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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Zaxcom Deva V 10 Track Hard Disk Recorder and Nicolas Bartholomee




An awesome recorder... the choice of - among others - Nicolas Bartholomee and his Musica Numeris... I love his recording good taste and ear!





... mmmhhhh, I'm seriously thinking to sell my Telefunken M15A and Studer B-67 or Nagra IV-S and QGB and swap for one of these beasts.

After enjoying soooo much dozens of Nicolas' recordings on Alia Vox, Cypress, Naive and Alpha, my ears tell me it would (maybe) be a non-romantic choice, vintage and collecing-wise... BUT such a good stroke, recording and musically-wise!

Saaaantaaa Klaaaauuus?!?!














Sunday, August 25, 2013

Piano piano piano



... so, life goes on.

Today, I spent some pleasant hours at flea market... looking for old furnitures, paintings, glass-ware, books?

Nope... vinyl!

I found three Tulip label DGG - all Geza Anda's Chopin's 24 Preludes and Sonatas - and a Bizet's Complete Piano Solo works by Setrak on Le Chant du Monde, a cool double-vinyl disc.

To my surprise, the merchant gave to me a dozen disks, as a gift... being a loyal customer, I thanked... they were all Hungaroton, Erato, Valois... and... WOW... also a Lyrinx' disk, always piano: Schumann's Papillons, Arabesque and more... by Catherine Collard... Rene Gambini as the recordist, of course.




Superb and a recording 2die4!

The Setrak's recording is also absolutely AWESOME... great George Kisselhoff masterfully engineered it at Salle Adyar (at Societe Theosophique de France) in Paris, in 1984... and the Steinway D grand piano is shining and dynamic and Setrak's playing is simply superb... Bizet's piano music I wasn't aware is also surprisingly good... it's very, very modern... reminds me of some Carla Bley's composed music on Watt label!




What a find... better: what a gift!



I've no more wishes, my Lord...



The collector and David Munrow's scholar who's in me got it, pals... a VERY disc I've been searching for more than 30 years dropped in my hands for small money and in a totally surprising way.

The gem was in Scotland...



Thanks to the gentleman who sold it to yours truly... I completed my collection of ALL the late, immense David Munrow recorded in his intense and faaar too brief musical and recording career.

I only handled a copy, the property of my friend Franz from Padua... then I saw another copy, too late to grab it, on Discogs... then... ZUT!

Happy.




Wednesday, August 21, 2013

ONKYO PX-100M




A great, GREAT turntable of stellar quality... at a stellar price-tag!

Soooo sexy super-heavy 99,99% pure copper platter!






Only 50 (fifty) were produced... so priced accordingly.

WOW!








TTWeights SRA/VTA Arm-base - tuning on the fly... fresh from Canada




At last the superb Fidelity Research B-60 VTA arm base got a recent replica from TTWeight from Canada.




It's universal arm-base and you'll get perfect VTA while playing your disc... like with my own, beloved FR B-60... a machinist friend called this old part "A Swiss wrist-watch maker piece of gear"...




I trust this brand-new necessory will be the same quality.

Cool.


A great Goto Unit deal from Fukuoka, Southern Japan... what a bargain!



An impressive deal, folks... as found on Yahoo Auctions - Japan... the auction is still going on, and ending soon.

Unfortunately, not an easy task shipping these goodies... Goto Unit SG 570, SG 379DX and SG 160, with S600 and S200 horns... Y 1.060.000, incl. all wooden boxes and all in pristine conditions!!!

Only caveat?  The seller instead of using the usual black bitumen, light & effective anti-vibrations/resonances material, decided going hot rod and... both horns pairs are using... concrete... CONCRETE, yes, as a vibes taming material...





The shipping weight is more than 250 kilos... but, WOW, the price-tag for the combo is REALLY a good one!







Monday, August 19, 2013

Benjamin Britten lives!







Tony Palmer's classic documentary about the 1967 Decca recording of Benjamin Britten's Church Parable "The Burning Fiery Furnace". 

With Peter Pears, Bryan Drake, John Shirley-Quirk, Robert Tear, Stafford Dean, Peter Leeming, Richard Adeney, Neill Sanders, Roger Brenner, Cecil Aronowitz, Keith Marjoram, Osian Ellis, James Blades, Philip Ledger (producer) and John Culshaw (recording engineer).








Benjamin Britten, Peter Pears, Robert Tear, Osian Ellis and his Irish harp... WOW, they ALL live in this gorgeous black & white documentary!

Great looking at those Studer B-62 open-reels, shiny and brand-new, used as portable recording gears vs. the far bulkier Studer C-37, used for studio works... and Mr. Culshaw smoking while engineering:-)))

Those were the days...

Thanking a lot Mr. Oliver Drake for uploading this gem on You Tube.

