February 17, 2018

Ali Akbar Khan: [EASD 1324] an LP recorded and released in India in 1968

Here is an LP which I usually skip over when looking for an LP to post. I think, "Oh, everyone has that one already." But that is not necessarily true. The record definitely is easy to find in used condition and therefore probably sold quite well. On the other hand, access to any Indian LP has been increasingly been restricted over the past 15-20 years or so -- first came their mass destruction following the introduction of other formats such as cassette and compact disc, and now the emergence of digital downloads and streaming services is hurting all physical sales just as some folk are re-discovering the joys of analog objects.

This LP and the transfer are in stereo. I believe it sounds better in mono, though. Your results may vary from mine. Hopefully you do have the ability to choose whether you hear it in mono or stereo.

With thanks my friend Nels for the loan of the LP.

side one: Raga Desh Malhar with composition in sitarkhani taal
side two: Raga Nat Bhairav with fast and slow compositions in teentaal

sarod: Ali Akbar Khan
tabla: Shankar Ghosh

Equipment used in transfer: 
Preparation: Ultrasonic cleaning for 20 minutes in water.
Turntable:  Audio-technica AT-LP-1240
Cartridge: Shure M97x
Pre-amplification: Vintage refurbished Pioneer SX-780.
Recorder: Roland R-05 at 24bit/96kHz resolution
Software: Audacity, ClickRepair, and xAct


  1. For some reason the AT-440mlb cartridge was not tracking this copy well. There was a lot of groove wear, especially on side one, a few spots where there is a single channel high pitched short squeal which might be the result of one groove pushing over into the next. (Yes, I am aware there is only one groover per side -- but I think you know what I mean). I switched back to my trusty Shure M97, which usually has slightly less detailed highs than the AT. That eliminated a few of the squeals and gave a more solid sound overall.

    I point all this out because when I mention the cartridge used, I really am using that one and not one of my others. I update the technical information for each post even if it hardly changes.

    Enjoy this classic!

  2. Thank you, Richard!

    I love it that your commitment to offering exceptional transfers prompts you to consider (and adjust) which cartridge you use. The effort doesn to go unnoticed.

    You're obviously an avid and experienced collector of classical music but not all of us have had the opportunity or vigilance to seek out such wonderful recordings. Please don't hesitate to post anything you feel is worth hearing - it will likely be new to a large portion of your audience. I've not seen a single post, for instance, of an album that I've heard previously. Thanks again for all you do - this blog is a treasure and makes my world a bigger, better place.

  3. Thank You Richard! Shankar Ghosh is one of my favorite table players! He had a "groove" and *flow* that I find lacking in many Classically trained Indian Musicians. (probably why he was able to fit in with Western musicians so easily and skillfully. So I appreciate all the opportunities to hear his playing (and his association with Ali Akbar Khan--probably what he is most known for). Thanks again!