Acoustic Sounds
AXPONA 2024 Video Coverage
By: Michael Fremer

April 24th, 2024


Hi-Fi Shows

AXPONA Day Two Video Coverage!

was a very busy day

AXPONA Saturday began for me moderating a reissue panel titled "Second Time Around: The World of Reissuing and Remastering" with a group of the best: Chad Kassem (Analogue Productions), Shane Buettner (Intervention), Abey Fonn (IMPEX) and Julia Miller (Delmark Records).

I keyed off of the recent and somewhat controversial Rhino High Fidelity "Marquee Moon" reissue, asking each whether their task was to release a reissue as close as possible to the original, or to make it sound "better" even if the original was what the artist intended. Hopefully this was recorded and will be available on the AXPONA website.

Following the panel, a gentleman approached the stage to tell me he was involved in the original "Marquee Moon" and that the original was exactly what all involved intended it to sound like, which vindicated my position. Had he said the opposite I'd tell you here.

Highlights of this video include: interviews with YG Acoustics CEO Dr. Mathhew Webster (he's an astrophysicist) and Soulution's Cyrill Hammer. There's also part of a fascinating demonstration by Plangent Processing inventor Jamie Howarth, who plays "before and after" examples of how his invention removes tape machine playback artifacts to produce better sound. The demo was quite convincing though I'm not sure you'll be able to hear it as recorded by my DJI Pocket3.

Speaking of which, there were sync issues related to bad set up advice I found on YouTube. It's all fixed on day three's coverage coming up ASAP. Meanwhile, this is a forty minute ride through AXPONA 2024 I think you'll enjoy. Because of copyright issues, the Alice in Chains track and one from Jenny Lewis blocks the entire video in Russia. Which is fine with me.

AXPONA's Mark Freed forwarded to me this picture from the first day's turntable set up seminar. I will not repeat his caption!


  • 2024-04-25 10:10:23 AM

    Gary Saluti wrote:

    Care to comment on the sound of the Linkwitz speaker?

    • 2024-04-26 01:47:23 PM

      Michael Fremer wrote:

      I heard an earlier version at Linkwitz's home when I interviewed him. I thought they sounded as time and phase coherent as any speaker I've heard. Definitely a "must hear" speaker that gets the room out of the equation as well as any speaker if not better.

  • 2024-04-25 08:08:27 PM

    Come on wrote:

    I know nothing about the "Marquee Moon" case, but isn’t it extremely depending on the surrounding, the original intent of artists or whomever was monitored in? Sticking to an intent, that was decided under lousy monitoring conditions would be in no one’s interest imo. Too often this was ignored (see remasters of 70‘s-80‘s pop/rock, still without bass or similar examples).

    • 2024-04-26 03:04:45 AM

      Malachi Lui wrote:

      i highly doubt that the monitoring conditions at atlantic studios (where 'marquee moon' was mixed) and sterling sound (where the album was mastered) were anywhere near 'lousy' in 1977.

      • 2024-04-26 06:46:24 AM

        Come on wrote:

        Yes, might not apply to this case….my comment was meant completely independent. IMO it’s just important to know about the preconditions before relying on „original intent“.

      • 2024-04-26 12:46:01 PM

        Come on wrote:

        I just watched part of the video. Sorry, I'm not as old as MF, but I'm old enough to have a certain impatience for videos (as a source of information) in general ;-)

        I’m very much with Chad and others, who see too many variables in what happened, to trust an original intent which in fact doesn’t sound good. Maybe the guitarist listened to a cassette of the first mastering attempt in his car and supervised EQ’ing in a phone call while driving? The original intent is only valid for the monitoring situation at the time and the ears of the dominating artists, which both could have been special.

        There are decades of great music, which no one ever heard with bass (or similar cases) at home, except on a 70’s stereo and matched tone controls, thanks to everyone sticking to a however flawed “original intent” or meanwhile improved playback gear.

