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AM’s Top 10 Pop/Rock/Folk Surround Discs - SACD, DVD-A, DTS, etc…Part 1

Ray Sings, Basie Swings“This album was a project of Concord records producer John Burk, who discovered the tapes from European concert dates in the Fantasy Records archive that contained these unreleased Norman Granz Pablo masters. Burk had spearheaded Ray’s last great recording project, Genius Loves Company (see below), and saw potential in the great vocals in otherwise unreleasable multitrack tapes…”

Audio Ideas: Andrew Marshall Visits Newform Research to See and Hear Their (BIG) New Ribbons

John Meyer Poses with two of his smaller Ribbon Speakers“Coaxial Ribbon LineSource models come in two versions. The LineSource Reference [floorstander] is suitable for front loudspeakers in medium to very large rooms with virtually no restriction on height as they are completely scalable. [In other words,] the LSRs are highly configurable and tuneable to allow the ideal match for room and listening requirements…”

SuperSounds: IsoMike in Surround SACD from Kimber Kable

Iso Mike SACD“The artists featured in these two releases, consisting of 3 SACD multichannel/CD hybrid discs, comprise the Fry Street String Quartet, who came to these recording sessions with a string of awards and prizes in their young history. Winners of the Milennium Grand Prize at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition, the First Prize at the Yellow Springs Competition, and also receiving an award at the Banff International String Quartet Competition, the Fry Streeters have been a busy bunch. They’re currently in residence as the Faculty Quartet at Utah State’s School of the Arts…”

Hy End: Hy Sarick Reviews New Releases of Music from Sibelius, Vivaldi and Mussorgsky

Sibelius Kullervo (Telarc)

“The Kullervo Symphony was the first large orchestral work attempted by Sibelius. Based on a tragic and quite gruesome story from the collection of epic Finnish tales known as The Kalevala, the work was very successful at its first performance. The work is diffuse and rambling at times with definite echoes of Wagner and Tchaikovsky…”

AM Listens to More Vinyl - Mobile Fidelity, Pure Pleasure & EMI’s Abbey Road Rock Classics

The Beatles - LoveWhat interested me in the discography of the Liddypool boys was the compilation done by George and Giles Martin for the Cirque du Soleil show LOVE (0946 379 1 1), which is also available in an incredible surround SACD that takes full advantage of the medium (My 10 Favourite Pop/Rock Surround SACDs are coming soon to this space). Here we have 4 superb stereo sides that reshape and reinvigorate many Beatles tunes…”

Audio Ideas: Customer Service Making the GRADO!

GRADO SR 125 SmallMy decade-old Grado SR-125 headphones don’t owe me anything after all these years of monitoring recordings in progress, or offering wee-small-hours solace for insomnia. I had never liked the stock ear cushions, however, and had bought a pair of larger, deeper foam cushions from Strategic Audio Developments called upgradables that were much more comfortable (Attempts to Google this company were unsuccessful).

Audio Ideas: The Noo Radio Tiew - Amateur Radio, Paid For By You!

CBC Logo“After a couple of weeks with the “noo Radio Tiew”, I must say that I’ve never seen such a complete sabotage of a great radio service in my 45-year career as broadcaster and writer. Just about all the core values have been thrown away, starting with professionalism. Listening to these groping amateurs on the air takes me back to my days of running the Queen’s University radio station, CFRC, in the late 60s and early 70s…”

AM Finds Some Special Vinyl in Speakers Corners, Union Station, Abbey Road & Other Places of Pure Pleasure

Ray Charles - Genius Loves Company“I have to confess that in 2008 I’ve been very remiss in my music reviewing, and not for want of available recordings. There have just seemed to be too many other distractions, such as tuner and projector projects (the former in its final phase, and the latter just getting lit up, so to speak, with two reviews already posted), recording projects (two organ CDs with Ian Sadler), and numerous other activities, including grandchildren and the day-to-day running of AIG…”

Ox Box #5 - Music I’m Enjoying - From Mahler to Radiohead

Radiohead - Hail to the Theif“Hearing old favourites, now, on my Aurum Acoustics system is a very special experience.‭ ‬The excellence of the sound couples directly with the matter of artistic worth.‭ ‬I’m not saying the New Philharmonia was in my listening room,‭ ‬but,‭ ‬you get the idea.‭ ‬Neither had I realized how well recorded are both performances.‭ ‬The Mahler was recorded in Watford Town Hall in‭ ‬1969.‭ It’s simply stunning in its detail and transparency…”

Audio Ideas: Being Transformed

Andrew Marshall, 2008In the past year I’ve gone through an experience I never expected, the process of moving from the best head amp I’d ever used to a series of transformers in my phono system. It all started with the final fate of my twice-retipped Ortofon MC-3000 MK II, which was to become mono, the left-channel coil failing. And the thing about this wonderfully civilized and detailed cartridge was its very low output, a nominal 30 microvolts, which dictated the active MC stage, the legendary McIntosh MCP-1…”

