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Friday, August 18, 2017


I’m still in jaw-dropped-mode since yesterday, pals…

You maybe read about the installing of the new copper/wood binding posts from South Korea…

Well, it’s all in a innocent liner note under a pix in the Namoo dedicated post – i.e. it’s so empty, component-wise and so full of music.

It’s not unheard truth: the more resistors/caps/chokes/wiring layout, the less transparency and detailing you’ll get… it’s not me, but several audio designers who found this to be utterly, almost painfully true!

It’s also not unheard that a clunky, badass amp prototype mounted on a shitty plywood slab plays MUCH better than the same circuit in an alu-box.

… but, anyhow: who would buy a thousands bucks amp in naked point-to-point-wiring exposed in its circuitry?

That’s possibly the difference between a die-hard DIYer and a salon-type audio buff… blinking LEDs and highly polished gears lovers sometimes don’t get as much music as some hillibilly systems give.

Back to my Partridge 300B monoblocks and the Namoo’s… maybe it's the few components used in the Partridges' amps which makes the Namoos' so effective!

My friend Francesco was kidding and wondering if I’d be going to appreciate any difference, let alone any improvement vs. the Hirshmanns’… the embarrassed yet sincere reply to his wondering is: yes, I not only appreciated a difference, but also an improvement.

In terms of resolution and inner-detailing, first… the sound at first notes was a little over-brilliant, after half-an-hour, things got better and smoothness was back, with untouched better resolution.

I used - for both pleasure and deep knowledge of the disk itself – “Angel Song” on ECM, a superb, SUPERB recording with stellar artists spreaded in soundstage… Bill Frisell and Lee Koonitz at left and center-left and Kenny Wheeler and Dave Holland at right and center-right.

To my surprise, I soooo appreciated Lee’s mouthwatering before holding the mouthpiece, also playing with the keys, tapping them on the alto sax before playing his part… also the Bill’s guitar tube-amp is slightly buzzing before his playing AND during his playing…

I also gave a spin to Paul Bley & Gary Peacock "Mindset" on Soul Note... on track 4 "E.D.P."  a thunderous double-bass solo, Mr. Peacock is puffing and humming and sweating on the instrument... what I didn't appreciate, yet, was the nose breathing while playing!


Everything is more evident and audible despite no RohS, TÜV or other certifications... or the humbleness of the Namoo.

Will have to dig more and more well-known recordings…

Thanking Francesco for support in installing the Namoo.

Very satisfied of these gizmos, indeed... blossoming better and better at every listen.

Thursday, August 17, 2017


When I fit an higher quality part to improve performances of my old trusty Partridge 300B amps, I feel both stupid and better: it's like when you gift someone - i.e. a diamond-ring to a lover - an ephemeral joy, a blink of an eye, yet so satisfying for all parties involved.

My monoblocks are not a factory-made piece of gear:  they were hand-made - i.e.  hand-soldered and hand-built by yours truly, with the GREAT help and technical support of my best-friend, Francesco… an almost three years worth effort in pre-WEB days!

I spent a lot of time writing letters and faxing and calling to the USA and UK to find and order the six Partridge’s TK and TH-series irons and the Cornell-Dubilier and Vitamin Q paper-in-oil caps and custom-made ceramic non-inductive 2% wire resistors (much different from the far more common, ubiquitous DALE's) and the Allen Bradley’s carbon resistors used in the circuit.

They're so empty, components-wise, and so full of music!

The broad, 6 mm thick pure copper plate and transformers covers were made by two local artisans and the wait was embarrassingly long… I used Cardas Rhodium RCA female socket, hospital/medical-grade quality mains plug and one pair (per monoblock) of good quality Hirschmann red/black binding posts.

They sure did their job flawlessly for many years, now… yet they just looked someway wrong.

Some months ago I heard about a Nasotec from South Korea (yes, again this company…) awesome solid-copper and wood binding post: the Namoo.

It was love at first sight and, now…

Here they are, installed in my Partridge 300B amps… like they were fit from the very first day.

No rejection after transplant;-)

Soundwise, they’re in since yesterday… will try my very best to notice any difference through the extremely revealing and transparent Tandberg System 11… aesthetically… just WOW! 

They’re true winners!  

Again, my deepest thanks to Chan-Dong Son… BTW: did you notice how musical is Nasotec’s President name? Son = sound = music.

… maybe, not by chance;-)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Deutsche Gramophone's other side of the music

Deutsche Gramophone Gesellshaft was and still is a German major label devoted to classical music... 

... or not?

Siegel-Schwall Blues Band, Elvis Costello and Ravi Shankar also recorded for the yellow label company...

Here is a small selection of the above weirdos... all these discs shows same stellar quality as the orchestral productions... 

