Beatles "Love" has some great stuff to test a system. I also like the music to l isten to for general purposes. I listened to the Beatles Mono remastered CD's an d they blew me away. The Vaughan Brothers: Family Style. Tick Tock is my favorite song, and has great sound.
Maybe not the greatest sound, but very good, excelent dynamics and I now it like the back of my hand. Bob Dylan: Time Out of Mind. Alice in Chains unplugged Nirvana unplugged B. Santana: Supernatural The 9 Symphonies Bruno Walter out of production box set, re mastered from vinyl to cd in The Classical Jazz channel on Dish network. If you don't like this musicyour wife probably will if you want to make her a romantic dinner.
Roxy Music - Avalon in SACD surround - they said this remix was the mix they act ually had in mind when they conceived the album, had the technology been availab le. If you want a break from audiophile imaging of a front row concert seat, jus t enjoy being in the middle of this sound.
Rob Wasserman - Duets is a good CD. The tracks are hit and miss, but I really li ke the simplicity lack of overengineering and just voice, guitar and bass of h is tune with Lou Reed. Cowboy Junkies - Classic records vinyl, the 45 rpm is even better. Always a mell ow sonic pleasure. I listen in 2-channel, because in surround there is no bass channel, which means my front speakers are playing fu ll range and I lose out on my subwoofer without reconfiguring my receiver settin gs.
Neil Young - Massey Hall on vinyl - possibly the best live concert sound I've he. The Prophet's Song is very cool. I have the original test pressings, but I assume the regul ar copies are about the same. Super smooth, intimate sound. Reference Recordings - First Sampler, there is a track from Star of Wonder - Nat ivity Carol, which has outstanding vocal choir sound, as well as some deep organ accompaniment. There is some other good stuff on this sampler as well, such as Berlioz, Symphony Fantastique Dream I have those 2 full albums on vinyl as well, but I prefer the sound on this sampler, so I will probably buy those CDs and sell the vinyl copies.
Slippin' Into Darkness, the results are fantastic. Some reggae material has a "l ow-fi" feel, not this track. The vocals are tremendous, and the production techn ique is superb. Chesky's Bizarre SACD offers better, lower demo material for sub-woofer demonstr ation, than any other material I own. It opens with a shuttle launch superbly ca ptured, then proceeds with an all out surround, and LFE assault.
No other recording he ever made has the style that the Slow Train Coming release had. The entire release is smooth as silk and some splendidly catchy son gs. These are a handful of my demos, there's more. Like the classic Telarc canon fir e on the original Soundstream recordedMy kids turn me on to all kinds of new stuff, however when played at live levels, a significant amount of it sounds nasty, with harsh artifacts.
I don't know if it's Stimela - Look compression or what. That said, some of it is ver y well done, and I'm always listening to current music. Notice the extention of the bass d rum in a good room, and the crisp voice.
The guitars, the vocals Deeeep bass. Great live recording. Spatial soundstage. A little "dark" in the soud perhaps, but the soundstage is exeptional on a decent rig.
Everytime I go to any retailerthat's always what they want to play This sums it up well I did no t go through all posts, however from a random reading, I saw some very interesti ng discs.
I would like to place my opinion I should rather say: "my preferences" here, b ased of course on my musical background, cultivation and - consequently - cultur e, developed through the musical listenings of mine for more than 5 decades. These preferences correspond, not only to the quality of the recordings, but als o to the music events themselves.
Besides, there would be no meaning to have a q uality recording, if the music was just - excuse my wording - crap. Initially, a smal introduction about Greek music, which comes first in my prefer ences. Greek music has had several periods. The most important one was from the late 50 s till the late 70s. We call it the period of the "Artistic Popular Music". Greek Popular Music started at the beginning of the 20th Century, when large mas ses of Greek population migrated from the west coast of Turkey, a traditonally G reek territory, called Ionia.
Those Greeks had their own long music tradition an d they carried it, among with a lot of other cultural characterisitics to the ma inland of Greece. Popular music was then developed throughout the whole 20th cen tury, in parallel with Greek folk music, but it remained most of the time in the dark, as it was never officilally recognized. Its main characterisitics were: - Short poemic lyrics, usually speaking about love, the everyday worries and tro ubles of the people and their "blues" - Singing of the lyrics by a man or woman, in a long-drawling voice.
