September 20, 2018

“How Can 30-year-old Receivers Sound Better Than New Ones?”

Many of you might notice that I use a professionally refurbished late-1970s Pioneer receiver as my phono preamp. Maybe you might be thinking, “Why is Richard using that old piece of junk?”


That's a fair enough question. The bottom line is that a lot of home audio equipment reached its peak in the late 1970s and early 1980s, just as the first CDs were about to come to market. I noticed a nice article from cnet.com with a more detailed version of the reasons.

Here is much of the article, written by Steve Guttenberg (link at end):


“It's a strange turn of events, but mainstream manufacturers long ago gave up on the idea of selling receivers on the basis of superior sound quality. I'm not claiming today's receivers sound "bad," but since almost no one ever listens to a receiver before they buy one, selling sound quality is next to impossible.

“Back in the days when brick-and-mortar stores ruled the retail market, audio companies took pride in their engineering skills and designed entire receivers in-house. Right up through the 1980s most of what was "under the hood" was designed and built by the company selling the receiver. That's no longer true; the majority of today's gotta-have features--auto-setup, GUI menus, AirPlay, iPod/iPhone/iPad compatibility, home networking, HD Radio, Bluetooth, HDMI switching, digital-to-analog converters, Dolby and DTS surround processors--are sourced and manufactured by other companies. Industry insiders refer to the practice of cramming as many features as possible into the box as "checklist design." Sure, there are rare glimpses of original thinking going on--Pioneer's proprietary MCACC (Multi Channel Acoustic Calibration) auto-setup system is excellent--it's just that there's precious little unique technology in most receivers.

"It doesn't matter if those features are useful to the majority of buyers, or if they're easy to use; no, the features are included to make the product more attractive to potentialbuyers. It's a numbers game, pure and simple. The receiver with the right combination of features is judged to be the best receiver.

“OK, so what's wrong with that? The receiver engineers have to devote the lion's share of their design skills and budget to making the features work. Every year receiver manufacturers pay out more and more money (in the form of royalties and licensing fees) to Apple, Audyssey, Bluetooth, HD Radio, XM-Sirius, Dolby, DTS and other companies, and those dollars consume an ever bigger chunk of the design budget. The engineers have to make do with whatever is left to make the receiver sound good. Retail prices of receivers, the ones that sell in big numbers, never go up. The $300 to $500 models are where most of the sales action is, just like 10, 20 or 30 years ago, when their $300 to $500 models weren't packed to the gills with the features I just listed. Something's got to go, and sound quality usually takes the hit.


The Pioneer SX-1980 housed a more massive power supply than the best of today's receivers. Photo by Brent Butterworth.


“I don't blame Denon, Harman Kardon, Marantz, Onkyo, Pioneer, Sony, or Yamaha for making "good-enough-sounding" receivers, but it would be nice if they could occasionally offer one or two models with a minimal features set, and devote the maximum resources to making the thing sound as good as possible. Oh right, that's what high-end audio companies do.

"As luck would have it, my friend Brent Butterworth just wrote an article where he compared the sound of a 2009 Yamaha RX-V1800 receiver with a 1980 Pioneer SX-1980 and a 1978 Sony STR-V6 receiver. In blind tests, where the listeners did not know which receiver was playing, most preferred the sound of the ancient Pioneer. Butterworth said, "Even with all the levels carefully matched, and even in conditions where none of the receivers were ever pushed past their limits, the Pioneer SX-1980 simply beat the hell out of the other receivers." Gee, what a shock; in three decades, the industry has gone backward!

