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Monday, January 27, 2020

Still Life (2013)

Saw today such a touching, poetic, truly enriching movie...

Uberto Pasolini, the Director, and Eddie Marsan, superbly acting in the main character and role, simply touch the ineffable of life, its value... and the sense of "care" for people.

Compassion, whatever...

Loved it!

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Goto crossovers are singing!

Today I decided to (finally) install the 12 db/octave crossovers I recently acquired... after having the 20 binding posts rebuilt (originals were missing or damaged), I prepared the necessary cables and the listening was possible, at last.

The amp I had handy was my old trusty stereo 3,5W stereo amp based on Western Electric 421A indirectly-heated double triode and with some trepidation I connected everything to Thomas Mayer CX310A line stage and turned ON the Gotorama...

The tuning of the levels was quite easy and after about half an hour I got a nice, nice blending of all channels quite similar to the multi-amped Mayer 4-ways line-.level crossover and Nuforce MCA-20 Stealth, just a tad less dramatic in terms of dynamics, but with a better sense of cohesiveness.

What impressed me was the sense of HUGE power coming from the little amp flawlessly feeding the behemoth Gotorama, previously fed by a monster Class D amp (2224W on 4 ohm/8 channels - 600W on 16 ohm/8 channels).

A great performance.

Tomorrow will dismantle everything to get as cleaner, shorter, better cables layout... the plan to keep as parallel the line-level Mayer crossover/Nuforce power amp multi-amping is just on stand-by...

First I wish to better tune the actual passive crossover/single tube amping... next trial will be using the Partridge 300B mono blocks.

Will see... aehm, listen to the best combo... to follow, Darius Valiunas' DaVa field-coil cartridge evaluation on The Peak and Garrardzilla.

Never tired... also if considering my oblomovism is always here.


Thursday, January 16, 2020

Darius Valiunas' DaVa MC field-coil cartridge and PSU

Thanking Darius, the one-of-a-kind combo landed today... will be preparing the Litz additional PSU cables to feed the coils in the cartridge with the 12V needed... then will mount on my Archè head shell and... 

Very, very excited for what I hope (and trust) I'll be hearing, soon! 

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Stone Speakers 487 Venetia - furthermore...

I gladly host my pal Antonio Scanferlato's short review of the Stone Speakers' 487 Venetia after the first exposure to them a few weeks ago... he'll be reviewing the speakers for an italian paper magazine, soon...


Second listening sessions, or better: THE listening, at last!

The first time I listened to these "stones" I didn't express my feeling due to several doubts I had about the amps used during the listening session - i.e. a 50W per channel Class D amp - sadly (read - average/badly) driven bt a passive preamp.

A quick note about average passive line-stages - the lesser models are just a box with a potentiometer and some RCAs and selector switches... (NOT/B - note of translator/Blogger - nothing to be compared with TVC-based passive where every transformer secondary gives a gain setting, usually at 1,3:1 ratio. - i.e. my Luxman AT-3000, Fidelity Research AS-1 and Audio Consulting Silver Rock, for example).

The lesser passive - IMO - simply doesn't properly work with a power-amp: lifeless, weak, sterile!

A provoking sentence: if you power amp sounds good with a pot-based passive line stage, it is an integrated amp... so better avoiding the separates! The problems concerning RFI, more soldering, cabling, etc. isn't worth the hassle, period.

The 487 Venetia speakers and their dedicated speaker-stands are residing in my listening room, now... a couple of days ago one of their "parents",  Dipl. Ing. Giacomo Munari, installed them in-room where they stayed for some hours, since I decide to move them around of about one foot for better sound, as per my tastes.

The ancillaries in my audio systems are the following: an home-brewed preamp based on mythical E182CC tube, a modified Bartolomeo Aloia ST-260, a modified Lenco L-75 with a AT 1010 arm and several MM and MC carts and an old CD/DVD Sony DVP-S7700... last but not least: a laptop for Hi-Rez music with Foobar and D/A Aune S6.

I must say my guessing was... is correct: the stone speakers in my listening room (properly stuffed for resonances taming) sound very nicely... I'm getting a positive feeling, much better - must say - than during my previous exposure to the 487 Venetias'...  more listening sessions will follow... for now, what I'm getting is a lot of music, and how I get it, I like it!

Thanks to Antonio.

Gibson L5 Custom - the Kalamazoo Masterpiece

I've been enjoying it for a week, now... a 1976 Gibson L5 Custom hollow body guitar, hand-carved spruce top and maple back, powerful PAF hambucking pickups, Grover Tulip tuning gears... 

It's a bliss, full bodied sounding, so rich in harmonic texture...

The fretboard is pure silk... it was both well played and carefully taken: previously owned by two prominent Italian jazz players, this instrument seems to know how to play scales and chords by its own! 

Love it!

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Happy birthday to John McLaughlin

Thanks for so much joy you and your music gave to me (and zillions others worldwide).

Happy birthday!

Friday, January 3, 2020

Jimi Hendrix' Garrard 401

Yes, Jimi Hendrix also enjoyed our beloved idler-wheel turntable.

A Garrard 401 in - apparently - a SME plinth and Ortofon SPU and SMG 212 arm.

The Tao of the Fifth Way

I'm surprised, folks... I discovered only a few days ago I'm not 100% human: I'm some x% of a bat DNA;-)

To my very surprise, I added to 4-ways Gotorama a cheap dipole ribbon (super) tweeter, good as per specs, up to 25Khz.

I may declare - your honor - Gotorama is now a 5-ways multi amped system...

... but... what's the matter?

Do I need a 5th way?

Do I hear up to 25Khz?

Is there any instrument going up-to 25Khz, actually?

The answers to the three above mentioned questions is: definitely Yes! for all the above.

Seriously: I'm not a bat, of course... despite my middle-age ears and hearing capabilities, well... myself, as everyone, may actually perceive much higher frequencies as the canonic 20-20,000 hz!

With age, we get some aid from Mother Nature - i.e. lynx-like hairs grows on ears and they sure have a function in hearing, better, perceiving sounds... and let's not forget my/our decades of listening experiences which sure counts.

The highest frequencies are - now I've the proof - very, very, very important: don't believe in who states they're happy with a romantic (rolled-off) sound!

I'm also very happy with my B&O portable radio sound, folks... but - 'c-mon, don't fool you, romantic self-forgiving listener! - when I listen to Gotorama, I now feel (perceive) and appreciate the added, barely audible top-end isn't only a magnifying aid to triangle, assorted bells or shimmering cymbals, BUT... you feel everything with a sense of completeness: the wind instruments attacks, the decay of cymbals, the recording venue bloom... the oomph!

The Goto SG-160 gently rolls off at 16Khz and sure at 18Khz is only suggesting upper-harmonics of high pitched instruments.

So, please, don't ask, yet... I - like many other - hear and feel more and more of what's hidden in grooves... thanking a cheap gizmo, an added dipole super-tweeter.

Better late than never... that's that ineffable "quid" which makes our passion worth, day after day, year after year!

An Epiphany!

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Happy New Ear

... ehm: kidding!

Happy New Year, folks... my very best wishes for an healthy, wealthy and Uber-musical 2020!