Michael Fremer

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 02, 2020  |  12 comments
This March 25, 1962 recording of Ella Fitzgerald performing live at Berlin’s Sportpalast is remarkable for several reasons, starting with the then 44 year old’s exuberant, high energy performance backed by the trio of Paul Smith on piano, Wilfred Middlebrooks on bass and Stan Levey on drums.

Michael Fremer  |  Nov 02, 2020  |  First Published: Nov 02, 2020  |  10 comments
Let’s head off at the pass what will surely be in the comments section under this review of a remarkably compact, full-featured, remote-controllable music playback system that includes in a single box, a high quality Pro-Ject Debut Carbon Esprit 3 speed turntable with dustcover, fitted with an Ortofon 2M “Silver” cartridge (incorrectly identified as OM2 on the Andover website—it’s similar to the Ortofon 2M Red but with fewer winds of the same silver-plated copper wire found in Ortofon’s 2M Bronze and 2M Black) that alone sells for $599 and includes an acrylic platter and 8.6” carbon fiber tonearm, an A/D converter, a 192/24 bit DAC, analog and digital inputs plus a subwoofer “out”, Bluetooth ( Qualcomm APT-X) streaming and built in amplification (2 x 70 Class D watts to woofers and 2 x 30 watts to tweeters) and of course multiple (6) high quality speakers (4 “long throw” aluminum diaphragm woofers and a pair of Air Motion Transformer tweeters originally invented by Dr. Oskar Heil that uses metal-etched folded polyethylene sheets to move air in process we won’t go into here!).

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 28, 2020  |  First Published: Oct 28, 2020  |  6 comments
This is without a doubt one of the saddest/creepiest experiences I've ever had: Len Gregory, "The Cartridge Man" has for 30 years or so been manufacturing analog playback accessories, among them modified cartridges, a handy digital level and an excellent digital stylus force gauge featuring rechargeable batteries.

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 27, 2020  |  32 comments
Talk about bad luck: Love And Theft Bob Dylan’s first album in four years, his 43rd (at the time, including live and studio) and the follow up to the million-selling, triple-Grammy Award winning (including “Album of the Year”) Time Out of Mind had a September 11th, 2001 drop date. Buildings dropped instead.

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 27, 2020  |  12 comments
Analogue Productions returns with another in its very popular “Wonderful Sounds” series that began with a Christmas compilation and followed up in 2018 with a female vocalist assemblage.

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 26, 2020  |  First Published: Oct 26, 2020  |  9 comments
Schiit Audio today announced a pulley update for the SOL turntable that will produce correct speeds on the SOL turntable. The new pulley is currently being prototyped and will go into production within the next 3-4 weeks, after which all current SOL owners will receive one in the mail free of charge.
Michael Fremer  |  Oct 23, 2020  |  First Published: Oct 23, 2020  |  25 comments
(Blue Note Press Release): OCTOBER 23, 2020—We’re proud to present the Blue Note Classic Vinyl Reissue Series, a continuation of our acclaimed Blue Note 80 Vinyl Reissue Series which was launched in celebration of our 80th anniversary in 2019. The Classic Series will once again feature all-analog 180g vinyl pressings in standard packaging that are mastered by Kevin Gray directly from the original master tapes and manufactured at Optimal in Germany.

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 22, 2020  |  First Published: Oct 22, 2020  |  49 comments
(Schiit just announced it is producing a new pulley that will run the turntable at the correct speed and will send them free to all existing customers.)Executive decision: no Schiit jokes, ok? Especially since the Sol turntable is so well conceived, designed, executed, made in America and remarkably priced at $799 including a $119 Audio Technica AT-VM95EN cartridge.

That said, if you want an “open the box, plug and play” type turntable, the SOL might not be for you. On the other hand, if you buy one with the cartridge already installed, Schiit makes the Sol reasonably easy to set up.

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 21, 2020  |  First Published: Oct 21, 2020  |  6 comments
50 years after releasing his first solo album on which he played all of the instruments, wrote all of the songs (including "Maybe I'm Amazed", "Every Night" and "The Lovely Linda") and self-engineered, Sir Paul returns with McCartneyIII. In 1980 he released his second solo album McCartney II.

Michael Fremer  |  Oct 20, 2020  |  28 comments
Lang Lang, a certified classical music "superstar" much loved by audiences for his performances of the romantic repertoire and detested by the cognoscenti and critics for being overly dramatic and self-indulgent, waited until age 38 to release a fully realized recording of Bach's mathematically certified "Goldberg Variations"—a piece definitely at odds with his romantic "sweet spot" and one he says he mastered—at least technically—20 years ago, though he performed it for a teacher at age 17 from memory.

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