March 17, 2018

Nazakat and Salamat Ali Khan: Classical Music from Pakistan [CLP 1308] an LP released in England in 1959

We have here a very early LP by the vocal team of Nazakat and Salamat Ali Khan. 

For two other excellent LPs by them, I refer you to Tawfiq's superb blog posts here and here.

For a different transfer of this same album please see bolingo's wonderful blog here and for yet another LP released on the Hannibal Records label in the US, please see here. I've always wondered about that one on Hannibal -- as far as I can tell that was the only Indian Classical LP on the label. 

I have purchased a fantastic mono cartridge, the AT-mono3/LP. I've always been a little skeptical when I have read glowing reports of people listening to mono records with a "true" mono cartridge, as opposed to simply switching the pre-amplifier to mono. It is absolutely true that a monophonic cartridge designed to respond only to horizontal motion and not vertical motion will produce a sound that is cleaner and features less surface noise. The AT-mono3/LP is by far the best audio equipment I have purchased since buying an inexpensive Chinese-made ultrasonic cleaner on eBay.

Nazakat Ali Kahn: vocal
Salamat Ali Khan: vocal
Zahoori Khan: sarangi
Allah Dutta: tabla

Equipment used in transfer: 
Preparation: Ultrasonic cleaning for 20 minutes in pure clean water
Turntable:  Audio-technica AT-LP-1240
Cartridge: Audio-technica AT-mono 3/LP
Pre-amplification: Vintage refurbished Pioneer SX-780.
Recorder: Sony PCM-M10 at 24bit/96kHz resolution
Software: AudacityClickRepairand xAct

note: some apps which play FLAC files (such as "Golden Ear") will not play mono FLAC files. I would suggest if you are unable to play the FLAC file, then please convert to a .WAV or .AIFF file and all should be well and good. The resulting WAV or AIFF file will be approximately 4 times the size of the FLAC, however (about 40% data compression combined with doubling the number of channels). 


  1. Great rip quality as usual Richard & thanks much for sharing. Can you pl. provide a link to this cheap ultrasonic Vinyl cleaner or something similar? Also, how do dry the record before starting to digitize?

  2. Thanks, Roger!

    To learn a little bit about the topic of ultrasonic cleaning, click on the words "ultrasonic cleaning" in the section labeled "equipment used in this transfer." There are also links to my turntable, cartridge, and even the gorgeous refurbished late-1970s-era Pioneer SX-780 receiver I use as my turntable pre-amp (I use a Parasound pre-amp when I transfer cassettes). I do my best to make sure each "equipment" section is updated each time to what I actually used for the transfer.

    It's not required, but I find the device shown in this video to be extremely helpful (it's exactly what I use):

    Finally, the ultrasonic cleaner I use looks exactly like this one, but mine is (I think) a 9-liter unit. Mine certainly looks exactly like this, currently priced at $128:

    In terms of drying, I use my old cleaning machine, a VPI HW-16 (with a serial number of 0015, so it was one of the first ones made -- it's old!) simply as a vacuum to suck up the really tiny tiny amount of water left on the record after ultrasonic cleaning. I think if one were to just let the record sit for a few minutes the water would evaporate.

    Some people get very picky about the fluid in the machine. i just use clean tap water which has been allowed to air out for 24 hours (to reduce the chlorine added to the water by my local water authority) and a few drops of Triton X-100. That is a surfactant, which is a fancy way of saying it works as a detergent (allowing the water to get to the surface of the vinyl, which is hydrophobic) without the additives found in commercial detergents such as scents and coloring agents.

    I hope you can discover the joy of squeaky clean records without much fuss or effort and certainly without the airplane-level noise that some vacuum cleaners release.

  3. I can't edit my replies, but i wanted to say that in fact I only air out the water overnight, and not for 24 hours. I make sure that I clean out the basin each time with water to dislodge the fine particles left at the bottom after cleaning four LPs, and use fresh clean water each time (with two or three drops of the Triton X-100, a small bottle of which I bought on Amazon for about $8 and which should last me a lifetime).

    1. Thank you for such a detailed reply!

  4. Hi Richard,

    Thanks so much for posting your copy of this.. This is a great recording and it sounds amazing! Some really nice results. Can't wait to listen to this a few times this week.


  5. Thank you very very much, Richard. I had planned to post this one too, together with an EMI India LP by the brothers. You saved me work. Thanks.

  6. Darbari is my favourite raga, and Nazakat-Salamat have the distinction of having sung one of the worst Darbaris I've ever listened to :)

  7. I revere this album, having first listened to it under New Mexico starlight in the summer of 1968, and thinking--no, make that feeling--I had found heaven on earth. I am sorry Bhuvanesh finds this record so terrible. Perhaps he can post a version of the Durbari raga that he finds "one of the best he has ever listened to". In the mean time, I plan using your upload as a means of ascension to heights this music has always taken me to.