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About bluesman

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    Crusty Old Curmudgeon

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  1. I love the 21st century!!! PS: You forgot a critical part of the ritual: checking the jacket and sleeve for damage and trying to heal any with glue, tape, and/or prayer.
  2. That Peavey part to which Kal provided a link might drop in if the mounting screws are spaced right. Unless you can buy an exact replacement from the manufacturer or a vendor, you’ll probably have a hard time finding another jack set that will seat properly and be securable with the original screws. To force fit an inexact replacement, you may have to cut / drill the panel and/or use high tack mounting tape - and neither of these is a good idea. I can’t see the whole panel in your pics, so I can’t tell if one or more of the input jacks is an identical piece to the broken one. From the screw pattern, it looks like the input jacks are a single assembly, in which case you can’t just short & insulate the leads to an unused input and move it to the output location. But you could disconnect the input leads from one you don’t use, leave them shorted & protected in place, and move the output wires to that pair of jacks. If you choose this solution, be sure to label the new output location! The rest of the RCA jacks on that unit are probably made the same way and the same age - so they’re prone to the same failure. The cause may have been the cable ends, the construction of the jacks, corrosion, etc. Crimping the plug shield to make it fit more tightly can cause or contribute to this failure, as can leaving lower quality fittings undisturbed for a long time. This also happens when high quality, tight fitting plugs are inserted into jacks of lesser quality that can’t take the required force for removal. Unless you figure out why this happened and do something to prevent it, you may have the same problem with other jacks on that unit.
  3. We love N’awlins!!! Here are some of our NOLA favorites- I suspect few of you know the music of Jon Cleary or Walter Wolfman Washington. Try this taste of gumbo greatness.........
  4. I too use Roon for pure listening enjoyment plus associated art & information far more than I do vinyl. But the vinyl experience has always been as much an enjoyable process (OK, maybe it’s a ritual) as it is a way to hear my music. I liken it to the fine art of tea, in which every step from selecting to prep to brewing to serving is an equal part of the pleasure. The ceremony is an integral part of the joy.
  5. For me, the catalyst for change was retirement and moving from a 4000 sq ft house to an apartment. I do love my hard copy, but now I can read my Stereophile anywhere I am on my phone or tablet. I still have several years of Downbeat from 1959 and a fair pile of the BAS Speaker (plus Road and Track from Vol 1 #1 to the present and an almost complete set of Sports Car Graphic - I couldn't bring myself to get rid of them either). But I gave or threw away hundreds of back issues of other mags.
  6. Although there are many possible issues with pre-Catalina apps on Catalina, the main change here is that 32 bit apps will not run on it. On recent versions of MacOS, you can list all your apps by clicking the Apple, then about this Mac - system report - apps. There’s a “64 bit” column in the list that will say yes or no for each installed app. A yes is not a guarantee that it’ll run on Catalina, but a no is a guarantee that it won’t. I suspect that most 32 bit apps will not update to 64 bit versions, but I hope I’m wrong for all you Mac people.
  7. The Delaware Valley (as the greater Philly area is known) has produced some world class blues people, but it's never been a center of blues culture. We've produced some fabulous blues singers, songwriters, & players - but at least as many of the Philly blues elite are behind the big names a among them. Philadelphians like Steve Guyger, Randy Lippincott, Jimmy Pritchard, (seen together in this video), Billy Baltera (Sonny Rhodes' guitar player for many years), Georgie Bonds, and many others have put out some fabulous music backing others and forging a local reputation. But we've never had a strong regional blues club and concert scene to bring our own to the national forefront. We had about half a dozen blues clubs from about 1990 to about 2010 - but they're sadly gone now (and most were demolished for coffee shops or condos). Most were trashy bars like South Street Blues, where the band got $100 and free beer (regardless of the number of players in it). In about 1993 or 4, an upscale club called Warmdaddy's opened and brought national blues talent through on a regular basis. The club was nice and the crowd was huge, truly eclectic, and delightful. I loved playing there and was called as a sideman for many touring artists who picked up local pros for gigs. We had Kenny Neal, Sista Monica, Chris Cain, Larry Garner, Luther Allison, etc. Because of Warmdaddy's success at the time, non-blues clubs started booking blues (e.g. Larry McCray played the Middle East Restaurant!). But the scene dried up for a number of reasons. Local club owners didn't go the extra mile to attract world class talent, they didn't increase the pay scale as worldwide demand for the performers grew, and it only took a few years for the big guys to stop coming here. Crowds thinned as the shows shifted back to locals (who were not presented with the support and enthusiasm they needed to build their own crowds), and it became a downward spiral for most of those places. WD's is still open, but it moved down to South Philly and simply doesn't have the variety and quality of blues that made it what it used to be. By about 2010, I was driving up to Black Eyed Sally's in Hartford and Road's End Cafe in Hazelton (PA) for blues gigs and playing very few here. We're experiencing a bit of a resurgence now, with 3 regular blues jams (Twisted Tail, Ashburner Inn, and Jamey's House of Music) supported by the Philly Blues Society. More local bars are booking us again, so you can find live blues somewhere in the greater Philly area at least a few nights a week again. Philly is and has always been a jazz town. From the dawn of the jazz age, we've produced greats you know and love. The Phildaelphia composer and bandleader Frank Johnson (1792-1844) was probably the first serious jazz maker of modern times, and by the early 1900s Philly was a center of jazz. Our own Eddie Lang was by most accounts the father of the jazz guitar (yeah, yeah, I know about Charlie Christian - but Lang was first and, in my opinion, better). Many moved here to hone their chops and become great: Dizzy, 'trane, Jimmy Heath, McCoy Tyner, Louis Jordan, Benny Golson, Clifford Brown, Bobby Timmons, Jimmy Smith, Buddy Defranco etc etc etc. And we're still producing world class jazz today that's heard and loved around the world.
