vinyl collecting ( and surrounding planetary atmosphere )

Discussion on new albums, developing listening skills, critical listening to others' work, as well as TOMB members' MP3 links, online recording critiques

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shedshrine
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Re: vinyl collecting ( and surrounding planetary atmosphere )

Post by shedshrine » Tue Sep 11, 2018 8:40 pm

Alrighty then, here it is 2018. Fifty years after it's initial release the venerable Beatles White Album can now be obtained in original stereo, original mono, remastered stereo, remastered mono, remixed stereo, remixed mono, along with remixed Esher demoes. Wow.
This alternate version below (Rutherford Chang's art project of 100 layered dubs of the album started in sync that then go out of phase over the course of each side) is such an interesting and apparently divisive piece.

The first side can be heard on this DustAndGrooves Rutherford Chang page.
(If you don' t want to read the back story or read the comments, here's the direct Soundcloud link)

With Mr Chang's sound-art version pressings all the identifiable text of its source album crossed out, torn away or blotted out. And the music itself, while obviously sourced from Beatles white albums, is a separate beast.

Back in the USSR gets off to a synced start and hangs together pretty well as the plane is landing at its end, Dear Prudence a little more trance-like, By the time the less charitably coined 'Granny music' that John would call Paul's Ob-la-di Ob-la-da (until John came in one day with a mocking over the top piano part that Paul realized actually worked perfectly) gets going, things are getting echoey and strange. Lennon's Happiness Is A Warm Gun and Harrison's While My Guitar.. get harrowing. Honey Pie, a complete mess.

Why do this? And why listen to it? The comments section in the DustAndGrooves link above tear the concept apart, calling it a vacuous conceptual one-liner, basically throw it on the ground and stamp on it. But those who get something out of it say things like this guy:


Bill Mankin
February 18, 2013 at 2:40 pm
Reply

Listening to your Side 1 X 100 has evoked something I was not prepared for: profound sadness at the fading of individual experience and joy into the cacophony of the years, and the knowledge that even the masterful creations of The Beatles will continue to fade into the background noise as the decades continue to pass. However, this is leavened a bit by an awareness that each of those album pressings represents the joy or bliss of at least one individual listener, and they have all been multiplied over and over and over… and that isn’t it wonderful that this is what life, and the world, is made of – so many individual moments of joy and bliss! My own White Album bliss is 0723697.

So there's that.

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“Whatever dude, where are the jazz records “

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Soundtrack to Tarantino's "From Dusk til Dawn"
on double blood-splattered vinyl


"Stereolab Switched On" Remaster/Reissues Vol 1, 2 and 3
along with "Peng!" and
"Space Age Bachelor Pad Music"

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Stranger Things Season 1 double album of analog synth coolness (transparent blue with black smoke)

Syd Barrett ‎– An Introduction To Syd Barrett 2010 mixes for a Syd 'best of'

Claudio Simonetti's Goblin, Daemonia - George A. Romero's Dawn Of The Dead soundtrack

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Mort Garson: The Wozard of Iz and Black Mass as Lucifer
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Record Store Day 2018, Picked up David Axelrod's Earth Rot re-issue. It's a 2 lp set, with the additional record being instrumental versions of the original. And these aren't just the original tracks minus the vocals, they are different takes with instrumental solos in place of the chorus. If you are into Axelrod, it's a nice score.

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Observations on how Record Store Day 2018 supply and demand has worked out thus far:
I grabbed the Axelrod album, one of two copies the store obtained, for over thirty dollars. Within two days there were new unopened copies going for $15 on discogs. There were 2850 copies pressed.
The other album I was interested in, Herbie Hancock's Flood (Headhunters era lineup double live lp previously released only in Japan), of which 1200 were pressed, was gone before I got in the door, those are going for $46 (from US sellers) or so on up on discogs.
Last edited by shedshrine on Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:24 am, edited 25 times in total.

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Re: vinyl collecting ( and surrounding planetary atmosphere )

Post by Gregg Juke » Wed Sep 12, 2018 9:09 pm

I had the Seeburg app. I had to ditch it due to iPhone overcrowding, but worth looking for if you're a sucker for environmental kitsch.

