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Everything posted by JoshM

  1. Yes, and a few of her songs were included in the "Family Tree" box.
  2. Thank you for the incredibly kind post. As far as the levels, the Nunn/Wood downloads included as a code with the LPs were much lower in level than the ones released to HDTracks (while otherwise being identical). I wonder if in dithering them down for CD release they pulled the HDTracks-level files for two of the CDs and the LP code-level files for the other?
  3. I agree. Frank is great. A very underrated songwriter who seemingly pops up as an influence for every major singer-songwriter of the late-‘60s.
  4. Yes. I listed through headphone and speakers. In both cases, the Nunn/Wood wins out. I haven’t done a detailed analysis, but my more informal listening says the Nunn/Wood is still your best pick. The process that produced each iteration of masterings was the same for each album, though they did diverge slightly for the hi-res. The original CDs were from cutting masters, and the 2000 returned to the original tapes (or copy tape, in the case of BL). However, for the hi-res, the sources were original tape for PM, copy tape for BL, and the 24-bit 2000 transfer for FLL. According
  5. Are you looking specifically for portable headphones and a DAP? What percentage of out-and-about versus home use are you expecting? When you’re out, will you be walking around or sitting someplace? My recommendations would vary based on the above. If you’re looking for portability in headphones, that leans towards easily drivable closed cans. I wasn’t a fan of the HD820. Depending on your budget and style preferences, look instead towards the Focal Elegia or ZMF Verite closed. Both are much more neutral and better sounding than the HD820. If you’re going to be walking a lo
  6. Thank you for the kind words everyone! I just updated the article to fix a few typos and grammatical errors that I missed in my submitted draft. (Many were caught by my lovely wife, who's a much better writer than me.) @Jud, @The Computer Audiophile, and @Superdad, I completely agree with you about Martyn. My interview with Wood was much longer than printed here. We got into his whole career, including his work with Martyn and Fairport, among others. Part of that will go towards an Interview Series entry (which I hope to have ready soon), and part of it will go towards future TBVOs
  7. When 26-year-old Nick Drake passed away in November 1974 at his parents’ home south of Birmingham, England, his three albums on Island Records (1969’s Five Leaves Left, 1971’s Bryter Layter, and 1972’s Pink Moon) had sold fewer than 20,000 copies in total, he’d played perhaps a few dozen concerts in his life, and had given only one interview. His death received scant attention even in the British music press, and according to family members he considered himself a failure. But Drake’s music seemed destined to endure. When Drake’s manager and producer Joe Boyd sold his W
  8. I’m actually working on a review comparing the Alpha to these two DACs!
  9. I find the USB for the Solaris to be flat dynamically and slightly more “digital” than when the Solaris is fed through an external USB to SPDIF converter. Schiit’s now-defunct Eitr, which can often be had for around $100 used, sounds very good with the Solaris, IMHO. It gives it a somewhat rounder presentation without sacrificing detail.
  10. Smart man. I’m a glutton for punishment. (And I do appreciate some of the measurements, if not the commentary that goes with them.)
  11. Are you kidding? Threads get closed or individual users warned or banned for disagreeing with Amir all the time! Check out the discussions of MQA or Amir’s subjective ratings of speakers. Anyone who disagrees with Amir repeatedly gets shown the door, regardless of the topic. Amir’s been banned from a variety of forums for trolling, including What’s Best, which I believe he cofounded. ASR bills itself as an objectivist site, but it’s really an outlet for Amir’s personal views. But Amir doesn’t want to present his view as simply one view among many. Instead, it’s that he has golden ear
  12. I do think Amir had a very unique set of biases and a very large ego. And, in my experience, AS, SBAF, GearSlutz, etc. all tend to allow a wider array of viewpoints than ASR does.
  13. I generally take the same view you do. I’m happy he’s measuring speakers, in particular. There’s a real paucity of good speaker measurements on the internet. However, I have doubts about some of his other measurements, based on critiques and contradictory measurements at SBAF and elsewhere. He also seems to subject unfavored brands to critical teardowns, but not favored ones. The main issue seems to be that many people at ASR take the measurements as gospel and think the SINAD chart conveys something important. They don’t seem to realize that getting good measurements is
  14. Don, your posts here are wonderful. How much do you think we should worry about intersample overs? Are they audible? Should we apply digital volume attenuation in Audirvana, HQ Player, etc. to avoid overs? Or does the extra processing involved in using digital volume attenuation outweigh the benefits of avoiding overs? I’ve been using a true peak plugin with Audirvana to see which albums I have clip, then applying digital volume attenuation. However, I still debate whether I’m doing the right thing, as then I’m no longer sending “bit perfect” data to the DAC.
  15. IMO this is a pretty devastating critique.
  16. Hi Matt, My Yggy had the Gen5 USB, though I often used it with various USB to SPDIF converters. The Yggy did front-to-back depth better than either DAC. Likewise with bass slam, though its edge over the Crane Song was relatively slight. However, I think both the Crane Song and Forssell out-resolved the Yggy, the former by a bigger margin. Being perhaps the most “analog”-like DAC I’ve heard, the Forssell is smoother than the Yggy. The Forssell also had a wider soundstage than the Yggy, though not by a lot. To be clear, each of those three DACs are excellent. I co
  17. Given my stress level these days, I could use a few dozen more. The Hilo will be an upcoming review! Thank you. I just fixed that sentence. Getting rid of the Yggy was a tough call. I'm debating picking up one of the "GS" Yggys at some point, particularly if I can find a used one. I suspect the A1 analog stage with the updated A2 firmware might be the best sounding model. But there are logical and financial limits to DAC hoarding. Haha.
  18. There’s a chasm in the audio market. On one side stand pro users. On the other stand audiophiles. Some companies straddle this line. But even then it’s common for such companies to clearly demarcate their equipment as “professional” or “hi-fi.” Some types of equipment are more likely to see products straddle this chasm. Certain speaker and, especially, headphone models appeal to pros and enthusiasts alike. DACs, however, are not such a category. Sure, companies like RME and Mytek have had some success bridging the professional/consumer divide, but they’re the exception that proves
  19. Thank you for the kind words, everyone. I have a few more interviews already recorded, including with mastering great Tim Young, known for his long association with The Clash and Van Morrison, among others. We ended up talking on three separate occasions, so I just need to edit it all down. I also just lined up an interview with excellent Andy Zax, archivist behind the recent Woodstock box and many amazing reissues, including personal favorite Judee Sill.
  20. On a sweltering Saturday in June three years ago, I trudged across the University of Michigan’s North Campus for a conference celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. My wife and I were in the middle of packing up our life in Ann Arbor to move to Charlottesville, Virginia, and every bone in my body wanted to collapse on the couch that afternoon. But I wasn’t about to miss engineer and producer Ken Scott’s keynote address. Few engineers and producers have been behind the board for so many pivotal albums or worked with such a diverse ar
  21. Thank you, @Nikhil. Kind feedback like this is what makes me keep writing. I always hope my TBVOs give people joy by bringing them closer to the music.
  22. Thank you for all of the kind words, everyone. Each TBVO is a labor of love. This one felt special because of Withers’s passing, the fact that the great* Mr. Blackmon took the time to exchange dozens and dozens of messages with me, and the fact that there’s very little about Withers out there (no biography, etc.) relative to his stature as an artist (and even less about this album). *Blackmon’s guitar playing throughout Still Bill is beautiful, same with the Carnegie Hall set, the Watts Band’s Express Yourself album, etc. He’s just a wildly underrated guitarist, IMO.
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