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Thursday, June 29, 2017

Kavi Alexander's insight about Nagra

Kavi - Stefano, did you know that Kudelski was a close friend of the Swiss ethnomusicologist Marcel Cellier, father of Claude Cellier, founder of Merging Technologies? Marcel recorded the very first Zamfir LP, the Pan-pipe Romanian virtuoso, with him accompanying on the organ, on a Narga two track deck, which he had Kudelski make for him. Thanks to him, the two track Nagras became a reality, as Nagra, until then, made only mono recorders, for the film and surveillance industries/sectors. 

Soon the two track Nagras were put to excellent use by the likes of John Shuttleworh of Meridian, the record label in the UK. Marcel, again on a two track Nagra, recorded "Le Mystery des Voix Bulgares" an extra ordinary recording, which had a profound impact of many artists in the West, including David Crosby. For years, Marcel had a radio program titled "Black sea to the Baltic"... The very first Water Lily release, of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan was recorded on a Nagra T Audio. 

For years, mono Nagras were made under license in India, for the Bollywood market! Some of the recordings of Indian classical music, released under the auspices of UNESCO and produced by my hero, French scholar Alain Danielou, were also recorded on mono Nagras! It were those UNESCO LPs that inpiered me to start Water Lily Acoustics.

The Grateful Dead were also big fans of the Nagra two track recorders. The Bear was their guiding light and it was he who picked the Nagra recorders... A recording he made on a Nagra, of Jerry Garcia and Vassar Clements, titled "Old and in the Way" is well worth seeking out.

The Nagra two track recorders employed, what Nagra called "Pre Distortion", some sort of distortion cancelling topology, affecting mostly the mid band. In the T Audio, Nagra expanded the effects of the "pre distortion" circuitry to be full bandwidth. Perhaps Tim can comment on the pros and cons of "pre distortion".

MeKavi, I bought my first Water Lily's disc, the one you suggested, in Milan at an audio fair... was soooo impressed by its eerie sound that I began investigating about serious recording, purchased a Nagra IV-S and a QGB, a Neumann U67 pair and recorded, recorded, recorded... I never gave up... and going on...

Thanks Kavi, my long-time mentor and inspiration: your knowledge and dedication to music is a statement.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Audio Oscar

John Renbourn's house for sale...

John passed away and his beautiful house in the Scottish countryside is for sale, now...

The Snoot, Roberton, Hawick
Viewing is essential to appreciate this substantial detached two storey property located in a rural location with lovely surrounding views. The building itself has much historical significance. Built as a presbyterian church in 1843, the building was then used as a youth hostel. In recent years it was home to acclaimed guitarist John Renbourn. In need of renovation, the property offers an abundance of possibilities and currently offers ground floor accommodation with a mezzanine level, and small garden to the side.

John on the grass path to his house... love this pictures shot by Dominique Trepeau.

John back in 1976, with his beloved Guild D55 (picture taken in High Barnet, London, backyard of Nic Kinsey's Livingstone Studio) 

... fondly remembering you, my mentor...

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Saturday's disc - Pierre Boulez - Rituel (dedicated to Bruno Maderna) - Eclat/Multiples on CBS Masterworks

I suggest everyone into adventurous orchestral music to search for this gem... 

It's a digital recording... but who cares!

The Master-Tapes Exchange Club

... new-born FB group...

Let's spin our machines...

Reel to reel is too good to do not share!

Vinylmania: When Life Runs at 33 Revolutions Per Minute

Worth... much worth view!

Very intriguing... bravo to Paolo Campana, the movie/documentary director.

Saturday, June 17, 2017


Finished the new Gotorama layout... 

... back to basic: reel-to-reel, turntable, preamp, MC transformer, crossover, amp...

I guess I today moved about 500 kilos worth of gears...

The system looks a little grunge, primitive... lesser?

... but sound is not ...  it's just... WOW!

