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Michael Fremer Posted: Sep 13, 2012 18 comments
Does it matter that the rattle and phlegm in Bob Dylan's voice makes it sound as if your midrange driver has blown? No. Hell no. In fact, despite the ragged vocals and 50 years since his debut, this is Dylan's best album in quite some time.
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Michael Fremer Posted: Sep 10, 2012 10 comments
Back in 2005 I reviewed what was then the $1500 Jasmine LP-2 MM/MC phono preamplier. It was a two box unit with an umbilical between the power supply and the signal path circuitry. The 70dB gain MC input was commendably quiet and the unit sounded pretty good but I couldn’t justify the performance for the price.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Sep 07, 2012 10 comments
Bob Dylan cracks himself up performing some of these songs. Producer Tom Wilson must have gotten it, but recording engineers Roy Halee and Fred Catero might have been ready to stop the tape. After all, this was staid, but still pre-corporate Columbia Records. It was “straight” and at that point Halee was more experienced recording Percy Faith than Bob.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Sep 04, 2012 0 comments
Unauthorized bio-docs are among the most difficult to pull off. You don't have the cooperation of the subject and that usually keeps those close away as well. Yet, despite some glaring defects, this two and a half hour look at Mr. Eno's incredibly productive period between 1971 and 1977 inexplicably titled "The Man Who Fell To Earth" offers many worthwhile moments.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Sep 04, 2012 5 comments
Brian Eno's early influences include John Cage, Steve Reich and other minimalists. He was more art than rocker. In 1971 when he joined forces with Bryan Ferry's Roxy Music he was more a knob twiddler than a musician. He worked saxophonist Andy Mackay's VCS3 synthesizer and along with a pair of Revox A77s provided the electronic sounds and "tape treatments" that on the group's first two albums, helped create Roxy Music's unique sound.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Sep 04, 2012 8 comments
The great Mexican-American roots-rocker Alejandro Escovedo is back with yet another great, hard rocking yet deeply thoughtful album, his second with veteran producer Tony Visconti. Visconti goes all the way back to David Bowie's epic The Man Who Sold the World and if you hear echoes of that album on some tracks here, like the haunting background voices on "Sally Was a Cop", the album's most powerful song, it's not a coincidence.

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Jon Iverson Posted: Sep 01, 2012 744 comments
Register to win a Music Hall MMF-7.1 Turntable With Cartridge Plus Set-Up Tools and Vinyl From Music Direct (MSRP $1,700) we are giving away.

All the Analog Planet readers should know Roy Hall of Music Hall Audio. His “Manufacturer’s Comments” in Stereophile are legendary. While Roy may like to give reviewers a hard time, he sure does know a few things about designing fantastic sounding turntables. The MMF-7.1 is Music Direct Best-Seller and a favorite among vinyl lovers and the high-end audio community.

[This sweepstakes is now closed.]

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Michael Fremer Posted: Aug 31, 2012 7 comments
The fourth Doors album was not particularly well-received when first issued in 1969. The inclusion of horns and strings was for many a deal breaker, but what really made more pull back was the sense of a less than fully integrated ensemble appearing to come apart at the seams.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Aug 31, 2012 9 comments
Pro-Ject's $299 Essential costs 25% less than the recently reviewed Carbon. So what don'tyou get for your minus $100?

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Michael Fremer Posted: Aug 29, 2012 13 comments
The stereo mix of Pet Sounds issued on SACD by Mobile Fidelity and on vinyl by Capitol a few years ago is interesting and was well done, but Brian mixed it and intended it to be listened to in mono, which is how it was originally released back in 1966.

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