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Everything posted by JohnnyB

  1. And shame on "the media" for not verifying Ocasek's birth year. Pretty basic. Professional news organizations shouldn't use Wikipedia as the final arbiter.
  2. It replaced an empty spot on the top shelf of my component rack. I had had a nice Hitachi P-38 DD TT and a decent collection of LPs. I lost many of the LPs to a rain-induced flood in our basement apartment which resulted in moldy, warped records. A couple of years later (around 1982) our cat jumped off the turntable, sending it flying and crashing to the floor, after which its speed control never worked again. Here's an example of a HItachi P-38 in working condition. Mine looked just like it until the cat got through with it and I tossed it in the trash. Soon word got around that CDs (and players) were on their way so I bided my time until they became available in 1987 when I bought a CD player and started replacing my record collection with CDs. 20 years later I found that I got no enjoyment from CDs and their players, so I went to Guitar Center and bought the Technics SL1210M5G and started hitting the used record stores and thrift stores to replenish my LP collection.
  3. What a gorgeous, lush-sounding album! I gave it a complete spin last Monday and will probably do it again tomorrow. I have the 2003 30th anniversary remaster/reissue. Bought it soon after buying my first turntable in 31 years. Glad I did.
  4. I just ran the C22 in a Mac production history page. The C22 was in production from 1963-1968 and retailed for $279. Adjusted for inflation that comes to a Sinatra-sized $2339.21.
  5. Here ya go. Price: US $5,695.00 You're welcome.
  6. Also, the stereo LP wasn't produced until 1958, but some studios made and marketed stereo recordings on 3-track stereo tape. That's what Frank is threading up in the picture. Notice that the front panel of the R2R tape machine features controls and meters for three channels. This was cost-no-object high-end home audio in the mid-'50s.
  7. Yeah, I thought about that when I finished posting. Also, in the early days of stereo recording, they recorded in 3-track--left, right, and center. In fact, here's Frank Sinatra's state-of-the-art 3-channel stereo setup back in the day:
  8. My record-spinning and hand-eye coordination exercises Monday must have worked, because my physical therapy session at the hospital yesterday was particularly good, specifically the balance exercises which had always eluded success.
  9. Don't be sorry. Suhrs kick ass, feel wonderful in the hands, and sound as good as they feel.
  10. I use both speakers, and ensure that I get the same amplitude of signal to each of the two speakers to create what is called a "phantom mode," which sounds like there's a single big, broad speaker in the middle. Actually, my two main speakers create large soundfields. They are panel speakers, each of which has an 11" x 44" radiating surface, both forward and rearward, which is reflected by the wall about 4-1/2 feet behind them. This creates a realistic wall of sound which--although it doesn't convey left-to-right sense of location--it does convey a front-to-back sense of depth. When you think about live performances, very few convey left-to-right placement except in the most general way. The sense of live precise, individual placements of instruments and voices rarely occurs, and a 2-speaker mono arrangement (especially if the speakers are dipole or bipolar) throws a realistic sense of a room-filling soundstage. Mono LP also has some other advantages in realism and fidelity. In a stereo record, you have a V-shaped groove that holds both horizontal and vertical modulations. The vertical modulations convey the left and right stereo channels. The lateral (side-to-side) modulations convey the center, mono channel. Over time, the V-shaped stereo channel gathers dust and gunk, and become noisy, The mono channel modulates side-to-side and doesn't accumulate so much. I've rescued old mono albums from thrift shops, often for $1 each. There is so much fine dust and some gunk that these records are too noisy to enjoy with a stereo cartridge. When I swap in a mono cartridge, which doesn't pick up the vertical modulations, the noise disappears and I only hear the intended mono center channel. I have some 50-year-old mono records picked up at thrift shops for $1 each which are dead quiet when played by my mono cartridge. The mono playback has another advantage in that the cartridge only has to trace one modulation in the groove--the side-to-side mono track. A stereo cartridge has to simultaneously trace the lateral mono track and the vertical stereo track. This can sound thin and nasal where the mono playback sounds lush and full. Of course, the mastering and pressing can determine how dramatic these differences are.
