Michael Fremer  |  Jan 08, 2014  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  20 comments
Pro-Ject announced at CES 2014 a major line upgrade. We have a GoPro video covering all of it but because of pathetic internet speed we are unable to post at this time. It might have to wait until after CES.

For now, here are the details: The $199 Elemental is now in full production. This is an "out of the box" ready to play 'table complete with Ortofon OM-5 cartridge. The intent is to kill the grew chewing Crosely junk by convincing budget buyers that spending $60 on a turntable and $30 on a 180g version of Dark Side of the Moon is DUMB.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 08, 2014  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  4 comments
The 2014 International CES opened yesterday, with attendance down due to the extremely cold weather conditions gripping the nation, but among vinyl fans warm feelings prevailed as sales were the highest in 2013 since the 1991 debut of Soundscan. And it can be argued that Soundscan barely "scratches the surface" of actual record sales.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 05, 2014  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  6 comments
The moving coil cartridge advantage comes in great part due to its far lower moving mass. A relatively light-weight coil moves and reacts faster than a far heavier magnet. The lighter the coil, the less the mass.

Over the past few years, thanks to improved magnets and coil and former materials as well as how they are implemented, designers have found ways to increase output efficiency. Thus fewer turns of wire are required to produce a given voltage output.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 03, 2014  |  6 comments
Frank Zappa’s sprawling 1969 soundtrack from a movie (he correctly supposes in a speech balloon) “….you will probably never get to see”, has ripened beautifully with age.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 02, 2014  |  31 comments
Analogplanet posts files here containing a minute’s worth of music recorded at 96/24 resolution taken from the stupendous sounding out of print Wilson Audiophile LP Winds of War and Peace (W8823). Our thanks to Dave Wilson of Wilson Audio Specialties who originally engineered it with Bruce Leek and Joseph Magee, and granted us permission to use it.

The recording of the National Symphonic Winds conducted by Lowell Graham was minimally miked using Sennheisers and captured to 30IPS ½” analog tape on John Curl’s Ultramaster reel to reel deck. The sound of the enormous bass drum is absolutely sensational as you will hear. Be prepared.

Which phono preamplifier will you think sounds best? The Rega Aria? the Lehmann Black Cube SE II, the P.S. Audio NuWave Phono Converter, the Musical Fidelity M1 ViNL or the Ypsilon VPS-100?

The first four moderately priced units were tested using a Pro-Ject Xtension10 turntable ($2995) and Transfiguration Phoenix MC cartridge ($4249). The Ypsilon ($26,000+ $6000 for the “L” series transformer) was paired with the new Lyra Etna cartridge ($6995), mounted on the Kuzma 4 Point tonearm ($6500) installed on the Continuum Caliburn (don’t ask).

You’ll find reviews of the first three on The $1199 Musical Fidelity M1 ViNL was reviewed a few years ago in Stereophile and used as a benchmark in the Aria and Lehmann reviews.

The ultra-expensive front end was thrown in just as a reference, though none of these files will be identified so you will be traveling “blind.” After listening, please vote for your favorite. When we have a sufficient number of votes we will reveal which was which. Enjoy!

Here are the five files: Right click on PC or Control click on a Mac to download to your desktop.

Preamp Test File #1 (20.8 MB)

Preamp Test File #2 (20.9 MB)

Preamp Test File #3 (20.6 MB)

Preamp Test File #4 (19.9 MB)

Preamp Test File #5 (20.6 MB)

Five Phono Preamplifiers Compared. You Be the Judge - Pick One! (File #2 updated)
Michael Fremer  |  Jan 01, 2014  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  18 comments
What caused the abrasions seen in the picture of the one of four abraded LPs in the Record Store Day Roy Orbison box set? Analogplanet asked the question and wondered whether it was industrial sabotage, sloppy handing or a shipping snafu. We now think we have an answer.

Michael Fremer  |  Dec 29, 2013  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  8 comments
This is a review of the NuWave Phono Converter's phono preamp section only. A review of the double DSD based A/D converter will follow soon.

Multipurpose products like PS Audio’s snazzy new NuWave Phono Converter offer a mix of great possibilities and possible compromises. In one sleek box you have a capable and versatile MM/MC phono preamplifier and an analog to digital converter through which you can conveniently digitize your vinyl—as well as any analog input you feed it— at up to double DSD resolution. All for $1895.

Michael Fremer  |  Dec 23, 2013  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  8 comments
Canada based Kronos Audio Products announced the introduction of Sparta, a lower priced edition of its dual platter turntable design. The new dual platter $21,000 'table (introductory price) is similar in concept to the more expensive Kronos Limited Edition and Kronos PRO models.

Michael Fremer  |  Dec 23, 2013  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  1 comments
At times he didn't look much like a rock star—and at other times he looked like nothing but one. On stage he didn't act like one either. He hardly moved. Dressed in black and wearing black-rimmed "coke bottle" sun glasses the self-effacing Roy Orbison just stood before the microphone singing and strumming his guitar.

His lips barely parted but what came out seemingly so effortless and free, was a voice that defied and continues to defy explanation. While singing about heartache and loneliness Orbison exuded a spooky detachment that made him sound more like a channeler than an entertainer.

Michael Fremer  |  Dec 20, 2013  |  First Published: Dec 31, 1969  |  1 comments
While it's probably too late to order this book as a Christmas present for your vinyl and classical music loving significant other or friend, (or for yourself) since the book must be ordered from Greece, you could put an IOU in a box, wrap it nicely and your giftee will be happy to receive it.