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ECDesigns PowerDAC-R preview

It’s been a long time coming…   ECDesigns is a two-person operation run by brothers John and Gordon Brown; John handles circuit design and Gordon oversees the programming aspects. They are based near Eindhoven in the Netherlands, and products are sold directly through their website (www.ecdesigns.nl). John Brown introduced himself on DIYAudio in 2006 with these words: "I have spent my entire life designing, repairing and building electronic equipment – electronics is my passion...

Objective subjectivism

Objective: expressing or dealing with facts or conditions as perceived without distortion by personal feelings, prejudices, or interpretations (Merriam-Webster)   Arthur Salvatore is an old-timer with an outdated website that contains many fascinating insights into audio. My favorite section describes his "audio philosophy". One aspect which can be put in practice by all of us, concerns his description of "levels of audible improvements":   http://www.high-endaudio.com/philos

A speaker cable to rule them all ?

Ever tried copper foil speaker cables ? I have experimented with a couple recently:   - DIY model - Silversmith Audio's Fidelium cables   1) DIY copper foil cables   They are easy to make yourself - here is a recipe someone gave me. All you need is: - Kapton tape (https://www.amazon.com/Temperature-Resistant-Polyimide-Sublimation-Soldering/dp/B08T74TCFS/ref=sr_1_14?dchild=1&keywords=KAPTON+Tape&qid=1618095371&sr=8-14) - Copper foil, 16AWG

A custom music application

I am always curious to understand how people manage their music collection, and often surprised by the creativity deployed by some.   Perhaps reading about what I have designed will be of interest to others, though it is build "from scratch" and hardly replicable "as is". I'll admit that I am quite proud of my work: the results meet my specific needs.   I gave Roon a try for a couple years, then gave up, explaining why here (good background on why I embarked on this project):

RIP Marvelous

Marvelous Marvin Hagler, one of boxing's all time greats, just died, aged 66.   His boxing record: 67 pro fights, with only 3 losses (all controversial). He elevated boxing to an art form as few have ever done. From his interviews after his retirement, he seemed like a kind man. He remained bitter about the world of boxing, having been robbed in his last fight of a well-deserved victory against the more popular Sugar Ray Leonard.    Anyone interested in the "Sweet Science" sh

hopkins

hopkins in Sports

More Ellington Gems

The Pittsburgh Jazz Festival organized on June 20, 1965 a "Jazz Piano Workshop" which was luckily recorded and issued on CD by Mosaic Records: https://www.discogs.com/Various-The-Jazz-Piano/release/5260834. Here is a picture of the "cast" on that day: https://collection.cmoa.org/objects/cfcdaea2-de64-4f61-92cf-8f4e6d9db60f   Ellington plays two numbers (in addition to a duo with Earl Hines): a spirited version of "Take the A Train", with bass and drum accompaniment, and another piece "

hopkins

hopkins in Ellington

Lady Day

In 1946 Hollywood made a film about Jazz  - "New Orleans" - and cast Billie Holiday, arguably the most influential singer in Jazz, in a secondary role as a servant.   Yesterday, Hollywood celebrated Andra Day's depiction of Billie in the biopic "The United States vs Billie Holiday". Times have changed (though it could be argued there is still much progress to be made), but Billie Holiday is still remembered today as a "tragic" figure, somewhat obscuring her lasting contributions to Ame

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Meet Jan Evensmo - Jazz Archeologist

You may have come across Jan Evensmo's work referenced in jazz publications or liner notes or by reading his fascinating website  -http://www.jazzarcheology.com/ . I contacted him and he kindly agreed to answer a few questions:   Q: Your website is entitled "the treasures of vintage jazz". You have written "solographies" of numerous famous or lesser known artists.  When did your passion for jazz start and how did you come to writing these solographies?   It started when I was

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hopkins in Vintage Jazz

Loren Schoenberg on Ben Webster

Loren Schoenberg (of the the National Jazz Museum in Harlem) has published a four part lecture on Ben Webster on YouTube.    The production is not of the highest quality (but the content easily makes up for it), and some of the tracks are better heard on youtube directly or from your collection, if you can find them. There are quite a few rarities.     Part 1:     Part 2:     Part 3:     Part 4: 

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hopkins

In Praise of Ellington - The Pianist

Duke Ellington recorded music for 50 years.   Ask any Ellington fan to pick their favorite album, they will not be able to decide. Ever changing, throughout these 50 years, but always distinctive, what is it that makes Ellington so special ?  His arrangements, his compositions, his ability to gather in his band the best talents and use them at their best ?   One aspect which I find fascinating is his piano playing. His style and sound is instantly recognizable, and forms the

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hopkins

Ellington gems

Ellington never ceases to amaze and suprise me. Witness this short piece, released by Storyville earlier this year: "The Lake", part of his suite "The River", and performed at the end of a 1969 concert. Here are the Storyville notes:    "On November 7th, 1969, Duke Ellington and his orchestra played two concerts in Rotterdam, in the famous De Doelen concert hall. The second concert of the evening was prolonged, as the public wouldn’t let Ellington go. So while the rest of the bandmembe

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hopkins

Japanese greetings

At this time it is relevant to reflect on the merits of japanese-style greetings. Respect can be shown to others while avoiding the traditional western handshake.    Bowing can start when you first see the person at a distance, and continue as you approach them, but has to stop at a one meter distance !   Avoid the mistakes of Trump and Obama.            

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hopkins

A simple solution to all problems ?

Reading AustinPop's excellent review of the EtherRegen I could not help but thinking - does it need to be so complicated ? Cascading switches, linear power supplies, audiophile network and DC cables, clocks - there has to be be a better way ! Call me naive, but I believe there is always an elegant and simple solution to all problems, and don't see why digital audio should not conform to that rule. If we have not found it, then we need to look harder  

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hopkins

Remastering quality (for vintage jazz fans)

Here's an example to illustrate the importance of remastering quality.   The track is "Stepping into Swing Society" by Duke Ellington, recorded on January 13, 1938. I love the title !   Here's what Eddie Lambert has to say about this track (in "Duke Ellington: A Listener's Guide" - a little publicity for this great book:https://www.amazon.com/Duke-Ellington-Listeners-Guide-Studies/dp/0810831619 ) :   "By early 1938, the swing era was well under way. and Ellington in

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Vintage Jazz

A beautiful interpretation of "I Cover the Waterfront", by Henry "Red" Allen, dating from 1957:     Red Allen - trumpet J.C. Higginbotham - trombone Buster Bailey - clarinet Coleman Hawkins - tenor saxophone Marty Napoleon - piano Evertt Barksdale - guitar Lloyd Trotman - bass Cozy Cole - drums   In the words of Gunther Schuller ("The Swing Era"):   "Recorded evidence of Allen's work from 1946 to his death in 1967 is

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hopkins

my simple system

After spending quite a few years experimenting with various components, I finally have a system which satisfies me, so I thought I would describe it and explain why.   Speakers: Davis Courbet 4 (http://www.davis-acoustics.com/en/courbet-n4/) Amplifier: Lavardin ISX (http://www.lavardin.com/lavardin-isE.html) DAC: ECDesigns MOS16 DAC (https://www.ecdesigns.nl/de/info/mos16) Source: ECDesigns UPL (with ElectroTos cable) (https://www.ecdesigns.nl/de/info/upl16)  

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