        • 2024-04-26 01:45:19 PM

          Michael Fremer wrote:

          In this case you are talking about a production for which $ was not the object. It was recorded at Phil Ramone's A&R studios, engineered by Andy Johns, mixed at Atlantic and mastered by Lee Hulko and Greg Calbi (though Greg doesn't remember). So nothing haphazard or by chance. The album was co-produced by Tom Verlaine. His name is on it. By that time these records were not being played on "kiddy phonographs" (ala Beatles early '60s) so there's nothing here suggesting incompetence or lack of tech or whatever. The studio that produced Getz/Gilberto and mastering house that did "Tea For the Tillerman" etc. didn't put out accidental work. I suggested that what it was originally was the artist's intent since Verlaine was listed as co-producer. The individual who approached me after the panel was involved and confirmed that the olriginal's bright, searing sound was what Verlaine wanted. I think the artist's intent, if knowable takes precedent over making a record "sound good" as much as I like good sounding records.

          • 2024-04-26 02:19:28 PM

            Martin Straub wrote:

            Sometimes... I refer to Iggy Pops 1997 CD remaster of Raw Power....

            • 2024-04-26 03:52:18 PM

              Malachi Lui wrote:

              'raw power' is an interesting case. columbia/legacy was gonna remix it anyway whether or not iggy wanted it, so he decided to be proactive in the mixing and mastering process. the remix was done to tape! except of course, he wanted the 1997 CD clipped to hell and back. thankfully, the recent masters of the iggy remix are more dynamic/listenable

          • 2024-04-26 05:12:33 PM

            Come on wrote:

            It’s definitely an interesting discussion. I understand your opinion. It’s for sure correct in terms of doing the art of music making/production justice. We also don’t change colors of Mona Lisa, just because we’d like it differently today.

            Should we rate the role of colors on a painting and the sound quality of music the same way, even if the latter deviates from how it sounded live or sounds awful? Probably. The result is, that we don’t listen to it for that reason, which might still be the intent of the producers (as long as they earned enough money with other productions already ;-) ).

            You might have the chance some time to join such an original artist-supported production process, which leads to an inferior playback quality. It would be very interesting, if in such cases, the deciders perceived the same sound as you when monitoring and if all this really happens intentionally. If it does, I’m with you, then this is the intended product, even if no one except the artist likes it.

            • 2024-04-27 06:03:19 PM

              JACK L wrote:


              "We also don’t change colors of Mona Lisa, just because we’d like it differently today." qtd Come on

              Sorry, please don't use "we" as apparently only you "like it (the colour of Mona Lisa painting) differently today". My question to you: what makes YOU dislike Mona Lisa's colour ?? Have you ever watched it personally !

              FYI, many years ago, my wife & I personally watched the genuine Mona Lisa painting in the Louvre Museum in Paris after lining up 45 minutes & it is so good that I've framed up its digital replica I made at home.

              JACK L

              • 2024-04-28 10:58:01 PM

                Come on wrote:

                You focused on a part of my writing, which I just used as an example. I have no opinion on Mona Lisa’s colors used nor do I see a need to change it nowadays. I probably will never be able to avoid all misunderstandings which can occur ;-)

            • 2024-04-27 08:08:52 PM

              JACK L wrote:


              "Should we rate the role of colors on a painting and the sound quality of music the same way,.." qtd Come on

              NO, paintings, be they great artists creation or no-name DIYs got nothing to do with music, live or reproduced. The formers are visual art vs the latter are audio art.

              Likewise can we rate fast food beef burgers same way as Italian fine dines ??

              JACK L

          • 2024-04-27 11:41:31 PM

            Kevin brennan wrote:

            FOr what it’s worth, I took a few guitar lessons with Richard Lloyd back in 2008. At that time his favorite pressing of Marquee Moon was the 4men with Beards.

            • 2024-04-28 03:08:24 AM

              Michael Fremer wrote:

              Which most likely was cut from a CD

              • 2024-04-28 11:01:58 PM

                Come on wrote:

                4men with Beards are indeed some of the worst reissues ever made. I remember Nina Simone’s at Town Hall release reissued by them. They were not even able to transfer the CD files in a gapless way to vinyl. That really sounds ridiculous.