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Friday, July 29, 2016

His Bobness Chronichles - motorbike wreck anniversary

It was July 29th, 1966, near Woodstock... many versions of the mishappen circulated in the meantime... he fell, he slipped on oil... who knows?

Whatever... Bob Dylan's music changed after his 9 months long recovery.

Intriguing topic... almost a mistery;-)

Disk of the Month - Trost im Leid - C.P.E. Bach - Ensemble Precipitation (Psalmus)

A masterpiece... a must-have... an humble one, yet... such a beauty!

Love this disk... music-wise and, YES! the recording is ***** (DSD, ecc.)

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

God is in the Irons - Audio Consulting's Silver Rock AVC - handmade in Switzerland

I got my 2004 pre-owned Audio Consulting's Silver Rock AVC passive line-preamp... connected to my Partridge/Allen Bradley/300B mono blocks feeding the Cabasses' and Meridian's digital...

... and listened...

At the very beginning,  still remembering when Luxman AT 3000 was in place, the sensation was of a fuller-body, thicker overall sound.

I immediately felt the difference, yet fearful the sound was a bit slower than with AT 3000's... ahem, no!
Thickness or... less bass-shy...

These were just the first minutes listening... a sensation which lasted an eye-blink.

I began to swap discs... David Tibet's Current 93's Honeysuckle Aeons (unbelivable quality), female vocals and lute, electric guitars duo with cello by Sousedi (unbelivable quality!!!), double bass and acoustic 12 strings and classical guitars (Gary Peacock/Ralph Towner's Oracle on ECM... a must-have!).

The more I listened the more I enjoyed the result: the apparent thickness suddenly disappeared and the resolution improved... more and more...

What thrilled me was that, when going louder and louder, the volume wasn't absolutely affecting the size of instruments... an acoustic guitar was just louder, not larger.
A truly important feature!

When I got conscious of the above, I better dig and paid attention to the phenomenon on more disks; furthermore, studio noises were very present and naturally blended with music.

The loudness improved: loud was really loud and clean, effortlessly sounding, free of glare and smooth... loud, but not annoying or hurting... never, also when reaching a truly high climax!

The sense of clarity and naturalness become almost painful... I had some business, and simply had to force me hard to stop listening to more and more and more disks and go... quite embarrassing;-)

Summing up: clarity, resolution, inner- and inter-notes silence, natural imaging and depth and an additive, strong overall beauty feeling... in my opinion, all these aspects are top class...

The Luxman AT 3000 and Fidelity Research AS 1 sure are top contenders... but with the Silver Rock the extremely low noise-floor makes you so easily aware of instruments decay, mixer on and off, guitar amps hums, artists breathing...  everything is so lively.

Audio Consulting's previous moniker was Silver Rock... a slightly opinable brand-name...

... but a younger Serge Schmidlin wasn't that wrong!

Silver is silver wire used in coils... Rock... well: it's the rock-solid sensation of rightness... making me pretty sure I nicely spent my money for such a result.

I really love this box: only two hand-wound irons and two gold contacts Elna's 24 positions rotary switches!

Someone will think - plainly said - why paying considerable amount of money for a passive AVC gizmo...  hey, it's only a couple of irons... but... BUT!

As Serge once told me during a conversation, Switzerland doesn't own oil, carbon, gold, diamonds or other precious materials... mountains, lakes and... people learned to work wood and watches and clocks and improved their skills in micro-mechanic... Vacheron-Constantin, Rolex, Nagra, Stellavox, Da Vinci, Audio Consulting... all them and more represents the peak in human-sized  manufacturing, the old style, by hand, one at a time, painstackingly.

The winding care and skill involved in the making and materials used in coils (super thin magnetic layers) and wire are everything's needed to make the difference between a transformer and a great iron, music-wise.

Such a musical device, a good iron, is worth its weight in gold: as God is in details, so audio/music-wise, it's in the Irons:-)))!

Thanking Pierre and Serge... and Dick Olsher for his SR's review: I agree on every word he spent on the matter.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Silver Rock AVC Passive preamp

A little, humble masterpiece, from Serge Schmidlin.... a 2004 vintage AVC.

... a truly nice add to my little passive preamps collection... next add?

A Meteor AVC, of course;-)))

Yes! Thanking Serge Schmidlin.

Stay tuned...

Saturday, July 16, 2016

A miniature

A micro B/W still-life, on the beach-towel...

Cute, lazy self-indulging silliness... my fault.

John Cage - Lettera a uno sconosciuto (1996)

I'm reading the 575 pages book about (and by) John Cage and his endless interviews, collected by Richard Kostelanetz (Edizioni Socrates, 1996 1st italian edition - original title - "Conversing with Cage" 1987).

It's an extremely interesting and enlightening essay, full of stories and quotes and ideas.

A goldmine.

On page 58 I read the following (about Cage and chess-playing with Marcel Duchamp in Paris):

"Mettiamo, ad esempio, di andare a Parigi e di passare tutto il nostro tempo a fare i turisti, andando nei luoghi famosi, ecc. Ecco, ho sempre avuto la sensazione che in questo modo non si possa imparare nulla su Parigi. Il modo migliore per conoscere Parigi è proprio quello di non avere alcuna intenzione di imparare alcunché, limitandosi semplicemente a viverci come se fossimo francesi. Nessun francese si sognerebbe di andare, diciamo, a Notre Dame.

E lei ha cercato di fare questo con Duchamp, cioè di vivere a Parigi evitando i giri turistici?

La mia intenzione è stata proprio quella: stare insieme a lui il più possibile, lasciando che le cose accadessero piuttosto che provocando il loro accadere*. Questo è un altro concetto orientale. Meister Eckart disse che possiamo raggiungere la perfezione non attraverso ciò che facciamo, ma attraverso ciò che ci accade*. Così sono riuscito a conoscere Duchamp non facendogli domande, ma stando semplicemente con lui."

The lacking of intention makes things and life purer...  or * (... letting things happening instead of provoking their happening... and ... we may be able to reach perfection not through what we do, but through what happens to us.): it's not Zen or whatever.

 Thanking Roberto Masotti for his superb JC's 1979 NYC 6th Street loft pix.

John Cage and Revox A77.

It's simply how I also humbly feel and so heartfelty agree with Cage... and Meister Eckart: applying wishes or desire or feverish seeking to our choices someway make them dirty, second-hand-ish, pre-owned and definitely, not our very own, becoming a part of us...

Things and meetings simply happening are like gold nuggets we step while walking in the countryside, by chance...  making us supremely un-Caged;-)

A priceless humble summer satori.

Will go ahead in reading this superb book, loosing myself among Cage & mushrooms, Merce Cunningham, Peggy Guggenheim, plants and... (silence).

Friday, July 1, 2016

Site of the Day - Wiki Woodstock - everything Woodstock!

Amazing site... everything (I mean much more than I previously knew) is covered on this site.

I was amazed, almost baffled - for example - to learn that my beloved Paul Motian, drummer extraordinaire.... was on stage with Arlo Guthrie!!!

... and Glen Moore on double bass and Ralph Towner on guitar were also on-stage, accompanying a stoned Tim Hardin!!!

... and...

... and more, much more trivia.

Dig it and enjoy... as I do!