Give music a chance...

When I play music I like in my tiny studietto I feel me like I connect to something non-terrestrial, mysterious, beyond beauty.


Being there is like going to the temple and the audio system isn’t gears, anymore, but a shrine and a connection to this alternate world of beauty where no priests and masses are necessary to connect to the God of Music.


Why am I writing above lapalissianities?


Because something really happen to my mind and whole being: my heartbeat and breathing changes, when I enter my music room, tired or annoyed or angry from my daily job amenities, everything better focus and is scaled down to its real weight and importance vs. my very own life.


I feel that only a few miles above our heads there are stars and planets and zero Kelvin temperatures and silence… maybe it’s why I so much love music and silence among notes…


It’s a cosmic bond to where we all live and come from, the universe and its fractal rules, where an orchestral fortissimo with tympany and thundering drums are like a storm or an asteroid falling on the Moon surface… where a strings pianissimo or a theremin or an e-bowed guitar sounds like the soundtrack to a satellite orbiting around our planet Earth… or the whooshing of our most inner, secret mind-chatting.


Everything’s beauty?




Some free-jazz sounds to my romantic, flawed ears like a samsara – i.e. men fighting for nothing, wars, suffering, screaming hungry kids in Sudan, violence and  assorted nasty human habits of sort…


Music can really be much MORE than entertaining, dancing stuff!


Titles, both in rock, popular and classical music are a suggestion coming from the composer/artist… they sometime hint to what the musician saw when writing/playing the score.


Colors, moods, emotions can only be barely suggested… everything is very personal and private.    


I still fondly remember a maybe 12 years old me playing the fantasy-game with my younger brothers – i.e. a tune was played on the stereo and we were inventing short stories or images or characters behind the notes…


… and as my mom was saying: “If someone loves music, flowers and animals cannot be bad at all.”


I fondly agree…



Monday, August 14, 2017

Nasotec VEM ceramic ball-bearings feet for Garrardzilla

The Garrardzilla wears a new set of upmarket red-shoes, folks;-)

I got them and immediately installed under the silver slate plinth.

I immediately noticed an improved mid- and high-end, something which made me to lower half a db on high and mid knob on the Mayer crossover...

Sure the industrial rubber feet I used previously sounded natural and right, yet... all rigid mounting 301 - i.e. no rubber washers between chassis and plinth, arm and arm pod and now, under the plinth - all brought me to a tighter, extremely dynamic overall sound, natural and even more right, if possible.

I'm short of words... unfortunately my writing skills are not up to par to my listening skill, apparently;-)

I listened two times to my new reference disc, Gilliam Welch and David Rawlings, as the guitars were so beautiful and the voices were so natural.

Some of my friends who were in my studietto will think I'm going nut, but... what can I say?

These feet added an immeasurable something to the Garrardzilla magic... I could dare affirming now it's perfect and not perfectible!

... but, who knows?

Why limiting the future improvements and surprises this amazing passion is able to give?

If you own an idler-wheel turntable, my advice or suggestion is: try these feet...

You could remain jaw-dropped, like I was...

Thanking Chan-Dong Son of Nasotec for his support and care for details... and...  yes, folks: I bought and paid for these accessories and I'd do again and again.

My Music Machine!

Saturday, August 12, 2017

My next job...

It will be randomly full-time...

... one of the noblest "jobs" on Earth.

Check for a Guild and an aluminium seat around... not looking for a tip, but a smile.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Per aspera ad astra!

Yes, folks... here you'll find something different, indeed.

Forty years ago this month, NASA launched two spacecraft, Voyager 1 and 2, on a grand tour of the solar system and beyond, into the mysteries of interstellar space. Mounted to each spacecraft is a golden phonograph record, a message to introduce our civilization to extraterrestrials, perhaps billions of years from now. The Voyager Golden Record tells a story of our planet expressed in sounds, images, and science. The Voyager Golden Record is a gift from humanity to the cosmos, but it’s also a gift to humanity. It lies at the intersection of science and art to spark the imagination, and delivers a dose of hope that so many of us are jonesing for these days. Two years ago, my friends Timothy Daly, Lawrence Azerrad, and I embarked on a long journey to release the Voyager Golden Record as a box set of vinyl LPs so those on Earth can hear it as it was meant to be played. We were humbled by the incredible support our project received. (You can read about our experience in the project updates here.)

