This 12th edition of "Salon du Vintage" in Paris will have a section dedicated to Vinyl and an exhibition of the famous Elipson vintage speakers - with tons of speakers - literally - on loan from Jullien of Passion Elipson's fame
I am sure the new/old BS50 will be on display. So for your dose of nostalgia, rush to the "Enceintes en Blanc" event in Le Marais this week-end. Check their website for details: http://salonduvintage.com
Santa Claus included in His shipment of goodies this lovely, simple and inexpensive new toy - and I gather my friend Len Wallis had a hand in this this...
But between my own travels, visitors from overseas and...work, I have not had a chance to try this wonderful addition to my hifi kingdom.
We are experiencing a very strong storm here in Sydney, really the tail of a cyclone hitting the Coast 6 hours drive north, so it is a good time to set it up (a breeze...sic) and clean a few records and take the time to listen to the results.
First cab off the rank is "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme" by Simon and Garfunkel, a 1969 CBS record pressed in Holland and purchased in Paris for 49.00 francs, which was quite a sum at the time) which has seen many needles and turntables over the years (Dual 1219, Clement for a few nights, ERA 455, Rega Planar 3 since 194, and more recently Rega P1 branded NAD. BTW, as my daughter is in Paris for six months, I have pinched the glass platter of her (my old...) Planar 3 and installed it in the P1 which brings a significant improvement to the overall sound.
Back to cleaning, after three spins clockwise and three counterclockwise and a good dry with the special doth provided, it has to be said that most of the surface noise is gone, and it brings clarity to the whole affair. For sure, there is still audible noise in the groove in between songs, indicating that the brushes are not doing a great job in the depth of the groove, but gently clean the upper part of it satisfactorily to bring back the music to a very low level of noise free enjoyment.
Next I tried my original 1968 US pressing of the "White Album" from the Beatles bought in Mexico City at the time. This record has been abused at parties, on portable plasticky japanese player a la Teppaz, then on the same turntables as mentioned before. It is so damaged that I bought the 30th anniversary pressing which is still in pristine condition. However the 1968 pressing is still quite not there after the cleaning, as the needle collects a nice little fluff of dirt after the second side of the record finished playing. I think I will have to try a second clean another day and maybe keep it as a collector item, rather than a playable pleasure...I will let you know.
(That's 25 years ago, mon Dieu...)
Having said that, this Spin-Clean costs less than one hundred dollar and will restore most of your precious "galettes" to a listenable condition. To get something more efficient would cost about ten times more with a Clearaudio machine that would probably be my next choice up. But frankly, I rather spend the price difference on more records! Let me have your own cleaning stories...
Let's take a short break from reviewing hardware and move for a moment to the reason why we buy all this gear: to enjoy listening to music...
So, on the subject of software for our hifi gear, I cannot recommend anything better than an injection of vinyl from Analog Collector in the historic centre of Paris: le Marais.
I had heard about it, I had read about it, but this doesn't compare with the live experience of visiting Remi Vimard's Ali Baba Cavern.
It is a very small space, but the perfect temple for the music aficionados.
Not only will you be surrounded by thousands of records, but you will be immersed in the most gorgeous sound emanating from the most unorthodox analog listening system on the planet, on top of being welcomed by Remi's hospitality and immense musical knowledge. This is not to be missed at any cost!
Eventually, you might buy a few records as I did (Remi has been in business for over five years, so obviously his soft sales techiques work...)
I bought two new records: The Body & the Soul, Freddie Hubbard originally on Impulse (sic...) and Brahms Sonatas for Cello and Piano with Janos Starker and Gyorgy Sebok, originally on Mercury Living Presence, both re-published and manufactured by Speakers Corner records, a German based company.
Now, a little insight on Remi's hardware:
Turntables: Kuzma Stabi S equipped with a Lyra Delos cartridge
This turntable looks much better in the flesh than on the photos
published in HiFi World not so long ago...and the sound is divine!
There is also a Thorens TD124 completely refurbished and equipped
with a 12" Jelco arm and a Lyra Donian cartridge. I didn't get a chance
to listen to this classic piece of gear...
Phono PreAmp: If you think the Kuzma is quite left field, wait until you connect
it to a Swiss-built phono preamp the BPS from Nagra, running on
Amplifier: Again, not a middle of the road choice, but a LEBEN CS 300 X, using
EL84 valves, not a powerhouse, but a very refined amp indeed...
Loudspeakers: You know by now that this is my area of expertise, Remi surprised me with a piece of gear I never heard of: a Japanese full range driver from DIATONE, in a configuration used by the NHK Radio (the Japanese National Broadcaster) with transmission line loading. (I am sure Jean Hiraga would have reviewed such an interesting device in one of his famous articles, but obviously I was living on a different planet when/if he did: I welcome your contribution to my education on the matter!)
It is particularly beautiful on string instruments and on small jazz ensembles.
Although it lacks the high frequency extension of a multi driver design,
it generates a very credible image, realistic dynamics and fascinating musical
Obviously, as in any system, it is difficult to credit the result to one single component, and this is where Remi needs to be credited for assembling a very homogeneous system out of a combination of components very much from outside the square. Bravo!
Born in France, well travelled, relocated to Sydney in 1997.