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Thursday, July 30, 2015

A new Robbie Basho recording re-appeared...

Thanking Kyle Fosburgh and Grass Tops recording...

"Single from our compilation entitled 'Portrait Of Basho As A Young Dragoon', which documents some of Robbie's most exploratory early career live material.

Date and title written on tape : 5-13-67 (Santa Cruz, CA) "Ives Paints Modern America"
PLEASE NOTE : This recording was sourced from Robbie Basho's personal collection. Assembled throughout his career, our archive of live performances were documented by amateurs and were never intended for commercial release. The most sophisticated technology has been carefully applied to reveal the music and minimize the inherent shortcomings of tape almost 50 years old. Our mission is to let you enjoy and appreciate some of Robbie's greatest early performances.
It'll be released on the compilation mentioned above as part of a CD/coffee table book set, featuring a collection of early photographs of Robbie from 1967. This track alone, however, is far too long for a 7 inch single. Otherwise we'd consider that too. Max length for a 7 inch is about 6 mins.
Composed by Robbie Basho
Mastered by Joe Churchich
Sound Engineering by Radiance Recordings and Kyle Fosburgh
Cover design by Kyle Fosburgh

You made my day, Kyle.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Giorgio Foschi and his reel-to-reel recorders Man's Cave

Yesterday evening I brought my Studer B62 - needing some attention - to Giorgio Foschi, the italian Gran Mogol and maven of everything open-reel tape recorder.

I know Giorgio since a long time and every, EVERY tape machine passing under his careful, skilled  hands has a sort-of added value - i.e. the machines he overhauls are given a brand-new status, up to factory specs, and everything shines, again.

Everytime I enter his workshop and studio, I feel me blessed, as have the rare opportunity to touch and appreciate the details of a long-gone era of care and dedication.

Looking to a Stellavox TD9 or that super exotic, sought-after Philips EL3501 (used in Polygram and Decca Mastering facilities, where only THE VERY BEST counted)  makes me almost uninvolved at looking to the several Studer A820s!

The machines in the studio, including tons of Telefunken 15s' and smaller Studers' are nothing compared to the pleasure of chatting with Giorgio... himself is a Living Treasure, he worked knee-to-knee with George Quellet and m. Kudelski and Gurtner, his training was at Studer in Switzerland and his holy hands are at the service of corporates and private people with the passion.

Music-wise - as let's do not forget, these amazing machines are after music - he's going ahead with his mastertapes 1:1 projects...  Hemiolia and 4AP (aka Analog Four Phases) are the new home for accurately engineered and dubbed mastertapes!

I listened to Daniele Mencarelli's Originals tape and... folks, my jaws dropped at the superb, SUPERB recording quality and beauty of music.

You cannot own a Ferrari without good quality gasoline... owning a Studer C37 or a Telefunken M15A or a NagraT without such a tapes is... senseless!

Stay tuned with yours truly as on next September a new crop of freshly produced mastertapes will be available...

Thanking Giorgio for hosting, empathy, skills and... for being Giorgio Foschi.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Ultimate Cassette

I already wrote about this one-of-a-kind Sony's premium quality cassette, but... cannot resist: it's such a sexy little thing that everyone owning a Nakamichi Dragon or 1000 or a Tandberg 3014 will love and want to have!

It would sure be a MUCH better world if everything would be this quality and care for details.

Cassette is NOT dead.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

WJAAS - An audio report from Japan by Nattawoot Aumkruer

A quick but juicy and well conceived and planned Japanese adventure for Nattawoot Aumkruer, a good fellow and FB pal from Bangkok, Thailand...

Very, VERY nice pixies and thanks for paying kudos, mate.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Self-healing detoxing computer-less vacation

... well, almost computer-less... yet, soaking in sun and wind and sea... 

... and enjoying real life, these days.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Hot, hot, hot…

… yet in my studio, natural old building air conditioning is greatly mitigating the outside 35 degrees Celsius…

Wishing to share a for free lesson I had only a couple days ago: my Gotorama uses 2 x Hiraga's Le Classe A 30W amps and 2 x Class A 20W… the golden 1,5 Farads 30Ws' on mid-lows and mids and the black 600,000 mF 20Ws' on lows and highs…

Also if I own another 30W power amp, I sort of privileged the aesthetics to sound integralism, as the two pairs of side-by-side matching amps looked prettier to my eyes…

The oldest 20W - the first one I bought 20+ years ago and still in my possession -  recently began buzzing, so in need of my pal and Hiragas' wizard Francesco's gifted hands and care.

It was the 20W I used with Elodis TGE bass-horn… I took from a shelf the 30W back-up golden-faced amp and swapped the ill 20W for its 30W big bro amp.

