Friday, December 30, 2011

how JP sees things...


yeah... I still dig building with Legos... JP always starts building by the books... that drives me crazy.. I am pure freestyle... but when he took these pictures, well, I began to see why he does it like he does... it is kinda like building your own audio gear.. it makes you invested.. adds a bond.... makes you care even more... it makes you sweat the details...

and I just like the pictures...

Monday, December 26, 2011

show me your new vinyl!

I am spoiled... and it is therefore extremely difficult to buy gifts for me... I have any tube I really need... and to even think about something along those lines is to get into really obscure geekland... but I am blessed with a wife and family who listen... so this is what they got me.. check these out!

I know most of you have the super over released Folk Singer from Muddy Waters, and that is a phenomenal album, but this is his best from the early Chess years... I did not own it on vinyl.. and have nearly killed a hard drive calling this compilation over and over again... to say that I cannot afford teh stack of original 78's goes without saying, but this reissue sounds *WAY* better than my digital copy... this is serious dancing music... I often make a fool out of myself playing this one..

the Satch Plays Fats is another that I only had a digital copy of... not sure why.. I guess I always assumed it would be expensive due to age... but MZ showed me that it is out there.. I know every word to every song.. know the notes coming on teh solos.. Lisa and I both pull this one.. so it is nice to have a vinyl copy.. it makes it extra yummy...

Man or Atroman is modern surf rock.. I super dig these guys.. it is somehow mixed with a little REM sound in there.. "jangly guitars" as Lenwood would say.. highly recommended... but you can listen here for yourself first... check out the video by Sarah Jacobsen, an artist herself...

and last but not least is The Black Keys... I have already written about them here.. and I dig the new album.. more soul.. and back to some tunes that will absolutely ROCK live... I hope they swing south...

so I am super glad the family listens when I mumble about needing a vinyl this or a vinyl that... oh, and they wisely bought me a new green hoodie to replace my ten year old beater that has seen use and abuse... and they know me well enough to not buy one with a logo so large that it makes me a billboard... ahh... in cognito... my favorite..

so what did you guys and gals get???? gotta share!!


Thursday, December 15, 2011


This one was hard... I read this a week ago... it really resonated... tough, but I think very correct...

and then I spent four days listening to ninety percent jazz... old monos... new stereos.. modern.. classic...

and I still feel that it is true... so I revisited tonight... now there is a stir.. sad.. but read the original.. I think it is correct... and read it with love.. I think it will sink in...

the original is here.. on Nicholas Payton's blog... the text I will copy below:

On Why Jazz Isn’t Cool Anymore
Posted on November 27, 2011

Jazz died in 1959.

There maybe cool individuals who say they play Jazz, but ain’t shit cool about Jazz as a whole.

Jazz died when cool stopped being hip.

Jazz was a limited idea to begin with.

Jazz is a label that was forced upon the musicians.

The musicians should’ve never accepted that idea.

Jazz ain’t shit.

Jazz is incestuous.

Jazz separated itself from American popular music.

Big mistake.

The music never recovered.

Ornette tried to save Jazz from itself by taking the music back to its New Orleanian roots, but his efforts were too esoteric.

Jazz died in 1959, that’s why Ornette tried to “Free Jazz” in 1960.

Jazz is only cool if you don’t actually play it for a living.

Jazz musicians have accepted the idea that it’s OK to be poor.

John Coltrane is a bad cat, but Jazz stopped being cool in 1959.

The very fact that so many people are holding on to this idea of what Jazz is supposed to be is exactly what makes it not cool.

People are holding on to an idea that died long ago.

Jazz, like the Buddha, is dead.

Let it go, people, let it go.

Paul Whiteman was the King of Jazz and someday all kings must fall.

Jazz ain’t cool, it’s cold, like necrophilia.

Stop fucking the dead and embrace the living.

Jazz worries way too much about itself for it to be cool.

Jazz died in 1959.

The number one Jazz record is Miles Davis’ Kind Of Blue.

Dave Brubeck’s Time Out was released in 1959.

1959 was the coolest year in Jazz.

Jazz is haunted by its own hungry ghosts.

Let it die.

You can be martyrs for an idea that died over a half a century if y’all want.

Jazz has proven itself to be limited, and therefore, not cool.

Lot’s wife turned to a pillar of salt from looking back.