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Re: vinyl collecting ( and surrounding planetary atmosphere )

Post by shedshrine » Thu Sep 13, 2018 9:14 am

Hey Gregg,
Drummer's perspective, what are some fave well recorded drum albums you've got, any genre, that made the transition to a great noise on vinyl.
Fer example: Just picked this up from Open Sky, and Bob Moses playing and the sound on this live recording is really drawing me in. It's a slow build album opening with solo flute, then clarinet and finally sax by the time his drum solos come in on the more uptempo stuff it made me think of that big solo sequence in "Whiplash".
Open Sky self titled:

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..and while we're at it, markjazzbassist, what are some standout bass recordings in your vinyl experience.
Last edited by shedshrine on Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:34 pm, edited 7 times in total.

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Re: vinyl collecting ( and surrounding planetary atmosphere )

Post by markjazzbassist » Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:44 am

FYI i'm an electric only guy so no upright on here.

soul/r&b
marvin gaye - let's get it on, james jamerson on bass. masterpiece playing/tone, but particularly the last track "just to keep you satisfied" is perfection.
ronnie mcneir - self titled (1972) bobby watson on bass. up front and warm sounding fender precision with flatwounds just superb playing.
leroy hutson - love oh love, victor chandler on bass. just perfect tone and note placement and groove, simple perfection.
donny hathaway - live, willie weeks on bass. a mount rushmore of soul bassists performance and tone. the solo on "voice inside everything is everything" is the pinnacle.
curtis mayfield - superfly, lucky scott on bass. simple, groovy, melodic, and tonally warm and punchy, lucky is one of my biggest influences.

jazz-ish
erik truffaz - the walk of the giant turtle, marcello guiliani on bass. like a modern "in a silent way" great tone and basslines.
jimmy smith - root down, wilton felder on bass. great tone and very athletic basslines for this uptempo soul-jazz set.
herbie hancock - thrust, paul jackson on bass. i don't love his tone (for me) but his athletic and always improvising lines are perfect counter-point to herbie.

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Re: vinyl collecting ( and surrounding planetary atmosphere )

Post by Gregg Juke » Sun Sep 16, 2018 3:57 pm

Oh, gawsh shed...

Soooo many. It depends on if you really mean sound, or performance, specific or irrespective of genre, etc., etc. I could fill up 20 posts. I'd bet Tony would say something similar.

I will say two that are killer for both sound and performance (but very different) are Tony Williams: New Tony Williams Lifetime "Believe It!" and Soungarden's "Superunknown."

On the Jazz schtick anything on Blue Note or Prestige recorded by Rudy Van Gelder. Also any Coltrane/!Impulse! with Elvin Jones, and Elvin Jones on Palo Alto.

Oh, yeah, I suppose an obligatory/de rigguer cite would have to be Steve Gadd on Steely Dan's "Aja."

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Re: vinyl collecting ( and surrounding planetary atmosphere )

Post by shedshrine » Tue Dec 11, 2018 2:18 pm

Merry happy joy joy season to one and all.
Happy heatlhy well-wishes in these crazy times..
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Vinyl system gear upgrade update detour...

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Going off into the 'and surrounding planetary atmosphere' aspect of this thread in earnest here for awhile..

Been saving..saving..saving..selling...more saving...I am now the owner of a Rogue Audio RP-5 tube preamplifier. Computer optimized biasing, tube headphone amp, highly customizable phono preamp, processor loop (got an eq in there, more on that later), 2nd amp output, well appointed remote. Thing is loaded.
Pricy sucker, but getting nickeled and dimed fixing my '70s Sansui 9090db and Marantz 2770 was getting to be a real drag.

Already had an amp. Saw a Parasound A21 on craigslist for an amazing deal a few years back and had had that around for awhile in anticipation of a separates preamp someday. The A21 had been pitching in and helping me hobble along with my failing recievers as it was their amplifier sections that have been failing, and using their pre outs with the Parasound had been actually giving some pretty damn nice sound. The Marantz pre section finally blew, but the Sansui had been sounding awesome, very sweet with more refined sound per the Parasound. Cables are just Blue Jean throughout my setup. Speaker cable is Magnolia house cable or the Audioquest stuff they have on the reels in the back room.

