Available at Whetstone Audio and select Apple Stores. Buy MU-SO Here!
So long Spotify, Pono, CD's, etc. There's a new kid on the block and he's not a lightweight. TIDAL is a new streaming service offering FLAC, i.e. CD quality. The library is enormous and a blast to go through. I was really surprised they had some of the bands I was throwing at it. The first week is free, then it's $19.95 a month. So, for the price of a single CD, you get them all! You will need to download Google Chrome to access the higher resolution. This is just the beginning. With Google Fiber, higher quality streaming will be the norm. Hopefully musicians will get paid.
Jim Eno has my undivided attention. As a drummer I'm blown away by his skills as drummer of Spoon. On top of that, he runs one of the best recording studios in Austin. Jim is putting out excellent recordings using old school analog 2" tape machines, top notch mics and compressors. Not to mention the vinyl is mastered directly to acetate. It doesn't get any more purist. The first release on the new series called "Public Hi-Fi Sessions" is with Norwegian songsmith Sondre Lerche. It's a three piece with Josh Zarbo on bass and Jim Eno on drums. Recorded live. A limited edition 45 RPM 12" EP pressed with nice artwork is only $12. I have a few. Hurry!
Percussionist and jazz legend Chico Hamilton passed away on November 26, 2013. He was ninety-two. The following ARTICLE was written for Wax Poetics Issue 23, June/July 2007.
Here's a super cool record label and blog with excellent music you've never heard before.
AWESOME TAPES FROM AFRICA
A couple of years ago, I took a chance on a relatively unknown (at least in the USA) speaker company out of Sweden. I lacked a speaker that could be tucked away in a bookcase or nestled up to the back wall. Normal people don't like to place behemoth speakers eight feet into a room. I had read about Guru in the European audio rags for a few years and decided to try some. My first client came from Florida and after buying a pair, he called back and ordered two more pairs to place throughout his home. That's when I knew something big (besides bass) was coming from these odd looking Guru QM10-2 speakers. Designed initially as recording studio monitors, the QM10-2 quickly became popular in Europe and has been paired exceedingly well with all of the usual suspects (check out my product lines). They just made sense. Now they have audio reviewers falling over themselves with their newest and smallest offering, Junior. I just so happen to have the ONLY pre production pair in North America. I've already pre sold several pair and am now waiting for the initial order to arrive later this month. Looking for a teeny tiny speaker that does 34Hz up to 30kHz? (most speakers claim about 40Hz-20kHz) You won't find any... unless you come demo the Jr.
$1250. Available in White, Black and Walnut.
Well, this is fun! After playing with tubes for awhile, we thought some solid state was in order. "Let's throw the DV gear on the 30.1's". "good idea, that'll slap 'em around a bit". So we set up the Naim Serve feeding the Line Magnetic 502CA DAC into the Dynavector L200 pre amp and the 170 watt HX100 amp. Auditorium 23 cables throughout.
Here's my review. "HOLY S#*T!"
Known mainly for their excellent phono cartridges, not much has been written about Dynavector electronics. There are two Dynavector factories. DV Japan makes cartridges and high quality model airplanes. DV New Zealand moved to Australia a few years ago and that's where the infamous P-75 phono pre amp is birthed. The Te Kaitora Rua cartridge is a collaboration between the two.
November 30, 1982 – Michael Jackson's Thriller is released.
It became the biggest selling album in both U.S. and international history, with more than 110 million copies sold and counting.
It also revolutionized the making of music videos and confirmed Jackson's place as one of the greatest artists and entertainers of all time.
This is Erika Bale. She's seen the Beatles over 200 times!! Erika used to skip school and see them at The Cavern Club during their tea time set. She said they played twice a day and she would go both times. She was a fan when they were just a little skiffle band from Liverpool. I asked her if she was one of those screaming girls. "Oh No! I was a fan before all that nonsense." She even had dinner with Pete Best! Erika was super cool!
Jeff Magid from Columbia records told an entertaining story. He was listening to one of the Beatles test pressings and heard a faint chirping noise. After checking cables and listening again, it was gone. Then it returned. He moved a speaker and there was a small beatle behind it. The bug flew at him and he screamed! Then he promptly smashed the beatle..(sorry PETA). heh heh..