Ten months after our Kickstarter ended, the enthusiasm and excitement around the Voyager anniversary and the golden record continues to increase. We feel very fortunate that the story of this historical artifact resonates with so many people! As promised, we will never reproduce the Kickstarter "40th Anniversary Edition" box set again. Our Kickstarter backers took the journey with us and we are deeply grateful. However, for those who were not able to participate in the Kickstarter, we have decided to repress the Voyager Golden Record in a different edition than the one our Kickstarter backers will receive. This elegant second edition will include a full-color softcover book, three 140 gram vinyl LPs, metallic gold-printed sleeves, and the Voyager Trajectories turntable slipmat housed in a deluxe metallic gold-printed box. (And based on a surprising number of requests, we're also offering a hardcover book/2xCD version of the Voyager Golden Record.) You can pre-order the vinyl box set and CD/book for delivery before Christmas. Pre-orders of the vinyl box set directly from our label, Ozma Records, will include a free Voyager Diagram Pin. Ad astra! Pre-order the Voyager Golden Record (Ozma Records)

Thanking Tom for suggesting this seldom seen stuff... history & music at its best.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Studietto, a love affaire...

I feel so happy after downsizing my system, folks... too much gears is so... distracting.


... some Oregon and Ralph Towner seldom seen discs...

... as an Oregon and Ralph Towner scholar, I collected something seldom seen stuffs in the years...

The disc signed by all Oregon's members on Nov. 2nd, 1984, after a concert in Padua (Italy)

Ralph Towner's Solo Concert (ECM 1173) - test pressing...

... two Oregon's promo discs... 

Popol Vuh - "For You and Me" OST reissue

Out of print since 1991.

Experimental pioneers Popol Vuh will receive a long overdue reissue of their 1991 album For You and Me on Light In The Attic.

Originally released on Milan Records in 1991, the album has never been available on vinyl outside of Europe. Aside from a CD reissue in 2006, this marks the album’s first time on vinyl since the original release.

Coming after their ’70s heyday pioneering kosmiche and soundtracking Werner Herzog’s best films, For You and Me is considered a late-era gem from Florian Fricke’s legendary project and captures Popol Vuh as a trio featuring guitarist Daniel Fichelscher and vocalist Renate Knaup.

Listen to a track from the album here and look for the reissue August 31 via One Way Static.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Ralph Towner's rarest-of-rare disk

Superb disk, Japanese "pressing"...

Neil Young - Hitchhiker (1976/2017)

On August 11th, 1976, Neil Young walked into Indigo Studios in Malibu and recorded 10 songs with his acoustic guitar. The results of that session are collected on Hitchhiker, a new Young LP due out on September 8th. 

Many of the songs have surfaced on previous Young albums, albeit in different forms: "Human Highway" appeared two years later on 1978's Comes a Time, while "Powderfinger," "Ride My Llama" and "Pocahontas" showed up on Rust Never Sleeps(1979), and "Captain Kennedy" came out on 1980's Hawks & DovesHitchhiker will also contain a pair of never-before-released songs – "Hawaii," "a soaring ballad," and "Give Me Strength," which Young has occasionally performed live. 
Young recorded Hitchhiker with David Briggs, who helped produce many of Young's most famous albums, including Everybody Knows This Is NowhereAfter the Gold Rush and On the Beach. John Hanlon, another long-time collaborator, contributed some post-production to the original Malibu recordings. 

Even as Young unearths old material from 1976, he's been busily creating new music as well. In 2016, he released a live LP (Earth) and a studio album (Peace Trail). "I've got a lot to do without touring," he told Rolling Stone last year. "I'm actually just focusing now on recordings for awhile." One of his in-progress projects is the first record with his backing band Promise of the Real.
"Where I live now, I have a studio nearby; I can just go down there and work in it when I feel like it," Young added. "I feel free to do whatever I want to do."
Hitchhiker Track List
1. "Pocahontas"
2. "Powderfinger"
3. "Captain Kennedy"
4. "Hawaii"
5. "Give Me Strength"
6. "Ride My Llama"
7. "Hitchhiker"
8. "Campaigner"
9. "Human Highway"
10. "The Old Country Waltz"

Friday, August 4, 2017

Lumiere DST # 157

When such a fine cartridge, the property of my friend Tom, wasn't singing up to par it was a truly sad evenience.

The cartridge was purchased second-hand and she never sounded awesome... maybe just average, as per Tom's impressions sharing.

Trashing it?


Some surgery was needed and only a man, to my experience and after trying several famous, yet sometimes overrated, so-called cartridge mavens' cares, was able to perform a complete rebuild.

Leonid Sinitsin was able to dismantle and carefully make the miracle: new steel cantilever, new hand-wound triangle-shaped coils, new conical diamond, alignment, also a magnet air-gap re-adjusted, previously too wide, resulting in a very poor overall sound and dynamics and detailing and far too low sensitivity and lacking of WOW! factor... not a good sampler, indeed...

From the once a black duckling into a majestic swan.

