Features

The Jazz File: European Offerings

The Jazz File: European Offerings

Some have called the blues the most influential art form that Americans have ever unleashed on the world. Considering these are the roots of nearly all American popular music, including rock ‘n’ roll, I’d say it’s a fair assessment. Rock has proven such an infectious cultural export that many of the greatest bands in history were spawned on foreign soil: The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, AC/DC, The Sex Pistols, The Clash, U2…heck, even the Jimi Hendrix Experience was two-thirds British.

But how has jazz, the blues’ “high-brow” offspring, fared globally? Pretty well, actually, although I wouldn’t say there’s anyone on the other side of the pond vying for Charlie Parker or John Coltrane’s throne. I took a listen to some current European offerings this month…don’t take this as comprehensive or any kind of a “best of”, it’s just a collection of recordings that came to my attention for one reason or another. If nothing else, this collection speaks volumes about the diversity of jazz currently happening in Europe, but I found plenty to recommend as well. read more…

Recording Process Part Two: Recording Techniques, Microphones

Recording Process Part Two: Recording Techniques, Microphones

Last issue we covered the main types of recording environments, so I guess the next logical thing to discuss is microphones. There are a few different technologies in current use which each having their own strengths and weaknesses. I’m afraid this is going to be a fairly technical article explaining how each type of mic works. It is worth knowing though, as it helps to understand why certain types of mic are used in different circumstances. I think it also helps us to appreciate how complex the job of making a good recording is, because there is just so much to consider when doing it! read more…

Interview with Dr. Lloyd Peppard of Mapletree Audio Design

Interview with Dr. Lloyd Peppard of Mapletree Audio Design

HFR – Dr. Peppard, how long has Mapletree Audio been in existence and how did it start?

Dr.LP – I guess it really started back in the late ’50s when as a teenager I started designing and building my own audio gear. But I only got into the actual marketing of my designs under the name Mapletree Audio Design in 2001 with the Octal 6 preamp. In the ensuing 6 years I have made over 400 units of the various models including kits, which are currently a small part of the total. read more…

Rummaging Through the Collection

Rummaging Through the Collection

Some months back I wrote a music article about rediscovering some terrific cd’s in my collection. With Clarke taking a well-deserved month off I decided it was time for another dig through my new storage drawers for some terrific music. Below are four fine discs that those of you enjoy that particular style of music should take a listen to once again. read more…

Recording Process Part One: “Live” Room

Recording Process Part One: “Live” Room

It recently struck me that in this hobby of ours, there is often talk of all manner of things that have their affect on the sound of music; from speakers and amplification to the mood you were in when listening to it. Rarely though, do I hear audiophiles discussing of one of the biggest influencing factors how the music was recorded. I don’t think this is because there is no interest in this area, but more likely because it is not a subject that the average audiophile has the opportunity to learn much about. After all, one can not just waltz in to somebody’s commercial studio and start playing around with all the equipment.

As such, I thought it might be of interest to the Affordable Audio readership to write a short piece each issue covering the main aspects of the recording processes used to produce most music today. Hopefully it will give you greater insight to the ‘other side’ of our hobby.

I suppose the first place to start when looking at the subject of recording is the room the performance takes place in! One of the most important factors that makes (or breaks) the very best studios is the ‘live room’. If you have a poor live room it doesn’t matter what microphones you use, or how good your mixer desk is; there will not be any good sound to capture. read more…

The Jazz File: Three on the Six Strings

The Jazz File: Three on the Six Strings

Like many jazz fans, my love for music began with rock. And like many rock fans, my love of rock begat a love of the guitar. It’s an amazing instrument, capable of a wider variety of tonal qualities than any other, with the possible exception of synthesizer. This month I gave a listen to three wildly diverse recordings by jazz guitarists, all released this year, and really liked what I found. Enjoy. read more…

Les Paul – The Entertainer’s Entertainer

Les Paul – The Entertainer’s Entertainer

Les Paul, (born Lester Polsfuss) was born 91 years ago this week in Waukesha, Wisconsin. It’s been written widely that young Les took a liking to music and things mechanical at a very early age. While quite young, he was very taken by the family player piano. Once he figured out how the punched paper system worked, he figured out where to punch additional holes to enhance the chords and melody of the family piano roll collection. read more…

Your Basic Guide to PC Audio Making sense of the basics so you can get started

Your Basic Guide to PC Audio Making sense of the basics so you can get started

If you search long enough, you will uncover a trove of information regarding the many ways your desktop or laptop can be turned into a first-rate music making machine. There’s just one problem; finding all of that information and then making sense of it all! This guide is designed to be your one-stop reference that will cover the bare essentials necessary to get you started in using your computer as a source. read more…

Interview: AudioMagic’s Jerry Ramsey

Several years ago I participated in a power cord shoot out. There were 5 cords being compared in this event. I did not know the brands or prices of each cord until the shoot out was finished. One of my favorite cables was an Audio Magic Extreme power cord. What really got my attention was that this cord sold for $89 at the time. When I started writing for Affordable Audio, one of the first things I did was contact Audio Magic. Jerry Ramsey agreed to send out a complete set of Extreme interconnects and speaker wire for review. The Extreme cables performed quite nicely, and have become my reference for modest priced cables. Since the topic of cabling can be a controversial one, Now Jerry has taken quite awhile to get back to me with his answers, however he did find time in his busy schedule to get his thoughts down on paper.

