Features

Sort By: Post DateTitle Publish Date
Mike Mettler  |  Feb 07, 2024  |  2 comments

Table Toppers returns anew here in 2024! Recently, we asked the AP faithful to “show us your turntables!” for an all-new feature section titled Table Toppers — and now it’s time for the first series installment of the new year. Here in Take 3, we introduce you to the system of Vince, who lives in the Santa Cruz mountains in Northern California. Read on to see all the cool gear that constitutes Vince’s setup, what his favorite stereo shop to frequent is and why, how he resolved a noise issue with his table, and what his current favorite LPs to spin on it are. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Jan 03, 2024  |  2 comments

The Gruvy Awards are back yet again! An annual event, The Gruvys are given to the best products AnalogPlanet reviewed in the most recent calendar year. This time around, the Gruvys honor the gear we tested in 2023 and subsequently found to possess a combination of high build quality, exceptional sonics, and in the case of less expensive gear, provide great value for the money. Read on to see what products made the 2023 AP Gruvy Awards cut. . .

Mike Mettler, Mark Smotroff  |  Dec 30, 2023  |  12 comments

Looks like another year has gone by with a seemingly endless release-cycle parade consisting of scores of brand-new LPs from both known artists and untested newcomers alike, along with a myriad of archival vinyl reissues and overstuffed box sets galore — a good number of them presented in the much-preferred AAA form to boot. With the calendar set to turn over to 2024 any day now, that means it’s high time to assess the best of what we’ve heard on wax during the past 12 months. Read on to see AP editor Mike Mettler and chief LP reviewer Mark Smotroff’s respective lists of the top archival and new LP releases of 2023. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Dec 12, 2023  |  7 comments

Table Toppers is back in full force! As you may recall, we recently asked you, the AP faithful, to quite literally “show us your turntables!” for an all-new feature section titled Table Toppers — and ever since then, we’ve been combing through a treasure trove of your many great submissions. Here in Part 2, we introduce you to the fine, fine analog-centric system owned by Jake Juros, MD, a psychiatrist based in Los Angeles. Read on to see some cool pics of the good doctor’s fabulous setup, plus see what his favorite LPs are, gain some insight into his record-cleaning rituals, and learn the “real reason” why he loves vinyl more than streaming or CDs. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Nov 01, 2023  |  4 comments

Back in September, we asked you, the AP faithful, to “show us your turntables!” for an all-new feature section titled Table Toppers — and did you ever respond in full. Since then, we’ve been sifting through a cavalcade of your many great submissions, and we figured what better way to kick off the month of November than with the debut installment of Table Toppers — namely, a truly terrific trio of ’tables owned by Diogo Alfaiate of Lisbon, Portugal. Read on to see a score of cool pics of Diogo’s amazing system, plus get his firsthand account of his lifelong love of vinyl. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Oct 12, 2023  |  2 comments

We’re always happy to see when new vinyl-centric record labels crop up with a clear mission, and that leads us directly to the M.O. that’s fueling Inner Groove Records. The fledgling label’s inaugural release is a 180g 1LP reissue of Lim Taylor’s long lost 1974 funk/soul gem You Hear Me Knocking, an album that initially surfaced on Ray Charles’ custom Crossover Records imprint. Read on to see how you can secure your own copy of Knocking before this strictly limited-edition LP is gone, gone, gone. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Jan 12, 2023  |  3 comments

Jeff Beck, an innovative guitarist of the highest order, passed away in his native England on January 10 at age 78, following a brief illness. Beck — who bent notes and wrangled chords like no other guitar player could — made his initial mark as a member of The Yardbirds in the mid-1960s before branching out on his own with the Jeff Beck Group and other ensuing solo ventures. Blow by Blow and Wired, Beck’s million-selling instrumental-driven albums of the mid-1970s, merged the finest tenets of fusion, funk, and rock into a genre unto itself that I’m calling Beckism — in turn shaping the template for vocal-less releases by artists of all walks of musical life for years to come. Naturally, the balance of Beck’s vaunted recording career can be appreciated on vinyl via LPs and 45s both vintage and new. Read on to get our take on a number of Beckism highlights on vinyl that define the legacy of this truly unique guitarist for the ages. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Dec 01, 2022  |  4 comments

