Buying stereos and avoiding really dumb decisions #5 – for £16 or less

Hopefully: 1.  You’ll agree that it’s essential that your amplifier or amplifiers being auditioned should be as close to tonally consistent across the spl (volume) band as possible i.e. no bass, or mid or treble emphasis (or dropout) as the volume is changed. 2.  That the only fair comparison between any two components (amps in […]

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MARC MYERS: Why Jazz Happened. Book review by Ian Patterson

Jazz’s timeline and the iconic figures of each of its successive stylistic movements are well known to aficionados. Less well understood, however, are the underlying conditions that created these changes. Advances in recording technologies, social trends, radio, the incursion of pop and rock, and socio-political factors all played major roles in shaping the evolution of […]

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Britain’s role in the worldwide audio industry is something we should all celebrate

From the archives …… ANDREW EVERARD / GRAMOPHONE: Despite the tendency of many to run down the UK audio industry as being out of touch, there’s much to applaud in its continued success Two things struck me as 2014 started. One was the emergence of figures from Britain’s leading luxury car manufacturers, Bentley and Rolls-Royce, […]

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Sticky situation: Magnetic audiotape’s potentially catastrophic degradation in storage

University of South Carolina: Many of the more than 46 million sound recordings archived throughout the US carry the risk of being destroyed during an attempt to digitize them, because magnetic audiotape can deteriorate over time. A team of researchers is developing a means to readily assess the structural condition of magnetic tape, using non-destructive […]

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Sonic Wonderland by Trevor Cox – review

CASPER HENDERSON: Sand dunes hum and oceans rumble in this infectiously enthusiastic study of sound and hearing “I am hearing all the secret whisperings of the world!” says the Big Friendly Giant, whose ears are as large as those of an elephant, to the young heroine Sophie in Roald Dahl’s story. “I is hearing the […]

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ESSENTIAL READING: Donnie Fritts interviewed by Eric Gebhardt

There is a unique blend of southern R&B, soul, and blues that is known the world over… Closely related to the sounds of Stax Records and folks like Rufus Thomas, but with a slightly different blend of spices and it’s own distinct flavor… Studios, sessionmen and songwriters from the northwest corner of Alabama put their […]

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ESSENTIAL READING: Sound Reproduction: The Acoustics and Psychoacoustics of Loudspeakers and Rooms

Today, a new category for us; highlighting media that seeks to investigate and then apply the latest relevant scientific knowledge to the pursuit of achieving improved sound reproduction in the home. Thank you Howard for drawing my attention to this idea. Neil McCauley / Editor in Chief “Floyd Toole, a leading expert in the field […]

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William Parker: Wood Flute Songs: Anthology Live 2006-12 – review

Originally published November 2013 John Fordham writes ….. William Parker, the former Cecil Taylor sideman, exhibits a fearlessness, double-bass virtuosity and tough lyricism that perhaps makes him the closest bassist/composer equivalent to the late Charles Mingus. With this eight-disc limited edition (also a six-part download), AUM Fidelity documents Parker’s midlife work with his core quartet and […]

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Dave Grohl: ‘You don’t need a needle hanging out of your arm to be a rock star’

Originally published November 2014 Alex Patridis writes: As the Smithsonian Institution’s undersecretary for history, art and culture points out, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington DC seldom plays host to rock music. Nor, one suspects, does it regularly get guest speakers who swear to quite the degree that the gentleman seated beside him […]

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PIERRE BOULEZ: 10 key works

Tom Service writes ….. There are few parts of the classical music world that do not bear the mark of Boulez’s influence today. Tom Service picks 10 key works that represent the best of the composer and conductor, whose death aged 90 was ….. Continues HERE ===//=== Get the inside track on forthcoming notable live […]

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The opera novice

Originally published in January 2012 Until last year Sameer Rahim had little interest in classical music – but now he is hooked on opera. In a new column he offers a novice-eye’s view of this seemingly forbidding but truly magical art form. Continues HERE ===//=== Get the inside track on forthcoming notable live music gigs […]

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Whatever happened to Hi-Fi Shows and the importance of both Patricia Barber and Radka Toneff?

Tony Andrews (contributing editor – jazz) writes: Back in the 1980 and 90s if you were in to Hi-Fi there were some great shows around in the London area. I can remember many happy hours spent at various locations near Heathrow and also at The Novotel in Hammersmith. As venue costs soared and demand dropped […]

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BOB WILLOUGHBY: Body and Soul. Book review by Chris May

To the wider world, Bob Willoughby is the Los Angeles photographer who took a raft of iconic photographs of movie stars such as Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe from the mid-1950s through the 1970s. During the earlier part of this period, as the first-call photographer for studios wishing to document the making of […]

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