“Right up through most of the 1990s power ratings differentiated models within a given manufacturer's lineup, but that's barely true anymore. In those days the least expensive models had 20 or 30 watts a channel, but now most low- to midprice receivers have around 100 watts per channel. For example, Pioneer's least expensive receiver, the VSX-521 ($250) is rated at 80 watts a channel; its VSX-1021 ($550) only gets you to 90 watts: and by the time you reach the VSX-53 ($1,100) you're only up to 110 watts per channel! Doubling the budget to $2,200 gets you 140 watts per channel from their SC-37 receiver. Denon's brand-new $5,500 AVR-5308CI delivers 150 watts per channel! The 31-year-old Pioneer SX-1980 receiver Butterworth wrote about was rated at 270 watts per channel. He tested the Pioneer and confirmed the specifications: "It delivered 273.3 watts into 8 ohms and 338.0 watts into 4 ohms." It's a stereo receiver, but it totally blew away Denon's state-of-the-art flagship model in terms of power delivery!

“So if you care more about sound quality than features, look around for a great old receiver! Go ahead and hook up your Blu-ray player's HDMI output directly to your display and get state-of-the-art image quality, and the player's stereo analog outputs to the receiver, and you may get better sound than today's receivers.”

https://www.cnet.com/news/how-can-30-year-old-receivers-sound-better-than-new-ones/


I’ll be back soon with some more records to share with you!

August 12, 2018

Himangshu Biswas [SMOCE-1068] an LP recorded and released in India in 1967

This is a nice copy of a flute recital LP by a musician who recorded half a dozen or so LPs for EMI and Music India -- about half of them being duets. As can be seen, this copy has had its share of hard times, but the vinyl inside was in excellent shape.



Bansuri: Himangshu Biswas
Tabla: Shankha Chatterjee

Side one: 
Raga Narayani with compositions in slow Ektaal and fast Teentaal
Side two:
Thumri in Raga Khamaj
Dhun


Equipment used in transfer: 

Preparation: Ultrasonic cleaning for 20 minutes in pure clean water.
Turntable: Audio-technica AT-LP-1240
Cartridge: Shure m97xE
Pre-amplification: Vintage refurbished Pioneer SX-780.
Recorder: Sound Devices MixPre6 at 24bit/96kHz resolution
Software: AudacityClickRepair, and xAct








June 25, 2018

A sad note about the death of GS Sachdev

GS Sachdev, a flautist strongly associated with Ali Akbar Khan, has passed away.

I own several of his LPs and hope to digitize them soon.

Sachdev's playing showed a gravity and soulfulness which is often attempted but not always successfully by younger players... He had a very reserved, serious, and somber approach music and he will be missed.








June 23, 2018

Something unexpected

I was at my favorite local record shop yesterday, glancing through the bins of used and new LPs when I spotted something quite unexpected:




It probably isn't obvious when looking at a picture, but it was certainly obvious when picking these up and holding them -- they are two quite hefty double-LP's released this month by a French record company. These performances have never been released in any form before.

The first LP is from a house concert in Seattle, Washington and the second recording comes from a performance at a university in Seattle about a week earlier. The sources for both of these records came from the archive of Dagar's family and students.

Here are the promotional notes -- I hope the label (whose website is here) won't mind me borrowing them:

Around ten years ago, deep into a cozy and hazy night following a concert with my sound brothers Daniel O'Sullivan and Kristoffer Rygg in London (as Æthenor), they graciously introduced me to a recording of rudra veena (a kind of noble deeper bass relative to the sitar, in a way) as performed by dhrupad master Zia Mohiuddin Dagar.

Dhrupad, for those who do not know, is a branch of Hindustani classical music said to "show the raga in its clearest and purest form". It's pacing concentrates heavily on the slow, contemplative alap section and works with specific microtonal gestures and deep characteristics of resonance ... in short I was hooked on this new (to me) and ancient form of music from the first listen, and feel that a more or less continual listening & reviewing of Zia Mohiuddin Dagar's recordings in the years that followed have influenced my own approach to music quite heavily (if, albeit, indirectly).

In early 2015 I was able to make contact with Zia Mohiuddin Dagar's son Bahauddin and some of his American students/disciples, primarily Jeff Lewis. Over time we developed a friendly and educational exchange, including access to a massive archive of recordings and developed these two paired titles for my label. It's been a long path to arrive at actually releasing them but also probably in many ways one of the most significant releases I've worked on. And I'm proud to be able to reveal these to date unreleased archival recordings of one of the masters of dhrupad, Z. M. Dagar, to the public for the first time.

