Is expensive better?

Paul McGowan writes: Our culture is pre-programmed to relate better with expensive. A $10,000 preamp surely sounds and performs better than one half its price. Yet, intellectually we know that isn’t necessarily true. A $40,000 Rolex watch tells no better time than a $20 Timex. Understanding that which isn’t necessarily true doesn’t easily equate to […]

Read More

Anarchy in the UK: punk’s early years

    Sean O’Hagen writes as follows: ” Sheila Rock’s fascinating photographs of punk, which have been turned into a lavish book, document the scene in its thrilling infancy. Nearly 40 years on, she explains why she never dreamed her work would prove so significant. ‘I was simply in the right place at the right […]

Read More

Why watts ain’t watts

Paul McGowan: Before we get started on different amplifiers and why some seem to sound more dynamic than others, I wanted to clear up a couple of points about yesterday’s post showing how many watts it takes to get appropriate dynamic range. All the measurements we described were anechoic chamber measurements: meaning there was no […]

Read More

Randy Newman / Tom Rush – 2 Album Bundle (Limited 2 x CD)

Bundle includes 2 live radio performances as follows: 22 Songs – The Moore Theater,Seattle 1974 (CD) by Randy Newman The Moore Theater,Seattle, WA KISW-FM Broadcast 1974. Superb Live performance of Randy Newman from the Moore Theater, Seattle in 1974. Touring in support of the critical & commercial success of the just released ‘Good Old Boy’s’ album.  […]

Read More

Take for example the simple statement “I’ve tried that and can’t hear any difference.”

Sometimes we speak in such sweeping generalities that our original meaning is lost. Take for example the simple statement “I’ve tried that and can’t hear any difference.” Instead of digging deeper we either dismiss this rather bold statement as poppycock if it doesn’t agree with our experience or use it as proof if it matches […]

Read More

Choosing wisely

Paul McGowan writes ….. In a recent post we decided on the type of output stage we wanted: balanced or unbalanced depending on the topology of the DAC before it or, in the case of a preamp, how extensive the designer wanted to go.  In our case we always spend the extra time and effort […]

Read More

FRANK ZAPPA: Chicago ’78 (2 CD)

We are told ….. This Vaulternative Records concert release finds Zappa & band at the Uptown Theater, Chicago, Ill – September 29, 1978. Of the two shows played that evening, the late show is captured here in its entirety. As you would expect, the concert delivers with a good blend of fan favorites, blistering guitar […]

Read More

Frank Zappa – The Lumpy Money Project/Object (3CD Box)

The Lumpy Money Project/Object is a compilation album by Frank Zappa. Released posthumously on January 23, 2009, it compiles the releases Lumpy Gravy and We’re Only in It for the Money with previously unreleased material, with the overall package serving as a audio documentary of the production of the two albums, which share conceptual continuity themes. The […]

Read More

Synaesthesia: How people with the condition can taste colours, feel sounds and overwhelmingly make music

Emily Jupp writes ….. People with synaesthesia have an extra layer of sensory perception – and some are pop superstars. When Lowell, a Canadian electro-pop musician, listens to “Ain’t No Sunshine” by Bill Withers, she sees a wave of blue water crashing over her. When she hears the experimental group Animal Collective, the layered synths, […]

Read More

EMMYLOU HARRIS: The Cincinnati Kid (CD)

We are told ….. EXTRAORDINARY 1985 PERFORMANCE FROM THE QUEEN OF COUNTRY MUSIC An enormously gifted interpreter of the songs of others, Emmylou Harris has perhaps the finest taste in all of country music when it comes to selecting the best tunes. There have however been a number of occasions throughout this Southern belle s […]

Read More

Vacuum Tube on a Chip?

Derek Brooks writes: Scientists at NASA and National Nanofab Center in South Korea are working to miniaturize a vacuum tube so small it would fit on an integrated circuit. Although applications might one day filter down into the audio marketplace, the current motivation is to make use of the device for faster processing as electrons travel […]

Read More

Blue Cheer – 7 (Vinyl 150g Limited LP)

This deluxe gatefold 150 gram multi colored vinyl edition will only be available in 500 numbered copies. All subsequent pressings will be standard black vinyl. Produced by Eric Albronda and Jim Keylor and recorded at Army Street Studios in 1979. Previously unreleased vintage studio tracks Summertime Blues Route 66 Take Me Away I Want You Once […]

Read More

Trees – Live! (Vinyl LP)

Extremely rare live in studio recordings of one of England’s most superlative female-fronted acid folk bands, recorded in 1971 and 1972 with DJ Bob Harris for BBC Radio 1. Formed in London in 1969, Trees have been likened to a more psychedelic Fairport Convention (with the amazing Celia Humphris taking the role of Sandy Denny). […]

Read More

Bi-wired speakers: How important is the type of jumper? Dr Richard Bews responds

Recently I wrote: This started way back at Subjective Audio in the 1980s I played music for the staff on our reference system, then going around to the rear of the speaker, making a quick ‘mystery’ change they all noticed for the better. What I did was simple; I moved the speaker cables from the […]

Read More

Santana: The Anthology ’68-’69 – The Early San Francisco Years (3CD)

A 3CD box set of early studio and live recordings from Santana. Packaged in our most attractive unibox with rare photos, liner notes, psychedelic bandana/wall hanger and more……. “it all began in San Francisco, where Carlos and company honed their chops in performances at Bill Graham’s Fillmore Theater, and later recorded a series of demos […]

Read More

PAUL SIMON: Kodachrome At The Tokyo Dome (CD)

We are told ….. KODACHROME AT THE TOKYO DOME – LIVE BROADCAST FROM JAPAN 1991 By the beginning of the 1990s, Paul Simon had achieved one of the most spectacular career comebacks in the history of modern music. Having enjoyed considerable success since parting ways with his former partner Art Garfunkel in 1970, Simon had […]

Read More

Essential Listening: Ry Cooder

Being pretty pleased with my classical music ‘experiments’ via ebay [read earlier postings] I though it might be useful to apply the same technique to Ry Cooder. I didn’t know too much about him other than he’s highly respected. and so his first recording turned up on eBay for £3.00 – post free. Hardly a […]

Read More