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About bluesman

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    Crusty Old Curmudgeon

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  1. Apropos of this theme in music, the market value of original (ie unmodified, unrepaired) vintage musical instruments is highest if they have the original strings, reeds, pads etc. A Fender Nocaster (the original model that became the Telecaster and Broadcaster) is worth the most if, in addition to being all original, it has its verifiably original strings. It will be unplayable with 70 year old strings, which will probably break if plucked. It will sound terrible even if the strings don’t break and the pickups are functional. They’ll be so oxidized and the insulation on the windings will be
  2. Right - and my 71 Rolex cost me $210 new. When we downsized, we sold our better watches for similar paper gains. But reality is that the total cost of ownership far exceeds purchase price. This used to apply to audio electronics too. I sold a Marantz 7 and 8 for far more than they cost new. But serious maintenance and mods reduced “profit” to break even. Tubes alone cost more than the electronics over the years I owned them. I don’t know what watch you have, but service on a Royal Oak is a minimum of about $2k and on a Patek with any complications, it can run well over $3k. Thr
  3. I just don’t think that’s possible. Our perception of pitch is not perfect, and I don’t know how to define, qualify, or quantify tunefulness. And any component in the entire signal chain from mics to master could also alter harmonic structure. In addition, you may judge what you hear to be tuneful even though it’s not an accurate reproduction of the source waveform. We’re talking about very subtle differences audible only as minor changes in timbre or tonal characteristics.
  4. I agre with that. But watch aficianados collect watches for reasons that audiophiles deny considering, like appearance, prestige, and bragging rights. As you correctly observe, keeping time is not the reason people buy Pateks, Ulysse Nardins, et al. If you just want a timepiece, you can get equal or better accuracy for a lot less money from an inexpensive Swatch or G-Shock. And as the old saying goes, a man with one watch usually knows the time. But a man with many watches rarely knows the time. People buy multiple Pateks, Langes, VCs etc because of their artistry, their beauty, their rar
  5. These effects are not huge, and because they’re randomly distributed among all the components in a system (even drivers, crossovers, cabinets, baffles etc), some probably mitigate or counter the effects of others. We all agree that even the best systems don’t have SQ indistinguishable from each other and that all fall short of total accuracy and perfect realism. The effects under discussion are certainly one reason for this. And the costly perpetual search for better SQ is ample evidence to me that people do care. I just hope my input helps them understand a bit more, listen a b
  6. True for some. But the note ranges of tenor and alto sax overlap by an octave and a half. The alto’s range is from concert Db 3 (ie the one below middle C) up 2 1/2 octaves to Ab 5. The tenor’s range is from concert Ab 2 up 2 1/2 octaves to E 5. And most playing is within that overlap. So even a slight midrange emphasis could make a thinner tenor sound more like a fat alto. Throw in the many variants among mouthpieces, reeds, embouchures, and playing styles and you can find yourself loving an auditory mosaic that simply doesn’t sound like the player you think you’re hearing, if your syst
  7. Unfortunately, there was an AFM ban on recording in 1942-44, so we don’t have much to document and enjoy what was a very important period in jazz. The Hines band in 1942 was really the first bebop band. With Bird, Dizzy, and Sarah Vaughan, it must have been wonderful. Then Parker joined Billy Eckstine’s new big band early in 1944 before moving on to being a star and playing in small groups. Most people don’t realize that Parker played tenor sax too. The story is that Hines needed a tenor but Parker only had an alto. So Hines bought him a tenor. He recorded on tenor with Miles
  8. Parker had a less than stellar early career. Documentation is a bit inconsistent, but I think he first joined Jay McShann’s band in 1938. He left for New York in ‘39, but worked several jobs (including dishwasher, which gives him something in common with Little Richard) because he was unable to survive as a musician. So he returned to KC and McShann in ‘40 when his father died, playing for McShann until moving to the Hines band in ‘42. He then joined Billy Eckstine’s new band for some months before moving on to a life in bebop.
  9. There’s no difficulty identifying him even when playing a cheap student model sax, although his tone might not be quite as rich and enjoyable as it was from the Selmer Balanced Action tenor he favored. Then again, Charlie Parker played a plastic saxophone for the last year+ of his short 34 years and no one complained about it in his hands. Just before a 1953 concert at a Toronto venue called Massey Hall, he’d pawned whatever good horn he had (allegedly for drug money, and not an isolated occurrence - he even pawned instruments he’d borrowed). So he had a concert to give but but no sax to pl
  10. That’s not what I’m saying. Instruments are ideally tuned to the same standard, which in much of the world today is that A above middle C is 440 Hz. Being off by a few Hz is both inevitable and inaudible for most. I haven’t seen or conducted a randomized measurement trial, but I suspect that the distribution around A 440 for all the instruments in an orchestra or band is probably a very tight Gaussian function with a mu of 0 +/- 1 Hz and a very low sigma squared. The 5th and 95th %iles are probably somewhere around 437 and 443. Not having any way to know where a given instrumen
  11. The problem with that postulate is that perfect pitch and intonation accuracy are rare. So it’s highly unlikely that any two musicians playing “the same note” will actually be playing the exact same note. Open strings on tuned instruments like pianos will vary by a few cents with time, temperature, humidity etc. Pitch accuracy in wind instruments is dependent on the player’s embouchure, breathing, etc. The pitch of bowed stringed instruments is set by the player’s finger with no frets to guide accuracy. And the pitch of notes on fretted instruments is altered within a few cents by finger
  12. Pain? No pain here! To be honest, I’d rather be me and over 70 than anyone else and under 50. I’m lovin’ the ride and I’m staying on it until the end of the line. The older you get, the fewer knobs you need 😎
  13. If I did that, I couldn't watch TV 🤪 I've built a lot of mine too. That's one reason why I suggest having at least one decent system for long term listening. Once you learn how your music sounds on it (especially if you have a chance to hear at least some of your favorite perfomers live from time to time), you have a steady platform for enjoying and learning more about your music. Then you can build away to your heart's content, using your reference system as a true baseline as well as for listening pleasure. So you can compare what you're building to that reference, to see
  14. You may not have noticed, but a growing number of TV shows are shot with HDR - and the degree of processing seems to be increasing every season. No color seen on the new Magnum or Hawaii 5-0 exists in nature, including the red of the Ferrari. Hawaii's definitely green, and its flowers are quite colorful - but it looks black and white compared to those processed TV images. I'm working now on #3 in this series. It's a discussion of how recordings are engineered for specific effects. I'm making a series of demos showing how simple mic placement changes what you think you're hearin
  15. I hope it's helpful to our little community! There are two links that are a bit wonky on an iPad but work fine on my computers, and I can't fingure out why. So if the music files in the last few paragraphs don't open properly, here are the URLs: Cannonball Adderly on Autumn Leaves (classic big, full alto tone) https://youtu.be/rsz6TE6t7-A Paul Desmond on Autumn Leaves (the sweetest alto sax tone in history) https://youtu.be/Gsz3mrnIBd0 Art Pepper on Autumn Leaves (edgier and less round than Cannonball's) htt
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