Please join me on November 28th at 7:00pm. There will be a guest representative from Capital / Apple Records who was involved with the remastering process. The Beatles LP's will be played on a Naim / Rega turntable system. If you want a box set, please RSVP and I will try to get enough of them in. $349
The new addition to Naim's "Uniti" line is breaking in nicely. UnitiLite is a high-end audio all-in-one system delivering maximum sound quality, convenience and simple understated looks. UnitiLite comprises a CD player, MP3/iPod/USB stick play, a DAC, internet radio, high-res network streaming and an integrated 50W (at 8 ohms) amplifier. Just add a pair of speakers and call it done!
The Black Cube phono stages are analog cult objects around the world. The Black Cube Statement is the statement product of its price class.
Many things that made the Black Cube phono stages famous the world over are now offered by the Black Cube Statement in a new, attractive package at an even more affordable price. This is true for the parts quality as well as for the highly rated audio performance. The original Black Cube phono preamplifier redefined the phono stage market when introduced in 1995 and saw many imitations. Since then Black Cube phono stages have always reached cult status. Numerous awards and countless positive reviews on all five continents clearly underline the success.
The Lehmannaudio Black Cube Statement phono stage is compatible with practically all available cartridges on the market from High Output MM to low output MC cartridges. Apart from the standard switch settings there is one onboard slot that can be fitted with a custom impedance to supply perfect termination even for the most exotic cartridges. Customisation possibilities are practically infinite. No more need for expensive impedance plugs! The entirely passive RIAA equalisation network of the Black Cube Statement is realised with high precision foil capacitors. Bass coupling between the two linear gain stages is even realised with an MKP type. All resistors are of the low noise metal film variety. The switches for gain and load settings have gold plated contacts.
Because of the small outer dimensions the Black Cube Statement can be placed next to the turntable. This minimizes loss due to cable lengths. The external AC power supply keeps magnetic interference away from the audio section
Lehmannaudio has always been paying special attention to details: the case of the audio section is made of nonmagnetic materials and is even equipped with a top cover equipped with a special antiresonance treatment. $399 Lehmann Audio
14th / Charlotte St. Clarksville Neighborhood in Austin Texas. 1975
That's what I am today! Halloween proved to be a helluva good time. I brought Mr. Darwin out on his last night stateside before going home to the UK. We went to see Jon Dee Graham and James McMurtry at the Continental Club. Good Times! I never in a million years would've imagined seeing James McMurtry dressed up like Dorothy from Oz. Keeping Austin Weird!
I built a new headphone display at the shop. Coming in to fill some gaps are the Grado SR 225i and SR 325is headphones. The new Grado PS500 cans are in. Headphone amps from Heed, Musical Fidelity, Avenson Audio, Furutech and Graham Slee are available for audition.
Graham Slee call themselves a niche manufacturer in audio electronics equipment - a tiny company compared with the giants of hi-fi, but in their first 12 years of trading they've sold over 20,000 products all individually hand made and fully tested by just three engineers.
Their no-BS approach coupled with unceasing research has resulted in a product range that consistently puts the world of high end audio to shame. Not only can they beat high end performance but they do it at a price more people can afford.
I just placed my first order. I will be getting more offerings in over the next several months.
The busy elves at Rega have announced details of the new RP6 turntable. The RP6 features the new RB303 Tonearm, 16mm thick glass platter, machined metal sub platter and redesigned TT PSU power supply.
The plinth will be available in the same variety of gloss finishes as the outgoing P3/24 Turntable including Gloss Black, White, Red, Silver, Blue, Pink, Orange, Yellow and Green. I'm not sure of the price, probably a few hundred more than the P3-24. I am now taking orders! Get on the list! They should be shipping in a few weeks.
Susumu Sakuma was hot rodding idler drives while they were still getting tossed in dumpsters or selling for cheap in the US and UK. He was building with triodes before it was hip. It would be a hell of a pilgrimage to travel to his coffee house in Japan...
Thanks Super T for this link!
Ho Ho Ho!!!
The Naim SuperUniti is in the house! Taking the Uniti line up a notch, The SuperNait got a facelift and now has all the flexability you need and the power you want. It's warming up now and smacking around the DeVore Nines nicely!
