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Saturday, January 30, 2021

Zen and the art of (quality) bespoke mods


I began humbly building my own stuffs when, decades ago, in pre-WEB era, virtually nothing was available for modding or upgrading vintage turntables, arms and related.

In the last years, a plethora of aftermarket parts surfaced around, but only an handful of artisans around the world were able to truly raise the bar quality-wise.

J.P. Van Vliet from The Netherlands, Schopper from Switzerland, Chris Harban from USA, Simone Lucchetti from Italy, (early) Ray Clark from UK and a few others’ production really made a sensational job, improving the stock parts: plinths, platters, bearings, chassis, clamps, mats... 

The above and a bunch of others invested their time and effort in searching and making small production after-market parts to rejuvenate and upgrade Lenco, Thorens, Garrard and EMT’s turntables.

I’ve deepest consideration and esteem for the above mentioned makers... then, as it often happens, the bespoke parts were anonymously purchased, often from people from Far East who sniffed some profit.

Back-engineering is a noble, humble part of the game - i.e. you dismantle a part and try to replicate for your personal use and enjoyment, looking for building tiniest details and trying to improve this or that... nothing related to hi-jacking or plain copy-catting!

Mani sincere and straightforward people scouted the path, sadly followed by money-hungry-only people... when money rules, you may find for sale at ridiculous prices bearing using aluminum bushings in turntable bearings, self-destructing themselves in a few weeks/months, EIA headshell sockets where steel springs are the only signal path from cartridge to phono pre-amp, heavy platters are made out of brass or stainless-steel without considering the sonic Uber-qualities of more expensive bronze; cheap 9” arms are modified to 12” more sought-after designs, but weak at bearings, etc. etc.

I highly praise the work of the above artisans but I’m also warning about choosing The Real Thing, as only the best works as it was intended by the ones who conceived and sweated on the inner details of their handicrafts.

Respect to these daredevils whose work so much improved audio art and my deepest thanking to Robert M. Pirsig’s book (Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance) helped to define the meaning of Quality.


Monday, January 25, 2021

Telefunken T9 stereo tube reel to reel


In my humble opinion, there is NOT a better built tape machine!

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Robert Crumb is Perfect


Koln Concert


"The Köln Concert" anniversary🥇🥇🥇

"On January 24, 1975, a young African American pianist traveled to the city of Cologne, in West Germany, to perform a piano solo concert that would remain in the history of jazz music, and beyond."

The Decca Sound


Lovely site!

Thanking my pal Roberto🥇🙏🥇

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 🥇