Are you into opera?

Leyla Gecner is one of my favourite sopranos and recordings are hard to come by. Here we have a 14cd box set that is tremendous value for each penny. I have never got through the whole set with previous digital chains. Here with the dCS chain they just flow and the whole 14cds listened to end to end and that is enough for me to say that dCS has taken the annoying edge of the digital restitution…..thanks!


Freedom of speech


Most forums allow freedom of expression relying on the community to self regulate and in extreme cases call for the assistance of a moderator. This works well and respects freedom of speech as set down in the 1st amendment and present in all “modern democracies” around the planet. It leaves the members of the community with a sense of responsibility and mutual respect.

Many Audiophiles that have grown with “audiogon” as a fulcrum point to their ideas sharing with an openness and ease with their fellow passionate audiophiles around the planet. This community was a place to learn to agree and disagree with ideas and concept attached to sound reproduction. The individuals either knew, wanted to know or thought they knew about the subject matter. This we guess is one of the many positive sides of the www virtual gatherings of individuals from around the planet from all walks of life meeting around a shared passion.

I was flabbergasted the 1st time one of my posts was not posted….I thought that this was an isolated technical issue or my cumbersome ways. Then it happened again. I recall making a reference to a web site and thought to myself… is somebody censoring here? I came to learn with my fellow Audio16 blogger that this was not any isolated matter at all. That other fellow audiophiles had their posts denied by the all mighty “Audiogon” and receiving messages about the inappropriate contents…. This is seemingly in Audigon’s eyes implies pointing to other forums, blogs, websites…expressing some suggestions to enhance the content, use and utility of audiogon…

I manage large organisations and I never tell anybody to shut up…the idea about democracy is to let ideas flow and fight them with arguments and accept when good points are made!

Horns from 1926 and digital source from 21st century?

Can the digital era music feed the large and so revealing horns such as the western electric 12a? For those who know these horns they are not like the shorter horns, backloaded etc….these babies give a straight drive from 100ish hz to 5k….and all that with no xover….they reveal just about all the good and bad….things upstream. Make no mistake until you have heard these and then lived with them for a while you cannot imagine…leave the Goto, ale, jbl, altec….candidates aside. Okay not the topic…

Can we mix them with the digital, clocked, dithered and reduced jitter candidates of today’s era?

Between my audio16 partner and myself we have graced in our rooms the most exotic digital sources that can be found on the planet…having said that analog as well…! I had the esoteric, Kondo, cec…..the boutique DAC’s with so called miracle design resorting to low or high impedance chips, using coupling transformers to shape sound, rare and so called “unique” capacitors that if you listen to the users of them are the ultimate….sorry…..”ONLY” solution to grace the ears of the most demanding audiophiles….all the same I just heard these said to myself “WOW” and the ended up back with analog and my faithful EMT 927. I just ended with a broadcasting CD playing to…spin some silver ones…..

Then a good friend of mine using we15a and advice from friends from and in Japan all using the big western electric horns. I was advised to give the dCS Elar plus a shot….my audio16 partner here was all on for this step of mine…he is the hardcore of hardcore digital advocate! He is all clocked in with atomic frequencies! I got him into he EMT 927 turntable game and he even started a thread for the screen focused forum dwellers to expand there capacity to express themselves….go here go here

This was his turn to get me lauched!

I spoke with dCS and what struck me was there detached and simple way of expressing their knowledge. Digital is not analog, this is about equations, algorithm….speed, etc….and etc…no not bias of tubes, capacitance etc….another world indeed….and those who try to transpose the learnt lesson of analog signal to digital are I think making mistakes….

And….well I got the hardware and installed the dcs elgar plus to my Emt 981 that has a word clock in and all better aes digital out…marvellous…just plain fantastic!

I will build up the ladder to see how far one can go on this road and if adding boxes, up sampler, clock and top notch drive will enhance or reduce the magic sound this combo offers to my ears!

Thanks my Bavarian and Japanese friend!


Relics from the days of glory

recently I came across a wonderful book about the Neumann Company, the Microphone Company. It is called ‘A Story of Innovation, Excellence and the Spirit of Audio Engineering’, dealing of course with mikes but also lots of phono gear, the famous disk recording lathes, the PA2 record player with its dynamic stereo pic up – the DST 62  -, and the products that never were.

Neumann 1

My first contact with Neumann products dates from 2008 when I got interested in a DST 62, a moving coil design from 1957. As I  always was facinated by their microphones I went for a M149 unit. With the M 149 Tube and M 147 Tube in 1995, Neumann brought back the sound of valves.

Neumann 2

The book provides a lot of insight into the different periods of the Neumann company, their split in two companies after the war, the aquisition by Sennheiser at 1991. Chapters are e.g. referring to technology, design, production, testing procedures,  people, ‘the quiet inventor’, management and the future of this small ingenious company.

Neumann 3