Jazz is dead.

Miles ahead.

Some may say that I’m no longer the same dude who recorded the album with Doc Cheatham.

Correct: I’m not the same dude I was 14 years ago.

Isn’t that the point?

Our whole purpose on this planet is to evolve.

The Golden Age of Jazz is gone.

Let it go.

Too many necrophiliacs in Jazz.

You’re making my case for me.

Some people may say we are defined by our limitations.

I don’t believe in limitations, but yes, if you believe you are limited that will define you.

Definitions are retrospective.

And if you find yourself getting mad, it’s probably because you know Jazz is dead.

Why get upset if what I’m saying doesn’t ring true?

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I don’t play Jazz.

I play Postmodern New Orleans music.

Louis Armstrong and Danny Barker play Traditional New Orleans Music.

Ellis Marsalis and James Black play Modern New Orleans music.

Kidd Jordan and Clyde Kerr play Avant-garde New Orleans music.

Donald Harrison plays Neoclassical New Orleans music.

I play Postmodern New Orleans music.

I am a part of a lineage.

I am a part of a blood line.

My ancestors didn’t play Jazz, they played Traditional, Modern and Avant-garde New Orleans Music.

I don’t play Jazz.

I don’t let others define who I am.

I am a Postmodern New Orleans musician.

I create music for the heart and the head, for the beauty and the booty.

The man who lets others define him is a dead man.

With all due respect to the masters, they were victims of a colonialist mentality.

Blacks have been conditioned for centuries to be grateful for whatever crumbs thrown to them.

As a postmodern musician, it’s my duty to do better than my predecessors.

To question, reexamine and redefine what it is that we do.

They accepted it because they had to.

Because my ancestors opened the door for me, I don’t have to accept it.

Louis bowed and scraped so Miles could turn his back.

It’s called evolution.

It’s the colonialist mentality that glorifies being treated like a slave.

There is nothing romantic about poor, scuffling Jazz musicians.

Fuck that idea.

It’s not cool.

Jazz is a lie.

America is a lie.

Playing Jazz is like running on a treadmill: you may break a sweat, but ultimately you ain’t going nowhere.

Some people may say we are limited.

I say, we are as limited as we think.

I am not limited.

Jazz is a marketing ploy that serves an elite few.

The elite make all the money while they tell the true artists it’s cool to be broke.

Occupy Jazz!

I am not speaking of so-called Jazz’s improvisational aspects.

Improvisation by its very nature can never be passé, but mindsets are invariably deadly.

Not knowing is the most you can ever know.

It’s only when you don’t know that “everything” is possible.

Jazz has nothing to do with music or being cool.

It’s a marketing idea.

A glaring example of what’s wrong with Jazz is how people fight over it.

People are too afraid to let go of a name that is killing the spirit of the music.

Life is bigger than music, unless you love and/or play Jazz.

The art, or lack thereof, is just a reflection.

Miles Davis personified cool and he hated Jazz.

What is Jazz anyway?

Life isn’t linear, it’s concentric.

When you’re truly creating you don’t have time to think about what to call it.

Who thinks of what they’ll name the baby while they’re fucking?

Playing Jazz is like using the rear-view mirror to drive your car on the freeway.

If you think Jazz is a style of music, you’ll never begin to understand.

It’s ultimately on the musicians.

People are fickle and follow the pack.

Not enough artists willing to soldier for their shit.

People follow trends and brands.

So do musicians, sadly.

Jazz is a brand.

Jazz ain’t music, it’s marketing, and bad marketing at that.

It has never been, nor will it ever be, music.

Here lies Jazz (1916 – 1959).

Too many musicians and not enough artists.

I believe music to be more of a medium than a brand.

Silence is music, too.

You can’t practice art.

In order for it to be true, one must live it.

Existence is not contingent upon thought.

It’s where you choose to put silence that makes sound music.

Sound and silence equals music.

Sometimes when I’m soloing, I don’t play shit.

I just move blocks of silence around.

The notes are an afterthought.

Silence is what makes music sexy.

Silence is cool.

- Nicholas Payton


and after that has settled in.. I have two things I want to say, hopefully without taking anything from Mr. Payton...

one, I listen to this music every day.. my favorite modern musician calls himself a jazz musician just to thin his herd of potential followers and assure himself of a group of serious listeners.. I think this picture says a lot:

and two... deep breath... as many of you are here as much for gear as for music, every time you read the word jazz in that poem, please replace it with "audiophilia"... I think it makes even more sense...


