Michael Fremer  |  Jan 29, 2018  |  22 comments
At CES 2018 optical cartridge maker DS Audio introduced the ST-50 an elegant-looking "pad" type stylus cleaner that uses a transparent urethane pad developed for semi-conductor "clean room" air scrubbing.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 29, 2018  |  First Published: Jul 01, 2001  |  5 comments
A few issues ago, Sam Tellig gently mocked me with a comment about mobile record players. For those of you too young to remember, or who thought he was kidding, here's a photo of the late, great Lawrence Welk enjoying "Highway Hi-Fi" in his 1956 DeSoto convertible. The players, made by CBS-Columbia for Chrysler, featured a new 7" format record, the XLP, which provided up to 45 minutes per side thanks to its 162/3rpm speed and its pitch of 550 grooves per inch—twice the density of a standard LP. Playback required a special 0.25-mil stylus tracking at 2.5gm—about half a gram less pressure than, say, a $7600 Clearaudio Insider needs to track a regular LP in your living room! A flywheeled motor (there's nothing new under the sun) kept the 'table's speed stable under impossible conditions, and an ingenious arm design supposedly kept the stylus in the groove even around hairpin turns.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 27, 2018  |  29 comments
Concord's Craft Records division just released a deluxe two LP box set of Sonny Rollins' Way Out West recorded in March of 1957 in stereo and released by Contemporary Records first in mono in 1957 and then by Stereo Records (in association with Contemporary Records) in stereo probably in 1958 or perhaps later.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 26, 2018  |  2 comments
Novelist Douglas Kennedy described himself as a "jazz junkie" in a 2016 New York Times profile. After reading it, Newvelle Records co-founder Elan Mehler got in touch. Kennedy quickly responded.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 26, 2018  |  First Published: Jun 01, 2001  |  4 comments
Maybe Phil Spector was right. The legendary record producer was (and probably still is) a mono fan. Brian Wilson is said to have originally mixed the Beach Boys' Pet Sounds in mono because that's the way he heard it, due to a childhood hearing problem, but Spector's reasons were aesthetic, not medical. He simply preferred the way his complex, grandiose productions sounded when wedged into a single channel.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 25, 2018  |  2 comments
The cover art for British jazz vocalist and trumpeter Peter Horsfall's recently released LP makes clear the music's moody, lonely-at-night feel. There's always hope though, embodied in his cover of pianist Barry Harris's "Paradise", which you can listen to below, transcribed via the new Technics SL-1000R turntable fitted with an Ortofon A95.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 23, 2018  |  5 comments
My friend musician Eric Leefe will play The Klipsch Audio Mainstage at Cleveland's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this Friday January 26th at 2PM.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 22, 2018  |  26 comments
Mobile Fidelity just announced the availability for order of its Bridge Over Troubled Water reissue, produced as a limited to 7500 copies "one-step" double 45rpm release.

Michael Fremer  |  Jan 19, 2018  |  First Published: May 01, 2001  |  1 comments
In the age of Internet B2B comes a flurry of analog D2Ds! That's direct to disc, for those unfamiliar with the initialism—which includes the keepers of While the site correctly identified B2B as "business to business," a search there of "D2D" listed "date to desktop," "day to day," and "direct to data (ParkerVision, Inc.)." There's a page for "acronym submissions," so I submitted this addition: "D2D also refers to 'direct to disc'—a recording wherein a live microphone feed is used to cut a lacquer for release as a vinyl LP, thus bypassing recording tape or other intermediate storage devices."