The Bouzouk i was actulally introduced later and very often was used in conjunction with the violin and some shorts of drums. The Artistic Popular Music was somehow "invented" and created by two great Greek composers, both of which used the traditional Popular Music as their basis and inspiration, but then they made their own school, which swept the musical events in the country and much more beyond the country borders like a storm and afte rwards became extremely well known worldwide.
These two composers had a parallel life, each one with his own class, sometimes collaborating together, but never competing one against the other.
The first, well known all over the world, mainly of his music to the film "Never on Sunday", is the late Manos Hatzidakis. A great composer, who has made thousa nds of music works, presented either in albums or in single 45rpm discs. Also, a composer of film music, dressing with his music more that 80 films.
The second is Mikis Theodorakis. He is also well known to the world, mainly with his music to the films "Zorba the Greek", "Phaedra", "Serpico" and "Z", but als o well known for the composing of the poem "Axion Esti" word-by-word it means: "It is Worthy", but the meaning is much more than that of the Nobel prized poet Odysseus Elytis.
His work is also huge, thousands of songs and discs, almost in every format. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Loaded with lead, the JR's bass tightened up considerably and it also became less prominent for a couple of reasons.
First, it was more focused and therefore drew less attention to itself. And second, the peak in the bass response shifted from the 50Hz to 70Hz range up into the 60Hz to 90Hz range.
The amplitude of the peak remained the same. While there was a little less energy in the 30Hz to 60Hz range, and about 6dB less at 26Hz, the bass did not fall appreciably below the midrange until the midHz range.
Keep in mind that the Radio Shack SPL meter is not terribly accurate at the extreme upper and lower frequencies. Overall, the addition of the lead improves the perception of tonal balance and the quality of the bass, which ultimately improves the midrange.
Let me also say here that I never felt deprived of bass with the lead added, but it was not the same bass heavy experience that was common with the original VR I also tried the loudspeakers aimed toward each shoulder once I had the lead installed. Now remember, in my listening room, the side walls are far to the left and even farther to the right of their respective loudspeakers, so I normally experience the direct sound well before any diffuse reflections come back at me.
I'm talking nano-secondsnot canyon echohere. And the soundstage normally extends several feet to the outside of each loudspeaker when the program material warrants.
With the JR angled in, the sound did not get much beyond the spread of the loudspeakers. In the middle of the soundstage images were not as clearly defined, nor was the soundstage as deep. This apparent contradiction just means that you have to play with the positioning and adjust the distances for your particular space. And it is fairly easy to do before you add the lead. I always use a measuring tape to make sure both loudspeakers are the same distance from the front wall.
The manual suggests that when perfect stereo imaging is achieved, a dense holographic "ball" of noise will appear right between the loudspeakers when you play a test track of pink noise. I was right on when they were faced straight ahead. Room conditioning will also play an important part in the success of wide dispersion loudspeakers, as I learned when we removed the plants from the front wall, briefly, for re-potting. The treble became noticeably brighter in the absence of my large jade plants.
Your reward for doing your homework in placing the loudspeakers is a superb soundstage that will enlarge the sweet spot in your listening chair, and allow others, seated on your immediate left and right, to experience a similar soundstage, without the music collapsing to the loudspeaker closest to them.
Of course, more of the music will be coming from the nearest loudspeaker, but it is possible to get up and walk around the room, even toward the plane of the loudspeakers, without loosing this sense of the recorded space. Remember those guests at your dinner party? That's what an accurate, wide dispersion loudspeaker can do for you. Everybody asks this question, expecting an answer like "Chocolate", "Strawberry", or LP.
In reality, if your preamp tastes like chocolate, and the CD player tastes like strawberry, and the power amp tastes like pistachio, then the VR-4jr will sound like spumoni.
They are that revealing! I reached this delicious conclusion in the process of checking out the various wiring options the JR offers in combination with a variety of amplifiers I had on hand.