Enjoy, as I did!









Sunday, August 18, 2013

Yo Yo Miles... the Hipness in Music or how to feel cool while listening to your music system





... sometimes it happens: while listening to this or that music, you feel over the top, you hand-clap, alone, like a perfect idiot, move your hands in the air, silently screaming  yo, yo or the like or sing-a-long with the lead singer, or...

A sense of perfection and being into the recording or the musical event happens... suddenly... and you simply cannot stand still, politely seated in your couch:-)

Yesterday, after some life heaviness, too common these days, I had a couple hours at my buen-retiro... I recently tried a new system rig - i.e. using my EMT 930st with, after a loooooong time hiatus from last time I used it, its EMT 155st RIAA built-in box, usually unused due to... crappiness:-)

Well, folks... never say never, in audio!

The once crappy 155st proved its merits, BUT to my experience, ONLY in the following form:  connected it to Luxman AT 3000 transformer/passive preamp using its "direct" input - i.e. the straightest connection to the superb Permalloy-core transformers inside the unit, by-passing also the selector... the purest of pure!

Then going to Western Electric 421A little power-amp and straight to the La Scala's.

Minimalist and transparent and pretty right... I played with several cables - Be Yamamura's ugly, yet superb sounding cables proved to be the winners... tried Actinote, Munford's silver and cryo-treated silver by Audio Consulting... all sounded lesser vs. Yamamura's, which sounds natural, smooth and detailed while the other competitors were lacking smoothness, adding some unnatural edge to - mo'later - Miles' trumpet.

Enters Miles... YES!











Doug Sax' mastered "Amandla" and "Tutu" are spinning on the EMT 930st - without shame - since a couple of days, now... Miles in "Amandla"'s back cover is the late, beloved Miles who played giving his back to audience, wearing alien-like bespoke ancient Egypt-hinting leather jackets... long hairs, weird sunglasses... the hip's hip!









His music, with Marcus Miller's arranging and playing, and the above mentioned discs - also including "Siesta", the great soundtrack from the oniric '87 movie with Ellen Barking, as an imaginary tryptych - sounds to me like the ultimate Miles... no more jazz or rhythm and blues... it's pure hipness... black proudness and elevation.



The sound coming from the La Scala's is THE sound I like, these days... no frills, not hyper-detailed, yet - timbre-wise - so correct and ultra-dynamic a go-go!


Garrardzilla would have be too politely signorina for what I like... unforgiving and easy, hip sound, like partying and having no fears about hosts furniture damaging and neighborhoods protesting... only enjoying.

The Gotorama is OK, but as I told you, it's being re-considered, to obtatin, again, this sense of zestness so here with the smaller system...

It happens, actually, I someway can vary my system(s) depending on my mood and music I'm diggin'... Mayer's CX 310 and Mayer's WE 437A and WE 421A and Garrardzilla for ultimate introspection on small scale music... smooth, a little forgiving, yet natural and transparent Luxman AT 3000 and EMT 930st for dynamic and no frills, foot tapping music, jazz and rock... WOW! and Gotorama for orchestral, organ, opera and everything needing a BIG sound where room would affect too much performance with unwanted resonances and boominess.

Fondly remembering Miles Davis and always enjoying his music, always so other.

Yo Yo Miles!






Saturday, August 17, 2013

Friday, August 16, 2013

FWS' "Leonardo" spruce tonewood from Ciresa - from Paneveggio/Val di Fiemme (Italy)



From one of the VERY best piano/harpsichord soundboard makers from Italy, here is a nice, new - yet not unique or the first, ever - attempt to make spruce tonewood board sounding as a speaker... a mix between an instrument and a speaker, actually...

I like the shape, truly reminding some Leonardo Da Vinci's creation... I DON'T like that much the offer (apparently) DOES also (mandatorily) include an amp and a 100W (...) sub-woofer... but who am I, etc. etc.:-)))

The transducer?

... not sure and not shown on FWS/Ciresa's site, but maybe using a contact speaker: frequency range is 140-15.000 hz...

Will have an audition, soon and will report on the matter.

 Enjoy...














Thursday, August 15, 2013

CarotOne






Lovely, smart, cool and... funny little gizmos gears from Chi... aehm, Italy:-)))!







Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Audio tourism - Jan and Knut from Norway





After wine, food, fishing, sexual (to blame!), hunting and diving tourism and travelling... audio-tasting and tourism is a reality!

Two more friends visited my humble studietto and Gotorama: Jan and Knut from Oslo, Norway... the Audio Vikings:-)




Again, as it happened with Jean Hiraga-san, only few weeks ago, we had some pleasant town sightseeing, food, wine and... yes, a lot of chatting... so listening to my system(s) were postponed, beginning at midnight or so.