  8. We’re currently building the Philly Blues Society into a serious effort after years of dormancy. An outreach program for regional schools is being planned now, in which we’ll go to the schools (from lower through high school) to give illustrated talks after which we’ll play the music for and with them. Most schools have programs for guest artists, through which we can provide world class people from their teens to their eighties to educate & entertain. It’s the future of the blues!
  9. That Nord in front of me does a great B3, complete with drawbars and a Leslie. I've played many a B3 over the years - unless it's been restored and/or perfectly maintained, an old B3 (and they're all old now) will sound bad. The tonewheels are a complex system that has to be in perfect shape to be in tune, and there are a million miles of wire inside that must all be in great shape. It's a nightmare to keep it running. I played the Hudson River Park Blues Festival in lower Manhattan a few years ago backing Larry Garner, and they gave me a real and excellent B3 with Leslie to use. It failed during warmup, and they had a tech on site to run on stage and fix it. Because of the mechanical problems with them, I use Native Instruments B4 (a great software B3 emulator that sounds as good as a perfect Hammond) on a laptop or my Roland guitar synth on most gigs that call for me to play both guitar and organ. That Nord is a great keyboard, but it's heavy as lead and very expensive.
  10. Cables clearly and dramatically affect electric guitar sound. They vary greatly in capacitance and we often have to use long ones (25 feet +) on stage. Wireless systems sound OK but only the really expensive ones come close to my favorite cables (George L brand) for a great jazz sound from my big 7 string arch top. I can’t justify their cost. For the blues, we push our amps to clipping and compression, so the cable is part of the system. The amp peeking out from my right side behind me is a Fender Vibrolux, which has a wonderful, fat sound that smooths out when cranked - but that sound comes from major THD and is hardly high fidelity. We have an equivalent to the audio cable controversy, though. For example, Eric Johnson claims he can hear differences among battery brands in his effects pedals...........
  11. You do not want to use your laptop's boot drive for music storage. Putting music files on a drive other than your boot / OS will minimize or eliminate file access problems and ensure smooth playback of even the highest res. SQ won't be any different unless the main drive is being hit by enough other demands during play to cause stuttering, dropouts etc. But there's no good reason I know of to clog a boot drive with music files. Your options start with a simple external USB HDD and run through the world of network storage devices. I've used a 4T (dual 2T drives) WD MyCloud MIrror for a few years now with great performance. But I also have simple Seagate USB HDDs that work well on secondary systems, along with a Buffalo Station NAS I use for experimenting. You really need to back up your music files off site. Anything that physically destroys your hardware (e.g. fire, flood, etc no matter how unlikely) will also destroy on-site backups like a second NAS or USB drive. I've used Livedrive (a British company) for several years and am very happy with them. I haven't lost any music over the years, but I did lose hundreds of important photos some years ago when a power outage took out multiple drives at home despite "protected" UPS. So if I were you, I'd get a nice NAS and a subscription to an online backup service.
