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Friday, December 28, 2007

A superb link from Germany

I wish to anyone, to the audio daredevil, the pleasure to browse inside this superb site, also very WJAAS' friendly! A well kept secret in the whole Web... shhhhhh!


We are Frank & Al. Frank is from Japan, Al is from Germany. These names are synonyms established a long time ago at the beginning of our friendship. We share every day interests such as Japanese Reggae personified by J.S.Bach, Sake, amplifiers, Sushi and good food in general, loudspeakers, music and common madness. We have a mutual friend, a former terrible nurse, who once escaped on mysterious tracks from Tokyo to Freiburg where she started playing the piano. She underwent a metamorphosis and now she is wonderful, especially when playing Mozart or Brahms sonatas on her Steinway B grand piano.

私たちはフランク&アルです。フランクは日本人、アルはドイツ人です。大昔に、我々の友情が始まった時から、この呼び名が使われました。(訳注:"Al Capone"とその片腕"Frank The Enforcer Nitti"から借用しています。口げんかをしている時は、お互いを、"Alfonzo","Frankonsutein"(フランコンスタイン『ヤン グ・フランケンシュタイン』の日本語字幕せりふより)と罵倒します。"Alfonzo"と優しく呼びかけると、我がドイツ人ジェントルマンはかなりめげま す)。我々は、J.S.バッハの再現とも言うべき日本のレゲエ、酒、アンプ、寿司、旨いものなんでも、スピーカー、音楽、互いが熱狂しているもの、そんな 関心事を毎日共有しています。私たちには、共通の友人がいます。かつては身の毛もよだつ恐怖の「ナース」と呼ばれていましたが、捜査の手を逃れ、ミステリ アスなルートでトキオからフライブルクへ逃亡し、そこで身も姿も変えて、ピアノを弾き始めた女性。彼女がスタインウェイ・B・グランドピアノで、モーツァ ルトやブラームスのソナタを奏でる時は、誰もがこのまま死んでもかまわぬと思ってしまう。(訳注:おいおい、何を書いとるんじゃ。Mo Hayder の"Tokyo"の恐怖のNurseとごっちゃにするな。彼女はそんな人じゃない。もっと、恐ろしい。何人のドイツ人ジェントルマンが身も心も奪われたこ とか。美しき、魔性のギャンブラー。皆さん、バーデン・バーデンのカジノにお立ち寄りの際には、お気を付けて)。

We want to take you hostage to the wonderful world of German loudspeakers which were built back in the old days. These ancient drivers have properties which seem to have vanished during the past two or three decades. By now modern day HiFi has conquered the markets worldwide.

私たちも、彼女のように、皆さんを、昔に作られたドイツのスピーカーの素晴らしい世界に誘い込み、虜にしたいのです。これらの太古のドライヴァーが持つ特 質は、ここ20年から30年の間に消滅してしまったように見えます。今や、現代においては、ハイファイが世界市場を席巻してしまっています。

"The midrange is where we live". This eternaly valid quote of Paul Klipsch needs no further comment. It represents the essence of what we are trying to advocate.


Please feel invited to enjoy hundreds of pictures of vintage loudspeakers of mostly German origin. We are trying to provide you with as much background information as possible. This website will be updated regularly; with new pictures and with new research results. For further background information we need your help.

我々の招きに誘われて、どうぞヴィンテージ・スピーカーの何百枚もの写真を楽しんでください。そのほとんどがドイツで作られたものです。私たちはできるだ け多くの参考資料を提供しようとしており、このウェッブ・サイトは、新しい写真と資料で定期的に更新されるでしょう。更なる参考資料のため、皆さんの協力 を必要としています。

We do not consider ourselves the stone of wisdom! It is very very difficult at times to recapture technical or historical facts about those old drivers and the companies behind them and we are certainly willing to reverse or relativate our documentary data. Reliable documentation is scarce and some data which are available are controversial. There may be errors in parts of this web site. But we are trying to inform you as best as we can. Any help from outside to fill the information gaps is greatly appreciated! Join the party! Please help us with YOUR knowledge! So, if you know something about old speakers, magnet manufacturers, companie's history, technical data of any sort AND if you want to share this information - get in touch! If you find errors in our information or if you have another version - get in touch!

私たちは「賢者の石」だなどはうぬぼれていません。これらの古いドライヴァーやその背後にある会社について、技術的、歴史的な事実をキャプチャーすること は、時には非常に困難を極めます。私たちは、喜んでドキュメンタリー資料を入れ替えたり、その価値を相対化します。信頼できる記録はまれであり、提供でき る資料の中には、議論の余地のあるものもいくつもあります。このウェッブサイトの一部には、誤りがあるかもしれませんが、できるだけ最もよい情報を提供し ようとしています。情報の透き間を埋める外部からの援助は大歓迎です。さあ、我々の仲間になって下さい。あなたの知識で我々を手助けして下さい。古いス ピーカー、マグネット製造会社、会社の歴史、あらゆる種類のテクニカル・データについて何かご存じであれば、ご連絡下さい。また、我々の情報に間違いがあ りましたら、あるいは別のヴァージョンの情報をお持ちであれば、ご連絡下さい。

The world of German vintage loudspeakers is a fascinating chapter of engineering history. Listening to those speakers is a fascinating experience!