First off, after doing the preliminary hour break-in on my Tandberg A integrated amplifier, I drove the JR with an amplifier that impressed me very highly at the Primedia Show in May. I used this amplifier, single wired to the JR, during the first part of the review process. The conclusions and experiences related above were based on this configuration.
In single wiring the JR, the speaker cable is wired to the mid-tweeter binding posts on the bass module, about 14" off the floor, and a jumper plate is connected to the bass binding posts immediately below them. The bass module is then connected to the mid-tweeter module with a short umbilical cord with an unusual two-prong BNC type Data Link connector.
This cord is very stiff and must be twisted with some force to align the prongs. This wiring configuration utilizes a crossover, which is buried in a casket filled with epoxy resin.
While on vacation I saw this same technique used in a much more expensive Rockport Technologies loudspeaker. The JR crossover is claimed to handle watts without saturation, and handle high volumes without tweeter distortion. It was designed by Albert's electrical engineer, Phuc. I'll discuss "high volume" in a bit. With this configuration the focus of the midrange and tweeter are world class. Soundstaging is excellent. Tonal balance is very good with just a slight disparity between the bass and the music above it.
The attack of the notes was just slightly rounded, and this is probably what causes the bass to seem just a slight bit slow with this amplifier. Keep in mind that I'm comparing it to my Kharma, which has a very fast bass response. I also used the Red Planet Labs with my Kharmas and noticed this same slight rounding on the attack of notes, as well as all the other attributes of this excellent amplifier. From the midrange upward, tonal balance was excellent. With this very slightly softened attack, the dynamics of the music were not as startling as I normally experience with the Kharmas, but neither did the music ever approach the edge of irritability.
The listening experience was always eminently satisfying and enjoyable, and I could listen effortlessly and endlessly.
For people who listen to music for relaxation and pleasure, this proved to be an excellent combination of amplifier and loudspeaker. And for the record, the watts per channel drove the JR to dB peaks without noticeable clipping in my cu. This mid-price interconnect he felt would be a good compliment to the speaker cable and suitable for a wide variety of components. This was the first opportunity I've had to bi-amp a loudspeaker, and I didn't know quite what to expect. Part of the result was simply the effect of going from to watts per channel.
But there was also the effect of each loudspeaker module being driven by its own amplifier. True, all the amplifiers were in the same chassis, but each amplifier was also fed directly from the preamplifier with its own interconnect. The draw by one module did not impose significantly on the draw from another the way it would in a single wire, configuration.
While completely separate monoblocks might be slightly superior to this home theater amplifier, there was certainly economy and elegance to this approach. The soundstage became even more delineated with even more depth and more clarity at the back of the soundstage where the chorus wailed.
Individual voices were easily identified. The bass was tighter, rounder and more palpable, yet there was no bass prominence. The S's were completely controlled, allowing the loudspeaker to provide accurate, warm and very inviting music. The bi-amped configuration sounded very much like a good tube amplifier, although I recall a bit more transparency and tonal texture with the VAC integrated tube amplifier at the Primedia show, all of which comes at a very dear price.
King and the transparency took a big step forward, causing me to wonder if it was just a question of polarity or the quality of the pressing or the quality of the recording itself.
Or was it just the effect of playing it back at a higher volume 90dB to 94dB vs. Whatever the cause, the JR was forever telling me new things about the music I thought I knew so well.
I played B. From the Burmester CD-3I played Hugh Masekela's "Stimela" and did not experience the jump factor when the "train" pulls into the station and the whistle cuts loose. On one hand, I didn't feel like I was going to be run over, but on the other, never were the lyrics so intelligible.
The premature clapping by the audience before the end of the song was beautifully rendered in space with the ambience driver set at position 4 of On the next cut, Yim Hok-man's "Poem of Chinese Drums", the benefit of the lead shot was evidenced by a tightness that revealed the different skin on various drums. I could hear far back into the corners of the soundstage on the faintest drum beats with the great focus of the JR, but the clicking of the drum sticks lacked the sharp explosive attack of wood striking wood.
Where'd the bass go in the right speaker?!!! I cranked it up to dB and it was solid as a rock. Then back to Planet Drum.
