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Everything posted by astrotoy

  1. The two volumes of the Ivan Moravec Chopin Nocturnes on Connoisseur Records. A definite advantage of vinyl over CD. The famed French photographer Lucien Clergue. I bought these about the time they were first released in the mid '60s. Do you like the positive or the negative? Unlike many of the covers in this thread, these are great musical performances. Larry
  2. Alarm companies make their real money with the monthly monitoring fees. They normally contract out the actual monitoring service. So the alarm company gets a monthly income stream from each sale of an alarm system. One can switch to other monitoring services which are cheaper, but inertia typically keeps you with the same service. (Similar to keeping auto or home insurance with the same carrier and not price shopping every so often.) Larry
  3. With a gun, worst case is that your wife hears something at night, gets out of bed with the gun and shoots and kills you, not realizing you went downstairs for midnight snack. Then she sells all your hi fi equipment for the price you told her you paid for it. Larry
  4. My understanding of counterfeit products from China is that there are two major types. First is the standard counterfeit, where someone makes something that looks very much like the original, but uses cheaper parts - particularly those on the inside, hidden from view. Most counterfeiters don't think you will be comparing their version to the original (if you could afford the original why would you be buying the fake version.) The more difficult counterfeit is that a company contracts with a Chinese firm to manufacture a certain product. The firm makes the goods as contracted, but then prod
  5. Our seniors group has chosen Goal Zero to recommend to our members for power outages which are becoming more common in the SF Bay Area and northern California, where we are located. They seem to be very reliable and can be operated inside the house (unlike a gasoline generator) and have an optional cart to carry around the house. The portable solar panels as an option can extend the life of the battery. The main use for most people is to keep the refrigerator plugged in at least a couple of hours twice a day - which will keep the food from spoiling if you keep the frig door closed except wh
  6. True story. We were taking a walk this past Memorial Day weekend with our daughter's family (2 grandkids 9 and 6) visiting from LA. With us were her friend of 32 years and her family and parents (2 grandkids 5 and 8). We were walking by St. Mary's College in Moraga CA, a small but pretty well known Catholic college near us. The five year old saw the college and asked, why is the plus sign standing on the hill. Our daughter asked him, "Have you ever heard of Jesus Christ?" He said, "Yes, my dad says it all the time." Larry
  7. John, thanks so much for all your work and your detailed explanation of how to use your decoder. The first step I will do is convert the files to 192/24. I have a Pacific Microsonics Model Two and Pyramix software, so I normally get really fine results in my digital rips. I'll then try the decode on the files. Thanks again, Larry
  8. John, I'm not sure whether you have covered this topic, but does your software work to decode dolby A tapes? I have been gifted (actually permanent loan) six 15ips 2 track tapes which are rough stereo mixes of 16 track analogue live recording (on 2 inch tape that I could also get on loan) that a quite well know recording engineer (he has more than 1200 listings on allmusic.com) recorded at a live jazz festival in 1980. He told me that the music has never been commercially released and that he actually was stiffed by the company who hired him to do the recording. So he had the tapes and gave
  9. I talked to Ken in 2018 about his Ampex ATR-102 tape machines after being connected with him by Nick Doshi. Ken told me about his room and we had a very pleasant, quite long chat . I didn't think I was hearing him correctly about the dimensions of the room! He had several Ampex ATR-102 tape recorders and many boxes of parts and accessories. I have a couple of friends who also have ATR-102's as well as my own two. So we went through his list of parts and equipment and made him an offer for those that we wanted. I never heard back. A little disappointed, but I dropped the issue. Now I und
  10. We were visiting the Cologne Cathedral in 2005 and when we finished the tour, there was an accordian player, playing the Bach Toccata and Fugue in d minor. We stood there and listened. He then went on to play part of the Vivaldi Four Seasons. We didn't have any way of capturing his playing, but I think this is the same. Unfortunately it doesn't show him playing, just the Cathedral.
  11. Thanks for the clarification and explanation. Larry
  12. Thanks. Do you know whether the actual recording was digital to get onto youtube, or can you do an analogue recording of a live concert to get onto youtube. If it is digital, would it be hirez, like 192/24 PCM or 256 DSD, or something lower, hopefully above 44/16. If it is lower, then wouldn't that affect both the live recording and any digital recordings that are played back and recorded through the youtube video? Or am I missing something? I don't know anything about doing youtube recordings. Thanks, Larry
  13. What is being used to record the youtube video, the live performance? Larry
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. 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
  21. Fix It Again Tony. (Apologies if this has been already posted).
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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
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