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Cool new neighbor.

While drinking my coffee and reading my email this morning I saw this sitting in a tree a hundred meters away out of the corner of my eye.

I hope she was checking out the hood and decides to move in.  It would really help with 'critter control' and yellow dog would be the first one cut loose to battle.

(yes I know they mainly eat fish but evolution is real isn't it?)


Thursday, December 8, 2011

the coolest variac EVER!

I went to an auction with hopes of picking up a toroid winder and the bidding was crazy.  way over ebay prices but i did come home with the coolest variac I have ever seen.

I didn't need another variac and the clean new ones at the auction were going for $150 each.  I guess vintage was lost on the crowd so it was my win.  There were three of them in this lot and if you won the bid for the first one, you had the option to buy the rest at that price.  Novelty has a price and the bid went up to $40 for the pick of the litter and the winner chose the runt.

The remaining two from this lot went up under a similar bid situation and at $15 I had the option to take both.  One was a 15A unit and the other was 7.5A unit.  I took both.

My desire was the smaller unit since unlike the big traditional bakelite knob of 15A unit, the smaller one had a voltage readout feature quite different form the traditional methods.

Pay no attention to that cat in the picture and look at the bakelite knobs! 

 I tried to brag about the cool factor to the scrappers at the auction end and they looked at me like I had three eyes.


Monday, December 5, 2011

Next time JJ needs a haircut.

We need to get together and have an intervention to get JJ a haircut.  The one caveat is it must happen here.

Hit the link and look at the rest of the pics and the paypal address for donations will be live soon.  It is the holiday season and please give freely.  I am working on the whole 503C thing so your gift to getting JJ's hair cut will be a nice tax deduction.

Of course I will have to supervise this trip so even more $$ is needed and after the haircuts... we will need to go somewhere to eat.  Our goal has always been to eat here and the irony of both is perfect so the time is now!

Props go to Sean for finding and sending me the link to Page-Boy and to new family member Casper for his passion.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Emia Exists.

That's right boys and girls, JJ and I are finally trying to bring our wares to the masses with an actual line of bang for the buck products.

Pictured above is a two chassis phono stage and remote autoformer volume control.  All three units will sit side by side and take up a single rack space. 

We also have the ability to use different colors for the front plates but for now we are both diggin' the chocolate which appears nearly black when in a rack but just gives us a hint of warmth to match our other copper based patina look.

If the remotes offer too much bling on the autoformers we also have the more affordable manual attenuators.

These can be used on their own or in conjunction with the phono stage.  Both the manual and the remote units offer dual inputs and parallel outputs.

Our goal was to keep things understated as can be seen by the input selector and up/down switches on the remote units.  We also decided to keep our names subtle with the branding as well and we think it works.

Final retail prices are still TBD based on how badly we get beat up by the distributors we are dealing with.  Until those deals are in place and a firm price is set, we may have a few units for sale in the back of our white van.

stay tuned.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Fat Possum Records - Holiday Sale!

Dudes... I have easily bought more form these guys than any other label this year... .easily...

They have a VERY heavy roster... Al Green, Black Keys, Junior Kimbrough, Heartless Bastards, Wavves, and my latest favorite - Cedell Davis... beware, this is some "broke ass shit, right here".....

and they are having a holiday sale... $10 records, cd's, hats, dvd's... $15 double LP's and picture discs... if you have not seen their documentary, You See Me Laughin', then click this link and watch the opening... way worth $10.... learn about where I am from - Mississippi.... for better and mostly for worse...

and here is what is pulling me down.... gotta get this... somebody in our extended and broken family needs forty seven blues 45's from back in the day... check out the covers.... all simply recorded.... and very real....

link to the George Mitchell Collection


lady day and john coltrane.

gsh came into the rotation today and this song really hit me harder than the rest in a positive manner.  it has always been one of my favorites.

unfortunately the"suggested" video put a much less positive view on the lyrics.

i say turn off the pictures and let the music talk to you.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I just thought I should share...

atomic number 73 letting Elmore James do his thing!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Strain Gauge Fashion

I received a padded envelope today and the only two expected deliveries were a strain gauge cartridge and a pair of tubes.  (I was scared)

My panic quickly subsided and turned to confusion when I opened it to find a rigid eyeglass case.


