Thursday, September 08, 2005

Apple strikes again!

I new it would happen sooner rather then later... yes, Apple has struck again, and threw down the gauntlet for the next generation of iPod's and imitators. Steve Jobs, his usual self, launched what can only be described as a totally awesome, revolutionary new gadget, the iPod Nano - words simply cant describe the coolness factor, so here's a few images for your viewing pleasure:


Truly a work of art, no doubt Jonathan Ives, head designer at Apple, has outdone himself with this new iPod design. Also noteworthy is the fact that Apple decided to launch it with 2 colors, white and black; black being particurarly striking. Along with it, iTunes now stands at version number 5, with some nice improvements and overall benefits to the enduser. Not revolutionary as the iPod Nano, but a nice upgrade - http://www.apple.com/itunes/

Stay tuned for more and perhaps a first look if I manage to score one this weekend.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Dell 2405 x 2



Dell 2405 x 2…

Off to other parts of my cumulative look at electronics and other wonders of modern scientific enlightenment: the Dell 2405, a 24” LCD monitor which you can typically grab for as little as $899 if you spend some time looking for coupons on Dell’s website. Having 2 of these is truly a breathtaking experience, considering that you now have an effective desktop area the size of a small country? Just kidding of course, nevertheless, it does serve a great purpose to me personally, as I typically have anywhere from 10 to 15 apps open at any given time (above is a real-time screenshot capture of my desktop in action). What is so neat about the Dell’s, as opposed to Apple’s equally stunning, if better looking 23” LCD’s, is the fact that 1. They are in typical Dell fashion inexpensive; 2. The LCD used is Samsung highest-end model; 3. They have built in 8 in 1 card readers and 4 (!) USB ports. Image quality is, well, superb with super sharp display and a brightness that will leave you asking yourself how you could have done without it. Editing photos is now a breeze, and my favorite music mastering software, Steinberg’s Wavelab 5 is now stunning in its usefulness. The only caveat: you have to have a powerful video card to run these displays at their native resolution of 1920x1200 – dual dvi capable video cards would be ideal; any decent ATI or nVidia card should do.

Saturday, September 03, 2005



Zero One makes music alive again!

www.zerooneaudio.com


You can of course read the review over at PFO, http://www.positive-feedback.com/Issue20/zeroone.htm alas, I have to say I am more impressed with the unit now then perhaps even before - the simple reason for that is the fact that since my ZeroOne review, I had been listening to the Bladelius Freja, www.bladelius.com player and lastly, the Naim cdx5 (review forthcoming). While both players are good for the market they were designed to compete in, inserting the ZeroOne back into my system this morning was almost revelatory, as the unit plays on a far higher level of realism and sounds rather alive, if you can follow my drift... I copied a bunch of new cd's onto the HD and was smashed back into my Ikea listening chair as I reveled in maximum sonic bliss. ZeroOne is deffinitley on to something, indeed, it would appear that many are beginning to venture down the road of HD based music servers - if anything, it will perhaps allow for a bridge in the gap from average music listeners to audiophiles who care not only about music, but the means of its content delivery, ie. the sonic's associated with any given performance. Since more then 22 million iPod's have been sold to date (and this quarter's numbers haven't been published yet) it would appear that music is still in the hearts and minds of many, if only they could be all exposed to high quality music playback, well, that would be a good th-aaa-ng! More news and other such trivia to follow shortly... also, stay tuned for Septemeber 12th, when Microsoft will host the annual PDC developers conference, with rumors of a new build of Vista being handed out to attendees.

Friday, September 02, 2005


Rocky Mountain Audio Fest... almost here!
www.audiofest.net

hard to believe, but a year flew by... almost that time again to pack and get to Denver, CO for a spectacular hifi-show extravaganzza! PFO (Positive-Feedback Online) will be there, and we'll be podcasting from the event, provided no unforeseen mishaps happen along the way...

lot's of interviews with manufacturers and most importantly: YOU! the consumer Yep, no point in any of this audio-mumbo-jumbo unless people dig into their pockets and spend their hard earned money $$$. Feel free to post some questions here on my site; what you would like answered, etc. I'll do my best to pick the say, top 10 questions and your name will be podcast along with it!... wanna be famous? here's your chance...

more updates as we get closer to the event...