Zia Mohiuddin Dagar was the nineteenth generation in a family tradition known as Dagar gharana, a rich lineage which continued and performed the musical form of dhrupad (Bahauddin Dagar continues the lineage as a master rudra veena dhrupad player of note today). Initially, dhrupad was a rigorous, austere, devotional genre that was sung in Hindu temples. But between the 16th and the 18th centuries, it became the preeminent genre in royal courts in North and Central India, and the Dagar gharana developed and continued publicly following the eventual loss of court patronage for dhrupad in the 19th century. The French ethnomusicologist Renaud Brizard covers the story of Zia Mohiuddin Dagar's life and teaching (a long story also in Seattle, my hometown!), the Dagar family and gharana, the rudra veena and more topics in an extensive set of liner notes in this release.

Raga Yaman was recorded at a public concert in Seattle at the HUB Ballroom at the University of Washington in March 1986 (the week after the accompanying release SOMA028 Ragas Abhogi & Vardhani was recorded) at the end of his last tour of the United States. Yaman was a special raga for Zia Mohiuddin Dagar, one of his signature raags. For centuries, Yaman has been considered as one of the most fundamental ragas in Hindustani music and is one of the first ragas which is taught to students. A deep knowledge of Yaman gives a key for understanding many other ragas. It's filled with tranquility, contemplation, pathos and spiritual yearning. .

-Stephen O'Malley, March 2018, Paris, France



And who is Steven O'Malley, you might be wondering. He is a guitarist best known for his "drone rock" group called Sunn O))) - pronounced "sun." He is originally from Seattle but currently lives in Paris.

I find it interesting how many musicians I meet who are performing in so-called Western traditions such as jazz or rock music, but who have a deep interest in Indian Classical Music. I personally know at least half a dozen musicians, including a film composer, several full-time jazz musicians and one violinist for a local symphony orchestra who are taking lessons in Indian rhythm. Those are just the people I happen to know by name in my city. There are other musicians whom I happen to talk to, who share with me their interest in Indian Classical. It always surprises me, each time. 

Just a note about download links - none, this time. Go buy the LP or CD (easily available online from the usual suspects such as Amazon) or listen for free (with ads every few "songs") on Spotify, or enjoy the entire albums on the label's YouTube feed. The public concert is available as a multi-part video:











The "Nayan Ghosh and Parviz Ayan concert" links are now working.

The headline says it all. I apologize to everyone who was inconvenienced by my carelessness. I can tell you that I try to click on each link before I publish each post, to be certain that the links go to the correct place and that the file on the adrive.com site has been "unlocked" (able to be publicly shared). Obviously, I don't check to make sure every time.

Also, I was not ignoring anyone's comments intentionally -- my regular email notices from Google when a comment is submitted are not being received. I wonder if this has something to do with the new Data Privacy laws which went into effect a few weeks ago in Europe. It certainly happened at about the same time.

In the next few days I will be working on another few LP transfers.

Thanks again and remember to enjoy music of all kinds. the blogs listed to the right all have some interesting music to offer. If you visit those blogs, there will be links to other blogs, and if you follow the path to other blogs, you will discover something of value to you.

June 11, 2018

Pannalal Ghosh: The Magic Flute of Pannalal Ghosh [MOAE 5006] an LP released in India in 1968

Here we have a delightful LP by the legendary bansuri maestro Pannalal Ghosh, uncle of a certain sitarist (and tabla maestro) who was recently featured in this space with several live performances.

Hopefully, it will be the beginning of a series of transfers of LPs by Pannalal Ghosh as well as some other (at least three, possibly four) flautists both in his tradition and outside of it. 






