Would you buy the world’s best sounding power amplifier if it were dressed up in a metal garbage pail?

When my friend, Sandy Gross was responsible for marketing Polk Audio in the late 70s and early 80s one of the challenges he faced was acceptance of the brand as a serious contender. It was a tough challenge. Their competitors were pretty serious people including Dr. Amar Bose, Edgar Villchur, Dr. Sydney Harman, and Henry […]

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AUDIO INSIDER

OCTAVE RECORDS: When you download onto your local hard drive an Octave Records release the copy you store is bit-for-bit identical to the one sitting on the master hard drive at Octave Records.

It doesn’t matter that data traveled through millions of switches, miles of cable, fiber, satellite, coaxial, WiFi, and so on. Once downloaded what sits on your hard drive is absolutely identical to what sits on the master hard drive. Yet, when I playback that file in Octave’s state-of-the-art mix room it will not sound the […]

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AUDIO INSIDER

DOLBY NOISE REDUCTION: The ins and the outs

Ray Dolby was a pioneering engineer. While many folks would recognize the name as associated with multi-channel home theater—Dolby Atmos for example—the beginnings of Dolby were an attempt to reduce noise in tape recorders. Tape recorders have hiss. It’s just part and parcel of their process of magnetizing the metal particles on plastic strips of […]

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THE GRATEFUL DEAD: Reckoning (200g Vinyl 2LP)

One of the most enduring bands of all time FINALLY gets the Analogue Productions treatment! Cut by Kevin Gray from the original analog masters and pressed on 200-gram vinyl at Quality Record Pressings! Now presented with a deluxe gatefold jacket for the first time! “That Analogue Productions head honcho Chad Kassem has an uncanny ear […]

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THELONIOUS MONK: Brilliant Corners – John Fordham examines the brilliant corners …..

“When I was discovering jazz as a student, Thelonious Monk seemed to epitomise the artistic originality, indifference to rules and guileless eccentricity (he liked weird hats, and was given to shuffling dances onstage) that I loved about the music. Monk’s piano solos clanged with dissonance, bumped along in hopping runs or glowered with baleful silences, […]

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LUMLEY LOUDSPEAKERS: What happened?

Christian Diestl writes … A company based in Bexhill on Sea, in Sussex, England that took over the manufacture of Lumley branded loudspeakers after the demise of Reference International. LL was formed in 1998 by John Jeffries but sales were slow so he decided to concentrate on his other 2 businesses, namely a high end […]

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YNGWIE MALMSTEEN: Rising Force – Now Your Ships Are Burned The Polydor Years 1984 – 1990 (4CD Box Set)

  Lauded and acclaimed for over 30 years, both Swedish guitarist Yngwie J Malmsteen and Canadian guitarist/vocalist Pat Travers are true guitar heroes. These sets bring together the Polydor albums recorded by Yngwie J Malmsteen and Pat Travers during the periods 1984 – 1990 and mid-1970s to 80s respectively. All the tracks have been digitally […]

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OPERA: Getting started

Originally published January 2012 I grew up in a household where not a note of classical music was played. I must have heard some at school, but all I remember of music classes was mucking around on a synthesiser playing the Batman theme tune. As a teenager watching telly, I recall humming along to The […]

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HARBETH: Spendor SP 100/R2 and Harbeth 40.1 – impressions?

Where I am, it’s difficult to audition these two flagship speakers side-by-side or at home, so opinions/impressions from anyone would be most welcome. Feedback on other forums is that the Harbeth may be marginally the “better” speaker, but I’m not convinced. Matching amps would likely be from MBL. Please click HERE to dip in and […]

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COPELAND: John Wilson / BBC Philharmonic Orchestra Copland: Orchestral Works, Vol. 3 – Symphonies – AllMusic Review by James Manheim

The Chandos label’s cycle of Aaron Copland’s orchestral works is timely and valuable, reminding listeners of where so much contemporary concert music came from (and not only in the U.S.), and bringing neglected works to light. There’s an especially nice example on this third volume by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra under John Wilson: Statements, which […]

