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Saturday, February 29, 2020

Garrardissimo!




A new Garrard’s improving project from The Netherlands...





Superb!!!



Friday, February 28, 2020

Munchen High End 2020 cancelled!



Breaking news! Beloved MOC has been cancelled... sad news, indeed!




Thursday, February 27, 2020

Musings - Clean Sound








Erik Satie - Inities by Branka Parlić (Schopper's Triston Master Recordings)




Impressive recording, indeed.

It's pure poem for yours truly reading the technical liner notes: full analog recording rig to die for, the 120% certainty no digital gears whatsoever was used in making this double record-set.






The Serbian artist was masterfully recorded in Winthertur at Suburban Sound Recording Studio by Manuel Egger and the 180 grams vinyl was pressed as widegrooves for best dynamics palette.

The tube Telefunken M10A is - as Jürg Schopper explained to me - extremely fast, modern sounding... and its low end is deep and rich.

This Satie's discs are marvelous, indeed... musicianship is of highest level, BUT sound wise these discs are of stellar, seldom appreciated quality: the piano left-hand notes aren't commonly heard in commercial, multimiked productions...

The inner cover notes shows an extract from Erik Satie's self-biography, a famous list of daily activities: let's not forget M. Satie was an esteemed exponent of Dadaism... the list weirdness sure provoking is in Dada's vein.

I invite everyone into piano music and aiming for a 100% analog recording and disc, to try to get a copy of this beauty straight from Schopper AG... many have been sold, yet pretty sure some copies are still available on a first-come-first served basis.

Contact Jürg at info@schopper.ch, while supplies last.

... and enjoy!  


P.S. - an humble suggestion: when you'll get your disc-set, please begin playing from side 4 - i.e. the later composed Satie's pieces... superb!




Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Visiting Jürg Schopper at Schopper AG (Switzerland)




Last week I travelled to Switzerland... among other amenities, I visited Jürg at his head-office which also is a man-cave, an archive, a workshop and a listening room.. no, it's much more: it's Ali Baba's cave!


Herr Schopper is a true passionate, skilled, knowledgeable professional and a fantastic host.




His firm was founded in 1920 by his grand-father and he proudly showed the Thorens gramophone drawing still portrayed on discs shopping-bag... righteously proud of this heritage.



His dad continued the tradition, now in Jürg's good hands.

We had a meeting for the pleasure of it... as I was a bit early, I enjoyed the Swiss countryside taking a nice walk not far from the small, tidy industrial estate where Schopper AG operates.







When I arrived at the place, I was in awe: several Telefunken's and Studer's studio tape recorders, all turned ON, all in use, not for poser/display reasons... as Jürg owns one of the most impressive collections of master-tapes on the Planet!













He restores them, dubs to digital archival quality and most of all, enjoys this format and isn't shy of sharing and spreading the merits of his best pieces!

He searched with firm-hand on the shelves, all perfectly catalogued by recording date, a live-recording of Atahualpa Yupanki, an incredible South American guitarist/singer, a pancake which he placed on a monumental Telefunken M10...

I remained speechless for several seconds... the playback system was all Swiss made, in-house: full tubes chain throughout and coaxial speakers made at Schopper.

WOW!

The classical guitar sound was unbelievable: crisp as a live instrument in the room!

A truly impressive experience... as the musician voice.

Awesome.

Other tapes, all master tapes, were shared with yours truly... and was such a pleasure!

Every time I meet these special people I cannot but thinking Music is the most powerful of passions!

... and one of greatest humans bonding glues as it makes the playground for special people gathering.

Thanks to Jürg for his time, support, empathy, generous hosting and kindness.

He rocks!






Saturday, February 15, 2020

Studer C37 - the kid is back home!




It was a mono C37, 16 months ago... a duckling, also if a sexy one.



It was an empty console for sixteen long months...



... but now, the kid is back home as a swan: a stereo Studer C37 with NOS butterfly heads, fresh Siemens tubes, a new pinch-roller, new caps... fully refurbished, 60+ years old and doesn't show it!





There are too many people I've to say thank you, friends old and new, who supported yours truly with their skill, empathy and friendship on this epic - YES! epic - restoration project.

Thanks to: AK, JS, WS, LC and AL... they all know who they are.

Worth the stress, expense and effort.



Happy.




Thursday, February 13, 2020

Living Music




Yes, I know: purists would wish to see my Stellavox SP7 spinning its reels... but: please forgive me.. the Sound Devices 722 at 24bit/192Khz with Neumann USM69 is just such a convenient combo...