Equipment used in transfer: 

Preparation: Ultrasonic cleaning for 20 minutes in pure clean water.
Turntable: Audio-technica AT-LP-1240
Cartridge: ATmono3LP
Pre-amplification: Vintage refurbished Pioneer SX-780.
Recorder: Sony PCM-M10 at 24bit/96kHz resolution
Software: Audacity, ClickRepair, and xAct





May 26, 2018

Nayan Ghosh and Yogesh Samsi: live in Austin and Houston (Texas) on their 2001 tour


Nayan Ghosh: sitar
Yogesh Samsi: tabla

Excerpts from concerts in:
Houston, Texas, USA on June 30, 2001
Austin, Texas, USA on July 01, 2001
soundboard (straight from the mixing board) recordings

Total time: 79:14 minutes

tracklist:
01 Raga Poorvi 2001-07-01 (56:56)
Alaap 
Composition in Vilambit (slow tempo) 
Composition in Drut (fast tempo)
02 Raga Sohini 2001-06-30 (13:01)
03 Baul Song 2001-06-30 (9:14)


Nayan Ghosh happens to be the nephew of legendary flautist Pannalal Ghosh. Of somewhat more interest is that he has a dual career as both a sitarist and a tabla player. 

The original seeder's notes (presented as a courtesy to the taper -- his opinions are his own):
---------------------------------
"Terms of use: These files are intended for non-commercial use for music lovers  and may be freely traded or given away provided that (a) all the files including this one are included and (b) they are not converted to any lossy format such as mp3. Any commercial use is prohibited and will result in the copyright holder pursuing legal action against the violator(s).

"Nayan Ghosh is one of the best amongst is his generation of sitar players that include Shahid Parvez Khan and Buddhaditya Mukherjee. Of the three, his playing is the most soulful and conveys a high-level of emotion.  Indian music is based on playing vocal compositions. Pandit Ghosh learnt vocal and tabla from his father, Padmabhushan Pandit Nikhil Ghosh.

"I am seeding a CD's worth of material that I listen to all the time consisting of material from Houston, TX (June 30, 2001) and Austin, TX (July 1, 2001). I had been after Pandit Ghosh for a long time to get me a quality recording of the last two pieces of this collection and in Houston he not only played them but gave an inspired performance. The first piece, presented in 3 movements, was a raga I had not heard him play before and has quickly become one of my favorites.

Accompanying on tabla is Yogesh Samsi, a disciple of Taranath Rao (who taught at Cal Arts) and Alla Rakha who is Zakir Hussain's father).

Please support the artist as he does tour the USA regularly and has several CDs out. Check out his CD on Raga Records (www.raga.com) which is available on Amazon or from Raga.

SBD->DAT->Soundforge->CD-R->EAC->FLAC 8 w/align on sector boundaries

Editing Notes: Because Indian music involves a lot of tuning and the pieces are each very long, I edit so that only the music remains to allow the most music to fit on each CD."
-----------------------------------


Nayan Ghosh and Parviz Ayan: Live in Furth, Germany, on 2010-05-06

Please note: the download link is now working correctly. Please see my note in the comments section for details.

Here is the fifth live recording I am sharing this week -- I originally downloaded this from the Dimeadozen live music torrent site.

Maybe one or two more live concerts before I return to the serious business of digital transfers. This is a long holiday weekend in the United States and I hope that there will be some time for me to devote to a few transfers. Probably after I clean out the garage!




Nayan Ghosh: sitar
Parviz Ayan: tabla
at the Kulturforum, Furth, Germany
2010-05-06

Excellent audience recording by Thomas Wulf using Soundman OKMII binaural microphones -- listen on headphones for a "you are there" experience. Mr Wulf also designed some lovely CD art if you like to make CDRs from these uploads.

Total time: 119:50 minutes

disc 1 (66:48 minutes)
Tuning and intro (7:50)
Rag Puriya Kalyan
- Alap, Jod and Jhala (25:40)
- Compositions in teentaal (26:33)
Rag Kamod (6:35)

disc 2 (53:04 minutes)
Tuning and intro (2:47)
Rag Charukeshi (19:55)
Rag Khamaj (Thumri alap, Thumri, Dhun) (20:11)
Rag Bhairavi (10:08)

original taper's notes:
------------------------------
"One of the most renowned musicians of Indian classical music came to play a wonderful concert this week. The region had been starving for this for years now..

