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Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Proof - Tony Rice - Me & my Guitar (Rounder 1985)

Here I'm giving away a litlle, well kept secret, folks...

Beside the common plethora of audiophile recordings we all use to test our audio systems... you name them - Dafos, Casino Royale, Noye's Fludde, and hundreds more... - I also use a quite strange disc - Tony Rice - Me & My Guitar (Rounder 1985).

Mr. Rice was and is an acoustic guitar flat-picking maven, his tone, precision and speed are legendary... he plays a one-of-a-kind '35 Martin D-28 once the property of Clarence White, an awesome sounding instrument with its enlarged sound hole which - someway - further improved projection of sound... a cannon with a tone!

Back to the Rounder's disc... it's an ADA - i.e. the analog multitrack studio tape was digitally mastered on Sony 701 and then cutted on vinyl.

The overall sound is a bit cold, better - a razor;-)

The recording happened in three different studios, one in Berkeley, CA and two in Nashville, TN... the instrumentals REALLY sound amazing as the soundstage sounds natural and well-spreaded, more reminding to a live in the studio recording than a multi-miking recording mixer pan-potted.

So what?

When Tony  Rice sings with his nice, high pitched and quite metallic voice, the sound becomes razor-like, coldish, almost painful.

Only if you carefully do your homeworks on VTF, VTA, overhang and your cartridge and arm and turntable combo are performing as an unicum spinning machine, something happens and also the voice sounds smooth, throaty but natural.

The dynamics on this disc are really top-class and playing it randomly, after changing something on my Gotorama system is both a joy and a shiver.

The sound is reminding a good disk, but something of the analog recordings is preserved also after the Sony 701 digitalization.

A truly enriching aural experience as - it's my strong opinion - there shouldn't be audiophile records, but our systems should make more of the records special sounding... not an average, so-so, so-called "quasi-perfection", but a - say - 80% "WOW!" whispered when listening to our music of choice.

... and, hey, shit happens, pals!

The "good" recordings should be more than the "average"...

With "Me and my Guitar", you've the proof that's possible to improve also the listening awe and enjoyment to a difficult recording...  then, how Mr. Arthur Salvatore would say, there are Divinity and Semi-Gods records and recordings... but this is another story.


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