Search this Blog


Friday, November 27, 2015

Telefunken M 15A and studio cart

At last... thanking Giorgio Foschi...

The Beast!

Luca Chiomenti's "The Joke" as an earphones amp

Some days ago, I undusted one of my three (yes, three, but;-) all different vintage and impedances;-))) classic, nicely kept Beyer DT-48 earphones - i.e. an 8 ohm sampler (thanking my pal Arnaldo).

I took from its shelf the Alps RK-50/The Joke 1,75W integrated-amp and an El Cheapo Philips CD-104 cd player, stuffs I had handy, just to give a listen to earphones sound, again.

It was a loooong time, since my last listening using an earphones... the Beyer DT-48 is a workhorse, widely used worldwide by professionals in cinema and television industry, using Nagra or Stellavox open-reels... but it's also one of the most natural sounding earspeakers ever made.

The aluminium ear domes, carved from a solid bullion, and the feather-like ultra-thin diaphragm are very, very much reminding a driver like the Altecs' or JBL's I used for years...

Sound is undistorted and untiring also if the monitor-like character and the vice-like pressure of the head-band would say "No, thanks!"... maybe the tube amp smoothed and made overall sound more gentle and silky sounding.

I placed some well known music into the old, trusty, vintage CD 104 and connected the Beyer's to The Joke with an adapter (bare wire to female 6,3 mm plug).

The dynamic was of exceptional quality, thundering low-end and shimmering, untiring, undistorted highs... I began from an excessive volume setting and after some minutes I found very natural to lower and lower the gain, obtaining a good compromise between explosiveness and comfort.

What I noticed, after a full disk (Keith Jarrett's, of course...) was that the gap between the earphones listening vs. the Gotorama isn't that wide - i.e. something I noticed years ago: the best my speakers/amps/system and ancillaries the less difference from the room resonances behavior and overall sound.

I called it a proof...

Now, please forgive me for being over-triumphant, maybe... Gotorama wins on virtually every aspect, now...

I mean: if bringing something like I above described at home, for intimate listening while seated on the sofa near my wife-watching-the-TV;-) earphones is a true, cheap winner.

... for the emotion, the full blossoming and beauty of the musical experience... now the Gotorama truly is completed, nothing is comparable to my large system.

Nothing, period.

Call me monsieur de Lapalisse;-)

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

... more about Hemiolia master-tapes...

… further considerations about Hemiolia master-tapes real-time dubs, folks…

As you’re possibly aware, I’m greatly enjoying my open-reel recorders and tapes, these days… it’s a long lasting love affaire, I must say… something which only occasionally remains sleepy to resurrect stronger than ever, from time to time, yet so strong and sincere… a love for life.

Some days ago, while picking up from Giorgio Foschi a pre-owned, original Telefunken studio cart for my M15A, I asked him if he had a tape for sale, an original pancake, not a sampler like I already had… and… YES!... he had the last copy of Hendrix played by Pannozzo…  my copy is # 225… and… my surprise was HUGE when I played the tape on my Gotorama!

The sound was even – to a large extent, I mean – better on many parameters – overall dynamic was impressive… almost painful vs. other media.

When I shared my findings and thoughts with Giorgio, he explained to me the RMG 900 Pyral tape has “this” improved dynamics character and behavior… yet, the sound is live, I measured SPL peaks of 108-110 db at 3,20 m from listening sweet spot on my IVIE IE-30 RTA… sound is undistorted, beefy, true-to-life, moving…

Hands automatically goes into invisible-guitar playing and some joyful yiiihaaaa! goes on, randomly…  my pal Arnaldo also experienced “this”, on last Saturday afternoon and, also if only playing the sampler copy, Pannozzo/Hendrix’ Hoochie Coochie Man track was giving shivers of joy, musical joy, to both of us.

This track alone is worth the tape cost!

The original full tape I recently got is as above and better… as a labour of love, I even undusted my editing skills and in half an hour  of careful work, I put Basf white tape among the tracks to further improve the pro-appearance of the tape and... to make things easier finding a track.  


Just kidding, but I will have to make a safe-copy of the tape for posterity as I cannot think being without this kind of awesome quality, anymore… as I really will be going to play this pancake more and more and more times…  the risk is wearing out the M15A heads;-(

Thanking Giorgio and Claudio of Hemiolia for their vision and good taste.

I wish to them the very best and success with their business.

Grab a copy of Pannozzo’s tape, pals… you won’t regret… by chance (or not…) it’s also the best seller in Hemiola’s catalogue!  