So, summing now three 30W Le Classe A on lows, mid-lows and mids and only a 20W on Goto SG160s' tweeters…

Most important - now - was having music and not a bottom-less system… more than aesthetic, I had music.

… and what music!

I realized almost immediately that the overall balance was more right and sound quicker… in a word: better, much better... and I only changed the power amp devoted to frequencies between 30 and 220 hz…

How is this possible?

Naturalness of the whole four-ways behemoth clicked playing with very same texture, like the - must now say - lesser 20W Hiraga's was slowing down bass response and overall presentation, and NOT only in its frequencies range BUT of the whole speaker system.

Oh my God… never ending being surprised in this passion… yes, I'm deeply ignorant, but my honesty is immaculate and senses pristine, so… well, happy of the find, indeed!

Only regret: I could have tried this before, as many years ago, when playing with my (now gone) Pioneer D23 crossover and badly mixing triodes, pentodes and solid state amps, different sensitivities and sound characters… yes: the whole no, no, no plethora of wrong experiences, all by trial and error old school!

Nonetheless, I already was aware of low-end paramount weight on great overall sound... I only, sort-of, forgot it.

I still well remember the surprise and HUGE improvement I heard when I throwed away the old Quad 405 I used with my previous bass enclosures, using Altec 416A or Altec 813 15 inchers… when I brought home the first of many Hiraga Class A amps… namely the above mentioned one guilty of making me to experience the above described swap and all.

Bass frequencies are... ahem: were less important than, say, mids or mid-lows, so a silly me was thinking when deciding to use 20W on lows and highs and the way-better 30W on more sensitive mids... so I was (wrongly) thinking.

Back to memory lane: the (someway) slow bass was gone… the blanket-in-front-of-speakers sensation was gone… to same extent, what I recently experienced.


The wheel of knowledge is spinning, endlessly, folks… the prize of trial&error is the beauty I'm sipping right now…

… and who cares if I'm such a slow-minded assohole, an audio S.O.B. who must crash - literally - his nose into things… yet, randomly, as best things happens... as life is.

So I like things going and so I live.

P.S. - I'm now chasing for the fourth Hiraga Le Classè A 30W golden-faced, and one pair (i.e. two) Hiraga Class A 20W will be for sale, soon.

Anyone interested on both deals?

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Paris>Istanbul>Shanghai>Texas - Joel Grare's Barock'n'Roll music

Enjoyed this disk greatly, this evening... Gotorama was truly giving its best... great music played on theorbo, double-bass, assorted percussions and bells, chinese erhu, cello...

The recording is also amazingly good, spacious, deep and airy... and music reminds... yes, you bet it: Ry Cooder's Paris,Texas... at least in some atmospheres and intent.

A lovely disk, issued on Alpha label, in 2007... brand new for yours truly... and for everyone who will decide to grab it.

The Dalai Lama is having the best time at Glastonbury festival.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama goes rock'n'roll...

Forever young...

Bernd & Hilla Becher - the shape of things

Love this German couple pictures... their vision belongs to artistry and  weirdness realm, the genius meaning finding the intrinsic poetry in ordinary buildings and their shapes... better: shape & function.

Genius & obsession...

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Stephan the Nomad

Here is the new, upcoming 21st ECM disk by Stephan Micus... never tiring and always sounding brand-new, both modern and ancient.

Instant buy, for both my ears and soul.

Stephan driving his moped...

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

KLEI™gZero20 ICs cable or only the fool have no doubts!

During my recent cable trials activities, I had the rare opportunity to listen to the KLEI gZero20 from Australia, a premium quality cable which was handled directly from the hands of KL Eichmann, during MOC 2015, in Munchen.

Something should have clicked  - and maybe it did… - as KL was REALLY pushing me hard – proudly  so – to listen and taste and enjoy his new top-quality cable and to give it the time to mature and blossom, as copper crystals should stabilize… etc. etc.

You know, the usual blah, blah of getting accustomed to a new cable in a new environment/audio system…

I’m experiencing these days a periodic, sort-of tiredness re. Audio, its lingo and drama and the related dynamics among WEB-zines, magazines, Blogs and friends and shop chattings.

Everyone owns the Truth and wish to – literally – indoctrinate and convince everyone about this or that, quite boring for yours truly, actually.

I’m full of doubts, not truth, folks, as only the fool knows it all and never have doubts, ever!  

What I’m writing here is something I truly experienced, humbly...  these are my first hand, unreported findings and feelings.

Honestly said.

KL was so proud and confident about the stellar quality of his cable I felt reassured and connected my – I guess – more sensitive – signal-wise – area – i.e. the phono LCR/MC transformer/line-stage.