Po' my back;-)

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Twogoodears' Tenth Anniversary T-shirt


Just press Blog's "Donate" button and charge for EUR 55... incl. shipping worldwide.

It's a (very) limited-edition, one-off, folks... only 10 (ten) of these 100% cotton T-shirts will be made, for the 10 years anniversary of twogoodears Blog - i.e. July 2007/2017.

First come, first served...

P.S. - please give me your address and specify size and if you wish the Japanese "twogoodears" - i.e.  トゥーグッドイアーズ  or the English "twogoodears",  (as per above pictures).

P.P.S. - three left... so, hurry up;-)

P.P.P.S - aehm... two...

P.P.P.P.S.  - gone, as I reached the ten;-)

... thanks, folks...

From Abbey Road Studios shop - The Beatles' Yesterday score...

... as orchestrated by Sir George Martin...

Iconic, as on this song, Sir Martin began orchestrating the Fab Fours... 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

New layout - work in progress...

Work in progress and mumble-mumble mode in my studietto, thanking the lesson I had from listening to the smaller system... its weakness is its strength!

Currently playing with Nuforce MCA-20 Stealth Class D 8-channels amp and Silver Rock passive preamp with Gotorama... and looking forward to give a try to Thomas Mayer's full combo, again vs. Le Solstice J-Fet preamp.

Promising new layout, looking-forward to improved inter-notes silence... for now, I enjoy the difference vs. the Hiraga Le Classe A 30Ws' four amps, while they'll be under surgery for new, improved diode-rectifier bridges, as per Jean Hiraga's advice and suggestion.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Don Garber 1935 - 2017

R.I.P. for a master of taste... Mr. Garber of Fi fame passed away in Brooklyn on Sunday, June 4th,

Condolences to his family and friends...

His Bobness' Chips

What would a bag of Bob Dylan-themed potato chips taste like?

The question isn’t necessarily an appetizing one, but it did feed our imaginations yesterday when it was (woefully) misreported that a Chinese company, purported to be selling such a snack, was in fact selling nothing of the kind.

Does the packaging look like potato chip bags?

Yes. But is the packaging potato chip bags? Well, yes.

As company’s website rhetorically ponders, “What is the most popular thing?”, before revealing, “We chose the ‘potato chips.'” Can’t argue with that. And thus, books of Chinese translations of Bob Dylan lyrics are currently being sold in potato chip bags in China.

The lyrics are apparently pulled from the comprehensive tome, Bob Dylan: The Lyrics (1961–2012), the Chinese publisher invited 15 of China’s most esteemed poets and musicians to assist in translating the text. The lyrics are divided among eight separate pock-sized books that come packaged in their own specific chip bag.

But, according to the website, you also have the option of purchasing the entire collection of books, which come collectively packaged in a miniature, ’60s-style retro suitcase. It isn’t clear whether the suitcase comes filled with eight chip bags, but I admit I love the idea of carrying around a snazzy suitcase filled with kids’ snacks.

While it isn’t exactly widely known, Bob Dylan enjoys a sizable fanbase in the People’s Republic of China. This is more than a little ironic, considering Dylan’s stature as a protest figure and the Republic’s entrenched conformism and penchant for censorship.

Dylan first played Beijing in 2011, drawing criticism stateside, accusing the veteran antagonist of self-censoring his set—claims that he refuted in an open letter.

In other Dylan-related news, it was reported earlier this week that the legendary folk bard has finally delivered his Nobel Prize acceptance lecture. The mind churns in wonder of what sort of scrumptious packaging the transcript of the address could be sold in.

Also, a special hat-tip to the creative geniuses at FLOOD for their exquisite list of fictional Bob Dlyan potato chip flavors. Highlights include “Tangled Up in Bleu Cheese” and “It Ain’t Grease Babe.” Do enjoy.

In the meantime, if you have a specific craving for musician-sanctioned treats, there’s always rap snacks.