Also coming in next week are the Zu Soul Superfly 101db speakers. I can't wait to hook these up to my tube amps and watch em scream! 8 watts will make your ears bleed!!!
Quadraspire from Bath England have introduced a new green material for their shelves...Bamboo! The Q4Evo in bamboo are $250 per shelf and will be on the floor in a few days!
I shot this last night at the Continental Club. This was the first performance they've done in over 30 years!! Get their record on Heavy Light records!
Update! My clip has made it to the Lincoln Center Website! Cool!
The Rega "Cash For Clunkers" CD player deal is coming to an end on November 15th. Trade in your old CD or DVD player (working or not) and get 15% off a Rega Apollo or 25% off a Rega Saturn.
Not sure how long a phono cartridge lasts? At least a few years with average play. You'll hear it degrade so just trust your ears. The most popular cause of cartridge death is user error. I've seen it all. Dusting is a big one. Never dust your turntable without being very aware of the cantilever and dusting cloth. Children. One day a client came in hyperventilating. The neighbor kids somehow trashed his $3K Dynavector while his back was turned for a second. Your drunk ass self / friends. I saw a $800 cartridge scrapped this way. House Party? Cool. Just make it a House Rule that you are the only "DJ". Drinking? Use the cueing lever! If things get too out of hand it may be time to hit shuffle on the iPod.
I have cartridges from $50 - $ (only the 1% can afford) Some have replaceable styli, Some don't but offer a trade in amount towards a new one. There are also some that offer re-tipping services. As always, any cart bought here is installed free of charge.
Running a Hi-Fi shop in a 700 square foot space is like playing real life Tetris with speakers and components. Everything has it's place! I got rid of the Ikea monstrosity and moved records and speakers around. It really opened the space up. It was also a great opportunity to vacuum in places that haven't been touched for years. Next on the list is a listening station for headphones and computer audio.
Features and Improvements
DV-20X2 has a solid aluminum alloy body and a rigid magnet construction similar to XX-2MKII. The cantilever is a 6mm length of hard aluminum pipe with a Micro-Ridge stylus. The magnetic flux damping and softened magnetism along with powerful neodymium magnets gives the 20X2H a healthy 2.8 mV output - suitable for most MM inputs. The 20X2L has an output of 0.3 mV ideal for most MC phono stages.
Both high and low versions of their 20X2 are available ensure for the optimum end result. The high output model is well suited to valve preamplifiers or electronics that only offer MM inputs whilst the low output version offers superb performance when combined with dedicated moving coil inputs. $850
Buy my low hour floor demo 20X-L for a song! Retail $750 Demo $495!! Gotta be current!
It's been a busy weekend! I hope you all stuffed yourselves into a Tryptophan / Football induced coma! Marc Phillips AKA Vinyl Anachronist spent the day at the shop checking out the latest goods and later met up with me at End Of An Ear record shop for the Rega event. I just ordered up the Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 and new LFD LE phono Preamp. They should be here in a few days!
I molested and heard it in action while I was in Dallas at Sound Organisation. Yes, it's "all that"! The best under $1K DAC I've ever heard! Already own an Apollo or Planet CD player? Want it to trounce a Saturn? It will. Take advantage of the "cash for clunkers" program (Apollo $150 off / Saturn $600 off with trade in) and get both a Apollo and DAC for $1840. It will improve nearly any digital device in that smooth analog-esque Rega way. When? "Two Weeks mate". Seriously.
The Rega DAC is a 16/20/24-bit at 32kHz to 192kHz digital to analogue converter incorporating an enhanced version of the Rega designed circuit. Developed to be simple to set up and use, the Rega DAC is designed to optimise performance from any two channel PCM digital audio source such as a CD player PC or streaming device.
With the PC/Laptop and MAC now widely accepted as creditable mediums for storing and streaming music. The use of high quality lossless files such as WAV, FLAC and ALAC offer performance through the DAC equal to and in some cases better than red book CD.
Housed in a custom aluminium and steel case and boasting a pair of Wolfson DAC IC's, 5 user selectable digital filters, two isolated Co-axial inputs, two Toslink SPDIF inputs and an isolated USB input. The Rega DAC is designed and engineered to perform way above its class.
