Malachi Lui

Malachi Lui  |  Aug 06, 2019  |  First Published: Aug 06, 2019  |  31 comments
Have you been wondering what music I’ve been listening to lately? Probably not, but I’m telling you anyway! And maybe now that I’ve brought it up, you genuinely would like to know what AnalogPlanet contributing editor Malachi Lui currently spins in heavy rotation. Below are embedded playlists from Tidal, Spotify, and YouTube along with comments on the songs and/or mini-reviews of their associated albums that I unfortunately don’t have enough time to extensively cover.

Malachi Lui  |  Jul 24, 2019  |  First Published: Jul 24, 2019  |  26 comments
In my review of the $359/pair < a href=https://www.analogplanet.com/content/vanatoos-transparent-zero-speakers-offer-great-convenience-satisfying-desktop-sound>Vanatoo Transparent Zero desktop speakers, I noted that while playing Kanye West’s “I Am A God,” the active speaker produced a high-pitched whistle/screech noise. After we published the review, Vanatoo co-founder Gary Gesellchen suggested that instead of the cause being a design flaw, the noise was an artifact of an air leak due to loose screws. He recommended sealing the air passages by taking off the active speaker’s handle and tightening the screws all the way in.

Malachi Lui  |  Jul 19, 2019  |  First Published: Jul 19, 2019  |  15 comments
In my earlier review of Tyler, the Creator’s magnum opus IGOR, I note that Jack White plays with a less distorted tone than usual the guitar solo on album closer “ARE WE STILL FRIENDS?”. This information comes from Tyler’s Apple Music album release concert and remains the “official” word on the subject (the album credits make no mention of White, even though Tyler announced White’s musical presence on the LP two days after its release).

Malachi Lui  |  Jul 10, 2019  |  First Published: Jul 10, 2019  |  2 comments
Today’s budding audiophiles have more introductory options than ever. Available and (fairly) affordable are introductory turntable systems, great headphones, headphone amps, DACs, and… desktop speakers?

Enter the minds of Vanatoo, the company founded by experienced audio enthusiasts Gary Gesellchen and Rick Kernen. Gesellchen’s background includes decades of speaker designing and building, while Kernen has worked for over 35 years in micro-processing. Their speakers are aimed at those who “care about music, want something that sounds good, and also understand that they shouldn’t be forced to sacrifice convenience for quality,” Gesellchen told me in an email exchange. Vanatoo’s speakers though intended for desktops, can also be used in home theaters as well as in full room stereo systems.

Michael Fremer, Malachi Lui  |  Jul 03, 2019  |  First Published: Jul 03, 2019  |  17 comments
Malachi Lui: First and foremost, let’s note that while this is a review of Quality Record Pressings’ version of the Beatles “White Album” 2018 stereo mix, it’s really more of an excuse for me to humiliate Michael in the best ways as much as possible (laughs).

(For those who don't know, QRP pressed the 2 LP set worldwide. Optimal in Germany, pressed the 4 LP box set worldwide, containing the original 2 LP set plus the 2 LP Escher demos).

Michael Fremer: Always up for that! It’s a way of life.

ML: If you weren’t up for it, then I’d force you to be!

MF: Of course you would!

Malachi Lui  |  Jun 24, 2019  |  21 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  |  16 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  |  14 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.

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