"Music is the Best"
「音楽こそ最高」(Frank Zappa)。


Thursday, December 27, 2007

M - U - S - I - C

Many, many years ago I had my first seminal exposure to the world of "Le Cahier de l'Audiophile", a magazine which also opened never guessed doors toward the most beautiful of passions: the sound, more than music, because in sound - in nature: crickets, wind, storm, birds - you hear the music seed and after this you'll became aware of a parallel world of infinite beauty... a by-product of this love is in hearing differences among audio gears and recording and instruments and halls... a curse, you'll say... NO!... a blessing, indeed.
Being able to follow several musical lines in classical music pieces, at a concert and at home, the joy of a montain stream water sound, and the birds... the birds! They're a blessing's blessing... since my boyhood I always loved their singing.
My mother woke up at dawn to sip a peacuful coffee cup with a singing bird company from the highest tree... for years... it was her very way to love and celebrate Earth and Its mysteries.
Now I still love same singing, and I also found a crazy way to go beyond this... on several, dozens recordings, mostly classical music, I became aware of the well kept hidden sounds captured by mikes: a motorbike in a David Munrow's record, and birds, plenty of them: in a Bert Jansch's disc, in Paniagua's several recordings on Harmonia Mundi's and many many others...
Some weeks ago I found an obscure solo lute music disc on EMI Reflexe... and I jokingly began to count the birds singing on the recording which I was able to listen to... well: I counted SIX!!! different birds singing!
The disc is: Pieces de Luth by Anthony Bailes and the Tonmeister is Johann-Nikolaus Matthes... he also recorded a FANTASTIC Hopkinson Smith's disc of S.L. Weiss Lute Music... and there too, tons of details from recording venue - unfortunately it was recorded in winter... so, no birds;-)))... but nonetheless an huge, subbass heating-boiler switching ON and OFF several times during Weiss' celestial music... well, nice mikes, Mr. Matthes!
I cannot explain "Why" I'm so attracted by these sounds, instead of considering them as distracting noises... they simply seem to near myself to musician and composer and Music and recording place.
That's why now, almost in my fifties, I understand when a Japanese gentleman, mr. Iwata-san, owning a superbly complex, expensive, BIG multiamped horn-music system, told - in an interview to Jean Hiraga of L'Audiophile fame - his life was devoted to M-U-S I-C... and he felt fortunate enough to have reached M-U-S... hoping to reach, more... I... and C, too, maybe?!?! before his death.
I'm humbly in same league: I reached in my own life M, a strong, mature, heartfelt, well done, proud "M"... and, thinking different from mr. Iwata-san, I sadly know I'll be not able to go beyond "U" or "S"... but this is one of the Great Mysteries... someone else will get closer to the Perfection, one day... and so on and on. I'm definitely faithful in humankind;-)

P.S. - if anyone wonder who's the white bearded man in the pix... he's Pandit Pran Nath, an Indian master singer, a man whose micro-tonal technique defined a new standard in musical subtleties, very rare and almost unknown in Western music... Indian musical heritage and Raga inspired La Monte Young, Terry Riley and many others...
The pix is an homage to Pran Nath's vocal accuracy and ancient art... a step closer to perfection in Music.
If you'll listen to his music you'll understand what I mean... in tears.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

My flesh & bone records-pusher!

Thanx and season's Greetings to Ivan, my only "flesh and bone" record seller ever - it seems a Tom Waits' titlesong;-)... well, he's almost the only one... at street-markets, record-fairs, while travelling I'm still dealing with real people... otherwise... only with WEB Avatars;-)
... but while at the above mentioned spots I only browse and buy, at Ivan's place I also find news, a friendly witty chat, music always "ON", interesting fresh music magazines and a living environment... my Pusher is a Music-Lover, not only a shop-keeper...

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Tim de Paravicini - an audio maven!

I had a long-time audio love-affaire with TdP since by boyhood: my very first tube amps were a third-hand, dented but flawlessly sounding monoblocks-pair of his 509s power-amps (how I'd wish I kept'em!), he custom rebuilt and modified into a Ferrari my humble, beloved tube Revox G36 open-reel tape recorder, still my recording workhorse of choice, more than my Nagra, Stellavox or Studer tape-machines... my very own one and only vinyl record ever was recorded on the G36 and mastered at The Exchange facility in Camden Town, London which used all TdP gears: amps for cutting lathe and monitoring and throughout designed studio layout, I used for years his The Head moving-coil transformer... and... he married the nice Mrs. Olivia, a former japanese airlines hostess and he lived for many years in Japan... so, for WJAAS-sake...
Q. - who's one of the most knowledgeable men in audio to know both worlds: Eastern & Western?
A. - Simple... he's Tim de Paravicini!