Well, ladies and gentlemen, our Zappa Plays Zappa DVD Sweepstakes is now closed. We will not accept any additional entries. I offer my sincere thanks to all those who participated, sending in colorful, encouraging, and often amusingly odd e-mails. Thank you.
I loved the pure, clean sound and sense of touch and bloom that came with Ben Webster’s tenor sax on “Stars Fell on Alabama” from Billie Holiday’s great Songs for Distingué Lovers. And, in “A Foggy Day,” Lady Day’s voice was as rich and true as can be.
Later, I noted fine snap and brassy pluck to the sound of acoustic guitars during “Chuck E.’s in Love,” the opening track to Rickie Lee Jones’ self-titled debut, an album that people often love or hate.
It was a bit of good fortune. It was a rainy Saturday afternoon in late August. It was the perfect thing at the perfect time, like Hemingway in autumn or Whitman in winter or a lot of stuff I can't think of right nownothing refreshing, but something comforting: chocolate after wine, the smell of someone familiar when you're feeling all alone, I don't know. Monica had just called to tell me that she was back from her trip; she wanted to meet for a drink. I know very well that Monica is not the right person for me, but sometimes the right person is not what you need, is not the right thing at the right time.
The newest Zu loudspeaker is the Omen. I don’t know much about it. The product literature says: “Omen is the right loudspeaker for every concert fanatic, music junky, skater fool, and snowboarding dirtbag; splitting your cash between your lifestyle outside and your lifestyle inside just got a whole lot louder!” So, Zu has a specific audience in mind. At just $999/pair it is also Zu’s most affordable speaker.
There was nothing dirty, mean, or mighty unclean about the Audio Power Labs TNT 833 monoblock power amplifier, a pure class-A, push-pull design rated to deliver 200W into 8 ohms. Each amp weighs 160 lbs and uses 833C output tubes, 6550 driver tubes, and 12BH7 pre-driver tubes. The price will be somewhere between $150,000$170,000/pair.
The system, including an Audio Research LS27 preamplifier, Musical Fidelity M6CD CD player, Vandersteen 3A loudspeakers, and aided by an array of RealTraps room treatments, produced big, robust voices, and had a good sense of musical flow.
Audio Power Labs’ Clyde Holobaugh confessed that the TNT 833 has been “a labor of love,” requiring over two years in design and development. His goal was to build a class-A, push-pull design that would be powerful, while also eliminating distortion.