Wednesday Jun 26



Notes  (7) Events  (6) Mono  (5)
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Every edition is limited

Let's have a permanent moratorium on the phrase "Limited Edition." After all, practically anything you buy--a CD, a pair of shoes, an amplifier, a bicycle--is a limited edition by the nature of commerce. Only so many of any non-commodity item will ever be made and offered for sale.


In The Astonishing Hypothesis (1994) Nobel laureate Francis Crick, one of the DNA guys, describes a study on selective attention in hearing that makes clear the need for a stereo/mono switch for playback of single channel source material.   The main sources this affects are mono LPs, 45s, and 78s, but I have a few CDs were mastered from mono LP sources in which the production engineers did not take the obvious and necessary step of mixing down the left and right channels.

A is for Armstrong
An ABC of Jazz

In our formative years, ABC books helped us learn our letters and also introduced us to information about the world. A trip from A to Z remains fun for almost everybody, typically blending the familiar with the unexpected. Thus, the ABCs of Jazz which follows.  [Originally published as a "Jazz Tracks" column in CD Review, 10/1992.]

CES 2011 Day 1 - T.H.E. Other Show
SoulSonic found at the Flamingo

During CES days in Las Vegas, The Home Entertainment Show also comes to town. It operates in the Flamingo Hotel, just a couple of long Las Vegas blocks away from the CES venue at the Sands Expo center. T.H.E. Show, as it prefers to be known, has been rolling along for years as an audio-oriented alternative with a mom and pop feel to the general-purpose high style and high profile CES.

CES 2011 - Blogging time

It's that annual Las Vegas trek to get the word on where the electronics industry is going to try to lead us.  This year is shaping up to be somewhat different from all the others, but that's actually what's totally consistent about the International Consumer Electronics Show--the yearly change.

Parasound's Halo JC 3 phono preamp gets it right.
Finally a mono switch!

For years I've been insisting that a proper phono stage must include a mono switch for paralleling the channels when playing a pre-stereo LP, 45, or 78. Remember there were about 75 years of commercial recording before stereo discs hit in 1957. Recordings made during that time can still be played on modern equipment, but benefit greatly from single channel rather than stereo playback. Since CDs hit, phono preamplification and equalization have largely disappeared from home audio gear and the stereo/mono selector (sometimes with reverse stereo or variable blend features) also disappeared.

Paris:  The City of Music!

Paris deserves its "City of Light" sobriquet. The French capital shines on sunny days and sparkles on crisp, clear nights. And even when the sky is clouded over, Paris has an intrinsic glow. It's uncanny.

The Sound Strike: Musicians work to block AZ immigration law

A few decades ago (to me sometimes it seems like a few days ago), musicians often made statements in their music.   They put themselves out on the front lines in defense of our ideals and of our republic.

Avoid damaging your PMP when using certain headphones.
An adapter is not enough!

All stereo headphones used to have 1/4" phone plugs to connect them to matching jacks on stereo amplifiers and receivers. (John Koss enjoyed telling how he flim-flammed Avery Fisher and Herman Scott into adding those holes to their components, but that's a story for another day.)

The Mono-izer Project

Here's a very basic DIY project that will let you combine left and right channels for recording from mono vinyl or shellac or listening to marginal FM or for whatever other reason you may find for doing so.

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