New microphones and preamps

by BSD2000

Re: Upgraded my internet service

by BSD2000

10 years of silence...

by BSD2000

Vinyl records are selling at 2X the rate of a year ago with no signs of slowing

by BSD2000

Hana MC Cartridge

by Thephile

Sony PS-LX5: Upgrading stock XL-200?

by vgavara

Cassette sales are up 35% in 2017

by BSD2000

Technics unveils new premium SP-10R and SL-1000R turntables

by BSD2000

U.S. Vinyl Album Sales Hit Nielsen Music-Era Record High in 2017

by BSD2000

Watch the world's first TEDx talk on the culture of record digging

by BSD2000

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Recording, Mixing and Mastering / New microphones and preamps
« Last post by BSD2000 on March 01, 2022, 08:25:01 AM »
It's been a while since I posted on here, but I upgraded a lot of my recording equipment in the last 10 years.

New microphones:
  - Neumann TLM 102
  - Neumann TLM 103
  - Neumann KM 184
  - Slate Digital ML-1
  - Slate Digital ML-2
  - Roswell Audio Mini K47
New preamps:
  - Neve 511 Portico
  - Black Lion Audio Auteur MK II
  - Alctron MP73a
  - Golden Age Project Pre 73 MK II

New recording interfaces:
  - RME Fireface UFX
  - RME ADI-2 Pro FS

New monitors:
  - Neumann KH80DSP monitors
  - Presonus Temblor 8 subwoofer
  - IK Multimedia iLoud monitors

New headphones:
  - Neumann NDH20's
  - HiFiMan Arya's
  - Focal Elex's
  - Stax SR-L700's w/SRM-D50 DAC/Energizer

Outboard Gear:
  - RNC1773 'Really Nice Compressor'
  - DBX 560A compressor with upgraded Burr Brown opamps
The Lounge / Re: Upgraded my internet service
« Last post by BSD2000 on March 01, 2022, 08:09:10 AM »
Current speed.  :)

Youtube Discussions / 10 years of silence...
« Last post by BSD2000 on February 28, 2022, 03:49:59 AM »
Well, it's been ten years since I uploaded a vinyl video on YouTube. Why so long? Well, life happens. From changing jobs and uncertain future plans, personal health issues, to pets, friends and family passing away - things have been really busy and I just haven't had time to even sit down and listen to my records, let alone make YouTube videos.

But this spring, that's all going to change.   :)

During the past few years, I upgraded my camera (Hint: Blackmagic 4K, Fuji X-T3) and audio recording gear (RME ADI-2 Pro FS) and I'm getting ready to start making videos again. Stay tuned!
Sales of vinyl records have been rebounding for years, but during the first half of this year, they went to a whole other level: up 94% over the same period last year, when they happened to top CD sales for the first time since 1986, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
Cartridges / Hana MC Cartridge
« Last post by Thephile on May 26, 2021, 12:04:49 PM »
Has anyone had experience with Hana moving coil cartridges, preferably low output
Cartridges / Sony PS-LX5: Upgrading stock XL-200?
« Last post by vgavara on April 22, 2018, 02:59:06 PM »
Hi there! This is my first post in this forum. After years in the digital domain, tweaking and becoming frustrated, I felt in some way deceived and moved to the absolute new for me field of turntables.

My first approach was a Dual 1257 with a Dual (Ortofon) 45S ultra-low mass cartridge with spherical stylus. Not being happy with the sound I upgraded it by replacing the cartridge by a Ortofon ULM 55E with elliptical stylus and tonearm rewiring with litz cable. Absolute noticeable quality improvement after the upgrade but still not happy: sound tends to be quite v-shaped with great emphasis in lows and specially highs. Not what  I'm looking for, that is a neutral sound in the source (than can be tuned, if necessary, in next stages).

Then someone gave me a Sony PS-LX5. Supposed to be a turntable addressed to the medium market segment, it took my attention because it was launched to the market the year before the launching of the CD, then being the result of years of development with good engineering behind it (quartz controlled speed direct drive, anti resonant chassis, ultra low mass). The turntable came with a Sony XL200 headshell+cartridge but with no stylus. This turntable had the option of replacing the XL200 by a Sony SH-151 headshell then opening the door to mount conventional cartridges between 2,2 to 6,5 grams. Luckily I catched one of them on Ebay days ago by 40 euro including shipping.