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JEFFERSON AIRPLANE: Fly Translove Airways (5CD Limited Box)

We are told ….. Limited edition 5CD Box Set featuring live FM broadcasts from 1966 to 1970 Doyens of the lysergically charged San Francisco Ballroom scene, Jefferson Airplane reigned supreme at their home turf clubs; The Matrix, Fillmore, Avalon, Winterland. Witness these classic WOUR, KSAN, KMPX broadcasts bringing the sonic tapestry of the band, in […]

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BOB MINTZER: Amazing Reach – Interview by Bob Kenselaar

For about half of his four decade-long career in jazz, Bob Mintzer has been a member of the Yellowjackets, one of the most enduring, distinctive and creative bands in contemporary jazz. But, oddly enough, this association is a relatively small slice of Mintzer’s remarkably multifaceted life in music as a saxophonist, bass clarinetist, composer, arranger, […]

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VANDERSTEEN: Richard Vandersteen: Keep on Truckin’ – by Ken Kessler

First published in 1988 Richard Vandersteen doesn’t look like a typical loudspeaker designer. True, he wears glasses, but his presence suggests a longshoreman or somebody who’d be played by Gene Hackman. And sure enough, he tells you in a quasi-Dukes of Hazzard drawl that he’s been a construction worker, plumber, truckdriver, and electrician. Electronics had […]

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BLUES MUSIC: Were Robert Johnson’s Original 78 RPM Recordings Sped Up?

Writing the liner notes for the Columbia/Legacy single-CD anthology Robert Johnson: King of the Delta Blueswas a great pleasure, since I’ve loved and admired Johnson’s music since the 1960s. I’ve listened to Robert Johnson so much – along with his contemporaries Son House, Willie Brown, and others – that this music feels ingrained on my soul. Recently […]

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JOHNNY WINTER: Woodstock Revival, 10 Year Anniversary Festival 1979 on 8th September 1979.(CD) by Johnny Winter

We are told ….. Johnny Winter, live at Woodstock Revival, 10 Year Anniversary Festival 1979 on 8th September 1979. There have been several high profile anniversary reunions for Woodstock 10, 25 and 30 years after this iconic event first took place, but one of the most interesting occurred when many of the original musicians converged […]

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Classical music is right to champion the young

  Martin Cullingford writes ….. The support and nurturing of the young and the new has always been of immense importance There’s an understandable, and important, tendency in classical music to place great emphasis on the past. This is true both in terms of repertoire – the bulk of what we hear on disc and […]

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BOBBY WHITLOCK: Where There’s a Will There’s a Way

First time on CD Featuring George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Bobby Keys, Klaus Voormann, and Delaney & Bonnie Remastered from the original tapes 48-page booklet includes new liner notes interviewing Bobby and unseen photos (Notes from Light In The Attic) Continuing the never-ending quest to remaster and repackage the greatest music you’ve never heard (but definitely […]

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English tenor Ian Bostridge tells Rupert Christiansen how the late Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau came to inspire him.

  Some 30 years ago, a 14-year-old schoolboy called Ian Bostridge was sitting in his first German lesson, when his teacher Richard Stokes had a brilliant idea: he would introduce the class to the glory of the language and the culture it inspired by playing a recording of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau singing Schubert’s setting of Goethe’s […]

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JACKSON C FRANK: The Complete Recordings

While Jackson C. Frank’s eponymous 1965 album and other material has enjoyed numerous official and unofficial reissues, Jackson C Frank: The Complete Recordings is the first to compile his entire recording career. Released in conjunction with Jim Abbott’s book, Jackson C. Frank: The Clear Hard Light of Genius, The Complete Recordings contains a total of […]

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WILKO JOHNSON: Interviewed by Siane Daley 2009

Wilko Johnson is famous for two things; firstly his contributions to one of Britain’s most respected band’s R&B bands of the early 70s the celebrated Doctor Feelgood, they did more than anyone to establish pub-rock/R& B and to put life back into a jade rock scene just before the emergence of punk. The liaison was […]

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