"It was an amazing evening. His tone and lyrical moods touched our hearts and his virtuosity made quite an impression. He played one long rag with all the explorations and variations. In the second set he played two medium length ragas which were very lyrical and romatic imo. Both sets were concluded by two short ragas.

"In his introduction the artist not only explained the structure of ragas in general and the special properties of the ones he played; he also mentioned how coming back to Germany after 25 years has a nostalgic feeling; it was here that he played his first concerts outside of India..

"He was accompanied by the Munich-based Afghan tabla virtuoso Parviz Ayan; the two had meet earlier that day for the first time and only played a little during the afternoon! Absolutely astonishing!! They were cautious, not to be in each other's way but their perfomance was flawless and very sweet.

"The recording came out very good, I feel, but judge for yourselves!

"As usual: share freely but never for money!

"Covers and labels are included and the tracks are tagged. In time you will also find infos etc on my covers site at www.wulfware.de\covers "
------------------------------


May 23, 2018

Aashish Khan and Prabir Mitra: live in Stuttgart, Germany on 2015-07-19


Here we have another selection from the virtual pile of live recordings I have acquired slowly over the years. This one was certainly a concert at which I would have liked to have been present. First of all, there were two morning ragas performed in the morning and secondly there was no amplification.

Hindustani musicians often explain that their tradition goes back centuries. Not so often mentioned is how this could possibly be, when there were no microphones, amplifiers, or speakers turned up past the point of distortion. It just doesn't seem possible that there were concerts in the 15th or 16th century!

Aashish Khan has not lived his life without some controversy. I will give him a lot of credit, however, for the courage to perform a morning concert and to not use amplification and processing effects such as compression and artificial reverb. 

The taper seemed to have some problems with the batteries on his Edirol R-09HR (a well-known complaint about this recorder -- I use an AC power cord when I am recording LP transfers) so that we only have the first half of the concert. 

Half is better than nothing, however, and I am grateful to have it and also to be able to share it with you.

The original info file which accompanied the recordings is below (unedited, as received):

-----------------------------
USTAD AASHISH KHAN & PRABIR MITRA

2015-07-19
Theater Am Faden, Stuttgart, Germany

RAAG BILASHKANI TODI

Lineage: Audience regording with Roland R-09HR > AUDACITY > YOU
Musicians:
Ustad Aashish Khan: sarod
Prabir Mitra: tabla

An almost private concert featuring this morning raga in front of a rather small audience of about 30 people in a very intimate atmosphere in a very (very!) old and dark building - and without any sound system.

The concert started at 11 am and featured two mornig ragas. The second one (I forgot the name of) was even a bit longer and very free - with a very long duell between sarod and tabla! 

Well, I was only able to record the first one due to battery problems (as always with the Roland).

The night before they also played there (this time it was sold-out) but I couldn't come.

Complete content of my recording:
0: tuning and announcement 3:28
1: Raag Bilahkani Todi 35:23

-----------------------------------


May 22, 2018

Aashish Khan and Pranesh Khan: live in Eugene, Oregon on 2012-04-15

This is a concert (the third of four that I am going to upload this week) featuring Aashish Khan on Sarod with his brother Pranesh Khan on tabla. There is a little bit more explaining than usual for such concerts and I found the commentary interesting.




April 15, 2012
Beall Concert Hall
University of Oregon
Eugene, Oregon 

Aashish Khan: sarod
Pranesh Khan: tabla
Doug Scheuerell: tanpura
Josh Feinberg: tanpura

Track listing:
101 Introductory remarks
102 Raga Bhimpalasi Alap
103 Remarks from stage
104 Compositions in teentaal
(intermission)
201 Remarks from stage
202 Tabla solo 
203 Remarks from stage
204 Raga Bhairavi 

Total time: 104 minutes

recorded from the audience using a pair of DPA 4061 microphones




May 21, 2018

Ali Akbar Khan and Zakir Hussain: live in Stockholm, Sweden on 1980-11-15

This second live recording of Ali Akbar Khan's fall 1980 tour is from an FM broadcast of the concert which took place on 1980-11-15. The venue was not specified in the digital transfer I received.




