Malachi Lui

Malachi Lui  |  Jun 24, 2019  |  5 comments
Hours before its release, Tyler, the Creator tweeted a set of listening instructions to anxious fans about to hear his new magnum opus IGOR. “This is not Bastard. This is not Goblin. This is not Wolf. This is not Cherry Bomb. This is not Flower Boy. This is IGOR. Pronounced eee-gore. Don’t go into this expecting a rap album. Don’t go into this expecting any album. Just go, jump into it. I believe the first listen works best all the way through, no skips. Front to back. No distractions either.”

Malachi Lui  |  Jun 17, 2019  |  First Published: Jun 17, 2019  |  13 comments
Though my initial February review of Ortofon’s $999 MC Quintet Black S cartridge was quite favorable, one part of my system wasn’t best optimized for the cartridge: the Rega RB330 tonearm’s lack of adjustability meant that my VTA was off by two degrees (90 degrees instead of the preferred 92-93). To combat this issue, AnalogPlanet editor Michael Fremer and I installed Acoustic Signature shims underneath the back of the Rega tonearm. However, with sufficient shims installed to increase the VTA to 92 degrees, unless the tonearm was raised from the record surface, the dust cover wouldn’t close. Since in my house a dust cover is absolutely necessary, I sacrificed having ideal VTA and we only ended up installing a set of 1mm shims to increase the VTA by half a degree.

Malachi Lui  |  May 25, 2019  |  12 comments
Following a turbulent decade battling personal demons in the 1950s, tenor saxophonist Dexter Gordon had mostly faded from the jazz scene by the end of that decade; after all, he only recorded three sessions (two of which he led) in the second half of it. By 1961, however, he began a successful relationship with Blue Note that commenced that year with Doin’ Allright. The Los Angeles-native moved back to New York City for the third time, got rediscovered by jazz listeners, and led a quintet on this album that included Freddie Hubbard on trumpet, Horace Parlan on piano, George Tucker on Bass, and Al Harewood on drums.

Malachi Lui  |  May 06, 2019  |  10 comments
Wouldn’t pairing a highly talented bluesman with one of the best house bands in the world result in a great record?

Malachi Lui  |  Mar 28, 2019  |  16 comments
Despite recording a handful of legendary Paramount Records sides in 1930, Eddie James “Son” House, Jr. vanished after his rediscovery in August 1941 by Alan Lomax. His recordings gained stature over the ensuing decades, which in 1964 lead Dick Waterman, Nick Perls, and Phil Spiro on a mission to find House. They eventually located him that June in Rochester, New York, approximately 1,000 miles from his origins in the Mississippi Delta. Following his migration, House worked as a New York Central Railroad porter, killed a man in self-defense, and perhaps most importantly in the context of this review, put down his Dobro after the death of close friend and fellow bluesman Willie Brown. However, the younger generation’s enthusiasm for House’s original recordings reinvigorated his desire to play, which he then did for the first time in seven or eight (according to the liner notes) years.

Malachi Lui  |  Mar 25, 2019  |  First Published: Mar 25, 2019  |  19 comments
Recently, I presented the idea to AnalogPlanet editor Michael Fremer that I could do my very own online radio show to post on AnalogPlanet. I could transfer most of the songs from vinyl, stitch them together, and speak in between DJ sets. MF said “try it and let’s see how it turns out.”

Malachi Lui  |  Mar 18, 2019  |  First Published: Mar 18, 2019  |  23 comments
On April 13, Record Store Day is back for its 12th year with over 500 releases only available at independent record stores. This year’s list is arguably the best one since I’ve been attending RSD starting in 2014 (at age 8!), with fewer picture disc and colored vinyl re-hashings of common material and seemingly more unique items. Here are some highlights from the list:

Malachi Lui  |  Feb 25, 2019  |  First Published: Feb 25, 2019  |  26 comments
An Amazon search for “phono preamp for turntable” (the last two words theirs) will yield approximately 395 results, and above most affordable Pro-Ject, Cambridge Audio, U-Turn, and Music Hall phono preamps are those of Pyle, a company that makes most every kind of easily affordable product; hifi and A/V components, pro audio products, fitness trackers, subwoofers for boats, kitchen appliances, pest controlling devices, and even security systems! Pyle makes several budget phono preamps with the same specifications, including the $18.99 (MSRP) PP444. Two of Pyle’s preamps have well over 1,000 reviews on Amazon (mostly from real humans as far as I can tell), so quite a few people are buying these for their audio setups. Pyle’s audio products haven’t gotten much coverage, so I gave the PP444 a try.

Malachi Lui  |  Feb 21, 2019  |  First Published: Feb 21, 2019  |  2 comments
English-French avant pop band Stereolab recently announced an extensive reissue series of seven of their albums, starting with 1993’s Transient Random Noise-Bursts With Announcements and its 1994 follow-up Mars Audiac Quintet via Duophonic Ultra High Frequency Disks and Warp Records. Similar to last year’s reissues of Stereolab’s Switched On compilations, the albums are digitally remastered from the original ½” analog tapes by Bo Kondren at Calyx Mastering and supervised by Stereolab’s Tim Gane. These first two reissues will come out on May 2. Emperor Tomato Ketchup, Dots & Loops, and Cobra & Phases Group Play Voltage In The Milky Night will be reissued in August while Sound-Dust and Margerine Eclipse arrive in November. Each album comes with a bonus disc of alternate takes, demos, and unreleased mixes.

Malachi Lui  |  Feb 04, 2019  |  First Published: Feb 04, 2019  |  44 comments
“The next piece you need to upgrade is your cartridge,” my editor repeatedly reminded me for months. After receiving my Rega Planar 3 from a generous AnalogPlanet reader, I felt perfectly content with the pre-mounted Rega Elys 2 MM cartridge, as my new system (complete with AudioQuest speaker cables) was already a large improvement from my Audio-Technica LP120 turntable connected to a Panasonic home theater system. However, I researched cartridge upgrades nonetheless and came up with three potential moving coil choices ranging from $524 to $795, but I eventually settled on the $999 Ortofon Quintet Black S.

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