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Sunday, December 30, 2018

R.I.P. for Blandine Verlet

Sad news from France... a beloved artist I followed for many, many years reportedly passed away in Paris yesterday.

After Gustav Leonhardt passing away, another magnificent harpsichordist...

Her several recordings on Philips and Astree brought happiness to the world and yours truly with a music of ultra-terrestrial beauty and perfection, played on awesome historic instruments kept alive and preserved from dust and museums vaults.

This cover gives to me goose-bumps... bon voyage, Blandine...


Sunday, December 23, 2018

Merry Christmas

From a proudly atheist me: I wish everyone peace, health and wealth... have the very best enjoying every single moment of joy, think positive and love, love, love... life, music, women, traveling, people.

Love everyone!

Saturday, December 15, 2018

More Christmas' sale: Hiraga Classe A 20W power amp(s) - on consignment

Selling on behalf of a (late) pal family, one pair (2) original, stock, unmodified, pristinely kept Hiraga 20W power amps.

Two available. Both truly perfect, ready to sing.

Not a scratch or a dent, gorgeously sounding, they were my own before I gave to my friend who used them lovingly while I got the 30W Le Classè A for my multiamped system.

Please note: 220V only.

If interested, please drop a line to yours truly at stefanocello-AT-gmail-DOT-com.



Riots and death, violence, wars, destruction everywhere...


So I would ask for... peace, PEACE! ... that's the gift I wish more!

Friday, December 14, 2018

Susumu Sakuma-san passed away today, Dec. 14th, 2018

Sad news, folks...

He was a sensei-san, a master in tubes and tube amps art... a true eccentric, not copy-catting, he was among the very first to conceive and build triode amps preamplified by another triode (300B/300B, for example) and a user of large industrial monsters, like WE 212, 100TH, 845 and 211.

His several books published in Japan for Seibundo Shinkosha represent a veritable goldmine.

I was honored to visit his Concord Cafe in Tateyama-shi, back in September 2009, spending a couple of quiet relaxed hours listening to music, chatting, taking pictures and soaking in the humble, serene atmosphere of this place... half a pub, a simple restaurant and half an audio museum and workshop, where the soldering-iron fumes were happily mixed with fried potatoes and eggs aroma.

I express deepest condolences to his lovely wife and family and all Japanese pals who loose a true hero, a good, humble, wise man.

R.I.P. Sakuma-san.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Christmas' time yard-sale - Altec 803A 15" N.O.S. in original box... perfect

... another nugget from my collection which I'll gladly let it go to another happy owner/collector.

A minty, shiny pair of 1959 vintage Altec 803A 15" woofers... the lightest paper cone woofers Altec ever made... even better than famed, sought-after 416A...

Speedy as light tight low-end and extreme resolution.

One of the VERY best woofers EVER produced, cost-no-object.

Not just a boom-boom woofer, but a precision instrument better suited to an exclusive system than P.A. use.

If interested, please drop me a line at: stefanocello-AT-gmail-DOT-com

Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 7, 2018

Happy birthday, Tom Waits!

Sixtynine today for a personal (and global) fave artist... 

Thanking Casey Waits' artwork.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Ortofon 100th Anniversary book

Happy Birthday, Ortofon!

The remarkable history of a company

This book reveals the remarkable history of a company that for 100 years has always been in the business of acoustics. Indeed, for that timespan, Denmark itself, has been recognised as the land of acoustics, with many companies designing innovative products. The country retains that reputation today.
Ortofon has played a significant role in creating a rich heritage for Danish acoustics. We believe that enviable legacy is best protected and continued by the development of exciting new products and keeping Ortofon viable for the future. As you will discover in the book, the list of Ortofon’s famous and groundbreaking products is a long one.
Music historian Kevin Howlett has written this history of 100 years of Ortofon based on a firm foundation of exhaustive research in various archives and in-depth interviews with past and present employees from the 1970s until now. We are indebted to all the many friends and colleagues who gave so generously of their time to contribute to this book.

The 50th Anniversary book and the 100th Anniversary book.

A must-have for the analog lover and collector.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Bad pop music is everywhere...

Thanking Robert Crumb

Ella & Marilyn

Test pressings

Love test-pressings... have a couple of Deccas', but the sheer elegance of this early Columbia 33CX... is awesome.