I had read differing opinions on the Parasound A21, the naysayers saying it was boring and bland. Well, i can tell you that with the Sansui 9090db pre-outs running into it, and giving the A21 a half hour or so to warm up and it sounded very sweet. I would switch in and out the tone controls as desired, depending on the recording. The Sansui has a lot of control in that department with two choices for center frequency cut boost for the bass and treble, and a dedicated midrange control to boot.

One of the concerns of getting a higher end piece I was having was that often there were no tone controls. But having setup the RP-5 tonight I can see how that can work. I mean everything is so nicely balanced, apparent present and accounted for without sticking out. High resolution!
Regardless, I have a little Schiit Loki eq I picked up about a month or so ago that I am going to patch into the processor loop this week and mess with here in a bit. With its controls flat, It is undetectable switched in our out, there's no sound quality hit that I could make out by it simply being engaged, and it doesn't mess with staging. And for only $150 it will be nice to have around to play with frequency extremes and see how I can push the RP-5's tone colors.

So the Rogue, once I got everything hooked up, the first thing I listened to was a vinyl rip of Stranger Things soundtdrack Vol 1 and some 2009 Beatles White Album remaster through a Border Patrol DAC with the tube engaged. (the Border Patrol has a tube in the power supply, not in the audio circuit. Can't say I fully understand the concept, but can't argue with the sound)

Anyway, everything was coming out detailed, smooth..20 minutes in I realized I was just melting into the music. No harshness or in your face musicians in your lap fatigue I read in someone else's Rogue (integrated) review in this forum recently. There's some good Rogue, Parasound, Border Patrol, Klipsch synergy going on here.

Headphone out sounds just as good with a pair of Sennheiser 650's. Getting late now, so shut off the speakers and turned these up. Really nice in that you can keep increasing the volume and it just gives you more of everything, no harshness or distortion that I can hear, everything just flows smoothly..louder. (I've got Tony WIlliams Believe It on now.)

As a comparison, I've also got a HH Scott 222b all tube integrated and a Mac1500 hybrid tube output solid state pre. We're about three or four hours in now, the RP-5 has got some of that liquidy warm-side-of-neutral tubey mids, but tighter bass than the other two. (Now I've got Robyn Hitchcock's Jewels for Sophia going, he's singing right next to my ear, bass is tight and round and deep, string sounds of strumming and muting and fingers nicely present..) getting sleepy though..damn. It's half past midnight on a Monday.

I understand Rogue does some preliminary burn in before shipping, and I am fine with any further deepening sweetening effects should they want to make themselves known as I put on more hours. For the most part everything I've thrown at it has sounded great. With headphones I had Siouxsie and the Banshees remastered Hyaena on for a bit (lossless cd rip) and it had me wanting to reach for a treble knob to take the edge off Siouxsie a titch. Frank Black's Bluefinger album came across a little congested on first listen. I'll come back to these and see if I feel the same another time.

I've got a Lounge Audio LCR MKIII mm phono pre on one of the RP-5s inputs, I haven't even tried out the Rogues' phono pre yet, that's for tomorrow night. I put on Ramsey Lewis' Mother Nature's Son (as Beatles cover albums go, this is one of the best. Ramsey funks out and does his own thing with their songs ..) on for awhile earlier ( 1982 Denon DP-62L turntable with Grace Ruby cartridge it came with off craigslist) and it sounded great, as in controlled and present but not boxed in. Hearing details and subtle things lower in the mix, but nicely tucked into their places. Ah words to describe sound. I 'll just say that my worries that I wouldn't hear enough of an improvement to warrant the outlay resulting in eating the shipping back and forth for an RMA number is not to be thus far. ;)

Day Two: first impressions on the RP-5 phono pre: maybe a little more body in the low mids than the Lounge Audio. And the Loki eq: for seasoning finding small cuts in the two high bands and small boosts in the low bands are cool to have available depending on the recording at hand. My copy of Buzzcocks Singles Going Steady for example benefitted from both.
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Day Three:
Installed this in the processor loop of the RP-5:

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Schiitt Loki 4 band eq

The knobs from left to right control 20- and 400-Hertz, 2- and 8-kHz, and the toggle switch on the front right engages the equalization in the up position, and bypasses the EQ in the down position.
The 20 Hz and 8 kHz knobs have +/- 12 dB of adjustment range; the 400 Hz and 2 kHz knobs have +/- 6 dB of adjustment.

