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    by Published on 01-20-2017 11:46 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. The Music In Me
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    This might be a short one today, because it’s all about a story I heard once, and it’s a short one at that. But I never use three words when I can get away with ten, so sit down and we’ll begin with a visit to the Bay Area. I was up there for Thanksgiving, and I had my usual lunch with Bob, my lawyer, guide and friend for over forty years. I can’t say enough about Bob, but it’s not about him, so let’s get to the tour.

    I hadn’t been in Bob’s home for a long time, and he was showing me around when we got to his den, and the first thing I saw was this big old stand-up record player, and I was stopped cold. He said it was from 1913, and he picked up the lid to show me the 78 rpm disc on the turntable. It was one of my favorite boogie woogie pianists, Albert Ammons, and the song was “Early Morning Blues.” Then he flipped it over and I flipped out: it was Sidney Bechet playing “Viper Mad.”

    A Sidney Bechet record! Dude played clarinet and soprano saxophone, and he was so excellent! Bechet (pronounced Bih-SHAY) was born in New Orleans in 1897 to a musical middle-class creole family, and, self-taught, achieved notice at six playing in his brother’s band; by his teens he was the only player in New Orleans who could share the bandstand with Louis Armstrong without embarrassing himself. Bechet was one of the founders of jazz, but not many know about him, and although everyone recognizes Louis Armstrong as being among the first jazz artists to put their craft on wax, Bechet beat him to the studio by several months. That may seem insignificant now, but at the time it was quite important.

    While playing in London, Bechet discovered the straight soprano saxophone, and quickly developed a style quite unlike his warm, reedy clarinet tone. His saxophone sound has been described as "emotional", "reckless", and "large," using a very broad vibrato, common to some New Orleans clarinetists at the time. Bechet was known for his forceful delivery, well-constructed improvisations, and that distinctive, wide vibrato. ...
    by Published on 01-16-2017 12:37 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Editorial
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    Note: This post has very little to do with audio and less to do with computer audio. If you're only looking for such information please skip this post. If you want to read an interesting story and find out about a good music related book, continue on. Much more information about MQA, after my lengthy discussion with Bob Stuart in Las Vegas, is forthcoming in another article.


    CES 2017 started with a bang. Thursday morning Tidal dropped 30,000 MQA tracks and everyone could decode the tracks in software, starting immediately. Music lovers everywhere were listening to old albums again for the first time. Some loved it, ...
    by Published on 01-06-2017 12:59 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. 2017 Consumer Electronics Show
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    Today was full of surprises at CES 2017. Tidal announced 30,000 tracks available immediately in what it calls master quality (MQA), Napster announced high resolution streaming, Pandora did everything except announce high resolution streaming (look for it soon though), MQA announced software decoding in Audirvana and the Tidal desktop app, Roon communicated it would have full software decoding soon, Chord announced the Hugo 2, Blu mk II, and Poly, Klipsch featured really cool products for reasonable prices, and I heard some great sound.

    Now, where to start? I guess I'll cover this is the order I saw / heard it today.

    Before leaving the hotel room this morning, I was able to release the good news that, effective immediately, Tidal was streaming 30,000 tracks in MQA, and MQA decoding was now available in software. Both of these are big news. Tidal was ready to go with MQA long ago, but the record labels just didn't have the content to deliver. Once the number of titles hit critical mass, Tidal flipped the switch on Master Quality. MQA is included with HiFi Tidal subscriptions for now, we'll have to see if there is an added cost for Master Quality at a later date. ...
    by Published on 01-04-2017 10:54 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Books
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    Inside the Horrific Guns N’ Roses ‘Hell House’

    How a one-room space on Sunset became ground zero for sex, drugs, depravity, and talent in the 1980s L.A. rock scene

    By Mick Wall

    . . .


    Although it was Duff McKagan who had booked what Guns N’ Roses were already calling “the Hell tour” to Seattle, once they returned to L.A. in June of 1985, one thing was clear: with Tracii Guns out of the picture, the band had a leader, and that leader was W. Axl Rose. “Axl always had this kind of vision of where he wanted to be,” Slash would tell me. “What he wanted the band to be. He didn’t like people he thought were trying to hold him back.”

    With Tracii now out of the way, and the other band members unready to challenge a guy so seemingly set in his own mind, Axl was ready to assume leadership. Sure, Duff was determined to keep pushing forward; like Axl, he wanted to rehearse regularly and get the show on the road as soon as possible, but he would yield to the singer in terms of writing. Slash and Izzy, who were more involved in the writing process, were so laidback (and increasingly ...
    by Published on 01-03-2017 11:48 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Preamp
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    Now that 2016 is gone, in the rearview mirror, forever to be forgotten, I look back on some highlights.......just kidding.

    Other than the release of the microRendu and the Holo Spring dac I found little to be excited about in 2016. It sucked! And through it I had my worst health crises (I am fine now, thanks for asking ). But one audio company, a small family-owned business in Sparks, Nevada, kept me toe-tapping in my music, come hell or high water. And that company I discovered in 2015. In fact, I so owe it to the readers of Computer Audiophile to become aware of Shane Duffy's wonderful little company that I thought I would shout it from the hills (no hills here in Cleveland, but just go along anyway).

    PERLA AUDIO! Yes, Perla Audio, the little audio enterprise that had the cojones to introduce new amplifiers and preamps (and a DAC and some wild new speakers) into a very crowded and mature industry segment.

    Perla's ideas started in 2010 when Shane and his family decided to mortgage out the nestegg due to his zeal and commitment that a new set of speakers would impress the audio community. But he needed more technical help and in came his technical partner-to-be, Ronald van Robinson, a 30 year veteran in the industry. Perla Audio was born sometime in 2012, and their first products (while continuing to work on speakers) included an integrated amp called the Signature 50, a dual mono design which, among other features, had no coupling capacitors in the path. It wasn't long that this product got the reviews and awards it was destined for, including my buddy Terry London's wonderful review in HomeTheaterReview.com (Best of 2015 award) and Dick Olsher's large kudos in Absolute Sound ( 2015 Editor's Choice award). ...
    by Published on 12-27-2016 10:35 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Basics
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    Hello Guys - Just a quick note during this usually relaxed week between major holidays. I was recently a guest on The Next Track podcast to discuss DACs. The information is fairly light and easy to understand, and may be valuable for those who don't eat, sleep, and breathe digital audio. Give it a listen and subscribe to The Next Track is you're interested. Kirk and Doug are down to earth guys who love music and computers, similar to many readers of CA. I hope you find the 35 minute episode helpful and enjoyable. ...

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