LATEST ADDITIONS

Mark Smotroff  |  Nov 15, 2023  |  4 comments

Our latest Review Explosion Short Cuts serving tackles a trio of fine new LP sets thematically connected by a common love of British rock of the 1960s and ’70s. Included herein are an archival 2LP live set from The Flaming Lips circa 2003, a recent 1LP studio offering from the ever-prolific Guided By Voices, and the first official solo sojourn LP from acclaimed Irish singer/songwriter/producer Thomas Walsh. Read on to glean Mark Smotroff’s take on these wonderful LP sides that are collectively chock full of melody and imagination. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Nov 14, 2023  |  9 comments

ARC, the ARChive of Contemporary Music, consists of the world’s largest music collection — it contains over 3 million LPs and other historical recording-related materials — but it is now looking for a new, permanent home. Read on to see ARC’s plans for the ongoing preservation and housing of this truly important collection — and how you may be able to help keep it going, if you so choose. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Nov 13, 2023  |  5 comments

While we’re waiting to upload some first-hand reports from the intrepid AP team that attended this past weekend’s Capital Audio Fest, we thought we’d take a moment to look at some new top-shelf moving magnet (MM) cartridges from Ortofon. The Danish company just announced seven additions to their vaunted 2M series — namely, seven new MM carts specifically designated as 2MR. Read on to see what’s in the feature set for the 2MR series as a whole as well as each respective SRP for Ortofon’s fine new MM cartridge array. . .

Mark Smotroff  |  Nov 10, 2023  |  45 comments

In retrospect, Tom Waits’ trajectory from singer/song writer to down-beaten jazz-fueled street person scowling at the piano in the 1970s made perfect sense. But when he came out of the gate in the early 1980s, his transformation was almost as dramatic as David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust reinvention. Five new of-era 180g 1LP reissues from Island/UMe — namely, 1983’s Swordfishtrombones, 1985’s Rain Dogs, 1987’s Franks Wild Years, 1992’s Bone Machine, and 1993’s The Black Rider — all seek to remind us of just how fertile this period was in Waits’ overall canon. Read Mark Smotroff’s Short Cuts combo review to see if any or all of these new wonderful Waits reissues belong in your collection. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Nov 08, 2023  |  4 comments

David Rawlings had a clear mission ahead of him. His dream was to release Gillian Welch’s acclaimed June 2011 alt-rural album The Harrow & The Harvest on reel-to-reel tape — but just how would he go about doing it? One word: DIY. During a recent phone interview with AP editor Mike Mettler, Rawlings discusses how The Harrow & The Harvest made its transition to tape, why making tape duplicates is a challenging process, why he also still loves cutting lacquers, and which Welch album might just make its reel-to-reel debut next. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Nov 07, 2023  |  9 comments

Since we went to the upper reaches of aspirational gear with yesterday’s look at an uber-high-end phono preamp, we figured we’d swing the SRP pendulum back the other way today and eyeball a new, and quite affordable, piece of equipment from noted German manufacturer Rekkord — namely, their new F100 turntable. Read on to find out more about the budget-minded F100 ’table and its feature set. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Nov 06, 2023  |  10 comments

Nagra is making a bold statement with their all-caps HD PHONO preamp. Read on to see all the specs of the high-end Swiss manufacturer’s flag-planting phono preamp. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Nov 03, 2023  |  2 comments

Phil Manzanera is quite the worldly musician. Lately, the guitarist/composer has been on a tear with his Roxy Music bandmate, saxophonist Andy Mackay, with three LPs en route: AM PM, Roxymphony, and Christmas — plus a fourth with Tim Finn, a limited edition 3LP set. During a recent Zoom interview with AP editor Mike Mettler, Manzanera discusses how AM PM instinctually came together, the differences between composing instrumentals as opposed to music accompanied by lyrics, and which Roxy Music album he feels is perfectly sequenced for vinyl playback. . .

Mark Smotroff  |  Nov 02, 2023  |  2 comments

ECM has just expanded their vinyl reissue campaign under the new Luminessence banner, a series that purports to have accessed analog masters for these new 180g 1LP editions. Read Mark Smotroff’s Short Cuts combo review of four key Luminessence titles — from Naná Vasconcelos, Kenny Wheeler, Gary Burton, and Old and New Dreams — to see if any or all of them belong in your collection. . .

Mike Mettler  |  Nov 01, 2023  |  4 comments

Back in September, we asked you, the AP faithful, to “show us your turntables!” for an all-new feature section titled Table Toppers — and did you ever respond in full. Since then, we’ve been sifting through a cavalcade of your many great submissions, and we figured what better way to kick off the month of November than with the debut installment of Table Toppers — namely, a truly terrific trio of ’tables owned by Diogo Alfaiate of Lisbon, Portugal. Read on to see a score of cool pics of Diogo’s amazing system, plus get his firsthand account of his lifelong love of vinyl. . .

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