Acoustic Sounds
Florida International Audio Expo

Audio shows have personalities. For example, AXPONA has a business-like atmosphere. I typically feel rushed, like I am thirty minutes late for an appointment. When I go into a room to listen, I feel like I am on a timer. Don't get me wrong; it is a fantastic show that exposes many brands not seen at other shows, and I wouldn’t miss it, but "relaxed" is not the term I would use to describe the show's overall vibe.The Florida Audio Expo offers... Read More

Comments: 3
Clearaudio Signature United States market-only

The Clearaudio Signature is a special edition of the new Concept Signature, exclusively for the US market. It represents advancements in high-end performance with exceptional value. The Signature turntable celebrates Clearaudio’s 46 years as the leader in vinyl playback and Musical Surroundings 331/3 years in analog distribution.The Signature combines the technological and material science advancements from the entire Clearaudio turntable line, highlighted by the AiR... Read More

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It is only fair to give you an "apples to apples" comparison. So, here's the same Bill Cunliffe Live at Bernie's Direct-to-Disc track recorded twice: once with the SAT CF1-12/Lyra Atlas Lambda SL combo into the just reviewed van den Hul The Grail SX and again with the Supatrac Blackbird/Lyra Atlas Lambda SL combo into the van den Hul The Grail SX.The only variable this time is the tonearm. It's now "C" and "D".BUT: This... Read More

Comments: 53
KLAUDIO KD-CLN-LP200T

About a year has passed since publication of the KLAUDIO ultrasonic cleaning machine review so now's a good time to tell you how it's been working and how well it cleans records. Also, this is a good time to again cover some basics because there's so much online nonsense and misinformation, though it's also true that well-informed opinions sometimes differ.This machine has had, as you can imagine, a great deal of use. Daily use. Not... Read More

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van den Hul The Grail SX phono preamplifier

Many Grails ago, in 2009, van den Hul introduced its original "The Grail" transimpedance-based MC/MM phono preamplifier. I reviewed it in 2018 when it cost $7950. Yes, it’s pretentious to name anything, but especially an audio product, “The Grail” but at least it wasn’t called “The Holy Grail” and it wasn’t packed in a cup and didn’t promise mystical healing powers. But it surely did deliver the promised outstanding sonic performance and it's still in... Read More

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This comparison was more for entertainment value than anything especially since the cartridges mounted in each arm were different! Let's start there. The comparison was between a $4395 cartridge and one costing $14,295 and an arm costing around $3700 versus one costing around $60,000. The phono preamp was the the $28,995 van den Hul The Grail SX (review will shortly be published). I could not use the CH Precision P10 because it is across the way installed for use... Read More

Comments: 10
Tell The Birds I Said Hello

Herbie Nichols, who died of leukemia in 1963 at the age of 44, was a jazz composer-pianist of vast talent, wit, and virtuosity, but little luck. He recorded just four albums (three for Blue Note, one for Bethlehem), none of which sold well; his music may have been at once too formalistic and too quirky for its time. He had a playful style, not unlike Thelonious Monk's, who was a friend and contemporary, though Nichols' sense of structure and harmony was... Read More

Comments: 3

The pantheon of guitar gods from the 1970s consists of the usual players that come to mind: Jimmy Page, Tony Iommi, and Ritchie Blackmore, just to name a few. Best known for being the original guitarist in KISS and adopting the makeup persona of “The Spaceman,” Ace Frehley is a self-described anomaly. His unorthodox approach to guitar playing left a mark on teenagers who spent their adolescent years learning his solos note-for-note. KISS’ on-stage theatrics enabled... Read More

Comments: 2
Fezz EVO Titania

For audiophiles on a limited budget the choices have never been more fantastic. Especially for the folks who want to find out what all the noise is about regarding vacuum tubes. A glut of affordable (some ridiculously so), vacuum-tube-based, integrated amps have recently appeared on the market. Most are from companies located in China, South Korea, and other parts of East Asia, but in the last several years, more and more of these glowing glass bottle beauties have been coming out of Poland.

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On June 27th, 1982 electric bass genius Jaco Pastorius and the Word of Mouth Big Band featuring special guest Toots Thielemans performed at New York City's Avery Fisher Hall as part of George Wein's Kool Jazz Festival. The performance was recorded to 24 track analog tape using the Record Plant's mobile truck and mixed to two track analog tape, but this Deluxe, triple LP, 45rpm 200g edition is the first release cut using a direct copy of the original... Read More

Comments: 5
Tamao Koike - Complete Yen Years

Yen Records encapsulated bubble-era Japan’s artistic experimentation at a mainstream-adjacent level, though some artists never took off. Among them was Tamao Koike, whose new CD TAMAO - Complete Yen Years documents her short-lived '80s attempt at techno-kayō stardom. Partially produced by Yellow Magic Orchestra, Koike's music deserves rediscovery.

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Comments: 1
"The Power of the Heart" A Tribute to Lou Reed

Los Angeles, CA (March 1, 2024)–Acclaimed archival label Light in the Attic (LITA)proudly announces The Power of the Heart: A Tribute to Lou Reed. The star-studded album celebrates the pioneering singer-songwriter’s enduring influence‒as well as the timeless appeal of his songs‒through performances by Reed’s closest friends and biggest fans, including Keith Richards, Rosanne Cash, Lucinda Williams, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, The Afghan Whigs, Bobby Rush, Maxim Ludwig & Angel Olsen, Mary Gauthier, and Automatic. Blending generation-defining hits (including “I’m Waiting for the Man, “Walk on the Wild Side, and “Perfect Day”) with lesser-known gems, the collection spans the artist’s five-decade-long career: from his earliest days with The Velvet Underground to his groundbreaking solo work.

 

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Comments: 8
Craft's Bluesville Label Launch

Los Angeles, CA (February 6, 2024)—Craft Recordings proudly announces the launch of Bluesville Records—a new reissue series that celebrates America’s bedrock music genre, as well as the trailblazing musicians that contributed to its rich traditions. Inspired by the original Bluesville imprint (launched by Prestige Records in 1959 to preserve the hallowed genre and capture its most important living figures), the series is intended to appeal to blues enthusiasts of all... Read More

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Florida International Audio Expo 2024

Here's coverage of days 2 and 3 of the Florida International Audio Expo. This truly was an international Expo as you'll see. Products were on display from everywhere from Latvia to the U.K. to France, Canada, Finland, Austria, Czech Republic, Vietnam and Denmark.Product prices were equally wide-ranging. There was something for everyone at the show, though there was less analog and vinyl than hoped for.Loudspeakers were as usual an important part of the show... Read More

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Zev Feldman's 2024 RSD offerings

As reported in our previous RSD listing, this year's Record Store Day will be filled with many worthwhile treasures covering every genre. Best of all for some of us, Record Store Day, April 20th this year, does not conflict with AXPONA, which this year is April 12th-14th. The above hyperlinked article lists the Chet Baker/Jack Sheldon release below, and references another pair of Zev Feldman Cannonball Addlerley releases not included, for one reason or another,... Read More

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Heifetz The Lark

One of my favorite classical records of the last few years is Impex Records’ stunning reissue of violinist Jascha Heifetz and cellist Gregor Piatigorsky’s Beethoven Op. 1 trio on RCA (LSC-2770). This often overlook record originally released on the much-maligned RCA Dynagroove label has been brought back to life, sounding worlds away from the compressed original.I had secretly hoped the label would be dipping its toes back into the RCA classical waters, but I think... Read More

Comments: 23