Thanking Saulo Zucchello.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

NovoTono - Overlays (2018)

I already knew Adalberto and Andrea Ferrari's skill and good musical taste as I attended to at least a couple of previous concerts, always at local Conservatory of music auditorium...

These brothers and musical companions move themselves in a grey, yet colorful realm territory of no-label music... the best, in my humble opinion.

Not classical, yet in written notation, no jazz per-se, as not improvised, yet sometimes reminding Jimmy Giuffre's clarinet-based trios from the early '60s...

The music flows, easy to the ears, like a lyrical Anthony Braxton... ears-friendly BUT not already heard...

The recording I made with my trusty Neumann USM-69 and Sound Devices 722 at 24bit/192Khz is a document...

The disk Adalberto so kindly gave to me after the concert, is such a poetic production, a duo project titled "Overlays":  two bass and contra-alto clarinets, soprano sax, clarinet duos of seldom heard beauty... math and lyrical intervowing dialogue, never boring...

Andrea and Adalberto Ferrari's composed really beautiful themes, with a single piece by beloved Roscoe Mitchell of AEoC-fame and Ornette Coleman.

I really enjoyed both the concert AND greatly grooved on NovoTono's disk... beautiful, angular music is superbly served by Stefano Amerio's recording at ArteSuono in Cavalicco, Udine...

Not an ECM's production, BUT... Stefano's skill undoubtedly serves every musician at his best and every musician giving his best, as well.

I strongly suggest everyone into nice, adventurous, original music to take a chance and get this very disk.

You won't regret.

... as crow flies...

The master-grade Fidelity Research AS-1.

Negative Capability - Marianne Faithfull's last effort

I cannot miss any of Mrs. Faithful's discs... it's an obsession: when I listen to her gravel, yet smooth voice, I melt...and no! I'm not reminding the Irina Palm's character... she's such a Lady...

As a plus, inside the elegant fold-out cover, there is a pix of a Studer's master tape recorder... after my Man-part melted on Music, my Audiophile-heart was bleeding on how pure analog sounds.

Lovely disc, folks...

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Dementia & Music

Study: Memories of music cannot be lost to Alzheimer's and dementia

The part of your brain responsible for ASMR catalogs music, and appears to be a stronghold against Alzheimer's and dementia. 

Some music inspires you to move your feet, some inspires you to get out there and change the world. In any case, and to move hurriedly on to the point of this article, it's fair to say that music moves people in special ways. 
If you're especially into a piece of music, your brain does something called Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response(ASMR), which feels to you like a tingling in your brain or scalp. It's nature's own little "buzz", a natural reward, that is described by some as a "head orgasm". Some even think that it explains why people go to church, for example, "feeling the Lord move through you", but that's another article for another time. 
Turns out that ASMR is pretty special. According to a recently published study in The Journal of Prevention of Alzheimer's Disease (catchy name!), the part of your brain responsible for ASMR doesn't get lost to Alzheimer's. Alzheimer's tends to put people into layers of confusion, and the study confirms that music can sometimes actually lift people out of the Alzheimer'shaze and bring them back to (at least a semblance of) normality... if only for a short while. ASMR is powerful stuff! 
This phenomenon has been observed several times but rarely studied properly. One of the most famous examples of this is the story of Henry, who comes out of dementia while listening to songs from his youth: 

Jeff Anderson, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor in Radiology at the Univerity of Utah Health and contributing author on the study, says  "In our society, the diagnoses of dementia are snowballing and are taxing resources to the max. No one says playing music will be a cure for Alzheimer's disease, but it might make the symptoms more manageable, decrease the cost of care and improve a patient's quality of life."

... they won't leave...

... more Yard Sale - Thomas Mayer line stage and LCR Phono preamps and PSUs

Selling these fine pieces of bespoke, hand made gears... with spare tubes... 220V only.

Slagle's TVCs, Western Electric 437A and Cunningham CX-310 tubes, all silver internal wiring...

Why selling? Not currently using and feeling guilty to do so...

Downsizing my audio collection, folks... everything's OK;-)

If interested, please contact me at stefanocello-AT-gmail-DOT-com