Music and Recording Reviews

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Alex Halberstadt  |  Nov 27, 2023  |  18 comments
To misquote Morrissey, some knobs are better than others. The Manley Neo-Classic 300B amplifiers that I've been listening to, for example, have a knob marked "feedback" that goes from 0 to 10. I've learned so much from using it that I've come to believe that if your amp doesn't have such a knob, it should. You see, the higher you set this control, the better the amp will measure. Applying more global negative feedback to these amps lowers their nonlinear distortion and noisefloor, increases their bandwidth, renders them less sensitive to the speaker's impedance variations and otherwise makes them more stable and efficient. In fact, by applying lots of feedback to an amplifier, it's possible to reduce distortion to barely measurable levels.

So what's the problem? Well, a few turns of the knob suggest that negative feedback isn't as useful as it appears on paper.

Jason Victor Serinus, Stephen Francis Vasta  |  Nov 09, 2023  |  0 comments
Hermitage Piano Trio: Spanish Impressions; Mahler: Symphony No.1; Maurice Ravel: L'Heure espagnole • Bolero; Melody Moore: Remembering Tebaldi.
Robert Baird, Phil Brett, Ray Chelstowski  |  Nov 09, 2023  |  1 comments
ABC: The Lexicon of Love; Buddy & Julie Miller: In The Throes; Juliana Hatfield Sings ELO.
Robert Baird, Thomas Conrad, Larry Birnbaum  |  Nov 09, 2023  |  2 comments
John Scofield: Uncle John's Band; Mort Garson: Journey To The Moon And Beyond; James Brandon Lewis/Red Lily Quintet: For Mahalia, With Love; Alan Ferber Nonet: Up High, Down Low; Greg Foat & Gigi Masin: Dolphin; Avishai Cohen & Abraham Rodriguez Jr.: Iroko.
Phil Brett, Ray Chelstowski  |  Oct 06, 2023  |  1 comments
Pet Shop Boys: Smash: The Singles 1985–2020; R.E.M.: Around the Sun and Collapse Into Now; Hot Tuna: Live at Sweetwater 1, Live at Sweetwater 2, Live in Japan.
Jason Victor Serinus, Stephen Francis Vasta  |  Oct 06, 2023  |  2 comments
Dvořák: Takács Quartet; Johan Dalene/Christian Ihle Hadland: Stained Glass; Herrmann: Wuthering Heights Suite & Echoes for Strings
Thomas Conrad, Andrey Henkin  |  Oct 06, 2023  |  1 comments
Diskonife: Audible Spirits; John Coltrane With Eric Dolphy: Evenings at the Village Gate; Joe Henderson: The Complete "An Evening with Joe Henderson"; Matt Otto: Kansas City Trio.
Phil Brett, Ray Chelstowski, Andrey Henkin  |  Sep 08, 2023  |  1 comments
Pit Pony: World to Me; Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog: Connection; Duane Betts: Wild & Precious Life; Galen & Paul: Can We Do Tomorrow Another Day?
Thomas Conrad, Andrey Henkin  |  Sep 08, 2023  |  4 comments
Arne Jansen/Stephan Braun: Going Home; Joe Farnsworth: In What Direction Are You Headed?; Darcy James Argue's Secret Society: Dynamic Maximum Tension; Dave McMurray: Grateful Deadication 2.
Jason Victor Serinus, Stephen Francis Vasta  |  Sep 08, 2023  |  1 comments
C.P.E. Bach: Württemberg Sonatas (6), Wq. 49, Keith Jarrett, piano; Mahler: Symphony No.5, Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, Rafael Payare, cond.; Schubert: Symphonies Nos.5 & 7 (Unfinished), Freiburger Barockorchester, Pablo Heras-Casado, cond.; Robert Schumann: Dichterliebe • Kerner Lieder, Florian Boesch, baritone; Malcolm Martineau, piano.
Stephen Francis Vasta  |  Aug 10, 2023  |  0 comments
Shostakovich: Symphonies 6, 15, London Symphony Orchestra, Gianandrea Noseda, cond.
Robert Baird, Ray Chelstowski, Andrey Henkin  |  Aug 10, 2023  |  0 comments
Metallica: 72 Seasons; Joy Oladokun: Proof of Life; Mike Gordon: Flying Games.
Robert Baird, Thomas Conrad, Andrey Henkin  |  Aug 10, 2023  |  5 comments
Eva Cassidy: I Can Only Be Me; Dave Liebman: Live at Smalls; Ralph Towner: At First Light; Chet Baker: Blue Room; Various Artists: The Jazz Room, Vol.2.
Anne E. Johnson, Ray Chelstowski  |  Jul 13, 2023  |  0 comments
Natalie Merchant: Keep Your Courage; The Hold Steady: The Price of Progress.
Stephen Francis Vasta, Jason Victor Serinus  |  Jul 13, 2023  |  0 comments
Danish String Quartet: Prism V: Beethoven, Webern, Bach; Mahler: Symphony No.9, Minnesota Orchestra, Osmo Vänskä; Protean Quartet: Haydn, String Quartet Op.33 No.6; Almeida Mota, String Quartet Op.7 No.1; Beethoven, String Quartet Op.18 No.1