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Michael Fremer Posted: Mar 18, 2013 41 comments
Howard Stern crapped all over me today on his radio show. The opening salvo came just after he admitted that he really doesn't listen to music anymore, couldn't care less and couldn't bring himself to play David Bowie's new album.
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Michael Fremer Posted: Mar 16, 2013 15 comments
Oh well. My segment on Gary Dell'Abbate's and Jon Hein's VH-1 Classic TV show "For What It's Worth" aired last night. I thought it was next Thursday evening.
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Michael Fremer Posted: Mar 16, 2013 1 comments
Lyra Arion moving-coil step-up transformer

"The killer cycles, the killer Hertz, / the passage of my life is measured out in shirts," as Brian Eno once sang. In 1997 I measure out the vitality of the analog revival by how long it takes my Dick to fill with new vinyl. It doesn't take more than a few weeks, and a Dick holds about 75 records. Dick, by the way, is a sturdy, inexpensive, attractively finished, LP-sized, wooden slatted crate sold at Ikea, the Swedish home furnishing giant. As at Linn, everything at Ikea has a weird, consonant-heavy name.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Mar 13, 2013 4 comments
Whether or not you appreciate the mono "old 78rpm" sound of Bryan Ferry's re-imagining of songs from his catalog as "jazz age" singles (I do so far), I came upon a serious pressing problem on side two track three that I brought up to Bob Ludwig, who gets mastering credit because I honestly wasn't sure if it was part of the " retro-plan" or a genuine pressing problem. In part that's because there's absolutely nothing visible to indicate a problem.
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Michael Fremer Posted: Mar 13, 2013 8 comments
You always remember your first one. For me it was an Oracle Delphi turntable back in 1982. I'd gone to Christopher Hansen's in LA to buy a brand-new one, but as luck would have it, a barely used one had just been traded in by film director Roger Corman's son, and I was able to get the Delphi/Magnepan unipivot tonearm combo for a few hundred dollars less than the cost of a new 'table. My first exposure to a wobbly-armed unipivot gave me the creeps, but the deal was too good to pass up.
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Michael Fremer Posted: Mar 10, 2013 7 comments
Why am I reviewing a CD???? The answer(s) are easy. Firstly, this loving tribute to Les Paul featuring longtime trio cohort Lou Pallo and others with whom Les played at Fat Tuesdays and the Iridium is musically fabulous assuming you like the timeless "old school" style.
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Michael Fremer Posted: Mar 08, 2013 14 comments
Last Record Store Day Sony/Legacy released four mono LPs: Miles Davis's Miles Ahead and Porgy and Bess, The Fabulous Johnny Cash (released by IMPEX last year in stereo) and Cheap Thrills by Big Brother and The Holding Company featuring Janis Joplin.
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Michael Fremer Posted: Mar 05, 2013 37 comments
A reader alerted me to the fact that some online sites are selling a variety of "Pink Moon" reissues including one from the aptly named "Phantom" label. Be careful!
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Michael Fremer Posted: Mar 04, 2013 7 comments
For a company whose initials stand for “Scale Model Equipment” the massive turntables SME builds are anything but. The company, founded in post WW II England, began as a manufacturer of scale models, then popular in the engineering trade.

SME founder Alastair Robertson-Aikman was an audio hobbyist who one day decided to apply his engineering acumen and put to work the talented designers and machinists in his employ to produce a tone arm for his own use.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Mar 03, 2013 6 comments
It's time to put to bed a long standing record myth: that UK Decca and UK-pressed London records are different pressings, even if they have the same matrix numbers, mother numbers and stamper numbers. This myth has persisted for a very long time, fed by people who claim to hear differences between such records even when the information in the lead-out groove area is identical.