So now I have the option of installing a new stylus for the XL-200 or moving to a brand new cartridge, and to be honest I don't know how to proceed. First option offers two sub-options actually, since spherical or elliptical stylus can be mounted with prices ranging from 15 to 45 euro including shipping. So I would like to get your advice about these questions: Staying with the XL-200 and installing a spherical stylus? or elliptical stylus? or moving to a brand new cartridge between 2,2 and 6,5 grams? and in this case what cartridge in terms of neutrality, sound quality and pricing (in that order)?

Thanks in advance.

Analog Waveforms / Cassette sales are up 35% in 2017
« Last post by BSD2000 on January 12, 2018, 12:48:47 PM »

Guardians Of The Galaxy and Stranger Things gave the format a healthy boost.

Cassettes had a very good year in 2017, with sales rising by 35%, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Nielsen Music reported 174,000 copies sold in the US, 45,000 more copies than in 2016.

The big push was due to cassette soundtrack releases for Stranger Things and Guardians Of The Galaxy. Other top selling cassettes include The Hamilton Mixtape and recent reissues of Prince’s Purple Rain, Nirvana’s Nevermind and Kanye West’s Yeezus.

Cassette sales still only comprised 0.10% of all albums sold during the year though, so don’t worry about the increasing popularity raising production costs.

Find the top selling cassettes of 2017 below:

1. Soundtrack – Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2: Awesome Mix Vol. 2 (19,000)
2. Soundtrack – Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 (15,000)
3. Soundtrack – Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Mix, Vol. 1 (5,000)
4. Soundtrack – Stranger Things, Volume One (3,000)
5. Eminem – The Eminem Show (3,000)
6. Various Artists – The Hamilton Mixtape (3,000)
7. Prince and the Revolution – Purple Rain (2,000)
8. Twenty One Pilots – Blurryface (2,000)
9. Kanye West – Yeezus (2,000)
10. Nirvana – Nevermind (2,000)
Turntables / Technics unveils new premium SP-10R and SL-1000R turntables
« Last post by BSD2000 on January 09, 2018, 08:16:39 AM »

Two classics, reborn.

Technics is continuing its drive to bring back its most important turntables, with the classic SP-10 and SL-1000 decks set to be given a high-end reboot.

Previewed in August 2017, the Technics SP-10R turntable was described as Technics’ “most premium turntable ever”, and with further details emerging at Panasonic’s CES 2018 press conference, we now know why.

Living up to the reputation of the original SP-10 – the world’s first direct drive turntable – this new model is powered by a coreless direct drive motor, with the rubber-dampened aluminium platter stabilised by a 10mmm brass weight, giving it a mass of 7.9kg.

Reducing wow and flutter rate to 0.015 percent, it promises to limit background noise while increasing and clarifying the audio signal in the process.

With that in mind, the SP-10R’s control unit is separated from the main turntable unit, using what Panasonic calls an “unwanted noise reduction circuit.”

While this won’t come as a surprise to fans of the classic SP-10, which also required additional components – like the tonearm – to be purchased alongside the deck, Panasonic have designed the new SP-10R to be backwards compatible, meaning that the new system is interchangeable with previous models.

That said, any savings made from integrating the SP-10R into your original set-up will be somewhat off-set by the price-tag, which What Hi-Fi expects to be in the region of $10,000.

The second turntable announced at CES 2018 is the SL-1000R, which adds a base and S-shaped tonearm for a more complete and recognisable turntable set-up. These components are expected to raise the price of the SL-1000R to around $20,000.

It remains to be seen whether Technics will follow-up these new Reference Class decks with more affordable variations, as was the case with the stunning and, somewhat controversial Technics SL-1200G, and subsequent cheaper SL-1200GR model. [via What Hi-Fi / Verge]

Vinyl Grooves / U.S. Vinyl Album Sales Hit Nielsen Music-Era Record High in 2017
« Last post by BSD2000 on January 07, 2018, 04:21:36 PM »

John Pratt/Keystone/Getty Images

Vinyl LP sales accounted for 14 percent of all physical album sales in 2017, The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" top selling vinyl LP.