The night was so silent and we enjoyed some Tim Buckley's gorgeous live at Royal Albert Hall in London (1968), some jazz trio (Joe Pass, Ray Brown, Andre Previn) and ECM and vocals (The King's Singers)...










Knut took one hundred pixes of the system and Goto's, etc.

Our sharing experiences and opinions ended at 3,15 A.M., near the little, nice hotel up-hill where the Norwegians friends finished a VERY long, tiring, yet cool day.

I loved this gathering... my deepest thanks to Jan for empathy and friendship and to Knut for his kindness and for sweating a lot around my gears and audio system with his digital camera.





Skoll! 





Monday, August 12, 2013

Alessandro Monti's "The Venetian Book of the Dead' with Kevin Hewick - Unfolk






This is an heavy load, folks... Alessandro and Kevin Hewick dedicated this disk to Marghera (Venice) deaths for cancer at chemical plant which was there, sooo near to one of the most famous, beautiful and fragile cities in the world...

Beside polluting and fucking the monuments and lagoon buildings and gondolas and all, those criminal minds weren't bothered by having poisonous and cancerous materials badly and unsafely produced and handled by innocent workers: they've been guilty of thrice a crime... to Earth, Men and man-made artifacts - i.e. Venice and its beauties.



Can music blame and be strong and heavy enough against those sub-human monsters, so blindly hungry of money and filthy-fated profits?

Definitely yes!

The texts of "The Venetian Book of the Dead" are lively and fresh, sadly so contemporary as cancer was in virtually every family and still is... dozens, hundreds deaths in the name of profit, without protection and safety... gloves, masks and proper dressing would have avoided all this...

... yet far too expensive for the landlords... the S.O.B.s!

Buy this record, folks... it's sang in English and texts are also translated in Italian... music is... WOW!!!

REM and Tortoise and more... acoustic guitars, bass guitar and acoustic mandolin, masterfully played by Alessandro Monti... and KEvin's singing.

A very, VERY intriguing disk and superb music.

Much worth a listen... a fond one.

Thanking Felice Casson, Milena Gabanelli and Marco Paolini for spreading the ill-fated verb on the matter.






Sunday, August 11, 2013

Tao















Without the tao, 
Kindness and compassion are replaced by law and justice;
Faith and trust are supplanted by ritual and ceremony.

- Lao Tzu















Thursday, August 8, 2013

WE 421A






The little gizmo's singing...



Left side: Be Yamamura's cotton cables.


 








... with a little help from Studer A730 and Mayer's CX-310 Line Stage.




... curious about the cobra-like umbilical between Thomas' Line Stage and WE 437A LCR Phono Stage?

It's a 7N Silver/silk/tormaline/Furutech RCAs cable hand-made by my friend Andrea Musto... among the best money can buy!









Saturday, August 3, 2013

Psych Scoop!



Yeahhh... the secret unveiled: so Robert Fripp played a Martin D-18 with King Crimson, back in early '70s... thinking about "Cadence And Cascade"...

A younger me guessed it was his '58 Gibson Les Paul Custom "Black Beauty" recorded in some weird way...



It was so much simpler:-)

WOW!



Tutto qua





Thanking my best pal Lo, I discovered a disk by Fabio Concato titled "Tutto Qua"... Fabio Concato is a long time hero of mine since "Una domenica bestiale", a hit of some decades ago.

Yet, I didn't followed him and his music for a while, but this very disc is marvellous, awesome, one-of-a-kind, special, incredibly beautiful...



Lo brought the disk with him when we met some days ago for some music listening at my studio... I'm sort-of disaffectioned by italian "melodic" songwriters... you know:-), I'm more cerebral, cool, intellectual, these days...

How wrong I am, folks... sometimes!

Music is music and best music is best music... lapalissian, yet true... this means that if you like something it's because it's a beauty!

Concato's last disk is superb: the songs, arrangements, session-men and texts are soooo nice...

Like Lo told me "I listened to this disc many times, also two, three times in a row"... how right he was: this afternoon it happened again and - yes - I took a fix of "Tutto Qua"... a double dose.

I could talk about this or that song... maybe "Carlo che sorride" dedicated to a musician friend who passed away or "Se non fosse per la musica" with Stefano Bollani and his great, liquid piano playing... or... "Un trenino nel petto"... but I love them all!







Buy it, instead of reading these empty lines... Fabio Concato's music if so full, mature and nice and empathic...

I enjoyed it a lot and will enjoy it in the future, I'm pretty sure.

Available in autographed vinyl, limited edition of 300 copies and disc, with a free download of five acoustic, unplugged  tracks.

... forgot to say: recording is REALLY top, TOP class, pals...




Friday, August 2, 2013

The worst records covers, ever!





Crappiest cover-art is an art-form... or the bad taste elevated to art.







Really cool stuff, here...





I'm speechless...