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Sunday, February 28, 2021

Sony Legacy masterdubs


A new series of masterdubs of Italian music...

Disc of the month - The Art Ensemble of Chicago - We are on the Edge (2019)


I’ve been an AEOC scholar for decades and an avid collector of their 70+ discs, as well.

After attending at a Roscoe Mitchell solo-concert in Padua, in 2018, I felt I already owned enough of their music... that’s why when I saw this 4-LPs box at my local record-shop I sort-of felt bored, thinking about a merely commercial sampler.

... but some days ago, a fellow collector randomly told me he bought a 50th tribute box-set of AEOC...

I immediately called my records pusher and Yes! he still had a last copy left, which I put on hold...

When I unwrapped the gorgeous red-box and put disc 1 on Garrardzilla’s platter, after few notes, I appreciated the superb music played by the 2/5th surviving members of the group, supported by a cohort of great musicians.

Must admit that, thanking the presence of violin, viola and cello on some tracks, the music sounds more “European” avant-garde than free-jazz, a bit Stravinsky-flavored at moments.

Nonetheless, how would you define a 4 lps/8 sides played in a row avidly and blissfully?

A masterpiece?

Maybe more... it’s a statement, a next-generation effort where Roscoe Mitchell’s sax is like a compass for the stars.

The music flows, masterfully served by an awesome recording both on studio and Live in concert at Ann Arbor, MI.

Try to locate your copy, folks... you won’t regret!



Saturday, February 27, 2021

Korf Ceramic headshell


HS-A02 Ceramic Headshell
Measurably better
Built with rigidity in mind
Designed with attention to detail

HS-A02 Ceramic Headshell
The second generation of the
world's only fully ceramic headshell

HS-A02 Ceramic Headshell
"HS-A02 is simply the best headshell I have used. An 
essential audio component if you are serious"
— Jam Somasundram, Quadratic Audio
HS-A02 Ceramic Headshell
Measurably better
Built with rigidity in mind
Designed with attention to detail

HS-A02 Ceramic Headshell
The second generation of the
world's only fully ceramic headshell

HS-A02 offers an exceptional improvement in analogue reproduction quality through highest possible rigidity — more than twice of the next best headshell on the market.
Designed and built by Korf Audio to demonstrate what is possible when the classic analogue reproduction technology meets today's advanced design tools, materials and manufacturing techniques.
Aren't all headshells more or less same?
Korf Audio did a large-scale study of historic and currently available headshells using our unique set of vibration measurement techniques. You can follow the study and see its results at

As a result of this study, we designed the HS-A02 with rigidity in mind, using advanced simulation and prototyping tools. It's more than twice as rigid as the next best headshellmeasured by Korf Audio. Higher stiffness directly translates into clearly audible sonic improvement.
The advances in ceramic production allowed us to integrate the connector and the headshell into one seamless casting. There's not a single point where the headshell is structurally weakened by a connection or use of lesser materials.

To further increase rigidity, we've created a rib supporting the 90 degree "bend" in the headshell. This rib decreases the effective length of the flat headshell part, and thus moves its resonance frequency up and the deflection down.

In all the other ceramic headshells, rigidity is compromised by the interface between the metal/polymer connector barrel and the ceramic part.
Fits all the tonearms that accept the standard "SME/Ortofon/JIS" type straight headshells.

HS-A02 weighs 13 gram, including wires and fingerlift. If you are worried about the headshell mass and its impact on tracking, please use our Tonearm/Cartridge Matching Calculator. In general, most arm/cartridge combinations work fine with HS-A02. 

Note: there are some cartridges that need very light or highly resonant headshells to sound good. Such pickup cartridges would not benefit from using the HS-A02 headshell. To the best of our knowledge, these include JICO Seto Hori moving coil cartridge and all Grado MI cartridges
  • Better signal integrity through the use of pure silver litz wiring and custom gold-plated contact pins
  • More rigid connection to the tonearm thanks to the double locking pin. The clamping load is spread over the entire diameter of the barrel
  • Beautiful custom-made brass fingerlift, screws and knurled nuts are included
  • HS-A02 is supplied in foam-padded display packaging

Please note that due to the nature of the ceramic material, slight discolorations and minor shape irregularities are possible. They make each headshell unique and do not constitute a defect. 
Get yours today!
Available right now for € 199.- plus shipping 
at our partners The Supersense

Monday, February 22, 2021

Sollevatore (the secret files)

 A cool VTA arm base/mount will be ready, soon...

...  not my own project or building, yet a very useful tool for any analog lover... as very, very few are currently available on the market.