Best,

Danny
Cudos to Steve Eddy,
founder of www.q-audio.com

seriously, Steve's a great guy, and here's why!

sometime ago, I embarked on my mission to launch an all analog recording studio for making mostly live to 2-track recordings, often referred to as minimalist recordings, due to their minimal 2 microphone setup. The foundation for this studio would be two analog super recorders, the mighty Telefunken-AEG M20 and equally stunning, if ever so portable, Stellavox SM-8 "Stellamaster" reel to reel recorder. At some point I gave consideration to also obtaining the Stellavox AMI48 5 channel mixer and mic-preamp equalling the stunning results obtained from using the mic-pre's inside the SM-8, which turn out to be identical and among the finest of preamps ever designed. Of course Kavi Alexander, truly a recording genius if ever there was one, also offered his help and aid (Kavi founded www.waterlilyacoustics.com a superb audiophile music label) and suggested to get a pair of British made vintage Cole microphones, available from another legend in audio, Wes Dooley, www.wesdooley.com Another legend I look up to, Jim Merod, founder of the BluePort Jazz label, also gave his input and simply said this: record something already would you!? To make a long, long story short, I ended up with the Stellavox but due to the design of it, without the appropriate cables! Come to find out, the smart fella's at Stellavox designed their units around the best available connectors (then and now, keep in mind this machine was a late 1984 model) which turn out to be Amphenol-Tuchel connectors, somewhat irregular. After long search and much frustration Steve came to me by way of another good friend and manufacturer, Alan Kafton of www.audioexcellenceaz.com (Alan makes superb power line conditioners "The PowerWing" and the famous "Cable-Cooker"). Shortly after our first contact, Steve had found a source for these Tuchel's and voila, we are in the process of making this all work out just fine. Steve's superb cables will be on their way to me within the next 2 weeks or so...

Can't wait to get to work with this new "office" of mine and capture some awesome music!

Neeldess to say, many friends had suggested I am nutts for going analog, but hey what fun would it be otherwise?
Moved my blogspot to a new site... right here at Blogger.com!

After a few weeks of flirts with www.libsyn.com I found that Blogger service is far more apt at handling my blogs... as a result I moved all my other entries over to this new server for the time being. I'll keep track of all the progress we will make and see how busy this site will become.

In the meantime stay tuned for another fresh round of podcasts coming soon, and don't forget we will be attending Rocky Mountain Audio Fest, www.audiofest.net

Meanwhile you should be reading my Bladelius Freja review just about the time you read this, over on www.positive-feedback.com

Cheers!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

A new month, a new quirk!

So here I am, finally caught up with uploading all my analog interviews and broadcasts to mp3 format for your listening pleasure and voila, what happens next? My computer develops a sudden and strange dynamic link library (.dll) issue which prohibits me from booting up Windows MCE 2005. All us computer geeks are all too familiar with dll HELL as it is commonly referred to; suffice is to say that no amount of restoring was able to fix the issue - a clean, fresh reformat was on order and a subsequent reinstall of Windows MCE. Now that I can put that safley behind me, I will get around to finally uploading all my podcasts!!! See you on your favorite iPod dial!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Seems like I was a bit too hasty in (pre)announcing my podcast series - rest assured it's only a brief delay - however, the problem lies in the fact that I am using an older analog model Panasonic micro cassette recorder for the first wave of podcasts; I am supposed to receive a very nice pair of microphones shortly which will form the basis of my studio podcasts. Anyway, come to find out that Windows XP (actually I use Media Center Edition 2005) does not offer any sort of built in software to record sound, ie. from either a mic or line input on your soundcard. The little app they have, only allos for up to 60s of recording time... silly! I am in the process of getting some audio recording software for the computer to transcribe these first podcasts; I should finally have them up and running by this weekend, barring any new problems... Thank's for hanging in there for me!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Hi all,

this week has been busier then usual for me personally, hence the slightly delayed uploading of the following 3, first ever podcasts: ZuCable interview McCormack interview VMPS Loudspeaker interview and of course, your very own super-host's commentary, analysis and other electronic news and gadgets. Meanwhile I am busy writing up some interesting reviews at Positive-Feedback, including the just received Ortofon Kontrapunkt B, Phase-Tech P-1 and other interesting cartridges... Stay tuned for more exciting action!