Opening the case put me at ease because inside was one of the original Panasonic EPC-450's

This is a different animal altogether than the EPC-450C II's and the EPC-451's and it is always nice to have a spare for the "ark"

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Line Controller...

for now, just a tease of the Experience Music Line Controller...

Shown above is just the signal chassis. It will be a two chassis setup just like the phono stage. In fact, the face of the power supply will have the same dual switching arrangement.

I am working on quite a few things that are very near completion. This should be a really fun November..

Enjoy your Fall color! (down under, enjoy Spring!)


Monday, November 7, 2011

leftover chicken dinner.

 Another Name.

 Beau is next in the "claim game" 

since oneinthepipe is a no show thus far, says the next name is mister #72.  by counting backwards I get one mad_winner!

we gave oninthepipe a week and if he (rash assumption) actually puts the pipe down and responds first they are his.  mad_ gets the weekend to claim and then another name gets pulled out of the random hat and added to the mix.

first to claim gets it


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Off the shelf...NOT!

Ready to ship out today are an assortment of IED's  (intelligent electrical designs).  In the group are a pair of 1:100's for pete's IO LTD, 1:50's for Ming's IO LTD, 1:20's for Scott's A90, 1:10's for Joel's A90 and the short one with the extra wire is a 1:10 unibomber for Alan's premium Be mono.  The two absent from the class picture are the 1:20's for Jean's and Alan's Shilabe in silver and copper. 

enjoy folks and thanks!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner. says the 28th comment gets the autoformers.

by my count that means oneinthepipe gets them.

All we need now is a real name and a shipping address.

the intactaudio link at the top of the blog will lead you to the appropriate email address to send the info to.


Thursday, October 27, 2011

A fistful of nickels.

I'll be the first to admit I am no George Costanza but read on because these 80% nickel chokes are headed out to serve an interesting duty.

A few months back I received a call fro Dimitri at Ronin Applied Sciences about the possibility of using an inductor as a plate load in a microphone capsule.  Of course I am always up for a cool new idea so I did up prototype.  Apparently the recent showing at the NY AES convention created a bit of a stir and more inducors are going out tomorrow.

Below are some pictures of the finished product and at an introductory price of $4200 it should be a giant killer!  Total props go out to Dimitri for thinking outside the box and trying something as silly as a 140hy 5ma 80% nickel choke loading a c3g in a mic capsule!  (full specs from Dimitri)

In talking to a few of my historian friends there was some recollection of an inductive loaded tube in a mic capsule by telefunken in the 30's and if anybody out there has any references to others who used inductors in capsules please chime in.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

stop the insanity.

occasionally we have to try crazy stuff and a customer recently needed a different attenuation range for his speaker level autoformers and new pair of tasty 49% nickel units are going out tomorrow.

Since the most economical way to ship them is a flat rate box, I can slip another pair of toys into the box for him to play with.  It just so happens that his crossover uses a 2.5mhy choke so a pair of amorphous inductors it is.

Coming in at nearly 5 pounds each and using something like #8ga wire with a rectangular cross section they have a massive 50 milliohms of DCR.   Compare that to a 12ga aircore with 350 milliohms or a 14ga steel cored inductor with 120 milliohms of DCR and I surely have some chest beating bragging rights.

OK seriously, I had the bobbins left over taking up space and rather than recycle the copper I figured I'd rather send them out for someone to listen to.  As always I encourage public reports (both good and bad) since I really don't have anything at risk here and ultimately they would have to sell for a huge amount of money.  I guess the point is that I have a sucker (oops cusomer) willing to give them a listen and I gots to know.

Oh yeah,  the monk cover was what I was listening to and I needed some fill light for the hack photos.  A professional would have photoshopped it out but i am not worthy to touch monk.


Monday, October 24, 2011

RMAF 2011 via Manho...

blatant post of Manho's pictures....

He obviously spent too much time in the room. Now that I think about it, we all did. Next year, I vote we take Saturday afternoon off and go hiking. The Fall color is just too good.

However, as Dave would say, "This is why we go to shows." These pictures are full of people I have known for years, if not decades. It was great seeing so many friends.


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