OX Box #4: Bob Oxley Delves Further Into The Aurum Integris System

Aurum Acoustics Speaker“One of the hazards of being an audiophile is being honest about the sound of your own system. Some times it is hard to assess and, often, we make up things. The way we feel about our systems is almost always relative to what else we have heard. I am satisfied until I have the chance to hear something better. It’s not easy, and you have no idea where it’s going to end…”

Audio Ideas: Wrecking Radio 2 - The Sequel & The Growing Opposition

CBC Logo“I was contemplating how to continue to address the ongoing events at the CBC with respect to changes to Radio 2, when an email arrived that summed up events so far so well, that I decided to quote from it at length. The release comes from Peter McGilllivray, radio2@petermcgillivray.com, as he says, “representing a group of people that were ticked off enough at the Changes at CBC to join a Facebook group to try and organize some action to stop it all…”

OX Box #3: Controlling Room Reflections

Bob Oxley at Home“My system (see OxBox 2) is sounding better than ever. There are three reasons of which two make sense. Number one continues to be the op-amp modification (see OxBox 1) of the Aurum Integris CDP which is my CD player, preamp and phono section all in one…”

Audio Ideas: Some Year End Thoughts from Andrew Marshall

UHF Cover, Nagra, Lyrec

“2007 has been an eventful year for all of us at AIG. The transition from print publication to expanded online presence has occupied quite a bit of it, and I am both delighted and relieved that it has been accomplished with only the expected growing pains, for the most part. Aaron called upon some more expert help than himself to get it all done, and you may have read about it in our earlier post on the subject, so I won’t go into specifics about it here…”

OX Box #2: Bob Oxley Reflects on his Audio System

PSB Stratus Gold I “I want to tell you about my system. I have to, so that you will have some frame of reference as you read what I say in my “OxBoxes” about hardware, software, and listening to both. Let’s start with the weak link, my turntable. Please brace yourself: I spin my vinyl on an ancient Kenwood KD-500, a slotting, cogging, direct drive. All I can say is, it has survived a period when I thought I would never again listen to anything but CD (and heaped scorn on Stereophile’s Michael Fremer as he kept the vinyl flame alight), to the time when I came to realize there is gold in them thar grooves…”

Audio Ideas: CBC Radio Two - Intelligent Music Selection Becomes A Sausage Factory

CBC Logo“At my daughter’s wedding in May 07, after polite greetings, the first thing one of the other principal parents said to me, “My God, what’s gone wrong with CBC Radio Two all-of-a-sudden?” Of course, having worked there for a number of years in the 70s, I was thought to be something of an expert. I have kept in touch with friends inside, but quite a few of those folks have retired, or fled, like I did, in disgust….”

OX Box #1: Bob Oxley with More Thoughts on the Aurum Acoustics Integris CDP

Aurum Acoustics CDP CD Player/PreampThis is my first collection of ideas and observations about our obsessively engrossing avocation on the newly re-launched Audio Ideas Guide on the web. During AIG’s print life I was a regular contributor, mostly writing record reviews. The greater flexibility of the web will let me talk about many things to do with both sound and music. I will still be writing formal disc reviews and the very occasional equipment review. I am excited.

Welcome to the brand new AIG Online!

AIG 25th Anniversary issue

More than a redesign, AIG online has been upgraded from the world of traditional, static HTML pages to what is known as a Content Management System (CMS). Don’t worry, we’ll spare you all the gory technical details. What this means in real terms, besides a great deal of work for Webmaster Aaron Marshall over the past several months, is that the site now runs off a database, and is capable of a great many more things than it was before. Some of these capabilities are already being tapped, and many more will be deployed in the future….

AIG High Resolution Recordings: Ray Montford - Live Imagery

Ray Montford:  Live Imagery

Ray Montford’s long awaited concert album, Live Imagery, delivers the promise of his wonderful, intuitively creative and experimental guitar mastery. Literally writing with his fingers, as he plays in an improvisatory folk and world, jazz and pop, and ultimately brilliant and uncategorizable style, Ray performs for over an hour with percussion virtuoso Rob Greenway, and amazing all-over-the-neck bassist Ian de Souza, LIVE! There are also guest performances by Monica Federigo, cello, and Mary Hanson on keyboards.

Bob Dylan, Chronicles: Volume One

Bob Dylan: Chronicles Vol 1

“While most autobiographies concentrate on the highlight reel, Chronicles is spent almost entirely on the practice field. And it makes sense-that’s where Dylan feels safest, away from prying eyes, labels, and questions. Notorious for ignoring the press and the extroversive demands of his fans, Dylan maintains this stance by concentrating on internal, personal moments rather than the infamous events that the public (via the press) cling to…”


  Outside the Speakers

    Random Thoughts on the Music Mask
    NPR on Whether Audiophiles Still Exist
    Audiophile Grade Mics?
    CDs Sales Die, LP Sales Fly
    Some High End 'Phones from CES

Got a tip? news@audio-ideas.com
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