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Friday, September 22, 2017

The Beatles con Peppino di Capri!!!

Great shot!

... please notice: "con" (with), not "e" (and)...

Twelve strings guitar - a love for life!

My love for acoustic 12 strings guitars began many decades ago... even before Claudio Rocchi's Volo Magico n. 1, Shawn Philips' Collaborations, Faces and Contributions, where acoustic 12 strings was King, I heard one day an heavenly sound in the immaterial form of a italian TV screenplay title track...

"Un certo Harry Brent" was the title and like many '60 and '70 b/w RAI Italian TV productions, the quality of the TV movie was quite high...

Other incredibly nice productions were, for example, "A come Andromeda" with a superb Paola Pitagora and Tino Buazzelli and Paolo Ferrari in Rex Stout's "Nero Wolfe": both screenplays sported very nice soundtracks and title tracks music.

... but back to Harry Brent...

I don't remember nothing about the screenplay, itself;-)

... but sure it left something indelible, music wise.

I already had my guitar and I loved strumming, alone or with friends... but when I heard this full, complex, beautiful sound, these harmonics...

Donovan's "Roots of Oak" was B side to "Riki Tiki Tavi" and mr. Leitch's group was a trio, actually... acoustic guitars, six and a twelve strings and percussions.

I immediately found the 45 rpm 7" disc at a local records shop and I worned it out, listening and re-re-re-listening... the seed was in me.

The music - listened now - isn't so special, but special are the sounds and guitars blend and matching.

It was 1970 and I only owned 7",  at the time... I bought a Yamaha 12 strings guitar and I was hooked.

I still am and I play mostly 12 strings, these days, as well, also if now I enjoy some sought-after Guilds' and Blazer & Henke's this complex sound resonates in me.

... after 47 years!

The incredible record libraries where you can listen to vast archives for free

Yes... they're more and more as everyone's most optimistic guessing... not only the amazing, famous Library of Congress, but they're many and a well-kept secret.

... much worth browsing, indeed.

The Village Voice ends its printed form...

Sure Times they are a-changing, folks... and the famous magazine printed for eons in NYC ends its shiny story, publishing a Bob Dylan's '65 pix on the final paper cover.

Looks like a sort-of military greeting or a sunlight annoyed Bob...

... a hard rain gonna fall.

Stay cool.

Frank Zappa goes hologram!

A hologram of Frank Zappa will go on tour next year, according a statement released today from the Zappa Family Trust.
In the statement, co-trustee Ahmet Zappa is quoted as saying, "I’m thrilled that Frank Zappa will finally be going back out on tour playing his most well-known music as well as some rare and unheard material." 
The press release also promises appearances from Frank Zappa’s band members, including Steve Vai, Vinnie Colaiuta, Ian Underwood, and more. 

Ahmet goes on to say it would be his "greatest wish" to have "Moon singing ‘Valley Girl’ onstage with Frank...or to see Dweezil side by side with our father playing dueling guitar solos." 
Given the history of legal disputes between the Zappas over the use of various trademarks centering around Dweezil's Zappa Plays Zappa band, it remains to be seen whether this new tour will include participation by all of the Zappa siblings.
The hologram is being created by production company Eyellusion, who have also recently developed a hologram of Ronnie James Dio. 

Production is slated to start later this year, with tour announcements coming some time in 2018.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Tandberg 9200-XD is back home...

This little, great '70s tape-machine, a Crossfield-design made in Norway by Tandberg is back home after recapping and cleaning and alignment.

It sounds so lively...

One of the very few pieces of gear my wife likes... loves, I'd dare;-)

I like it as a lounge music machine - i.e. a lowest speed LIVE Sinatra tape still owns the soul of The Voice.

Luca Chiomenti's Riviera Lab AIC-10 - proudly italian!

Luca's a maven, a circuits-wizard and his audio projects are truly remarkable...

Riviera Labs is his last adventure... I heard about it from our common friend Loris, and, now, here it is.

We'll hear about him more and more... I wish to him the international audience he deserves.



Saturday, September 16, 2017

West meets East...

... as I really like to also do;-)

Love this music and owned the Hörzu pressing for decades... on reel to reel it sounds so natural...

Friday, September 15, 2017

Leonado da Vinci's notebook

Genius shared...

The new Leonid Sinitsin's Tzar DST

... the new, improved, superb, unique, sought-after, hand-made Tzar DST MC cartridge is here to please the world.

This masterpiece looks amazing and reportedly - from the maker himself who in-deep tasted and auditioned the best Lumiere DSTs and the original Neumann DSTs on the planet - is THE BEST DST-concept cartridge, ever... cost-no-object!



Let me agree with Leonid's enthusiasm: the Audio Technica ART-1000 is technically an achievement, but not a true Neumann's clone/replica.

Have a careful look at the HUGE magnets and at the beauty and precision of the triangle-shaped ultra low-impedance in-air, core-less coils!

Thanks to Leonid for proudly sharing this worldwide premiere.

