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My sentiments entirely

Very interested to read on Amarra’s website and I paraphrase ‘it’s easy to make music sound good on a computer but hard to make it sound fabulous’.  I think they have been listening to my conversations.

Next week I’m in Munich for the High End show and by coincidence will be sharing a booth (or to be more exact one of my clients Thorens is sharing a booth) themed Sources of the Future – as it’s vinyl and streaming – with Higoto who are Germany’s streaming experts.

The demos will be of Thoren’s new Tri-Balance turntable, the Logitech Transporter and a Macbook running iTunes with the Amarra software into a Weiss DAC.

Should be very interesting.  It’ll bring out all the digits is digits posts again, especially as Amarra is around $1500.  That means the price of Mac Book Pro , Amarra and DAC will be around £5-6k.  Cheaper than my CD player. But will it deliver as much?

Will it be fabulous hi-fi or fabulous music?

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.

Budget Turntable Table not Lacking much

For reasons that will be more obvious at the Munich High End Show in May, I have been listening to rather a lot of vinyl recently.  It’s good to get back into the critical listening to turntables, arms and cartridges again after many years of really only listening to records for pleasure.

It’s also good to find that every change is audible just like CD or HD replay.

One of the listening tests was to try out the differing performance of the TT in design, on different supports, to get an idea of the variations in performance customers may get at home.

I had previously good results at home using an Ikea Lack table and so we risked the weather to visit the local Ikea.  The Lack tables were hugely expensive at 9.90 Euro so we bought two.

The point of the blog of course is the performance.  While I would never argue that the Lack delivered 100% of the dynamics of the specialist rack we were using, it wasn’t too shabby at all.  The good part is that, what it didn’t do well – mainly dynamic contrasts – it didn’t fail badly and horribly.

Overall the performance was reduced but in a very even handed way.

So I reckon the conclusion is that; if you are looking for something suitable for your turntable and you are just getting back into vinyl maybe after a few  years absence, you can do far worse than an Ikea Lack at £7.82 currently in the UK.  At that price it has got to be worth a punt.

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.

Funk LP12 Vector Link

All the kit of parts of my new Funk Vector Link arrived on Friday. Fit and finish look good.

Reading through the installation instructions it appears that there is a good deal of work to do in fitting it. Not being a LP12 guru I have asked a friend who is to assist with the setup.

I’m expecting to carry out the rebuild on Friday so I should have a working fully Funked LP12 by Saturday. Experience, of three people that I know that have fitted the kit, is that the resulting sound is seriously bright for a few days they it settles down to sound amazingly good.

From what I’ve heard at my friends, it works on a hi-fi level: the bass is very tight, the mid open and the top end is clear but refined. Far more importantly it works on a musical performance level.

More on the Funked LP12 Vector Link in about 10 days.

Funk Firm