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AudioFeline last won the day on November 28 2019

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  1. I recently discovered Christ Whitley. Dirt Floor, 1998. Steel resonator guitar and voice captured by a single ribbon microphone. Nothing more required. And a live performance of the sublime first track, and another track from the album. I don't think the host had any idea about the music that was to come.
  2. And here is McCartney's parody of it - his 1993 live album Paul Is Live. Not only does the cover parody Abbey Road, it also parodies the "Paul is dead" conspiracy theory. And the dog's mother is Martha, made famous on the White Album in "Martha My Dear". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Is_Live
  3. 50 yrs ago: The Beatles have the photo shoot for the iconic "Abbey Road" album cover. Background info and alternate photos from the shoot: https://www.beatlesbible.com/1969/08/08/the-abbey-road-cover-photography-session/ And larger versions of the pics (when you click on the small pics): http://stuffnobodycaresabout.com/2015/04/16/the-beatles-abbey-road-unused-alternate-cover-photos/ Feel free to share your thoughts about the cover and the album below.
  4. Some time ago I was chatting to the owner at a garage sale, and she told me of her experiences working in music retail for Brahes, which was the dominant music retailer in the 1970's. In those days it was a small world, and radio was very restrictive - either the conservative government-run ABC (easy listening and classical), or top-40 stations. Non-mainstream music was usually introduced through social networks. She said that the store music was left to the sales staff. Whenever she would play something like Stevie Ray Vaughn they would sell dozens of copies of the album, as people would walk in and be amazed by fantastic music that they had never had the opportunity to hear before. The record companies struggled to understand why her store sold so many copies of these "more obscure" albums. She explained that it changed in the 1980's, when the record companies would "buy playing time" on the store's hifi, and they would be forced to play on constant rotation the pop artists the company would want to push to the #1 chart position. It was then that she decided to move out of retail to work in other parts of the music industry.
  5. I'm not familiar with those specific devices, but the brands do have a reasonable reputation. How did you arrive at this combination of components? If a retailer has recommended them, they should be familiar with the products and be experienced putting together a balanced system. If you have only researched on the internet, go to a retailer to hear the products and ask their advice. You might pay more at a retailer's compared to getting a bargain price online, but what you get for that money is their experience and the opportunity to hear before you buy so you will be confident the system will meet your needs and expectations. That, in my opinion, is worth the extra money, especially when you are new to hifi. If you buy online without listening you risk getting a mis-matched system.
  6. Listened to some Stravinsky. The Mercury Living Presence 3-microphone recordings are stunning, esp. when you consider that they were recorded in the 1950's. And I have the redbook CD, I believe the SACD is better.
  7. Draw a floor plan of your listening room, and put dimensions in. Take photos of the four walls. The environment (room size and furnishings) influence how the equipment sounds, and the type of gear that will work well. This will help the sales person understand your needs. Take some CDs of your favourite music - the ones you feel sound good, and you know the music intimately. Include a range of music types. TH for electronic/rock (eg. Remain in Light), Lou would be good for small combo tracks (eg. Walk on the Wild Side), etc. Have about 6 tracks selected, and use them for every equipment you demo - this will give you a consistent comparison between the equipment and between different stores. Try to avoid newly-mastered disks that have a lot of compression, earlier CD original mastering often sounds better and will display the capabilities of your equipment well.
  8. HiFi shows give us the possibility of listening audio equipment far beyond our monetary means to own. Some of the musical experiences can be quite breathtaking. Two incredible examples burned in my memory from the SereoNET show in my city: - This year listening to an audiophile record of Dean Martin. - Last year a first-generation tape of Miles Davis Kind of Blue was played on a Studer reel-reel through German Physiks speakers. - This year I was quite impressed with SoundSmith phono cartridges. And VAF speakers (as always). What are your highlights - hardware components, systems, or even record/CDs?
  9. What technology drives your amplifier/s in your main 2-channel hifi system? Feel free to discuss below...
  10. Have just received a BluRay of Talking Heads Stop Making Sense movie. Seeing Talking Heads live was one of my all-time best concert experiences. The movie brings back great memories. Stunning stageshow and performances. And quite an upgrade from my old VHS.
  11. Wendy Carlos - Switched-On Brandenburgs Bach's Brandenburg Concertos have to be one of the best pieces of classical composition. The traditional instrumentation displays a wonderful interplay of tonality and variety that I always find invigorating. This is a compilation of Wendy Carlos' experimentation with reproducing the Brandenburgs on the then new and experimental Mood synthasiser, demonstrating the instrument was capable of producing more than interesting electronic sounds. Some of these were first published on the groundbreaking Switched on Bach; it's nice to be able to enjoy all of the concertos compiled onto 2 CDs. It's amazing that Carlos produced wonderful interpretations on what is now such primitive equipment.
  12. Dom Turner and Kim Sinh: Two Days in Hanoi Dom Turner is from the Australian blues band The Backsliders, and he teamed up with renown Vietnamese musician Kim Sinh. The album is heavy on slide steel guitar and hawiaan guitar. I think of it heavy delta blues infused with Vietnamese folk and improvisation.
  13. Louis Armstrong ‎– Hot Fives And Sevens (complete) JSP 4CD Armstrong is at his best on these recordings. This set has John RT Davies' mastering, which makes it the best quality of all the issues of these disks. (look for Davies masterings on the "Jazz Greats" magazine CDs which can be picked up very cheaply, again, his mastering is the best around).
  14. The classification of Ragtime is not clear: it's not really jazz, and it's not quite classical. But I think of it as being closer to jazz, even though it is composed, not improvised. Doesn't really matter, it's all good! Scott Joplin: Piano Rags - played by Joshua Rifkin, is on Nonesuch (not Vanguard). I think it's essential piano ragtime. The 1970 album was followed up with Vol 2 and Vol 3, Vols 1+2 were reissued as a double album. The CD contains Vol 1 and is filled with part of Vol 2. I almost wore out my sister's copy of this album when I was young (although she gave me her copy, I've replaced the LP with a better copy now, and augmented it with the other volumes). Many think of ragtime as a piano genre, but it was also popular with bands. I've been enjoying this CD recently Joplin: The Red Back Book - New England Ragtime Conservatory (does not have 2 piano tracks on the original LP) Elite Syncopations - Southland Stingers (fills the remainder of the CD).
  15. I have a Croft Vitale preamp - the original version with the rounded knobs (the more recent version has cylindrical knobs with a flat end). The previous owner did some mod's on it (upgraded the power supply). I've done a few upgrades - installed WBT and Neutrick RCA sockets, increased the inputs (by using the unused inputs on the selector switch), installed a ir-remote controlled Alps volume pot (so no longer have dual mono pots). Also installed Dynamat dampening on the tube bracket, which made a significant improvement in the sound quality. I'm intending to replace the rotary selector switch with an Elma, as what's in there looks like a very cheap component. A member on the NZ StereoNet forum said that he sent his Vitale to Croft, who did some upgrades to bring it to the spec's of the current model. I emailed him, and he could not give details of what was done. I emailed Glen Croft, who although polite didn't give any details of this upgrade to me. I would like to further upgrade my unit if possible, but I don't want to send it to the other side of the world to do. Can anyone suggest what these upgrades might include?
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