From the Schiitt site:
Technically, Loki is a single-gain-stage active EQ with non-constant-Q passive filtering. In more English-y terms, that means that each band varies from broad to narrower as its gain is increased—small turns of the knobs result in broad, shallow changes, and bigger turns result in more narrow-band changes.

I really can't hear any sound quality hit when the Loki four band eq is engaged, And with it patched through the RP-5's processor loop I can apply it to every input.
The Rogue is really well dialed in but not all recordings are created equal, and besides, customizing and tweaking your sound is fun with this "discrete, single-gain-stage, passive LC-filtered EQ, the most purist approach to tone controls"

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My comment about 'congestion' with Bluefinger above was not repeated, tonight Black Francis/Frank Black's Bluefinger sounds great. Yeah, I think I was congested.
The mrs. sat down and listened with me for a good hour and a half.(not to Frank mind you, we put on Sgt Pepper and Revolver played end to end, and some sparser orchestrated selections from the White Album)
Smiles, eyes closed, yeah, she said, this sounds really good.
Last edited by shedshrine on Sun Dec 23, 2018 6:16 pm, edited 33 times in total.

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Re: vinyl collecting ( and surrounding planetary atmosphere )

Post by markjazzbassist » Tue Dec 11, 2018 5:47 pm

congrats on the new stereo gear!! your space looks awesome man. i'm sure having a space at all is a miracle in san fran, man is the real estate crazy out there!

i need to invest in a headphone amp to power my akg Sextett (vintage K240) 600 ohm headphones. i'd prefer something vintage to kinda go with the whole vibe of the cans and my studio, any ideas?

new vinyl acquisitions recently:

jimmy mcgriff - a thing to come by (james jamerson on bass, and it's mixed up front and center, i'm in HEAVEN over here)
ronnie foster - cheshire cat (george benson's longtime keys player, this is wonderful 70s jazz-funk)
curtis mayfield - back to the world
o'donel levy - things have changed (nice guitar playing 70s jazz funk)
Yussef Dayes v Alfa Mist - Love is the Message (Kings of the new London Jazz Scene, this is a rippin' single ala herbie mwandishi era)
Junip - Rope and Summit EP (mellow groovy folk music who aren't afraid of a MOOG from the swedes)
Ronnie McNeir - Love is COming Down (one of my favorite artists, criminally underrated songwriter and multi-instrumentalist)
James Mason - Rhythom of Life (Ex-Roy Ayers Band does Spiritual Jazz without the jazz and with the funk)
Vikter Duplaix - Bold and Beautiful (Soulquarian scene Neo-Soul from the early 00's, mellow, groovy, sexy)
Smokey Robinson - Quiet Storm (Title cut is off the chain, smokey has so much emotion vocally, every cut is a killer, bass is up front in the mix)
O'Donel Levy - Windows (the cut "I believe in miracles" is an original and the vocal line and chord progression is so beeautiful i cry)

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Re: vinyl collecting ( and surrounding planetary atmosphere )

Post by shedshrine » Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:41 am

Thanks Mark. We're actually a couple counties due north from San Francisco North end of the SF bay. Small house so relatively small mortgage. Relatively..

Nice pick ups! Big Jimmy McGriff funk fan here as well. Got to be the Master of the subtle album cover..

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As for 600 ohm headphones, and wanting something "vintage" in a headphone amp.
A quick search around says the classic receivers have the voltage to run 600 ohm phones and do it well.
I don't have any phones of that rating to demonstrate, my Sennheiser HD650's are only 300 ohm. (sound awesome)

You probably already have a good handle on this, but I learned a thing or two from this write up on headphone impedance..


Not vintage, but I read a lot about this little guy Bottlehead Crack tube headphone amp
Last edited by shedshrine on Fri Dec 21, 2018 7:16 pm, edited 9 times in total.

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Re: vinyl collecting ( and surrounding planetary atmosphere )

Post by shedshrine » Thu Dec 13, 2018 6:26 pm

Alrighty, the girls are out and about, it's day four. I've sat in one place for more than five minutes so of course both cats are situated on me reclined. Ready to let the day go.
I turned everything on right when I got home so it would be good and warmed up and ready to go by dinner's completion.
Here we go again with this immediate drawing you right into the music, I felt compelled to put on warhorses I’d heard a million times to see if they would hold my interest and bypass a driving need to skip it and save my brain from hearing the same song for the millionth time.