  11. About a month ago I had a couple of strokes, ironically, while I was driving to the hospital to get a defibrillator implanted in my chest. I'm trying to work my way out of the stroke damage with some therapy exercises while listening to music which should help exercise my brain and re-establish my neuropaths. So Monday I put on a couple of albums to provide a soundtrack to some eye/hand coordination exercises. The first was the 2014 mono remix/remaster of Revolver by the Beatles. I think Revolver introduced the masses to psychdelic elements in pop music. Here's the full album. It's hard to cut tracks from this collection that includes Eleanor Rigby, Yellow Submarine, Here, There, and Everywhere, and many more songs of similar status. If it gets old, you can always fast-forward to the end of the current track and the YouTube player will move on to the next one. I've long been a fan of music Brian Wilson created for the album which variously became known as "Smile," "Smiley Smile," and "The Smile Sessions," and variously credited to Brian Wilson (aided by The Wondermints), The Beach Boys, Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks. I guess I'm a bit of a fan, because I saw "Smile" live in Nov. 2004 with Brian Wilson and The Wondermints, after which I bought the CD and the Blu-Ray video live of a performance at the Royal Albert Hall. Years later, my stepson bought me the Brian Wilson/Beach Boys recovery and re-edit of the Capitol session tapes, and this is what I listened to. it's variously titled "Smile," "Smiley Smile," and "The Smile Sessions." i have the "Smile" LP, and really like the musical acumen and the sound quality. I start off with "Heroes and Villians," which has been a personal favorite since it charted on my local top 40 AM radio around 1966-67: And I love "Surf's Up": And "Wind Chimes" And of course, "Good Vibrations" Altogether, Revolver and Smile provided me with 2-3 hours of stimulating music while I worked on hand strength and hand/eye coordination. It sure elevated my time spent from a plodding slog to an enjoyable musical experience and improved motor control. I call that a win-win.
  12. I used to be a stereo guy all the way, but reading Geoff Emerick's book Here, There, and Everywhere, changed all that for me when he mentioned that he and the rest of the crew spent 5 hours on the stereo mix of Sgt. Pepper's and 5 days mixing the mono version. It also hit home when I read that EMI designed and made their own tape machines, which is why a)they sounded so good, and b)they were slow to upgrade them to multi-channel machines, essential for getting an honest, good-sounding stereo mix.
  13. I gave a spin of the Beatles' first album, "Please Please Me" recorded at Abbey Road and pressed by EMI/Parlophone in 1963. In the USA at the time, this isn't how we heard their albums. Capitol (a division of EMI) had the distribution rights in the USA and they created their own versions with a shortened assortment of tracks culled from the British albums and singles. Then they transferred them into fake stereo, panning the instruments to one channel and the vocals to the other. The mono pressings are so much richer and immediate-sounding. You really "hear The Beatles as never before." I played the whole album through yesterday and enjoyed every minute of it. There was a short deadline for recording this album and The Beatles made the suggestion that they fill out the album with their set list at The Cavern club in Liverpool. There is a ring of authenticity to this album and it also demonstrates how ahead of the rock and pop scenes The Beatles were, even at the beginning of their big break. Ignore the "Stereo" label on the album art. The one I played at home is this LP.
  14. Back then, recording was a mechanical process; the instruments and voices had to be loud enough to cause the cutting styus to deflect and engrave the wax (and later, shellac). WWII saw the invention of electro-magnetic recording, which eventually resulted in high fidelity LPs starting in 1949.
