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About astrotoy

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  1. No, I don't. I do have a 15ips 2 track second generation dub of a production or safety master tape, not a digital version. Larry
  2. How can you not like a man who steals another man's wife and stays friends with him for the rest of his life. Larry
  3. So far, the only one I know is Ingrid Bergman. See her radiant beauty in Casablanca, with Humphrey Bogart. From late 1942 - three years before I was born, when the war was very much in doubt. One of the all time great movies. Larry
  4. I've converted many SACD's (several hundred) using a modified Sony Playstation PS3. I bought it converted from a friend. Once converted it is very simple to rip SACD's. I normally rip to an ISO file and then convert to both stereo and mch albums (for those that have both). I bought an Oppo 105 as a back up (and to play blurays on my system) but haven't used the ripping function yet. Larry
  5. About a decade ago we spent a week touring around the Amalfi Coast, including Naples and Vesuvius. We had a delightful Italian guide and saw many, many Fiats, mostly the ubiquitous Cinquecentos and its predecessors and successors. I asked her what does Fiat mean? She answered without missing a beat, "Fix it again, Tony." Larry
  6. Depends on what you want to play and whether you want to follow the composer's instructions in the piece. In addition to the sustain pedal markings on a piece, a composer will specify when the soft pedal is indicated (designated typically as "una corda"). In an acoustic grand, the soft or una corda pedal, shifts the action of the piano slightly to the right, so that the hammers don't hit all three strings, but only two (in the old days it hit only one string or una corda.) This not only makes the sound quieter, but also changes the tonality of the notes - with only two strings playing, rathe
  7. I would say that we have to be a little careful in choosing who are the great composers. It partly depends on the era. Bach was known in the era of Mozart and Beethoven, but not generally considered one of the greats, until Mendelssohn rediscovered him. Same with Schubert, where many of what we now consider greatest compositions weren't even played until many years after his death. During a composer's lifetime, it is particularly hard to judge what is great about them. For example, during his lifetime, Beethoven's first symphony was his most popular symphony and his most popular piece wa
  8. Fix It Again Tony. (Apologies if this has been already posted).
  9. Besides a tape (which had the channels reversed from the CD) I do have the FIM version which Winston Ma did. Winston hired the best mastering engineers and with his keen ears and mind would spend lots of time (and money) to get the best out of each master tape. (BTW, the FIM version has Astrud's voice on the right). I had the pleasure of working with Winston when he commissioned me to write a book about Decca Records (classical) for FIM in 2013. Four CD's of some of the greatest Decca recordings were included with the book and we had two great multi Grammy award winning engineers (Michael
  10. I am fortunate to have a very nice 15ips 2 track tape copy of the Getz/Gilberto album. Spectacular sound. It has the full version of the song with Joao Gilberto playing the guitar and singing the original Portuguese lyrics and then his wife Astrud follows singing the English lyrics. Not sure whether it is common knowledge, but after the album was released, Astrud Gilberto moved to the US, left her husband for Stan Getz and toured with Getz. According to wiki the "Girl" was about 17 when she inspired the song in 1962. There is a nice photo of her in the wiki article taken in
  11. There is a story about a famous classical pianist Wilhelm Backhaus who had phenomenal powers to transpose on the fly. He was scheduled to play the Grieg A minor piano concerto with an orchestra. He came in for the rehearsal the afternoon and found the piano was a semitone flat. So he played the concerto in the rehearsal in Bb minor! By the time of the concert that evening, the piano had been brought up to pitch (or maybe a substitute piano) and he played the concert in the correct key. (For non-musicians, A minor is the relative minor to C major - no sharps or flats, the easiest mino
  12. I just listened to the two samples. I noticed some crackles, but in particular, in the DECODED version, the second word of the song "you're" is missing or edited out. It is there in the RAW version. I pulled out my tape version (15ips 2 track 1/4" dub of a safety master copy - so second generation after the safety) and there are no crackles. However, there is a faint tick on the word "you're", so I assume that is on the master tape. My tape version sounds really good. Larry
  13. Bill Schnee won Grammy awards for engineering the Steely Dan albums Aja and Gaucho. For audiophiles, he engineered many of the early direct to disc Sheffield albums for Doug Sax and Lincoln Mayorga. 135 gold and platinum albums. Over 600 albums to his credit. Can't wait for the book! Larry
  14. I was fortunate to spend an afternoon visiting Dave Brubeck and his wife Iola at their Connecticut home back in 1987. There were only four of us with Dave and Iola, with their son Chris joining the group. Not dinner, but still a day to remember. My wife played his Baldwin grand and Dave told us about his composition he was doing for the Pope's visit to the US later in the year. Our London timeshare is on the same street that Jimi Hendrix lived - about 5 blocks away from us - same building as George Friedrich Handel lived 200+ years before Hendrix. Now it is a museum called Han
  15. It used to be that it wasn't until they went to college that your kid started to know more than you did. Now... Our seniors group had a troop of Girl Scouts give us a class on how to use our iphones. They were all 12 and 13. They said we didn't need to take notes, since they had written and self published a color manual taking us step-by-step through each part of the lesson. Of course, it was a hard copy, given to each of us, since we weren't so good at reading manuals or books on our computers or phones. Larru
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