Спасибо, Леонид!

Thursday, September 14, 2017

I'm back...

... or at least my body is...

... my soul - or whatever made me be in tears shortly before I took the above pix - remained here...

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Stevie knew!

This statue of Stevie Ray Vaughan in the flood looks amazing, almost Nostradamus-like... Texas Flood sure it is...

My deepest concern and empathy to all Texans' in troubles for the floods.

Monday, August 28, 2017


The Garrardzilla playing the huge platter EMT 927-role ;-) with a 10" disc...

... nice disc, by the way;-)

Disc of the Day - Bill Frisell & Thomas Morgan - Small Town (ECM 2017)

Bill Frisell is one of the most prolific guitar players around... his catalog is really huge, like his tone is unique.

His love for movies and soundtracks is legendary, as well: Ennio Morricone and Nino Rota's music was recently covered...  Buster Keaton's silent movies were one of his interests in the past... now...


Yes, folks...

The 2-records-set, recorded live at Village Vanguard in NYC on March 2014 is a truly wonderful recording and music to par...

The double-bass is very precise and surprisingly classical and clean sounding, yet finely matching with Bill's guitar and the four sides spin pleasantly... but...

... the last track, on fourth side is the a.m. Goldfinger, the James Bond's seminal song which to me sounds like a self-assessment of Bill Frisell's playing.

He's always faithful to itself, yet always fresh and brand-new!

Truly remarkable...

Let me say that Goldfinger rendition is worth the double-disc!

It's an instant classic, a standard to come...

The sound on the discs is lively, some tableware noises and coughs and breathings come in the background of music... also some birds singing at the very beginning of the disc... 'cause, hey, it's spring in NYC, d'ya remember?

A nice disc, indeed...

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

New Dave Slagle's EMIA autoformer passive line-stage

A nice entry-level passive preamp which sure will bring the joy of a good autoformers sound to a larger, broader satisfied audience.

Good luck for this project to Dave and Jeffrey...

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Friday, August 18, 2017


I’m still in jaw-dropped-mode since yesterday, pals…

You maybe read about the installing of the new copper/wood binding posts from South Korea…

Well, it’s all in a innocent liner note under a pix in the Namoo dedicated post – i.e. it’s so empty, component-wise and so full of music.

It’s not unheard truth: the more resistors/caps/chokes/wiring layout, the less transparency and detailing you’ll get… it’s not me, but several audio designers who found this to be utterly, almost painfully true!

It’s also not unheard that a clunky, badass amp prototype mounted on a shitty plywood slab plays MUCH better than the same circuit in an alu-box.

… but, anyhow: who would buy a thousands bucks amp in naked point-to-point-wiring exposed in its circuitry?

That’s possibly the difference between a die-hard DIYer and a salon-type audio buff… blinking LEDs and highly polished gears lovers sometimes don’t get as much music as some hillibilly systems give.

Back to my Partridge 300B monoblocks and the Namoo’s… maybe it's the few components used in the Partridges' amps which makes the Namoos' so effective!

My friend Francesco was kidding and wondering if I’d be going to appreciate any difference, let alone any improvement vs. the Hirshmanns’… the embarrassed yet sincere reply to his wondering is: yes, I not only appreciated a difference, but also an improvement.

In terms of resolution and inner-detailing, first… the sound at first notes was a little over-brilliant, after half-an-hour, things got better and smoothness was back, with untouched better resolution.

I used - for both pleasure and deep knowledge of the disk itself – “Angel Song” on ECM, a superb, SUPERB recording with stellar artists spreaded in soundstage… Bill Frisell and Lee Koonitz at left and center-left and Kenny Wheeler and Dave Holland at right and center-right.

To my surprise, I soooo appreciated Lee’s mouthwatering before holding the mouthpiece, also playing with the keys, tapping them on the alto sax before playing his part… also the Bill’s guitar tube-amp is slightly buzzing before his playing AND during his playing…

I also gave a spin to Paul Bley & Gary Peacock "Mindset" on Soul Note... on track 4 "E.D.P."  a thunderous double-bass solo, Mr. Peacock is puffing and humming and sweating on the instrument... what I didn't appreciate, yet, was the nose breathing while playing!


Everything is more evident and audible despite no RohS, TÜV or other certifications... or the humbleness of the Namoo.

Will have to dig more and more well-known recordings…

Thanking Francesco for support in installing the Namoo.

Very satisfied of these gizmos, indeed... blossoming better and better at every listen.

Thursday, August 17, 2017


When I fit an higher quality part to improve performances of my old trusty Partridge 300B amps, I feel both stupid and better: it's like when you gift someone - i.e. a diamond-ring to a lover - an ephemeral joy, a blink of an eye, yet so satisfying for all parties involved.

My monoblocks are not a factory-made piece of gear:  they were hand-made - i.e.  hand-soldered and hand-built by yours truly, with the GREAT help and technical support of my best-friend, Francesco… an almost three years worth effort in pre-WEB days!

