AudioPlus News and Views Rotating Header Image

Records

New 40th Anniversary Record Cleaning Machine from Keith Monks

Forty years after hi-fi pioneer Keith Monks defined modern record care with the launch of the world’s first Record Cleaning Machine, Keith Monks Audio celebrates with the limited edition RUBY. The RUBY, with maximum sales worldwide limited to 40, includes new and exclusive features, many unique in record cleaning.

More info here

Naim Label – A new website, a new name and a new URL

The new Naim Label website supports downloads from 320kbs MP3s to 24Bit 96kHz wav and FLAC. Sign up and if you are in the UK you can download a free track from the Naim Label’s new signing William Fitzsimmons. Licensing restricts the download to the UK only.

Naim Label information

Why 45rpm is essential

Elbow’s award winning album The Seldom Seen Kid is available on vinyl.  It’s heavy, split onto two records, and is 45rpm.  None of the reviews I read on Amazon mention that it’s 45rpm and neither does the album sleeve or even the Amazon details page.

Don’t get caught out like me wondering why the beginning sounded so odd.  Luckily my Funked LP12 with its DC motor and clever power supply can be switched to 45.

The album is truly stunning.  It has been mastered with care, it’s not compressed to hell, and its quiet.  What’s really wonderful though is the music.  It’s true poetry set to to music.  Maybe it’s not the most uplifting album in the world but it’s definitely the best album I’ve bought in the last couple of years.

Worth playing very often and very loud.

The Thorens 25th anniversary triple album is in the same class, but I didn’t have to buy that one, I’m glad to say.  More on that another day.

The Neats have been moved and moved

Now that the MF9s have run in and stabilised it was time to spend some time moving them a few centimeters at a time to find a more ideal position.

As they ran in they had become a bit bloated in the mid-bass, reducing clarity and general intelligibility as well as reducing the speed that they are normally so good at.

My room has a tendency to thickness rather than leanness so careful positioning is always needed, but the Neats have required more effort than most. They are a true full-range loudspeaker so are capable of exciting most room modes and resonances.

The effort has been rewarded with a far better insight into music, the recordings and, most importantly, the performances.

I think there is still more to come with even more fine tuning but that will come with time and patience.

Interestingly, as the perfornce has improved from CD, Hard Disc and Vinyl, it has exposed the shortcomings on internet radio.  It’s not going to stop me listening to Radio Paradise as their choice of music is so good, but if only they had a 320k AAC feed…

The LP12 is Funked

Friday was a busy day and my back is only just recovering. My older LP12 now has the Origin Live larger motor and power supply together with a comprehensive resetup.

The newer LP12 is now fully Funk Vectored complete with K Drive.

Both, after setup by my friend, bounce in a much more regular and controlled manner.

The huge difference though is in the music. They just deliver far more music and far less thickness and confusion. Stone Fox Chase the theme to The Old Grey Whistle Test had so much more interest and detail in the rhythm section on the old Linn compared to before the mods.

The Funky LP12 showed signs of the pre run-in forwardness I had expected but even so the control, dynamics and grip were so far of what the TT was delivering before.  Playing tracks from the new Thorens triple LP was a revelation.  The Staple Singers sounded amazing with fantastic out of blackness projection and Rickie Lee Jones’ nasal twang was as true as it was live at the Palladium.

More after the running in has completed.

Record Cleaning Shocker

Last night I visited a friend who was borrowing a Keith Monks Classic Record Cleaning Machine. I arrived to find a large pile of cleaned LPs and a man excitedly playing a track from a record, cleaning it and then playing it again.
I know KM is a client and I’m therefore biased, but the results were shocking.
The sound quality improvement wasn’t subtle at all. It wasn’t just a case of less noise: less clicks and pops. The shocking change was in detail and the ability to hear sounds low in the mix that were just inaudible before or in the case of voices unintelligible before.
It was the sort of improvements to sound quality that a significant upgrade in cartridge might bring.
As I said, shocking. Good shocking though.