Once again, yearly vinyl album sales have hit another Nielsen Music-era record high, as the configuration sold 14.32 million (up 9 percent) in 2017. That’s up from the previous one-year high, registered in 2016 with 13.1 million.

Nielsen Music’s 2017 tracking year ran from Dec. 30, 2016 through Dec. 28, 2017. Numbers in this story are rounded. Nielsen Music began electronically tracking music sales and data in 1991 (so a reference in this story to the “Nielsen era” means from 1991 to the present).

2017 marks the 12th straight year of growth in vinyl album sales. The format continues to increase in sales as more new and classic albums are issued on vinyl, promotion from retailers like Amazon, Urban Outfitters and Barnes & Noble, as well as annual vinyl-oriented celebrations like Record Store Day.

Vinyl LP sales represented 8.5 percent of all album sales in 2017 – up from 6.5 percent for the configuration’s share in 2016. Further, LP sales were 14 percent of all physical album sales in 2017 (a Nielsen-era record share for the format) – up from 11 percent in 2016.

Further, vinyl album sales were driven by an array of titles, not just a handful of hot sellers. In total, 77 different titles each sold more than 20,000 copies on vinyl LP in 2017, as compared to 58 in 2016.

As usual, rock music, by far, drives most vinyl album sales, as the genre accounted for 67 percent of all vinyl album sales in 2017 (versus 69 percent in 2016).

The Beatles finish 2017 with the top two selling vinyl LPs of the year: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (72,000 — powered in large part by the album’s deluxe anniversary reissue in 2017) and Abbey Road (66,000). The soundtrack Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 1 is the third biggest with 62,000. Comparably, in 2016, the top three sellers were Twenty One Pilots’ Blurryface (68,000), David Bowie’s Blackstar (66,000) and Adele’s 25 (58,000).

Rank  Artist, TitleSales
1The Beatles, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band72,000
2The Beatles, Abbey Road66,000
3Soundtrack, Guardians of the Galaxy: Awesome Mix Vol. 162,000
4Ed Sheeran, ÷ (Divide)62,000
5Amy Winehouse, Back to Black58,000
6Prince and the Revolution, Purple Rain (Soundtrack)58,000
7Pink Floyd, The Dark Side of the Moon54,000
8Bob Marley and The Wailers, Legend: The Best Of…49,000
9Soundtrack, La La Land49,000
10Michael Jackson, Thriller49,000

Source: Nielsen Music, for the tracking period Dec. 30, 2016 through Dec. 28, 2017.
Original article on Billboard
Vinyl Grooves / Watch the world's first TEDx talk on the culture of record digging
« Last post by BSD2000 on December 27, 2017, 01:15:44 AM »

The first ever TEDx talk on the cultural importance and community of record digging has been held in Montreal. Hosted by Alexis Charpentier aka DJ Lexis, the brains behind online platform Music Is My Sanctuary and the 24 Hours of Vinyl series, the talk details the cultural significance of the community of crate diggers, DJs and producers who’ve performed the role of de facto “archeologists”, preserving and revitalising forgotten music scenes in the digital age.

As Alexis says: “From the start the idea was to build a talk around the notion of record digging as a cultural practise: the history of this community, what drives record diggers and why they have significant cultural role in protecting important parts of recorded music history.”

In doing so, Alexis tried to keep the talk, titled, Music Archeology: Reviving the World’s Forgotten Records, as instructive and inclusive as possible, as “for 99% of the audience, they don’t know very much about the record collecting culture that’s existed since the 1930s.”

As he explains: “I used one central story to illustrate the role of the record digger as a cultural catalyst who can give overlooked music a second chance to be heard. That story was about Henri-Pierre Noel, a Haitian musician who moved to Montreal recorded two albums who were eventually forgotten until Kobal, a Montreal record digger, rediscovered them and made a reissue project happen with the help of WahWah45’s.”

That said, Alexis was also keen to stress perspective in the role of the record collector and reissue label engaged in this cultural process. “We need to get over this superstar digger phase we seem to be stuck into these days,” he says. “At the end of the day, the glory should go to the artist who made the tune… and our role should be about giving beautiful music a second chance to be heard by as many people as possible.”

Watch the talk in full above.
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