Oh, boy. Big trouble here. I don't normally camp out at such high amplitudes, but I figured someone out there would like to know that it can be done. A round of applause, please, for the Red Planet Labs amplifier that brought this concert into my music room. The midrange and treble seemed largely unaffected. But hey, this was at concert levels in a cubic foot room with only watts per channel!
Let's get real! Ah, how sweet it is! It's all there, save for a very subtle loss of spatial separation of the drums and bass from the rest of the instruments and voice.
This was not compression, but a slight loss of space around the bass and drums in comparison with the bi-amplified experience of the same music. Given the lack of directionality of low frequencies, there is precious little to loose unless the bass or drums are panned far to the left or right in the mix. When that happens, the sense of space is not lost. It only seemed to happen when the drum beat overlapped the voice in the center of the soundstage.
Should you worry about this late at night? Personally, I probably couldn't tell the difference in a double blind test with any regularity. Back in the old days, when I had my original VR-4, I settled on bi-wiring after a lot of experimentation. It seems to be a favorite configuration of Von Schweikert designs, and Albert has obviously gone to a lot of trouble with the JR to make that possible, while at the same time providing for people who wish to use only a single pair of speaker cables.
A single pair is certainly a more visually elegant pathway, and more cost effective, if not quite the audible equivalent of bi-wiring. But as I said above with regard to speaker grilles, this speaker has so much quality that you can afford to compromise and still have a wonderful sounding rig.
Poor placement of the loudspeakers can cost you far more quality than any difference in wiring or the use of grilles. The results were how should I say it? The input sensitivity of the Mahis is noticeably greater than the Red Planet Labs and the tonal balance was completely disjunct.
The mids and highs were loud and sharp while the bass was weak and soft. The manual warns of this potential problem and the need to have amplifiers of roughly equal input sensitivity. Well, if not bi-amping with the Mahis, how about bi-wiring?
In my favorite mode triode with minimum feedback they are only 20 watts per side. This is the stated minimum power for the JR. The good news was that they were much more transparent and the notes had a sharper attack, resulting in more of a "you are there" experience.
It also had a much deeper soundstage than with the Red Planet Labs. On the down side, the bass seemed a lot slower, yet it was still very palpable.
The timing was definitely off. My toes would not tap when I played "Mustang Sally". This result suggested that the impedance at low frequencies presents a tough load to drive.
Thinking more watts might help, I switched the Mahis into ultralinear mode for 40 watts. This tightened up the bass a bit, but also shortened the soundstage. And unfortunately, it did not pick up the pace and rhythm. I also bought Sticky Fingers early enough to own it with the cover that has an actual zipper.
Other albums crept into my life in the intervening years: some came into my life inspired by some song or other; some because I felt I had to investigate whether they satisfied their big reputation; some I have no idea how I came to them; I just did. Jethro Tull — Mother Goose Aqualung 4. Carole King — Home Again Tapestry 6. More CD-R Mixes. On September 1, Barry Gibb will reach the age of 75 — as did Jimmy Webb a couple of weeks ago — which is a good time to post the first of two compilation of songs which Gibb wrote, by himself or in collaboration with his brothers.
See more Bravo covers and posters at bravoposters. I know he has at times fought with his brothers — which is quite natural; brothers can be assholes to each other — and he has mourned the death of his three younger brothers, which is a lot of heartache. He has been married to the same woman for 51 years, which in showbiz is remarkable. The Gibb brothers were remarkably mature songwriters when they broke big in the latter half of the s.
Their lyrics were marked by Stimela - Look great deal of empathy, if sometimes a bit overambitious and occasionally verging on the mawkish. But even when they did so, the tunes usually compensated for such shortcomings. Bee Gees lyrics could be cryptic. A lot of the masterpiece album Odessa is impenetrable, for example. But that album also included Marley Purt Drive, a storytelling song which is both empathetic and amusing.
Odessalike most Bee Gees material, was produced by the lads themselves. Barry — with and without Maurice and Robin — produced many of his compositions, especially later in their career. But on this mix we can hear P. Arnold — a great interpreter of Gibb songs — call out to Barry call LP to Barry at the end of her song. There are no good covers of it; I include the most bearable of them as a bonus track, alongside three alternative covers of featured songs.