Listened - when still playing only few days ago with Musto’s Wazari and Yuko silver cables - for about 10 hours… I usually hate voodoo also if I do care about cables layout and some burning-in, I felt it was just OK expressing my very personal  thumb-up or down about the sonic strengths or weakness of the KLEI’s.

I expressed my very first thoughts and listening impressions to KL during a short email conversation and he – always calm and positive - simply told me… listen to them more and more…

Don’t get me wrong:  the nice sonic qualities were audible, but… some weeks ago I wished for more…

The KLEI cable wasn’t flashy, only extremely natural...

I decided to follow my instinct and, most of all, the maker wise suggestion… I changed the position of the gZero's in my system from phono/analog rig to digital and simply forgot about the cable… I listened to it every day for the last month or so… 3-4 minimum hours a-day…

A rough-counting… I reached about 100+ hours listening, now…

The sound from my Meridian’s DAC and transport sounded, both suddenly and abruptly, natural, open, clear  and detailed.

The first two parameters were, SURE were, lesser in the brand new cable… the continuous playing made something and the sound became day after day different and improving.

Will try to better explain myself with the following, instead of using the usual audio hypes…

My system is sounding to me like a Rudy Van Gelder’s recording: despite he used tubes mikes, he seeked and obtained a clear, detailed sound, maybe enhanced by the wooden domed studio the Master Recordist used most of his life.

The balance of the Van Gelder’s recording are a very delicate mix of smoothness and details… and everything must be preserved to get this beauty intact.

If I insert a “blanket” or a "curtain" somewhere in the chain, the slowness is immediately apparent.

Horns, violins, voices must keep their crispness and overtones… romantic sound isn’t nothing BUT an excuse for average sound… please forgive me: that’s my opinion.

The best reproduced sound is luscious and detailed... music or mood can be romantic... instruments aren't romantic, yet a rolled-off and forgiving sound can be defined as romantic if you feel "romantic"... definitely not my cup of tea.

All recordings must sound different from the previous and the next…

The sound in my system with KLEI gZero20 cable is something to be heard to be believed… the correctness, overall beauty of my digital rig, the broad and deep soundstage, the palpable presence of musicians, the size of musicians, instruments and recording venues is greatly improved to the limits of my discerning abilities, as I still cannot imagine if the improving will go on and on or I’ll get it a stop!

I also re-checked the KLEI’s between MC transformer and LCR and the result didn’t change from previous great results in digital rig: Rudy Van Gelder’s sound was preserved, untamed, liquid, crispy and effortless!

Tried with Partridge 300B mono blocks and Luxman AT-3000 passive preamp and Cabasse and... WOW!

This cable, physically unassuming, correctly, honestly priced and sized is like the superb KLEI plugs already in my system: I cannot think of my system without this balance, anymore.

A cable is only a brick of the whole system, but you know a badly conceived corner brick can destroy also most perfect building stability.

KL Eichmann’s cables are a statement of cable making art… only, PLEASE, as per KL Eichmann's suggestion: do not play them for less than 50-60 hours as settling-time, because the KLEI cables always require settling-time and also a long burn-in, pals!

This is very important, as burn-in time is >400hrs and even >500hrs, while settling-time is >6hrs and preferably >48hrs (once plugged and replugged).

Settling-time is the time between plugging in (connecting) the ICs between two components, then unplugging (unconnecting) the ICs. Even moving the ICs around may require fresh period of settling-time.

KLEI literature states the KLEI™gZero20 ICs require 48 hours settling time to properly settle and 60+ hours if you want superb results.

... so - hopefully - I do expect for even better and better;-)

Time and settling/burning-in and everything will blossom like I very seldom experienced, period.

A true pleasure, indeed and another Gotorama’s brick-in-place.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

R.I.P. Dept. - Ornette Coleman passed away.

He was 85... saw him in 1971, with Billy Higgins... 't-was in Padua, Italy: what a concert... a younger me was blown away by the free-form energy coming from his horn...

I still have his autograph inside a disc...

He - who invented free-jazz - is now free forever, now.

R.I.P. Ornette... your iconic yellow plastic sax will shine forever, as well.


Karlheinz Stockhausen - The Man who came from Sirius

... it's how he defined himself... Karlheinz Stockhausen and his musique concrete were... ARE what almost desperately got nearer to the sound of the stars, of creation, of nucleus dividing and multiplying...

I own several of his Deutsche Gramophone discs and also if I listened to them once or twice, his ideal of manipulating and someway, literally, handling the music and its elements, the bricks it's made of, well... I'm so fond of this composer and his weird, uneasy opus.

Nonetheless, life isn't easy...

My love for open reel tape recorders maybe blossomed after seeing KHS and his Telefunken M10, who knows...

Here you can find of some interest knowing his performance tapes are available for... performance, only.