If you were thinking of buying some hi-fi, do it NOW! Many of my lines prices are going up due to the stellar worthlessness of the dollar. For instance, the Naim UnitiQute has an introductory price of $1995. It's going up to $2500 December 1st! Any orders I submit by November 30th will be at the lower price. This is across the board. If you need more info. please don't hesitate to call me (if you have a local dealer, call them). It's such a steal at $1995! Save yourself $500. HURRY! Whetstone Audio gladly accepts payment in gold / silver coins! (it's been done before!)
I'm playing a gig with my band Invisible Inks in a few hours. It's the Eastside Studio Tour weekend. Tonight I'm heading to Dallas to hang with my best friend Ed. Tomorrow I'll be soaking at King Spa and getting some much needed detoxing and acupressure done. Monday morning heading to Sound Organisation to say hello and talk shop. I hope they have the new Rega DAC there to listen to! I'm really looking forward to my mini-trip!
heavy light records
blind willie johnson
oldest known melody
I'll be at End of an Ear record shop (2209 South 1st St.) Saturday evening, November 27th playing the new Rega RP-1 turntable ($449), Rega Brio3 integrated amp ($695) and Rega RS-5 loudspeakers ($1595). Come hear a quality UK built hi-fi that won't drain your savings account! Spend the rest of your money on beer & records! Now that's sound advice!
Check out this Rega RP-1 review from Tone Audio
After many years coveting these two lines, I am now a dealer! LFD electronics and Harbeth Loudspeakers are now on the floor! I have the new LFD LE IV integrated amp and Harbeth P3ESR which is based on the famous BBC LS3/5A. The Harbeth Compact 7ES-3 should be here next week. I also have the 40.1 on the floor (kindly on loan / consignment). I will be rounding out the lines over the next few months.
I've been getting lots of calls. If you have a local Harbeth dealer, please deal with them. I WILL NOT SELL TO YOU IF YOU HAVE A LOCAL DEALER. I DO NOT DISCOUNT! If you're not sure you can look HERE
Whetstone Audio is the only Texas dealer authorized to sell Harbeth and LFD.
After 43 years of using cheap plastic 45 adapters I got in some nice precision machined Rega adapters made by this fine English bloke.
Tell Me it's not sweet. How can you deny your prized 45ives? $25
What's on the turntable these days?
Last night I took my eight year old daughter, Lily, to see Janelle Monae (who was amazing) and of Montreal. We had a blast! I got her a T-shirt to wear today at school (remember doing that?) We even got to be right up front! I'm glad my kids are finally at an age where I can bring them to concerts. No, Barney was never allowed in our home... so obnoxious! I figured of Montreal was a good bet because of all the theatrics and costumes. Thankfully the risque' themes were over her head! Can't wait for the next show!
Enjoy your tryptophan / football induced stupor!
My shop is finally back to normal. They didn't get the sidewalk barricade down, so I had a makeshift outdoor party room on Saturday. Got a case of beer and MyFaced some folks over. Had the Naim Uniti and Rega RS-5 speakers making some music. Tagging is fun. Drinking beer with your pals... priceless!
Back in College I collected over 300 Grateful Dead soundboards. My Nakamichi was always spinning! This was before the internet so we had to find other tapers through Relix magazine and meeting people at the shows. Now it's all at your FINGERTIPS . There was nothing like a Grateful Dead concert!! The best show I saw was Red Rocks '87. The worst was Houston '89. You never knew what you were gonna get or how weird the night would be... The "jam bands" of today are nothing like it. Sorry kids, you missed the bus!
Closing early today to start off my debauched weekend at Fun Fun Fun!! Looking forward to seeing lots of music I'm not familiar with. Check out the cast of characters here
RECAP. Kids, you can't rock... with a laptop. Of Montreal, Jesus Lizard, Death, Shonen Knife, The Sword... Excellent!
Really cool consoles from 1960's Canada.
I got the CD-2, DAC3, e.One S300iUSB integrated and e.One Ref100 mono block amps. The cool thing about this line besides the fact that is sounds great, is the flexability. The CD player, DAC have volume controls. So, no need for a pre amp. You can start with the CD and S300 2 channel amp. The S300iUSB integrated is 150 watts and sports a USB / DAC input. Hook up your iTunes (use lossless for best sound quailty) and that's it! A nice one box solution. Come check it out!