Will look with interest for the finished product... in the meantime, stay tuned.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

My bible


... in the meanwhile, in Moscow...


... some years ago, two audiophiles met...

... I bet it: they’re talking about changing the VTA on the turntable at background...

Crazy audiophiles...

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Around the World in 80 Days

Love this pre-recorded tape... and here is the musicians fees paid in 1958 (thanking Steve Hoffman for this gem🥇🥂🥇)

Double triodes galore 🎶🎶🎶


Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Thursday, February 11, 2021

They don’t make like this, anymore...


The suggestion for this disc came from Kavi Alexander, master recordist and music scholar and a huge lighthouse for yours truly.

His comments concerned the recording and overall care in attached booklet  and liner notes, with nice pictures taken during sessions, with details every audiophile cherish.

The sound is first rate and everything is captured as lively as it can be; Philips used their fantastic EL3501 tape recorder and Neumann U67 and U47.

A must-have disc, folks!

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Thanking Peter Salisbury - Brahms, Bechstein grand piano and Stradivari viola on Harmonia Mundi


From Peter Salisbury’s words:

I’m getting very excited. From what seems like an eternity ago  I provided my 1899 Bechstein for a special recording project in Berlin with ANTOINE TAMESTIT & CÉDRIC TIBERGHIEN.

Finally its due to be released in 9 days time. 

You can hear the sound clips on the link below.!/albums/2674

It was a special project because both artists recognised the importance of something so hugely ignored today in recordings and concerts, raising the bar as far as they could to create something beyond special.

It cost a small fortune to pull off but my gosh, the results speak for themselves. 

Here is what the artists had to say about why they went to these lengths for their project. 

“During all these years spent working together and playing these Sonatas Op. 120 in concert, we have often mentioned the sonic alchemy necessary to best reflect Brahms' writing, highlight his use of registers and the richness of his polyphony. Antoine's viola Stradivarius, generously loaned by the Habisreutinger Foundation, is constantly focused on the expression of song and, in fact, has a unique colour. From then on, finding a piano with a similar personality and a particular variety of timbre became obvious to us.

This is why we are infinitely grateful to Peter Salisbury for entrusting us so generously with this masterpiece Bechstein made in 1899, which Cedric had the chance to perform on a few years ago. This piano develops unique colors in each register, to the point of redefining our approach to this music: the writing of Brahms, his use of harmonies, his work on all the tessitura of the instruments, his way of intimately interweaving the viola and the piano suddenly seemed to us to flow naturally. Like the viola of Stradivarius, each note begins to sing, with infinite roundness, even in the most virtuoso or intense passages. The alliance of these two instruments has quite simply offered us a key to better understand, better play this music, put ourselves entirely at the service of the extraordinary lyricism that it exudes. For us it was a real revelation!

It is also this lyrical power that drew us to the magical universe of Brahms' lieder. Because for us this poetic and expressive dimension is found in each of his works, whether vocal, chamber or orchestral. Miraculously combining an almost minimalist conciseness and a fluidity that is simply astounding of beauty, these pieces appear to us as a concentrate of emotions, an ideal of song which for us, logically resulted in the art of Matthias Goerne. Its natural, bewitching, overwhelming expression has helped us go beyond our own instruments and understand, by his example, that musical emotion can arise from breathing and even from the whole body.”


Sunday, February 7, 2021

Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli & Neumann U47




This turntable is a one of a kind project, built by a Scandinavian gentleman with utmost care for details and a rare dedication whose final version here shown needed several hours for fine tuning and several months in conceiving, sourcing and assembling parts from around the world.

The Garrard 301 was stripped down, a new solid chassis was fitted, a new precision intermediate idler wheel by Audiosilente was also fitted, an heavy duty lithium-grease bearing to support the impressive 13,5 kg bronze platter and 4 kg Takai gun-metal mat and 1,6 kg ebanite/bronze clamp all contributed to get a stellar result with a seldom heard lively resolution and dynamics.

The Darius Valiunas’ field-coil DaVa mono and stereo cartridges completed the analog combo with two 12” The Peak arms both mounted in bespoke bronze arm bases and Fidelity Research B60 VTA mounts, also using two Audiosilente handmade, heavy polished-graphite head shells.

The third arm, a DV-505, is fitted with a Rowland Complement cartridge.

The plinth is a bespoke SMD Acoustics slate skeletal design.

All considered, such a turntable represents... well: a veritable peak in analog reproduction art.

Compliments and kudos to the owner for perseverance, skills and dedication with the wish to enjoy all the music he loves with a richness and depth and variety as suggested by the above pictures declinations.