Ali Akbar Khan: sarod
Zakir Hussain: tabla
Mary Johnson: tanpura

Total Time: 46 minutes, 9 seconds

This was certainly not the entire concert and may or may not have been the entire broadcast. It is not clear whether the date I have is of the concert or the broadcast, or both. Once again an audio cassette was transferred and shared by Jack Warner. Thank you, Jack!




Ali Akbar Khan and Zakir Hussain: live in San Diego, California on 1980-10-17

This is one of two live recordings of Ali Akbar Khan and Zakir Hussain recorded in the fall of 1980 which I will be uploading in the next few days. 

This one is from venue at SDSU in San Diego, California. The next upload will be from a concert in Stockholm, Sweden on 1980-11-15. 

-------------------

Ali Akbar Khan and Zakir Hussain
San Diego State University
San Diego, CA
October 17, 1980

Ali Akbar Khan: sarod
Zakir Hussain: tabla
Mary Johnson: tanpura

Total time: 76 minutes, 32 seconds

This tape was transferred (from an analog cassette recorded at the mixing desk) by legendary audio collector Jack Warner, who graciously shared his transfer. Thank you, Jack!




May 19, 2018

Bhajan Saupuri: Santoor Recital [CBS BS001] a cassette recorded and released in India in 1984

Bhajan Saupuri (or Sopori, or Sopuri -- depending on your source) is a santoor performer born in 1948. Not a lot of his recordings are currently available. This one is from a series produced by Swarashree Records and released (reissued?) in India by CBS. The Swarashree recordings document many lesser known but musically interesting performers. Some labels are only interested in recording musicians they consider to be the absolute highest tier artist for each instrument and that is how we wind up with many dozens of LPs, cassettes and CDs by a small and dwindling group of artists. Swarashree recorded both very well-known musicians and other, equally interesting musicians. Despite uneven quality control in recording and manufacturing, it's often worth searching out their releases.






side one: 
Raga Jog: Alap, Jod, Jhalla followed by a composition in teentaal

side two:
Compositions in Ragas Jhinjhoti and Misra Kafi
Kashmiri Dhun

Bhajan Sopori: Santoor
Mahadeo Indorekar: Tabla

Equipment used in this transfer:
Cassette Deck: Teac W890R (azimuth was carefully adjusted for each side)
Preamp: Parasound PHP 850
Recorder: Sony PCM-M10 at 24/96 resolution
Software: Audacity and xAct






May 14, 2018

Newly uploaded posts

Today I supplied new download links for three albums originally uploaded in the first couple of months of 2015 and which had lasted as viable links for a fair amount of time — 

Nikhil Banerjee live in Stockholm performing Raga Desh as well as 

Ravi Shankar and Alla Rakha (ASD 2341) and 

Debu Chaudhuri’s “Sitar Maestro” LP originally released on ABK Records in the early 1970s. 

Except for the album by Nikhil ji, all the new links are fresh transfers which sound better than the previous postings. 

It should be pointed out that the reason these links expired has nothing to do with me. The cold fact is that each of these LPs went more than 30 days without being downloaded even once by the readers of this blog (or anyone else) and the Zippyshare website automatically deletes such "inactive files." However, there were quite a few people who originally did download the transfers in the year or so that they were still easily available (about 700-900 each).

Happy Mother’s Day, everyone. By the way, it is extremely informative to do a small amount of research into the origins of Mothers Day and who the first celebrants were and the original message  they wanted the holiday to express. You might be surprised at the answer.

Thanks as always.