Christine McVie, vocalist/keyboardist and one of the principal songwriters in Fleetwood Mac, passed away in her native England yesterday, November 30, at age 79, following a brief illness. McVie — who made her initial impact on Britain’s blues-centric concert and recording circuit in the late 1960s under her given name, Christine Perfect — was perhaps best known for chart-ready singalong Fleetwood Mac hits like “Don’t Stop,” “Little Lies,” and “Over My Head,” but her musical legacy runs much, much deeper than that. It seems only fitting that we here at AnalogPlanet salute such a stellar six-decade recording and performing career with highlights of McVie’s work on vinyl — some, if not many LPs and 45s of which are likely in your own collections. Read on to get our take on the legacy of this truly unique songbird on LP. . .

Malachi Lui  |  Jun 15, 2022  |  3 comments
(Review Explosion, curated by contributing editor Malachi Lui, is a guide to notable recent releases and reissues. It focuses on the previous few months' new releases for which we don't have time or energy to cover more extensively.)
Malachi Lui  |  Jun 13, 2022  |  54 comments
Whether it's the 60s material controlled by ABKCO or the 1971-onward catalog owned by the band, the Rolling Stones' discography is among the world's most tirelessly and excessively reissued; every few years, there's yet another remastered, repressed, repackaged reissue of the same decades-old classics. After several mediocre reissues of the Rolling Stones Records albums (particularly the first and best two, Sticky Fingers and Exile On Main Street), AnalogPlanet editor Michael Fremer found the half-speed mastered 2018 Studio Albums Vinyl Collection 1971–2016 box set (now available as individual albums) to best capture the original LPs' spirit, even if sometimes lacking in transparent analog sparkle. However, I thought another perspective on the Sticky Fingers and Exile reissues, also taking into account the Japanese flat transfer CDs, would be useful.
Malachi Lui  |  Jun 01, 2022  |  9 comments
(Review Explosion, curated by contributing editor Malachi Lui, is a guide to notable recent releases and reissues. It focuses on the previous few months' new releases for which we don't have time or energy to cover more extensively.)
Malachi Lui  |  May 31, 2022  |  7 comments
(Review Explosion, curated by contributing editor Malachi Lui, is a guide to notable recent releases and reissues. It focuses on the previous few months' new releases for which we don't have time or energy to cover more extensively.)
Joseph W. Washek  |  May 16, 2022  |  2 comments
On the evenings of July 12, 13, and 14, 1957, Bill Broonzy made his last recordings at Universal Recording Studios in Chicago. He was suffering from lung cancer, was scheduled to be operated on in a few days, and had been told that he would probably not be able to sing after the operation.

Nathan Zeller  |  May 15, 2022  |  26 comments
The $725 ($995 CAD) io is Rega Research’s entry level integrated amplifier. At 30 watts per channel into 8Ω—compared to the more costly Brio’s 50—the io aims toward listeners using easy-to-drive loudspeakers and/or headphones. Featuring the Brio’s moving magnet phono preamplifier and class A/B power amplifier stage, the io strives to borrow at a lower price point the Brio’s sonic characteristics: wonderful detail, wide dynamic range, and raw musicality. It shares the more costly Brio’s high quality “Alps Alpine” potentiometer and linear power supply. Rega even offers a lifetime warranty against any potential manufacturing defects. With its integrated phono preamplifier, two line level inputs, 3.5mm headphone output and remote control, the io offers everything a beginner hobbyist may require… at least theoretically.

Malachi Lui  |  Apr 28, 2022  |  42 comments
(Review Explosion, curated by contributing editor Malachi Lui, is AnalogPlanet’s guide to notable recent releases and reissues. It focuses on the previous few months’ new releases for which we don’t have time or energy to cover more extensively.)

Pages

X