I spent a lot of time writing letters and faxing and calling to the USA and UK to find and order the six Partridge’s TK and TH-series irons and the Cornell-Dubilier and Vitamin Q paper-in-oil caps and custom-made ceramic non-inductive 2% wire resistors (much different from the far more common, ubiquitous DALE's) and the Allen Bradley’s carbon resistors used in the circuit.

They're so empty, components-wise, and so full of music!

The broad, 6 mm thick pure copper plate and transformers covers were made by two local artisans and the wait was embarrassingly long… I used Cardas Rhodium RCA female socket, hospital/medical-grade quality mains plug and one pair (per monoblock) of good quality Hirschmann red/black binding posts.

They sure did their job flawlessly for many years, now… yet they just looked someway wrong.

Some months ago I heard about a Nasotec from South Korea (yes, again this company…) awesome solid-copper and wood binding post: the Namoo.

It was love at first sight and, now…

Here they are, installed in my Partridge 300B amps… like they were fit from the very first day.

No rejection after transplant;-)

Soundwise, they’re in since yesterday… will try my very best to notice any difference through the extremely revealing and transparent Tandberg System 11… aesthetically… just WOW! 

They’re true winners!  

Again, my deepest thanks to Chan-Dong Son… BTW: did you notice how musical is Nasotec’s President name? Son = sound = music.

… maybe, not by chance;-)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Deutsche Gramophone's other side of the music

Deutsche Gramophone Gesellshaft was and still is a German major label devoted to classical music... 

... or not?

Siegel-Schwall Blues Band, Elvis Costello and Ravi Shankar also recorded for the yellow label company...

Here is a small selection of the above weirdos... all these discs shows same stellar quality as the orchestral productions... 

Give music a chance...

When I play music I like in my tiny studietto I feel me like I connect to something non-terrestrial, mysterious, beyond beauty.


Being there is like going to the temple and the audio system isn’t gears, anymore, but a shrine and a connection to this alternate world of beauty where no priests and masses are necessary to connect to the God of Music.


Why am I writing above lapalissianities?


Because something really happen to my mind and whole being: my heartbeat and breathing changes, when I enter my music room, tired or annoyed or angry from my daily job amenities, everything better focus and is scaled down to its real weight and importance vs. my very own life.


I feel that only a few miles above our heads there are stars and planets and zero Kelvin temperatures and silence… maybe it’s why I so much love music and silence among notes…


It’s a cosmic bond to where we all live and come from, the universe and its fractal rules, where an orchestral fortissimo with tympany and thundering drums are like a storm or an asteroid falling on the Moon surface… where a strings pianissimo or a theremin or an e-bowed guitar sounds like the soundtrack to a satellite orbiting around our planet Earth… or the whooshing of our most inner, secret mind-chatting.


Everything’s beauty?




Some free-jazz sounds to my romantic, flawed ears like a samsara – i.e. men fighting for nothing, wars, suffering, screaming hungry kids in Sudan, violence and  assorted nasty human habits of sort…


Music can really be much MORE than entertaining, dancing stuff!


Titles, both in rock, popular and classical music are a suggestion coming from the composer/artist… they sometime hint to what the musician saw when writing/playing the score.


Colors, moods, emotions can only be barely suggested… everything is very personal and private.    


I still fondly remember a maybe 12 years old me playing the fantasy-game with my younger brothers – i.e. a tune was played on the stereo and we were inventing short stories or images or characters behind the notes…


… and as my mom was saying: “If someone loves music, flowers and animals cannot be bad at all.”


I fondly agree…



Monday, August 14, 2017

Nasotec VEM ceramic ball-bearings feet for Garrardzilla

The Garrardzilla wears a new set of upmarket red-shoes, folks;-)

I got them and immediately installed under the silver slate plinth.

I immediately noticed an improved mid- and high-end, something which made me to lower half a db on high and mid knob on the Mayer crossover...

Sure the industrial rubber feet I used previously sounded natural and right, yet... all rigid mounting 301 - i.e. no rubber washers between chassis and plinth, arm and arm pod and now, under the plinth - all brought me to a tighter, extremely dynamic overall sound, natural and even more right, if possible.

I'm short of words... unfortunately my writing skills are not up to par to my listening skill, apparently;-)

I listened two times to my new reference disc, Gilliam Welch and David Rawlings, as the guitars were so beautiful and the voices were so natural.

Some of my friends who were in my studietto will think I'm going nut, but... what can I say?

These feet added an immeasurable something to the Garrardzilla magic... I could dare affirming now it's perfect and not perfectible!

... but, who knows?

Why limiting the future improvements and surprises this amazing passion is able to give?

If you own an idler-wheel turntable, my advice or suggestion is: try these feet...

You could remain jaw-dropped, like I was...

Thanking Chan-Dong Son of Nasotec for his support and care for details... and...  yes, folks: I bought and paid for these accessories and I'd do again and again.

My Music Machine!