Michael Fremer

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 24, 2020  |  7 comments
Suave, swinging and exuberant, Michael Weiss’s self-produced Soul Journey sounds something like a big band playing on a Blue Note Records date, but it’s really a small ensemble making like a big one thanks to Weiss’s deft, harmonically-rich, rhythmically neck-snapping arrangements and free-spirited yet tightly drawn, well-meshed performances by the three man veteran horn section of saxophonist Steve Wilson, trumpet and flugelhorn player Ryan Kisor and trombonist Steve Davis.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 23, 2020  |  First Published: Jul 23, 2020  |  14 comments
Rhino will release on September 4th two new early Fleetwood Mac box sets: an 8 CD set Fleetwood Mac 1969-1974 that includes 7 studio albums plus an unreleased 1974 concert, and two versions of an all analog 4 LP+ 7" single set cut from the original master tapes by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 22, 2020  |  First Published: Jul 22, 2020  |  115 comments
Leaving aside for the moment the numbskulls who are so certain that A.C. power cords cannot possibly affect the sound of their audio systems that they can’t be bothered to actually listen for themselves—never mind that science is predicated upon observation— (plus of course they don’t believe anything they see, hear, taste, smell or touch unless it’s done under controlled “double-blind” conditions), there’s a big problem with heavy power cords: because of their heft, they often partially or sometimes fully pull out of the wall jack.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 20, 2020  |  First Published: Jul 20, 2020  |  28 comments
Monday, July 20, 2020 (Asheville, NC) - A full circle revival is underway for Asheville, NC’s Citizen-Times building. Once home to the daily paper’s printing facility and offices, the historic site will soon be unveiled with a new identity as a boutique vinyl pressing plant, record store and bar/cafe (and a new name):Citizen Vinyl. Founded by veteran music producer Gar Ragland and supported by a dream team of industry professionals and craftsmen, Citizen Vinyl is slated to become North Carolina’s first on site pressing plant, though its mission goes beyond just manufacturing great quality records.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 16, 2020  |  2 comments
Southern "New Age" is a new musical sub-genre for me, but if this is a typical example of it, y'all can be sure I'm on board. Luke Schneider coaxes from the 1967 emmons push-pull pedal steel guitar (named for the pedal steel guitar great, the late Buddy Emmons) cosmic otherworldly, uplifting heavenly sounds that instantly engage the head and message the heart.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 15, 2020  |  First Published: Jul 15, 2020  |  30 comments
Back in 1972 the original Thorens introduced the TD 160, a triple spring-suspended sub-chassis design that quickly became a long-in-production classic and the blueprint from which many other turntables, er, sprung—Linn for instance.

The original AR XA turntable designed by Edgar Villchur and introduced way back in 1961 for $58 was, to the best of my knowledge, the first to place the platter assembly and tone arm on the same sub-chassis isolated by a three point spring mount from the rest of the turntable (and from the outside world).

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 13, 2020  |  First Published: Jul 13, 2020  |  10 comments
Of course you can put a Grado cartridge on your Rega turntable without Hagerman Audio Labs' permission or help, but because of where Rega positions the motors on its turntables, doing that comes at a cost: hum.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 10, 2020  |  First Published: Jul 10, 2020  |  15 comments
A vinyl-loving physics professor at Florida State University emailed to tell me that William Stead, a "brilliant film student" was in his astronomy class and came up to the prof one day and told him he was a huge Bowie fan and that he loved vinyl. Stead made a short documentary about Doug and Michelle Allen, owners of Banana Records who I profiled in my Banana Records video, which you can find on the AnalogPlanet YouTube channel.

Michael Fremer  |  Jul 03, 2020  |  49 comments
What better time than during a period of self-isolation and social distancing could there be to explore Bach’s “Suites For Unaccompanied Cello”? Arguably, there’s no finer recorded performances than the ones Janos Starker performed for Mercury Records April 15 and 17, 1963, September 7-8, 1965 and December 21-22, 1965 (though some may prefer other performances by Casals, Rostropovich, Yo-Yo-Ma, etc.). I'm not here to argue with you. The finest version of these historic recordings, is without a doubt, this latest one from Analogue Productions and the sound is unassailable.

Michael Fremer  |  Jun 25, 2020  |  First Published: Jun 25, 2020  |  12 comments
(Photo: © The Prince Estate | Photographer: Jeff Katz)
The Prince Estate in partnership with Warner Records announced today an expanded reissue of Prince's "epochal" Sign O' the Times double LP including a "Super Deluxe" edition featuring 8 CDs+DVD or 13 LPs+DVD. Also a 3 CD/4 LP 180g Deluxe Edition and a remastered 2 CD/2 LP peach vinyl edition for those fans trying to moderate their Prince intake.

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