OH DEAR: Whatever Happened To The Audiophile?

Linton weeks writes: You may remember the type: Laid-back in an easy chair, soaking in Rachmaninoff, Reinhardt or the Rolling Stones, enveloped by the very best, primo, top-of-the-line stereo equipment an aficionado could afford. In robot-like, 1980s cadence, the audiophile could rattle off favorite components, which might include an all-tube Premier One power amp by […]

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What if no one was there?

Paul McGowan: I figure there’s perhaps 100,000 Audiophiles in the world.  700 or so of them read this daily post I write. I often wonder if it makes sense to write something that most people will not read. I guess it’s the same basic question philosophers have been asking for centuries: if a tree falls […]

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Hard to imagine that a piece of plastic has a personality but if you play vinyl records, each is an individual separate and distinct from all others.

Paul McGowan: Vinyl personalities depend on the pressing, the number of times its been played, the environment, the particulars of the stylus plying the grooves of the record and any number of unique circumstances of play and usage. The individual personalities of vinyl add a unique dimension to this analog medium – but the personality […]

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Album review: Wilko Johnson and Roger Daltrey Going Back Home (Chess)

The Guardian: If Going Back Home turns out to be Wilko Johnson’s last album then it’s a great final curtain. Recorded with his Blockhead rhythm section of drummer Dylan Howe and bassist Norman Watt-Roy, choice selections from the guitarist’s back catalogue are augmented by a lone cover, of Dylan’s “Can You Please Crawl Out Your […]

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Has anyone has made measurements of linearity, distortion, dynamic ability of loudspeakers to play this range of sounds?

Paul McGowan writes: John Atkinson, editor of Stereophile magazine, made an observation that has me puzzled. Years ago he measured a live performance at London’s Festival Hall to see what actual dynamic range of an orchestra might be. The results were published in the October 1981 issue of Hi-Fi News. He found that the quietest […]

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What are the best song intros of all time?

Hannah Jane Parkinson writes: It’s one of the most important elements of a piece of music; it can raise a good track to a great one, and a great one to a sublime one. If you hear the intro to a much-loved track in a club it’ll raise heartbeats and hands; if you’re drinking coffee […]

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The cheapest tweak

Paul McGowan David Pogue, one of my readers, suggested to me “the cheapest tweak” that he’s ever tried and I thought it might be interesting, this fine Sunday morning, to give this tweak a try if you’re looking for something to do. The tweak concerns extreme toe in of the loudspeakers – toe in that’s […]

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The Joy of the Guitar Riff

Duration: 1 hour / The guitar riff is the DNA of rock ‘n’ roll, a double helix of repetitive simplicity and fiendish complexity on which its history has been built. From Chuck Berry through to the White Stripes, this documentary traces the ebb and flow of the guitar riff over the last 60 years of […]

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Your editor Neil McCauley says / And this week, the music that has grabbed – so far –is in no particular order …

The 1st Movement of Winter from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons: Performer Michel Schwalbe & Berliner Philharmoniker. Composer Vivaldi. CD Title Vivaldi: Four Seasons (& Works By Albinoni & Corelli) Track 10 – 12. Label Deutsche Grammophon. Rec No 4153012 “Penny Lane”. The Beatles CD Title The Beatles: 1967-1970.Track CD1 Track 2. Label Apple.Rec No CDPCSP718 “I […]

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Blues music: An interview with David Grazian author of Blue Chicago: The Search for Authenticity in Urban Blues Clubs

Question: The blues weren’t invented in Chicago, but they were certainly shaped here: urbanized, electrified, and set to a danceable beat. Suppose I want to hear the real stuff, some authentic Chicago blues, and I go to a local blues club. What will I find there? David Grazian: Nowadays a lot of Chicago blues clubs […]

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