HFR – Why do cables make a difference? Interconnects, speaker, and AC cords

JR. The same reason good amps, speakers, CD players, pre amps make a difference, cables are a component of the system as well, just remember your system is as good as it’s weakest link. The better the cable technology, the better the parts used [connectors, solder, conductors, dielectric etc] the better sound you will get. read more…

Managing the Wife Acceptance Factor: Is It Possible?

Managing the Wife Acceptance Factor: Is It Possible?

For most of us audio junkies who are married or otherwise joined together, we are keenly aware of the “wife acceptance factor” (WAF). When we were single, we didn’t have to answer to anyone about our personal expenditures, especially for the hobbies we enjoyed most. But the moment we said, “I do,” the concept of “my money” was to be banished from your lips ‘til death do us part. This problem was exacerbated when the crumb snatchers (i.e., kids) arrived and our disposable income dries up until the youngest one finishes college. read more…

The Silver and the Black

The Silver and the Black

Before I grabbed my wife’s aging Powerbook, complete with Norwegian keyboard that I struggle to understand, and settled down to write, I first put on a record, followed by another, and then another. Of course when I say record, I mean a good, old-fashioned LP and not a shiny, silver digital disc. I chose vinyl over the more convenient CD because it’s what I fancied listening to. I like the covers, I love the sound, and I adore the way it looks, spinning away on whatever turntable happens to be around. read more…

The Jazz File: Happy Music…or not.

The Jazz File: Happy Music…or not.

Interesting couple of albums have taken over my system for the past few months. There’s something of a unified thread running through these…acoustic, improvisational, crosscultural, cross-genre, slow tempos, and not exactly the cheeriest music I’ve ever spun. I’m not sure what this says (if anything) about the current state of jazz or my own psychological state this spring, but I hope you find something to enjoy in this month’s selections. Comments always welcome read more…

The Original Frugal-philetm, an interview with Dave Dlugos (aka planet_10), with additional comments from his audio partner Chris

The Original Frugal-philetm, an interview with Dave Dlugos (aka planet_10), with additional comments from his audio partner Chris

Dave Dlugos has been around the internet for some time. He’s been providing the DIY community with lots of help and inspiration the whole time. His sites include www.t-linespeakers.org, a site specializing in both factory built and DIY transmission line loudspeakers and derivatives, and www.planet10-hifi.com, his commercial site. He’s also been busy at www.frugalhorn.com ,(providing many free, well drawn box plans for some of the loudspeaker drivers he sells), and www.planetsofta.com (where he sells many new and used items including vintage drivers whilst his partner sells sewing patterns, craft items, and book—all of it on ebay). Dave also sells computer stuff, and does some computer consulting.

Part of the planet_10 philosophy seems to be recycling, and helping to reduce our impact on the planet. Somehow this guy seems like the kind of person I’d like to be—but simply don’t have the time to become. I have no idea how many calories a day that Dave takes in, but I imagine it’s quite a few—something has to power him to the over achieving Energizer Bunny that he must be. I have never met Dave, nor talked to him on the telephone prior to doing this interview. This interview was an email interview, that is questions were posed via email. Responses were emailed back. A telephone conversation followed up this exchange to add more of a personal sense of style and help me to ensure I portray his energy and passion in a realistic and credible way. So here goes: read more…

Johnny Smith – Gentleman Guitarist

Johnny Smith – Gentleman Guitarist

Johnny Smith came on the scene in New York in the late 1940s, after a stint in the Army, where he learned to play a number of instruments. While “paying his dues” and struggling to make a living, Smith roomed with a number of guitarists who went on to be famous in their own right, including Sal Salvador and Jimmy Raney. Thanks to his musical abilities, including the ever-important skill of sight-reading, he wound up on the staff of NBC as a studio player, playing a wide variety of musical styles from country and western to classical, and everything in between, and lots and lots of commercials. By night, he sat in with all the jazz greats on New York’s famous “Swing Street”, 52nd Street. read more…

Page 3 of 712345Last »

WordPress.org

Copyright © 2000-2018 HighFidelityReview – Hi-Fi systems, DVD-Audio and SACD reviews - HQ Hi-Fi Review Theme by ThemeShift.com