  15. When I first got back into vinyl in 2007, a co-worker of my wife gave me a storage box full of LPs that had been sitting and (apparently) catching dusk. There were a lot of albums I was aware of, and apparently we had some similar tastes because he had some obscure jazz albums that I had. One that piqued my interest was 1964's "Jazz Impressions of A Boy Named Charlie Brown." by the Vince Guaraldi Trio. I always liked Guaraldi, even before he did the soundtracks for the Peanuts primetime specials, such as the Top 40 hit, "Cast Your Fate to the Wind." That may have been my introduction to jazz and the personal discovery that I liked jazz a lot. So when I got home I excitedly put the Guaraldi album on and to my dismay, it was too noisy to listen to. So I shelved it. A couple years later I bought a mono cartridge to play the 2014 EMI/Parlophone release of The Beatles albums in mono. Then to play a hunch while I had the mono cartridge on the tonearm, I played this Guaraldi album, and to my surprise and delight, the mono cartridge played it entirely noise-free. I'm listening to it now and enjoying the hell out of it. Guaraldi had a creative, bouncy, endearing form of improvisation. He died way too young (1976, age 47).
  16. I have a clutch of 33-1/3 RPM LPs that are in mono, including the 2014 EMI/Parlophone reissue/remaster of the real Beatles LPs in mono, plus a nice smattering of 1950s-'60s vintage LPs rescued from thrift shops. I also have a pretty nice monophonic phono cartridge, which really focuses the essence of the music and drops the noise floor to near zero. Last night I swapped out my stereo cartridge for the mono one and dialed in the proper tracking force, rake angle, and anti-skate settings to bring out the best in it. Then I started spinning some of those luscious-sounding mono LPs, starting with an awesome 3-LP reissue of "After Midnight" by Nat King Cole plus a backing trio. It's a 3-LP set mastered at 45 4pm, which is sort of equivlalent to 30 ips tape. Here are a couple of King Cole classics I treated myself to last night. Nat makes it look and sound so easy. Nat sold so many hit records in his heyday that the Capitol Records tower in Hollywood was dubbed as "The house that Nat built." It's Only a Paper Moon: and Route 66. Look at how he makes it look (and sound) so easy: And then I spun the Parlophone/EMI mix and master of "A Hard Day's Night," not the abomination put out by Universal in the USA in 1964: Aah... I feel better now. I'll be spinning some more today.
  17. At age 21, people start buying cars (and houses, if they got good enough jobs), and entering the adult world of taking out loans and buying things. 1967 marks when the first year of Baby Boomers turned 21. 1985 marks when the last year of Baby Boomers turned 21. During these 19 years, whatever you could buy for $100 in 1967 would have cost $322.16 in 1985. Cost of living more than tripled in those 19 years. By contrast, what cost $100 in 2000 only increased to $149 in 2019. I can't find any other 19-year span that matched the 1946-1965 inflation rate.
  18. I know, right? You'd think people would start catching on. I remember when David Carradine died (self-inflicted) ten years ago, people here were surprised to find that he was 72 at the time. But then, he was born in 1936, 10 years before the Baby Boom started. Now first year Baby Boomers were born in 1946 and are around 73.
  19. Look for a Phantom or Phantom Custom. Nice belly cut. Although it's called a "Custom," it's because it has that single coil neck pickup, whereas the standard model just has the 3-coil bridge pickup. The "Custom" has dots intead of crowns and has no binding on the body or fretboard. Its pickup selections create Les Paul, Strat, and Tele sounds. Also, all those pickup coils in the strumming area create an easy environment for nailing pinch harmonics. It can turn anybody into a Billy Gibbons. Another thing: The Phantom has a thicker maple cap than is customary on Les Pauls and Hamer Studio Customs. This gives the Phantoms more midrange bite and snarl.
  20. Yeah, but the Baby Boom supplies a larger number of candidates who are aging out every year compared to other generations. America experienced about 4 million live births every year from 1946 to 1964, which would total close to 80 million people who are aging out and dying of old age over a 19-year period. England and Australia also experienced a post-war baby boom over the same time period. The Baby Boom spent its entire life as a population tidal wave that continues to take the rest of the population by surprise.
  21. I had an Eclipse with a wraptail and belly cut. I don't know the date (bought it used and it's long gone to get an Anniversary, but I think it was mid-'90s. During that period, the ones with the "studio" designation were wraptails (but I think you knew that already).
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