April 23, 2018

Kishori Amonkar: Mharo Pranam - Meera Bhajans [STCS 850699] a cassette released in India in 1984

Here is a nice collection of Bhajans (devotional songs) sung by the great Kishori Amonkar. These sorts of collections (this one released almost 35 years ago and featuring Meera Bhajans) can sometimes have less than tasteful musical arrangements, but this one is serious and devotional without being over the top or overly prettified.

Upon listening to the beginning of the second side of the tape, I was very surprised to hear what sounded like Kishori ji underwater, whether singing or drowning I wasn't entirely sure. I picked up a small screwdriver I have in place for such circumstances and hoped I could adjust the azimuth to make the cassette sound as it should. It was close, but after I tightened the screw for the second (playback) head so that it was as far to the left as it could be, suddenly the sounds above 4000Hz sprang to life, and i was no longer worried about the safety of Kishori ji.

Anytime I hear someone complain about how bad a particular cassette sounds, I have to wonder if they have learned about azimuth adjustment and practiced it. I know that as for myself I have sold or thrown out several cassette decks in my long life which may have only had to have their azimuth adjusted. I will spare you a long post detailing every cassette deck I have ever owned.

Eventually I am going to do a YouTube video about azimuth adjustment (since YT reaches a much larger audience that this small blog). It might seem like I am always mentioning this, but in terms of cassette transfers the correct tape-head alignment (azimuth) is a much more important factor than the quality of the deck or the audio tape used.

Please note: unavoidable travel and work issues will keep me from posting to any of my blogs for at least a week. Please do not worry about me! I will just be away from home and will come back very much motivated to transfer a stack of vinyl for your listening pleasure. In the meantime, please take the opportunity to deeply listen to my uploads as well as those of my blogging comrades listed at the right. Some of them upload their delightful posts so quickly that I personally don't have the time to appreciate the music they are sharing with me. That is a shame and I will do my best to keep up with my listening. In real life if I purchase a stack of records but don't get around to enjoying them, there is a visual reminder. However, it should be obvious that with digital files there is no stack of cardboard or plastic to remind you to get back to serious listening.







Equipment used in this transfer:
Cassette Deck: Teac W890R (azimuth was carefully adjusted for each side)
Preamp: Parasound PHP 850
Recorder: Sony PCM-M10 at 24/96 resolution
Software: Audacity and xAct




April 13, 2018

N Ramani: Haunting Melodies [Keerthana C-599] a cassette released in India in 1998

As a companion to the last post, we have an N Ramani cassette from Chennai from the late 1990s. Certainly there is quite the contrast in terms of budget for graphic design. One advantage the cassette has is the possibility for greater amounts of music per side, and this tape totals about 60 minutes.




Equipment used in this transfer:
Cassette Deck: Teac W890R (azimuth was carefully adjusted for each side)
Preamp: Parasound PHP 850
Recorder: Sony PCM-M10 at 24/96 resolution
Software: Audacity and xAct





March 26, 2018

N Ramani: La Flute de N Ramani [ESP 165516] an LP released in France in 1978

This was the 7th in a line of very distinguished LPs of Indian music released by Disques Esperance with the assistance of the French Association of Friends of the Orient. 

The AT-440MLb cartridge was having some difficulty with this slightly warped record. I recorded the entire LP only to listen on headphones and hear a high shrieking sound in the right channel intermittently throughout the first few minutes of each side. So I re-recorded it with the M97xE and there was no shrieking (thankfully).

It's a little amusing to see the differences between the names of the tracks on the label and the back cover -- I think maybe someone's handwriting was difficult to decipher.






N Ramani: flute
Paighat R Raghu: mridangam
Joanne: tanpura

Equipment used in transfer: 
Preparation: Ultrasonic cleaning for 20 minutes in pure clean water
Turntable:  Audio-technica AT-LP-1240
Cartridge: Shure m97xE
Pre-amplification: Vintage refurbished Pioneer SX-780.
Recorder: Sony PCM-M10 at 24bit/96kHz resolution
Software: AudacityClickRepairand xAct