Friday, November 20, 2015

An Haiku

This morning, shortly before waking up, I fondly remembered my last evening reading, so enjoyable... sort-of realizing the miracle of reading, spreading of thoughts and things...

Silly me!

A short, haiku-like "thing" took form in my sleepy mind from the mists of the night...

I don't know why, yet after 52 years of reading and enjoying every page I read ever since, this early morning I felt blessed and grateful...

Reading: I'm sailing
the river of light
and knowledge.
In awe.

Feel better... also if Matsuo Basho, the Japanese master-poet, is someway angry and deluged in his graveyard;-)

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Doubts and certainties

What can I say?

When I had the Le Classè A in my trunk (and some less bucks in my wallet…) I felt - one more time - ALL the weight of my music passion and audio passion… aehm: addiction;-)

I know people in their thirties who live like they are in their seventies+…  

I’m still perfecting my system and motorbike and… still buying new ties, taking care of my teeth and overall appearance.

I'm not an highlander, on the contrary...

... yet...

I’m still curious about life and learning and experiencing anew in every field of interest… buying and reading books and magazines… and surfing the WEB daily.

Why everyone is so different from each other?

Why something which is paramount for me is 100% crap for others?

Is music a food as important as a fruit-salad or a pizza?

Why I do feel different after listening to a record?

The ancient memories of a shiny past are still present in everyone's DNA... the trick is don't being deaf to the untold, always being curious about everything.

Why should I (sort-of) stopping to enjoy life and "toys" and having good time? In the name of what should I change my habits and tastes?

For my young nephews who only listen to iPhone?

Should I go for a self-defensing-mode life-style, thinking about an hopefully older me and different perspective and related needs and priorities?

Am I throwing away money or are stuffs money can buy (sort-of) salt to life?

Is living an interesting, always various, entertaining and worthwhile life the only way to justify everyone’s existence on Earth?

Is whole humankind a guinea-pigs stable for someone's large-scale experiments?

Is religion a necessary evil?

Isn't being kind, tolerant, emphatic and open to people and changes enough for a pacific living, without the redudant structure of virtually every religion?

Why waiting for after-death heaven instead of persuing it on earth?

... and hell?

Isn't it these days?

Doubts and certainties…

Sure living the now, the moment… 

… ‘til the last breathe.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Hiraga Le Classe' A 30W amp - I today found a four leaf clover!

Yes, pals... searched for the fourth 30W golden face Hiraga Le Classe' A amp for at least five years... I mean FIVE years... already had three for multiamping my Gotorama - for low, mid and mid-high, while having to use a black 20W on high.

It was an obsession of mine... finding the fourth, last one to complete the multi-amping of my Gotorama's, I mean.

Sure I'm a middle-aged fussy kind of audiophile, yet really it wasn't only something aesthetic-related... the 30W 1,5 Farads caps amp is a beast and sounding very, I mean VERY different from its smaller brother... ahem, frere...

Ebay, Audiomarkt, Audiogon... nothing for years!

... and...

Thanking HiFiShark (great site!), I found - it was on last Friday, actually - a pristine, 100% original, unmodified, a truly sought-after piece of gear... years and years of search... also recently begging with a friend owning one, offering big money and... voilà, by chance, I found it.


A 727 km round-trip... this morning it was a 4 A.M. woke-up and for lunch I was back home... but everything was embarrassingly worthwhile, something so apparent when I installed the fourth 30W in my system.

My technical ignorance cannot explain... these amps own "the magic"... they're so smooth and relaxed and detailed.

Now... yes, now the Gotorama is truly complete.

The sense of cohesiveness is incredible... awesome... everything speaks such a common language... no amp is singing with a different voice... and the whole is - indeed - much more than the sum of the single parts!

Why such a change - i.e. putting the 30W on Goto SG 160 tweeters - is giving such a refinement... don't know... and most of all, I don't care.

I sort-of "knew" it was a good choice completing the quartet... something missing to my ears.

A tesseract... a green one ;-)

Had my four leaf clover... a very musical clover, indeed.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Keith Jarrett - Paris/London - Testament (ECM - 3 disks-set - 2009) - Naked Music

I suddenly noticed I recently changed my listening habits – i.e. from someway feverish changing records and music genres, randomly into a more relaxed, focused and self-conscious mood…

I recently completed the listening to the whole Stephan Micus’ catalogue, one after one after one, one a day… amazing experience I had, folks…

This kind of full-time dedication and immersion really makes me - the listener - to go deep into artist soul, appreciating his maturing in a decades long time hiatus… a true, veritable aural journey!