I might not know a lot about the man, but I do know that. As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R, and includes home-spicked-and-specked covers. Bee Gees — World 2. Status Quo — Spicks And Specks 3. Sweet Inspirations — To Love Somebody 6. Bettye Swann — Words 8. Sarah Vaughan — Run To Me Vicky Leandros — Massachusetts The Marbles — Only One Woman Lulu — Melody Fair Bonnie St.
Claire — Marley Purt Drive Jennifer Warnes — In The Morning Matt Monro — First Of May Dean Martin — Sweetheart Astrud Gilberto — Holiday Samantha Sang — Charade This collection of soul acts performing their songs live on stage was inspired by the superb documentary The Summer of Soulwhich tells the story of a series of six free music festivals held in Harlem in the summer of see the trailer here.
Despite drawing an audience ofand featuring an array of big stars, the Harlem Cultural Festival was practically forgotten — while the mostly white Woodstock was mythologised, in nearly an instant and not unfairly so, as I suggested at its 50 th anniversary.
Both events provide a number of tracks on this mix. The event was filmed, but found no takers. So it languished in a basement for decades. It was as if a conspiracy of silence suppressed the event.
Well, it was an event of black consciousness at which the Panthers provided security because the NYPD refused to! And, yes, it was political. There was little overlap between the three events. It is engrossing, exhilarating and emotional. The Guardian called it the best-ever music documentary ever, which is an excited claim.
This mix is bringing together performances by soul acts from the first six tracks are from the Wattstax and PUSH events to Maze featuring Frankie Beverley. I think the concept works well, and I probably will compile more such mixes for my pleasure. If this mix is getting a good reaction, I shall share those too.
As always, the mix is timed to fit on as standard CD-R, includes home-encored covers, and the above text in illustrated PDF format. Isaac Hayes — Soulsville Los Angeles, 3. Curtis Mayfield — Superfly Chicago, 8. Maze feat. On August 15, one of the great songwriters, of any generation, turns The Jimmy Webb Collection Vol.
Both of those mixes provide proof for just how many great songs — some more famous than others — Webb wrote. Webb had a way of writing melodies that take residence under your skin, and lyrics that belong right up there with those of the likes of Hal David and Cole Porter. And like those two, Webb could Stimela - Look gentle pathos and humour. More than that, Webb could articulate extraordinary ideas in a pithy line. In the s, commercial success diminished, to the point that Webb wrote songs that expressed his frustration with the music business.
The opening track here, Song Seller, is one of them. One song here is sung by Webb. Which brings us to the other Webbian superpower: the arrangements. As it is with Bacharach, you can recognise a Webb arrangement. There certainly is something as the Jimmy Webb sound. Apparently, Webb is the only artist ever to have received Grammy Awards for music, lyrics, and orchestration. As always, this mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R, includes home-galvestoned covers, and the above linernotes in a PDF.
Raiders — Song Seller 2. Johnny Rivers — Carpet Man 4. Dusty Springfield — Magic Garden 5. Joe Cocker — Just Like Always 9. Swing Out Sister — Forever Blue Cher — Just This One Time Brooklyn Bridge — Requiem Little Janice — Mirror Mind Last week we had really bad weather. Rain, rain and more rain.
Jimmy Reed - Found Love (Vinyl, LP, Album), The Good Life - Everybodys Coming Down (Vinyl, LP, Album), Five Star Hotel (2) - Gray Data (File, MP3, Album), Jenny - Various - Der Verlorene Song 2 Vers 1 (CD), BT Ver.4 - Various - SaGa Series 20th Anniversary Original Soundtrack −Premium Box− (CD, Album), Circle Of Life - Firewind - The Premonition (CD, Album), Bugia - Nada (8) - Il Meglio Di Nada (Vinyl, LP), Estampie - Musica Reservata, John Beckett - Music From The 100 Years War (Vinyl, LP, Album), The Night We Called A Day - Milt Jackson - Eight Classic Albums (CD), Time Is Money - Gérard Torikian - Musiques Pour Limage, Etc... (CD), Guaranteed - Dilated Peoples - The Platform (CD, Album), Everytime You Go Away - Various - Pop-Rock Music Hall 1985 (DVDr)