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Michael Fremer Posted: Jul 20, 2012 11 comments
There was no "sophomore slump" for Bob Dylan. Quite the contrary. His first album brought promise, but it was an album of covers with but two originals and it hardly sold. Some at Columbia called signing Dylan "Hammond's Folly," and the lackluster sales for Dylan's debut seemed to back them up.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Jul 20, 2012 21 comments
In Part 1 we explained the importance of proper azimuth setup. Now, on to how to achieve it! While using a digital oscilloscope is the most accurate method, it also requires you to spend hundreds of dollars to buy one and then you have to learn how to use it. That's not really necessary for most analog devotees, and so we're not going to go into the details here. If you insist, you'll have to buy one and figure it out using the methodology that will be described, which is generally applicable to whichever way you choose to go.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Jul 19, 2012 4 comments
"Azimuth" is generally defined as the perpendicularity of the cantilever to the record surface. Some tonearms, including most (but not all) gimbaled tonearms (ones with fixed bearings like Rega and fixed head shell SME's don't allow you to adjust that parameter. You are at the mercy of the cartridge manufacturer, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't check your cartridge's performance even if you can't adjust it.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Jul 17, 2012 10 comments
Originally released in June of 1972, Bowie's "rock concept album" broke the then still obscure musician and changed the face of rock'n'roll forever—and that ain't hyperbole. If this wasn't the album that gave Freddie Mercury his dream, I can't imagine what was.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Jul 13, 2012 90 comments
Before the lucky winner gets his or her VPI Traveler and Dynavector 20x2H combo, they will be shipped to the editor's home......

Note - to sign up for the sweeps, you need to go to the sweeps page.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Jul 11, 2012 22 comments
Do you really need a musical discussion at this point in time? All I can say is that in the "Summer of Love" of 1967, all you could hear coming from car radios, and open windows was the edited version of "Light My Fire." It defined that summer for most of my peers and was the perfect calling card with which to beg for some action from a date. Hard to believe that was 45 years ago.

Michael Fremer Posted: Jul 09, 2012 23 comments
OK this feature is where I vent about things non-audio. The name refers to a Gerry Rafferty tune from the album of the same name. It's a fantastic record, and on the UK Translatlantic original, it sounds so too. The American Blue Thumb is not bad.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Jul 07, 2012 10 comments
You can tell me yours, but my first encounter with Thelonious Monk was the 1963 Columbia album Criss-Cross(CS 8838). I'd given up on rock'n'roll, which had become all Fabian and Frankie Avalon-ed out and new musical adventures of a more adult nature were in order for this high-schooler.

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Michael Fremer Posted: Jul 06, 2012 16 comments
Dear Mr Fremer, I curse you, Sir! You are the devil. Not only have you converted me to appreciate the many virtues of vinyl playback.... But you have also quite remarkably managed to make me question my own sanity!

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Michael Fremer Posted: Jul 06, 2012 11 comments
It's a bit late in the day to write a review of the music on this album, which concerns itself mostly with how the music business chews up musicians with dreams and spits them out—not that Syd Barrett, the subject of "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" was done in by the business.