Like Smells like teen spirit. I’m just letting it play, the parts come in, they say their thing, the chorus hits, the solo paraphrasing the lyrics, oh right, I was trying to see if I could just listen to it all the way through and I totally was..

Like Stairway to You Know where by that Lead Dirigible outfit awhile back. There’s no way I’m going to sit through that thing one more time all the w…wow that flute is just hanging there, cool. Man, that separation is really great, they are all spread out there to hold in your hand and examine. ‘thoughts are misgiven..’ the layers come in, separate but equal, lovely. subtle guitar harmonics the way the finger and pick hit strings, I never hear that stuff so clearly. Drums! Bonham comes in doing his thing locked in with that feel. build build to that timeless solo that is ultimately the best part of the song.
So freaking good…tears. Nostalgia, emotions, appreciation, gratitude, the season, thankfulness, the reasons I love music so damn much. All there. Hey, it’s a good system, whether it’s Rogue or Parasound or whatever well designed and implemented setup you can get together, it’s worth it.
Last edited by shedshrine on Sat Dec 15, 2018 1:20 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: vinyl collecting ( and surrounding planetary atmosphere )

Post by shedshrine » Thu Dec 13, 2018 10:20 pm

Wading through Classical and jazz just digging how it all benefits from this resolution, now checking out metal, thrash, hard rock, The Rogue's pretty laid back, and the Schiitt Loki was coming into it's own here. Judas Priest Screaming for Vengeance practically screamed for cranking upper mids to get that crunch to come through. Lower mids too for more gut. I hadn't listened to Master of Puppets/Ride The Lightning/Kill 'em All in years, similar settings here let these albums speak. Soundgarden BadMotorFinger, Smashing Pumpkins Siamese Dream..

The pre/eq combo is proving to be a great best of both worlds setup. Laid back or more in your face. At lower volumes the Loki gets your "loudness" setting on, and for headphones the tailoring available can make listening sessions that much more gratifying. Phones or speakers, if the volume gets up there finding there's no need for the eq, but for softer sessions it is great to have around.

The RP-5/A21 combo is really doing a number on busy mixes, like more modern Rush-Snakes & Arrows and especially Vapor Trails (remixed), enjoying how I can make out all the parts much more easily, not such a wall of sound (not that there's anything inherently wrong with that). Whereas before I probably couldn't get through this album in its entirety, may have just written off listening fatigue to loudness wars, everything is much more laid out, though not like dissecting a frog, just easier to make out the puzzle pieces. And if you really want to hear the bones of the songs, hit the mono button. Collapsed down, what do you know, it really is just three guys making all that racket.


um..

Yeah, I've almost got this out of my system for the time being, high resolution rules!
Guess we'll get back to vinyl...surrounding atmosphere signing off

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2018 reissue 2 lp half speed mastered 45 rpm of The Posies 1993 album Frosting On The Beater
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Re: vinyl collecting ( and surrounding planetary atmosphere )

Post by shedshrine » Fri Dec 21, 2018 5:55 pm

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Re: vinyl collecting ( and surrounding planetary atmosphere )

Post by markjazzbassist » Fri Dec 21, 2018 6:56 pm

guaraldi is the definitive christmas record in my opinion. captures the melancholoy of the holidays which i've always felt. christmas time is here isn't happy, it just is what it is. i really love that record.

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Re: vinyl collecting ( and surrounding planetary atmosphere )

Post by shedshrine » Mon Dec 31, 2018 7:02 pm

..and happy new year.

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Re: vinyl collecting ( and surrounding planetary atmosphere )

Post by shedshrine » Sat Feb 02, 2019 10:15 pm

I remember being quite happy to come across a copy of this that didn't have heavy ring wear and hadn't been played to death by some 70's McLaughlin fanatic trying to cop licks off it.

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Re: vinyl collecting ( and surrounding planetary atmosphere )

Post by shedshrine » Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:50 pm

Have used this album cover for my forum avatars forever. Delia Derbyshire of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop There's a reel to reel deck they are doing tape splice edits on in this documentary that looks exactly like this Akai model.
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