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Sunday, January 17, 2021

A musical Sunday afternoon


Cold outside, locked-down, warmed my soul at Studietto...

These are the discs - quite different - I listened to:

Saturday, January 16, 2021

Sunday, January 10, 2021

Telefunken M5


A gem from the past, a tube Telefunken M5 single-track reel-to-reel tape recorder, landed in my Studietto.

Thanking my pal Silvio 🥇

Friday, January 1, 2021

The Clamp Mk2 - the success of a failure


Has been an hell of an year, yet - audio-wise - has been a veritable turning point - my Studer C37 was rescued after being kidnapped for almost two years, I left multi-amping on my Gotorama choosing the uber-resolution of a small 2,5W triode DIY amp, I further refined my Garrardzilla, being back to Micro CU500 mat and Jean Hiraga pigskin mat (amazing!), the DaVa field coil cartridge arrived and it blew away anything else, and I conceived and made a groundbreaking, composite-clamp which - humbly said - further HUGELY improved the overall sound to an unexpected level 😳

On first sampler, I used a 25 years old, luthier-grade African ebony which was lathed and made the outer part of a bronze part; the choice was suggested by the smoothness of silky ebony so pleasant to handle and the bronze weight and vibes rejection properties.

While I’m still using one of the above mk1 ebony/bronze (aka Ebronzy) gizmos, a sampler I shipped to Northern Europe, after (probably) the deep-freeze temperature during cargo flight, after being used for a week or so by a friend with great pleasure and satisfaction, the ebony began to show some small fissures, a clear sign of wood-stress after being lathed and changing temperature and humidity.

To my my surprise, my sampler remained and still remains after a couple of  months of daily use, just perfect as when it was delivered by the lathing workshop.

... but - what a lesson! - applying the trial&error discipline, from a potentially painful accident I learned, stopped, breathed and... began searching and mumbling and searching... I was so positively impressed by this double material clamp after years using a bronze-only one, I decided to explore further and further and... yeah!!!

I found it! 

There is a marvelous material called “ebanite”, a composite created in 1849 whose use spreads from sax and clarinet to smoking pipes mouthpieces.

I sourced it - at a cost😇 - and had it lathed instead of potentially self-destroying ebony to become the outer part of clamp.

The appearance was superb, indeed... silk-smooth and dead sounding when coupled to bronze inner-core, yet highly pitched when hitting on a solid surface.

A promising mk2 clamp was made and I brought to my Studietto leaving on a shelf, still using every day the mk1 ebony/bronze one.

Two days ago I felt I had to give a try to the mk2... out of curiosity more than needing further sound improvements, must say...

I placed on Garrardzilla’s platter a beloved disc of mine, Collin Walcott’s Grazing Dreams on ECM, an highly sonically praised record (also appreciated by Arthur Salvatore, whose hearing skills and tastes are first-rate).

The Don Cherry’s trumpet and flute and John Abercrombie’s liquid electric guitar are to be listened to be believed, so full of nuances and so powerful!

I placed mk2 clamp on the fly and seated on my lounge chair... no one was there but me to witness my face when I heard first notes!!!

A sense of infinite power, r free on whispering shimmering cymbals to sitar and trumpet carved in space, every note clear and zest and lively.

I shot the whole disc like I was listening to my system for the first time... a seldom experienced sensation!

I changed to the double record-set Valentine by Bill Frisell Trio and again, WOW! the system was disappearing, no wires and electronics and horns and drivers... only music 🎶 and a sense of trueness and righteousness hard to believe!

After about two hours I tried to return to ebony/bronze mk1 and the clarity I previously so much appreciated was slightly substituted by a syrupy smoothness, not unpleasant, but less fiery and life-like than mk2 “ebanite”.

Audio-jewelry 😇

The new clamp is 1650 grams, 200 grams more than mk1, but I strongly suspect the crazy improvement I experienced isn’t due to weight increase, only... the vibes taming properties of the twinning materials and the matching with vinyl disc sure plays a role.

Must considering that - how much I love this music and audio passion - from a failure comes a success, a new benchmark... sure a personal one!

I ended an exhilarating listening session with a vibes/double-bass/trombone weirdo, in awe...

Happy New Year, folks🥂🥂🥂