Yesterday, dedicated my attention to another artist: Keith Jarrett.

I own dozens of KJ recordings and maybe beginning from Facing You or even older recordings would have been wiser, yet I decided to begin from most recent ones backward.

I handled the cool 3-disks set of Paris/London – Testament on ECM, of course.

Mr. Jarrett’s piano solo represents a true mistery and not only music-wise, a veritable peak in human artistry.

The above mentioned disk booklet and liner notes gives an in-deep insight into both the man and the artist, a fragile, often naked, sincere individual who - to reach the extreme relaxation needed to afford his improvised tour-de-force concerts – needs a sum of conditions, friendly cohort, prescriptions to makes the music flowing.

Keith Jarrett talks and share this and more: personal eveniences like his wives names and leaving, his sadness and fragility, the tears after a concert, while bowing to the audience, his chemical connection with audience able to make a superb or just good concert.

His love for Japanese audience, so religiously silent and respectful of the effort and energies involved in these total happenings.

I still remember Jarrett and his trio at Arena in Verona, years ago… he was furious about people flashing their cameras and coughing… so furious to interrupt the concert abruptly…

Me and many others hated him…

After reading the a.m. Paris/London Testament 3-disks set I better, much better understood his uniqueness and deep involvement into his - I dare - mission, even better than after reading his superb biography, a long interview with Kinihiko Yamashita of (not by chance...) JazzLife  - Japan,  titled "Inner Views" (also if I love italian title “Il mio Desiderio Feroce”).

It’s like a gifted musician be himself, firsthand, surprised by the complexity of music flowing, always different, from his mind and fingers to the listener… he’s sure afraid and worried about eventually loosing The Gift, yet he cannot do nothing but rehearsing for hands dexterity and keeping his mind clean and quiet.

He really must protect his art and playing skills, ferociously, also.

Only at these conditions, after, as he points it out, 60+ years of music, something happens while seated at the grand-piano… puffing and sweating and humming and playing like in a trance.

I listened to the three disks in a row – i.e. Salle Pleyel in Paris, first, then Royal Albert Hall in London…  I read the liner notes, his confessions and feelings… and the music hitted me so deeply and intensely with its beauty.

Other adjectives could sound redundant… beauty is beauty, as universal as it can be.

No hypes needed, at all…

I feel that – these days – I couldn’t be less interested in audio, while I couldn’t be more into music as a total experience involving mind and body.

Imagine a chef… how many times is he talking about ovens and the like… ingredients, raw veggies and assorted are his world, but, even more, always, the dish - its aesthetic appearance and taste - is the goal.

I’ll never, ever waste my (precious) time left talking about “ovens”… music is soooo vastly much more important than audio gears to reproduce it, as it’s sharing it around.

My testament, as well?  


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Frank Zappa - 200 Motels (The Suites)

"I would say that the outrageous aspects of Zappa are perhaps less important for today's audience," Salonen told Variety in an interview before the 2013 performance. "We're witnessing an historical moment where we can actually hear the other aspects of his music better because we are no longer stunned by the outrageousness. Reading this score now, there is a sheer richness of fantasy. He had such a vivid imagination in every way."
"The stars aligned in the Vault of All Ideas and in the canopy over the main stage at Disney Hall." Gail Zappa
"For those of us who were lucky enough to be at Disney Hall on the 23 rd of October, 2013, it will remain as defining an experience as Woodstock, or our first hearing of Bernstein's West Side Story, or Stravinsky's Rite of Spring." Frank Filipetti

"You all know 200 Motels from the record and the movie. Now you'll know it as a brand new, totally-different-yet-the-same record and the one-off performance you'll never get to see (unless you were there, of course)." Scott Thunes
"200 Motels and 1000 light years had passed and we left that once-in-a-lifetime moment with love in our hearts and deafening appreciation of Frank Zappa's monumental posthumous triumph ringing in our ears." Michael Des Barres
FRANK ZAPPA: 200 Motels (The Suites) [2-CD; digital]
1. Overture [2:17]
2. Went On The Road [1:41]
3. Centerville [2:24]
4. This Town Is A Sealed Tuna Sandwich [10:15]
5. The Restaurant Scene [4:23]
6. Touring Can Make You Crazy [2:06]
7. What's The Name Of Your Group? [11:46]
8. Can I Help You With This Dummy? [2:33]
9. The Pleated Gazelle [21:00]
1. I'm Stealing The Room [13:44]
2. Shove It Right In [7:26]
3. Penis Dimension [9:58]
4. Strictly Genteel [11:14]
SOURCE Zappa Records/UMe