Michael Fremer

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Michael Fremer  |  Sep 03, 2018  |  First Published: Sep 03, 2018  |  10 comments
Imagine, the follow up to John Lennon’s raw, at times vitriolic and still packing a punch Plastic Ono Band 1970 solo debut—an album heavily influenced by primal therapy and coming to grips with personal childhood issues—is considered by many observers today to be his most enduring, though when originally released some of the overt and impossibly idealistic political posturing was wrongly thought by many critics to doom the album’s long term artistic viability.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 31, 2018  |  First Published: Aug 31, 2018  |  5 comments
Filmmaker Jon Brewer's Mick Ronson documentary tells the truly sad story of the wholly under-apprecriated guitarist/arranger Mick Ronson, who is of course best known (if he's known at all) for his work with David Bowie. That being the case, Brewer spends a great deal of time (too much time) at the beginning of the 101 minute film on the rise of David Bowie before getting to the fall of Mick Ronson, better known to his friends as "Ronno".

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 30, 2018  |  First Published: Aug 30, 2018  |  10 comments
Members of the European press plus AnalogPlanet.com editor Michael Fremer and The Absolute Sound’s Julie Mullins were invited to the launch of two new Marantz limited edition products celebrating the 40th anniversary of legendary Marantz “Brand Ambassador” Ken Ishiwata’s association with the company. The event was held inside famed Concertgabouw rather than at Marantz’s Eindhoven, Netherlands European headquarters.

The “KI” stands for Ken Ishiwata, and ruby is the gemstone associated with 40th anniversaries. Each of the products is limited to 1000 and are considered “collector’s items”. For those who don’t know Ken Ishiwata or the nature of his Marantz relationship, this video will provide the answers. Ken says it’s the first time he’s discussed the history.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 26, 2018  |  First Published: Aug 26, 2018  |  8 comments
Minimizing inter-channel crosstalk maximizes channel separation and helps produce a maximally wide and balanced soundstage. Azimuth is a critical cartridge set-up parameter.

Many if not most gimbaled-bearing tonearms don’t allow for axial tilt adjustment to set azimuth.

With arms that do, unipivot or gimbal bearing, physically making sure the head shell is parallel to the platter or setting cantilever perpendicularity using a mirror, does not insure correct azimuth setting just as an arm parallel to the record does not assure correct SRA/ VTA.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 26, 2018  |  First Published: Mar 01, 2003  |  10 comments
"Why would anyone pay $74,000 for a turntable?" sputtered Peter Panarisi. Aston Martin's product press officer was showing me around the company's V12 Vanquish production facility in Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, England. "What does it have to do," he continued incredulously, while showing me how they hand-build the ca $240,000, 460bhp, 190mph two-seater, "but turn the record?"

I'll spare you my retort...

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 23, 2018  |  First Published: Aug 23, 2018  |  18 comments
Sumiko has been shucking these Oyster moving magnet cartridges for many years. They've mostly been entry level products aimed at getting one started in the analog world, placed on a budget turntable and priced accordingly. The least costly $79 Oyster sported a spherical stylus that didn't deliver much in the way of detail but made set up easy and got the job done.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 22, 2018  |  24 comments
Startling when first released in 1968, The Band's debut continues to evoke mystery, grandeur and an abundance of musical depth that few rock records achieved then or now.

Books have probably been written about the album and certainly have been about the outfit known as The Band, the members of which though mostly unknown to buyers lured by a Bob Dylan cover (literally and musically), were touring and recording veterans—not that experience alone can explain what the group achieved here.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 20, 2018  |  14 comments
The faded Crown (or Coronet) Records cover art, the borrowed “360 Sound” “Stereo” arrows in the top strip where “Ruen Brothers” replaces “Stereo” and the retro attitudinal looks on the faces of the two brothers, one wearing string tie, one not, hint at what’s in the grooves of this audacious Rick Rubin produced debut of the brothers RUpert and hENry Stansall also known as the Ruen Brothers. They are not poseurs. They are serious. They are on a “wake up” mission that’s been developing for four years.

Michael Fremer  |  Aug 20, 2018  |  First Published: Feb 01, 2003  |  3 comments
There was a reference to a SOTA turntable in an episode of The Sopranos in the fall of 2002. Tony's son, A.J., and a pal were visiting a wealthy girlfriend when the pal popped out from the hallway and exclaimed, "A mint copy of Rubber Soul! That must be worth a fortune! And a SOTA turntable!" This was in or near the same episode in which Tony was outfitted with a sophisticated front-projection home-theater system. I'd wondered since the first season why a man of his means has been watching a 27", 4:3 Philips analog tube. I'm trying to find out who's the audio/videophile among The Sopranos' cast and crew.
Michael Fremer  |  Aug 16, 2018  |  First Published: Aug 16, 2018  |  11 comments
This revolutionary cartridge comes in two flavors: plain and peanut. When the stylus wears out instead of having the cartridge re-tipped, you eat it. It melts in your mouth, not in your hands. Best for “mint” LPs, etc.

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