Acoustic Sounds

Deutsche Grammophon has jump-started the New Year with a vengeance, with the announcement of another set of drool-worthy vinyl reissues to tempt the classical listener (and, I hope, many of you seeking to dip your toe into the classical waters). Read on for more details....

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Comments: 34
Supatrac Blackbird

The Supatrac Blackbird is the world's only tonearm with a Sideways Unipivot bearing (hence Supa—sideways Unipivot Arm). This has numerous theoretical advantages over a vertically positioned unipivot bearing, the basics of which are explained in this video. A more complete written review will be posted here shortly. This video shows you the arm and demonstrates its musical power reproducing Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On", a track from Gary... Read More

Comments: 31

Everyone reading this site has by now probably heard about Rhino High Fidelity’s controversial reissue of Television’s landmark 1977 debut Marquee Moon. This latest edition sounds good but nothing like the original, which raises the question: what's the difference between good and bad mastering? And who's responsible?

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Comments: 39
Hagerman Audio Labs Piccolo Zero

Piccolo Zero is a transimpedance headamp designed to operate low internal impedance MC cartridges in current mode (zero input impedance). This mode is desirable for its improved tracking ability resulting in lower distortion and well controlled sonic presentation. The Piccolo Zero offers four internal switch selected gain levels and plugs into any MM phono stage. It joins the voltage based Piccolo in the Hagerman line. Read More

Comments: 9

Is it a "conflict of interest" to review a record mastered by a Tracking Angle writer? I could care less. This is mastering engineer Dave McNair's second pass on Kiko, Los Lobos' best selling (other than the La Bamba soundtrack) and arguable best album. Though recorded analog and mixed to 2 inch 30IPS tape, It was originally released domestically on CD only in 1992 during vinyl's sunset fade. It got a digitally sourced European release that... Read More

Comments: 10
REL Acoustics S/812

My relationship with subwoofers began in the late 70s while making my rounds at the Palmer House Hotel in Chicago, back then one of two summer Consumer Electronics Show high performance audio hotel sites. The other was the nearby Blackstone. The main show was at the giant McCormick Place Convention Center.I walked into the Janis Audio display room, where owner/designer John Marovskis had set up a demo of his new Janis W1 subwoofer and Interphase crossover/amp. I... Read More

Comments: 23
Ghost Train Orchestra and Kronos Quartet—Songs And Symphonies

Louis Hardin, who renamed himself Moondog, was one of the most unusual composers of the 20th century. Tall, bearded, and blind from a childhood accident involving fireworks, he spent much of the 1960s living on the streets of New York City, often standing ramrod straight at the corner of West 54th Street and 6th Avenue, dressed in square-patch clothing of his own making, his head cased in a Norse helmet (some dubbed him “the Viking of 6th Avenue”), playing his music,... Read More

Comments: 6
Green Day "Saviors"

Sub-genres aside, Green Day can be considered one of the elder statesmen of punk. The Bay Area punk rockers have been in the game for 35 years and are marginally responsible for bringing the DIY aesthetics of punk into the mainstream forefront. Albums like Dookie, Insomniac, and Nimrod established Green Day’s unique sound of power chords, melodic vocals, and fast tempos. Instead of the group growing with only its core audience, they crossed a musical threshold with... Read More

Comments: 28
Joni Mitchell "Court and Spark Demos"

Court and Spark, Joni Mitchell's best selling album, originally released 50 years ago yesterday (January 17th 1974) was preceded by a series of well-recorded by Henry Lewy demos that Rhino and the Joni Mitchell Archives say were "newly unearthed". The record was released on RSD Black Friday November 24th, 2023. Copies are easy to find on Discogs.A friend told me it's a "must have" so I ordered one. He was correct. Hearing these songs in... Read More

Comments: 9
Keb' Mo'

Keb Mo was released in 1994. Good to Be in 2022. One of the frustrating parts of being me is that people who know me (guitarist and Twisted Sister founder) and my history in the music business (and my age—71) think that I must have heard and have an opinion on just about everything (music wise) that was ever released since the 1950’’s! It is even more frustrating when an artist, who seems to have had a long career, especially in a genre that I thought I really knew,... Read More

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Ornette Coleman "Change of the Century" "Rhino High Fidelity"

While Rhino's "High Fidelity" series lacks a clearly identifiable direction or purpose—it seems to meander around the catalog without regard to time, place or purpose—there's one consistent strategy: each two record release has a rock title and a jazz title. Credit Rhino with chance-taking guts this round. Marquee Moon isn't exactly mainstream rock (though the reissue gives it that sound), and Ornette Coleman's music scares a lot of... Read More

Comments: 23

The three Heath brothers, Jimmy, Percy and Albert formed their short-lived group in 1975 a year after The Modern Jazz Quartet gave its "final" performance at Carnegie Hall, November, 1974. Of course like many groups and solo artists, it wasn't really the MJQ's final performance and the group had been performing its "farewell" tour around the country all year, but for the time being following the Carnegie Hall appearance bassist Percy... Read More

Comments: 4
Adderley, Blakey, Carter OJC

Los Angeles, CA (January 16, 2024) – Craft Recordings announces the latest batch of reissues for the acclaimed Original Jazz Classics series, championed by both collectors and critics. The latest reissues include Cannonball Adderley & Bill Evans’ Know What I Mean?, Art Blakey & the Jazz Messengers’ Caravan and Ron Carter’s Where?, all of which can be pre-ordered today. These new reissues feature lacquers cut from the original tapes (AAA) by Kevin Gray at... Read More

Comments: 1

Rhino's "High Fidelity" series released last week a reissue of Television's classic "Marquee Moon" cut by Kevin Gray at Cohearent Audio, using the original analog master tape. The reissue sounds great! Far better than the original pressing in terms of bass response, transient clarity and all of the audiophile "check marks" but, I argue, it's not likely what Tom Verlaine intended at all! That's partly due to the fact... Read More

Comments: 35

When in 2018 Micha Huber's Switzerland-based HiFiction AG bought the storied brand EMT Tontechnik, taking control of EMT's cartridge business including development, production, repair, and international distribution and moving it to his Winterthur, Switzerland factory, he clearly had more in mind than just phono cartridges, though that's the core business he purchased.A year later in order to have space for both the EMT production line and increased... Read More

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The winner of the Rega Planar 3 50th Anniversary turntable is "Gary" from PA. That's all he wants you to know and of course we respect that. "Gary" subscribed to the site almost simultaneously with it going "live". We didn't pick him. The random number generator did, but it was a good call!Thanks to everyone who signed up back then and even those who signed up now just to try to snag the turntable. We appreciate your... Read More

Comments: 4