Chiaki Kikuchi's workmanship was sadly getting worst at any sampler, after the 2005-2006 vintage cartirdges which - someway - created the myth and sure my loyal fellowship... such a pity he wasn't able to keep the quality standards high, but that's all gone, now!

Now, after only some weeks wait, the Lumiere DST # 157 is singing again in The Peak arm, mounted on a Thomas Schick headshell and Tom's Garrardzilla.

Thanking Leonid for his kindness, care for details and great support and wishing Tom many years of musical bliss.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Sabade Tapes from... somewhere?

Just found this...

We are an old recording studio and LP production factory in Italy and we have just started to clean up all our production tape archive (we have worldwide pop/rock/prog/jazz, etc. ; no classical).
All our tapes are ¼”.
This italian recording studio had official label's license to print LPs, CDs, MCs.

History of "production-tape masters": In the days of analog tape, when an artist is in post-production and mixes an album for release, it is mixed towards a final “master tape”.

It is this “master tape” that becomes the source for a domestic pressing (i.e. the label in the home country of the artist) and all pressings around the world. However, the story doesn’t end there. When a “master tape” is made, that was generally preserved by the record company.

From this master tape, a number of “safety masters” or “production masters” were produced. In some instances, it is this “safety master” that is sent to various record affiliates around the world.

We still don't have a list of this enormous archive (as it has been moved a few years ago and filed in a very chaotic order, unfortunately).

So the easiest way to order is to send us a list for example of 25-30 titles each time (album + artist), then we can look for in the archive and report you if they're available or not.

Tapes heaven or an hoax or a scam, maybe a fraud?

As I don't know them directly, yet - curiously - after some searches...

They briefly had a FB page
(or maybe it was for half an hour!!!)

Now disappeared... no surprise!

Such a pity the here below quoted disc was never, ever issued in Italy...

This is the site where some master-tapes pixies were taken:

Also the warehouse tapes shelving were already published... about two years ago...


Thanking for the above infos and links a pro and friend of mine - who will remain anonymous for privacy reasons - whose memory is truly impressive.

Please be always careful, folks... wolves, out there, so beware!

Tandberg of Norway

My looong love-affaire with Tandberg began several decades ago, when I swapped ESS' (dr. Heil tweeter) speakers for a Tandberg TL 5020 three ways speakers.

The Norway-made enclosures where so vastly superior in sound quality, I was using a HK Citation 12 and 11 combo, at the time, and also the finish was truly hitting my strings.

After some years, I sold them to a friend and bought, always pre-owned, a Studio Monitor model... incredibly nice and dynamic...

I used them for several years and sold them - now regretfully - when I got a Quad ESL bronze grille electrostatics...

Then, after some years, Stax F 81 and Futtermann H3AAA and Convergent Audio Technology SL-1 followed, but that's another story;-)

I recently got a nice pair of coaxial, Alnico speakers - i.e. - Tandberg 114-116-8 which was really gorgeous in appearance and sound... I sold them to a friend because I was in love for my Cabasse Dinghy 221... but when I purchased for cheap one pair of Tandberg System 11, still in use on the Foundation Designer stands, well... I kept them, dearly!

I realized that Tandberg of Norway is among the few manufacturer where the quality was paramount from bottom to top of the line models... and that, summing it up, I owned more gears from this very brand than other makers...

Yes: I owned Stax F 81 and Stax electrostatic earspekers, Quad ESL and ESL 63 and Quad 33, 303, FM3, 405, Quad II, and Studer B62, B67, A730... but...

I still own Tandberg 11 and Tandberg TD20A 2-tracks 19/38 cm/s open reel (at home, it's so elegant and homely vs. Studer's studio look...) and Tandberg 9200 XD 4-tracks, 3 speeds and also owned a 3500 open reel 4-tracks (fantastic sound quality in a cheap, unassuming package), now the property of a friend... and someway, I'm in love with these gears... they seem to own a their own relaxed, timeless class, reminding to early hi-fi days, when purchising one of these fine electronics was an heavy expense, always well pondered and considered.

Sound-wise, all Tandbergs' plays AMAZING and are very, very nice building quality... being sort-of prehistoric hi-fi and quite out of the BIG vintage deal, prices are still right and spares are quite common on Ebay.

I compared some master-dubs played on my pristine, serviced and aligned Telefunken M15A (78 db s/n!!!) with my Tandberg TD20A at 15 IPS and... you cannot believe it!!!

Nuances are so well treated... a true audiophile machine, deserving the VERY best audio system!

I invite everyone serious about audio and, most of all, open reel and tapes collecting, to give a try to Tandberg's... you'll be maybe out of high prices collecting hypes, but you'll get premium quality music.