new, bespoke bearing... the longer and larger bespoke spindle, necessary to accomodate the thicker, heavier platter, is made of special hardened, chromed and rectified exotic steel and using a precision small ball bearing and a mirror-polished thrust-pad made a little miracle...
Garrardzilla and Lenkong aren't enemies, but brothers-in-arms!

From the first spinning and tasting, I recognize a common sonic footprint of extreme solidity and smoothness, also if I'm using a shitty temporary plinth... I'm having a new, extremely compact slate motor-only plinth made to order, ready soon... cannot stand in my shoes waiting to have the
Lenkong installed and used with a definitive separate bronze armbase, with The Peak arm and Lumiere DST, like I use with my Garrradzilla.

My gut feeling is that
Lenkong will possibly redefine the concept of resolution in my system... and with a lesser investement than the mighty Garrardzilla's.

Lenkong is still a pup king, but sure isn't an ape, anymore:-)))... yet, my (pre)vision is of greatness, folks!

More soon, including (serious) pixes, of course...

Monday, July 7, 2014

Robbie Basho's 12 strings reappeared...

... at last!!!

Yes, this is Robbie’s baby - the Mexican 12-string with bi-colored spruce top made by Jon Lundberg in Berkeley - that was thought to be lost and with which he became synonymous. 

It is pictured in its original case, held by a friend of Robbie’s whom he knew through Sufism Reoriented.

After spending some time with an undisclosed Bay Area musician it is soon to find a new 

home in Continental Europe.

Just arguing: at Stefan Junghans-Basho's place in Berlin? 

More details on the guitar’s physical details and its history will be revealed in the documentary.

From an humble scholar and lover of Robbie's music... thanks!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Disc of the Day - Mike Cooper - New Globe Notes on No-FI Recording (2014)

Mike Cooper is an original, a true eccentric, unique artists whose artistic life is more than fifty years long... he played with many, many around... blues, americana, exotica, loops and drones, avantgarde, free improvisation and solo and duets and trios...

I fell in love many years ago when I saw him playing and singing with Stefan Grossman and the late, great Sam Mitchell, in London (at Half Moon, Putney) in early '80s... his voice and guitar playing was so natural.

I randomly followed him and his new and newer efforts in Rome, Italy, with his Hipshot CD-R label and his unconventional use of his National Duolian resonator guitar... looping and layering and layering sounds from his trips in the Pacific islands and more.

I yesterday got his limited edition vinyl disc "New Globe Notes" where he - WOW! - stopped the clock with his seldom heard music, recorded on 4 tracks cassette tape and mini-disk recorders between 1999 and 2001, accompanied by a nice, enlightening booklet where Mike opens the world of his very inspirations, books, novels, places...

The "For Mike Cooper"foreword written by David Toop touches and moves, as he uses the words every artist would like read about himself...

"In a museum without walls they (Mike's sounds and music)  occupy the room labelled Machines for Unscrolling Scenes from Hypnogogic Moments Between Somnolence and Sleep, each one displayed for close inspection as a slippage of mere seconds yet artfully seeming to repeat endlessly yet return in diverse iterations like masks advancing, the face transforming yet always the same face, illumination and shadow moulding the features into a crows of grotesque, coming forward out of the field of singing as if a creature floating through fireflies..."

Images, redefining the concept of exotica, from Les Baxter in 1952 to Martin Denny in 1957 efforts.

A nice adding to my collection and, again, a clock-stopping disc.

Thanks, MANY thanks to Mike Cooper for being one of the younger 72 years old individuals I'm aware of.

What an artist, folks!