Saturday, February 16, 2013

Legacy Studios in the house

I have a little pair of monitors, the Legacy Studio HDs, in for review and the've been in my main rig for a few weeks. Small package, hefty weight, and a big sound for their size. Expect the review in the next issue of HiFi'Zine. All I 'll say here is that Legacy's recommended amplifier power is more than advisory.

Also purchased several of the Sony Legacy reissues of the Rory Gallagher back catalog, and they are sonically a step up from earlier CD copies I have, perhaps closer to the original LP sound wise, which was a complaint I've repeatedly heard of all the reissues, regardless of origin, to date. 

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Improvements by Mapleshade

I always enjoy the Mapleshade catalog when it arrives, though I am not sure if it's the products or the claims that capture most of my attention. If you're not familiar with Mapleshade, they are home to a range of products from recordings to modified turntables. They also are probably most known now for their massive maple racks and plinths, which they sell as bases for everything from CD players to bookshelf speakers (which they recommend positioning low on the floor but tipped back so the drivers aim up at the listener).

The latest catalog doesn't disappoint and comes with the usual tales of endless listening tests behind their products such as the thin $100 speaker wire which 'customers' report besting mega-buck cables, the choice of maple over everything else for supporting gear, and their proprietary wash for steam cleaning LPs, that before you place them on their microdot platter spots which, you've guessed it, are of optimized geometry and yield 'bigger sonic dividends' than spending $3k on a cartridge upgrade. All of this might be true but I don't actually know anyone who's tried their products so unless they are sending stuff out for review, I'll just have to continue enjoying the claims.

Their thin power cords and strips, which look like they are wrapped in cellophane bags certainly lack the bling factor of most audiophile products, but they also probably elicit shrieks from spouses when introduced into a living room. All a matter of taste, I suppose, but among their free tips for better sound, they recommend sitting with your chair back to the wall behind you (long wall preferably) with the speakers pulled up to 5ft in front of you. Now, I might be able to sell my significant other on the cellophane wrapped wires but rearranging the furniture and speakers in this way would be a quick path to bachelorhood I fear. If you try it, let me know how you get on, sonically that is (I don't want to know about your relationships!)

Now I am not saying there is nothing of value here - the Stanton table upgrades seem impressive, but the endless claims of listening tests, $90 tweaks that outperform multi-grand component upgrades, and exact percentage increases in sonic quality that result from one or other addition tends to elicit guffaws rather than respect after awhile but who knows? If you've tried one of these products, share your experience.  

Friday, February 1, 2013

Jimmie Vaughan doing well

Well, it happens to the best of them but I was amazed to learn from a friend in the UK that Jimmie had suffered a heart attack this week, though thankfully he is doing well. Read it here but I would not have known without that link form Europe as I don't read the local press. You may not know either, unless you read such outlets as you can be sure the mainstream media don't cover musicians such as Jimmie. I have to say Jimmie Vaughan is really a quite amazing player who's guitar skills are often under appreciated because of his laid back style and lack of histrionics. Having seen him live, I think he is way more impressive than some whom he backs, e.g. the 'god' who is appearing soon in Austin with ticket prices ranging from the low hundred(s) if you just want to be in the arena to several thousand bucks if you want to be up close. That ain't the blues, and it sure isn't justice either. Am sure JV does not mind and for that alone, we should all be grateful he's around for bit longer yet. Play on, JV.