  12. If you mean my blues band, it's easily arranged. My main blues band is the Philly Blues Kings. We're the house band at Jamey's House of Music in Lansdowne, PA where we host a regular Sunday blues brunch and jam. We did it weekly for about a year, but some of us got a little busy in other genres over the summer - e.g.my jazz quartet ("Groovelox") has become a hit at the pub in our local Whole Foods (one of the largest locations in the chain) and I played solo jazz guitar there for at least one Sunday brunch a month all summer. So we cut the blues jams back to the first Sunday of every month into the fall. It looks good for Jamey to expand a bit over the next few months, so we'll probably be back to a weekly blues brunch and jam on Sunday along with a jazz session Thursday nights (led my me with my jazz trio) and national acts Fridays and Saturdays (which we do now). We do stream the Sunday jams live and will probably do the same for added sessions as above. A word about my singing - I'm lousy at it and I hate to do it. But our vocalist (Gwen Jackson, a truly world class person and performer) has a real life and can't always be with us for the beginning of a gig. So I'm our default backup and have been for about 10 years. I should not be singing. Here are a few links to Sunday jams. For those who don't know what they are, a jam is hosted by a house band and brings musicians together to perform. Most blues jams attract a large following of amateurs and we're always happy to bring them up and help them along. A well run jam rotates the players and keeps at least one or two pros on stage to make sure the feel, tune, tempo, pace etc are maintained well. The object is to make the jammers feel at home and sound as good as they can - and to encourage them in their efforts. Like most regular and well known jams, we also get a few pros (local people plus national acts who are touring in our area), so you never know who's going to be on stage with us. These videos are raw and unedited in any way - so there's a lot of dead air and more than a few glitches in the performances. I'm the tall old dude playing guitar and keys at stage right (and trying for all I'm worth the keep the groups on track). Our band does a set for the last hour of each session, so you have to forward the videos to about an hour from the end to see us together. July 2019 (the band set starts at about 2:04) August 2019 (band set starts at 1:57) September 2019 (band starts at about 1:56) (Yes, the sound mix is often a bit grotty on the videos - the house mix is much better. Jamey's the sound man for most shows, but for the Sunday jams everything's generally left set for the band that played there the night before. The board's at the back of the room, and no one mans it during our Sunday sessions)
  13. ...for now. iTunes is reportedly the most popular Windows app of all, and it’s not gone yet. But once Catalina is running on the modern Macs of the world, it’s anybody’s guess what Apple will do because we really don’t know their business plan. Owning music just to listen to it is soooo last year for most of the world now. And iTunes has been a major sales outlet for downloads. With the rise of streaming & subscription music, track sales are down - so a strategy to push Windows users from iTunes to the new Apple Music trilogy makes sense, especially if they can get enough users to move to a big Mac to anchor their iStuff. If they all become Apple Music subscribers, revenues will probably soar well above what they were making from iTunes downloads to Windows users. I strongly suspect that this is part of their business plan. FWIW, I loaded the Catalina beta on my virtual Mac and it’s really nice, even with the performance limitations of my backyard virtualization freeware.
  14. I left full time employment about 3 years ago when I passed 70 1/2 and had to start taking RMDs. Staying on the job would have meant giving up a huge chunk to taxes at my salaried rate+. And we were ready - my wife retired about 8 years ago. So we sold the house, moved to a condo apartment, and are having a ball! I’m playing more music jobs now than I have since I went to medical school, and I’m still teaching and doing some research as a “volunteer” (I.e. unpaid) faculty member. I was promoted to full professor at a major university health center in 1993 with tenure of title (but obviously not of salary...). I used to turn out multiple papers every year, but after formal retirement my plan has been for one major, peer reviewed study annually. I’m on track with one in 2017 and two in 2018. My team’s accruing data now for the next one. Putting these articles together is no trouble at all - I’m learning a ton about things I hadn’t experienced before, and I’ve published over 100 peer reviewed studies since med school. So it’s in my fiber and a lot of fun. I’ve been trying to think of a reasonable way to compare the free and low cost players with the big boys, but I don’t have a good concept yet for the parameters. SQ is equally great for many in both groups, and SQ differences among them are purely qualitative IMO. No player at any (or no) cost has and does everything for everyone, so my “if you are / like / want X, Y and/or Z, you should consider....” approach is the best I could think of to date. I tried about a dozen ways to present the 31-way comparison and settled on that big spreadsheet. But it’s imperfect and I’ll try to do better with the next one. Thanks!,
  15. I can't answer that fully because (as stated in the body of the article) I don't have any Mac hardware right now. But if you look at the line item detail in the big chart, you'll find 4 that made the cut on my Linux-based Frankenmac. I installed those I evaluated on a virtual machine running on Ubuntu Studio (19.04), and none worked completely or perfectly under that constraint. But there are a few that worked well and sounded great even on my jury-rigged platform. On real Mac hardware (or even a more robust VM - I used freeware only), I suspect they're everything you and most of the rest of us want from a player. Colibri is a simple, bit perfect Mac-only player that should be excellent for audiophiles - I just couldn't get the demo to work well in VMWare, VitrualBox or Boxes. The full package costs a modest $5, if I understand the website correctly. As soon as I get a fresh Mac box, I'm going to try it out. I suspect it's pretty fine from the reviews and specs. Pine was pretty solid even on the virtual machines and deserves a thorough evaluation by anyone looking for a fine budget player for MacOS. The difficulty downloading, installing, and configuring it was almost certainly from virtualization rather than the program. Vox is another great Mac-only player that performed OK in virtualization and sounded great. I suspect that installation on a Mac box would result in excellent all around audiophile performance. Kodi's pretty good on Mac too, although I haven't wrung it out very hard & can't confirm that it'll do everything. I do want to get a Mini to play with, and I'm nuts enough to wring out 31 players on multiple platforms. But I don't need one and I'm not so far gone that I'd buy a Mac just for this review
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