... and I enjoy recording immensely.



Wednesday, February 12, 2020

The Neumann DZT - the Holy Grail




A friend contacted me and he's offering this beauty, in working and pristine conditions...






Look at the double diamond, original jewel box... 

This is THE Neumann Holy Grail... 

Anyone?





Saturday, February 8, 2020

The Most Beautiful DL103 headshell ever!



Buy exclusively here...






Thanking my pal Jacopo.



The Tiger




A reader asked me to share the sentiment and feeling while listening to DaVa FC-A1 cartridge... 




My reply was:

I’m listening right now: I’m still - after 4 days listening sessions - impressed by the awesome weight and trueness every note of every instrument keeps remaining frozen-like for a moment, like a beautiful bird or a tiger remains still before flying or chasing in the forest... it’s like every notes sing a parallel song of beauty and perfection... I’m sincerely overwhelmed. Cannot stop playing record after record...

Better clarifying... it's  poser-kind-of-sound;-) - i.e. - Hey, listen to me, here I am, I am so nice, am the very best... but it lasts a few seconds... only the empathy between musician/artist and listener remains...



Superb.



The vinyl lacquers plant on fire!



Apollo Masters, a lacquer manufacturing facility located in Banning, Calif., sustained a major fire yesterday (Feb. 6) and burned down. This horrendous event could affect the worldwide supply of vinyl records going forward, according to industry professionals.
The Desert Sun confirmed that the fire began in the 15,000-square-foot building at 8am Feb. 6. There were multiple explosions reported, and 82 firefighters responded to the scene.





The building was home to Apollo Masters, one of two plants in the world that manufacture lacquers that are imperative to the process of making vinyl records.  The company posted a statement on their website addressing the event, as well as the uncertainty of its future.
To all our wonderful customers. It is with great sadness we report the Apollo Masters manufacturing and storage facility had a devastating fire and was completely destroyed. The best news is all of our employees are safe. We are uncertain of our future at this point and are evaluating options as we try to work through this difficult time. Thank you for all of the support over the years and the notes of encouragement and support we have received from you all.
The only other plant, MDC, is located in Japan. While there has not been an immediate impact, an eventual shortage of lacquers can lead to disruptions in the vinyl production process for companies all over.
Ben Blackwell, co-founder of Third Man Records, expressed his concern for the future of vinyl records in an email to Pitchfork. "From my understanding, this fire will present a problem for the vinyl industry worldwide," he explained, adding that MDC already had a difficult time keeping up with the demand for their services.
Pitchfork also reached out to David Read at the Toronto-based company Duplication, who said this "disaster" will affect anyone who uses lacquers in their vinyl production process — bands, labels, mastering engineers and more. However, he assured that vinyl industry professionals are already trying to figure out a solution.


Read More: Massive Building Fire Endangers Vinyl Record Production | https://loudwire.com/apollo-masters-fire-vinyl-record-production-endangered/?utm_source=tsmclip&utm_medium=referral



Thanks to Pitchfork...




Thursday, February 6, 2020

DaVa FC-A1 - the epilogue



This early morning, I completed my tasting and testing of the beautiful, unique field-coil beauty from Lithuania.



Played with VTA using the Lencohell's Corian platter/mat and gave a quick listen to Peerless 4725 and to TdP's The Head... forgetting... the Misho Myronov's Wooden Phono Stage was the DaVa's companion, feeding Thomas Mayer line stage, WE420A amp and Gotorama with passive Goto crossovers.


The Western electric 618B is - to my ears - the best DaVa's partner, period.

A sense of free-flowing seldom experienced.

... yet, at first, the sound was - sort of - lacking the magic I experienced yesterday for about three hours...

... mumbling, I quickly found the issue was my fault... I exaggerated VTA - i.e. too high... with cartridge at 90° with disc surface.


I brought it back as it was yesterday afternoon (see above the front tilt) and voilà! 

The magic was back in spades... please look at picture for full understanding.

Huge dynamic, broader than life imaging with depth and detailing to die for...

Everything was here like with smaller system, only more...

A truly lysergic experience.

A bravo to Darius Valiunas for his really good hands and ears... he created a statement!

P.S. - before leaving Studietto a few moments ago I fondly caressed the field coil... she gave me a warm body reply to my fingers... such a cutie!

It's love at first listen, folks!