New Review & Comments on the "Tatsuki Narita" tape by audiophile, extraordinare Mike Malinowski

Edward Pong

Industry Expert
Jun 24, 2013
324
100
383
Locust Hill, Ontario
Ed,

Listened again last night. This time relaxing with my wife, a glass of wine and the lights out. I find that listening in the dark sharpens the senses and allows a clearer focus on the music.

Even though I have heard a few of the Tatsuki Narita tapes, I was unprepared for both the majesty of the music and amazing sound quality on this tape. The performers materialized in a three-dimensional space in the room. The violin possessed a harmonic richness and purity, which I attribute to the custom recording process and the vacuum tubes within that chain. The sound and decay just floated naturally with a stunning realism.

As to the performance, I can say that it was expressively powerful. We were emotionally pulled into the performance sitting transfixed and motionless, finally ending with a deep exhale upon completion.

Overall, the sound quality and the emotional impact of the performance is simply stunning.

Best regards

Mike Malinowski
 
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audioguy1958

Well-Known Member
Feb 8, 2015
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Ed,

Listened again last night. This time relaxing with my wife, a glass of wine and the lights out. I find that listening in the dark sharpens the senses and allows a clearer focus on the music.

Even though I have heard a few of the Tatsuki Narita tapes, I was unprepared for both the majesty of the music and amazing sound quality on this tape. The performers materialized in a three-dimensional space in the room. The violin possessed a harmonic richness and purity, which I attribute to the custom recording process and the vacuum tubes within that chain. The sound and decay just floated naturally with a stunning realism.

As to the performance, I can say that it was expressively powerful. We were emotionally pulled into the performance sitting transfixed and motionless, finally ending with a deep exhale upon completion.

Overall, the sound quality and the emotional impact of the performance is simply stunning.

Best regards

Mike Malinowski


Yeah, the Tatsuki tapes are pretty remarkable! The skill level that young man has can just knock your head back. I don't really have the words to describe seeing him perform those musical pieces live, it can be a revelation you'll remember for many years. Particularly the Paganini. Listen to an old LP of a famous violinist from many decades ago, and you wonder where Tatsuki would stand in relation to them. I think he would be in the top few, people always have this bias that the old maestros cannot be outdone but the fact is Tatsuki is still young. He has many years to get even better!

Ed has clearly devoted a lot of effort to bring Tatsuki to tape, well worth the price of admission. The group of musicians Ed has been assembling over the last ten years or so have clearly put their hearts into these performances.
 
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Deepender

Well-Known Member
Feb 2, 2017
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It is more than gratifying to read these tributes, both to Ed Pong for his sui generis recording chain and his impresario’s hand in bringing under his wing incipient superstars such as violinist Tatsuki Narita, in addition to several others, such as pianist Vadym Kholodenko and cellist Narek Hakhnazaryan, to name but a few of his growing stable of luminaries. Ed has spared neither effort nor expense in combining a most esoteric tube-based, silver-wound transformer preamp stage with two of the most perfectly tuned Studer A80’s on planet earth to capture for posterity a burgeoning host of sublime performances. Played through an audio system of appropriate caliber, Ed’s tapes likely represent the closest one will ever get to being there in the flesh!
 
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Edward Pong

Industry Expert
Jun 24, 2013
324
100
383
Locust Hill, Ontario
Tatsuki is special & the story around this recording, "Tatsuki Narita" is interesting in that it shows the efforts taken to create the source of the sound we record... a violin is not just a violin.... it really is a marriage between the artist, violin & BOW....

Just a bit of insight into this young Japanese virtuoso, Tatsuki Narita... his career is mainly in Japan & the Far East. I met him a couple years after he came 2nd in the QE Comp in Belgium... many thought he should've won... He's a passionate artist & once told me the only person who can rehair his bows is a bow maker in Paris, so every 3 months he goes from Japan to Paris to the atelier of Alain Herou. So a few years ago, I met Tatsuki in Paris just after the new year to meet Alain.... well, it was immediately, so obvious Alain's talent... Tatsuki was playing a concert in my place later in March & Alain said, "I'm coming!" Never did I think he was serious... but he came & spent 1 week with us!

This is where the story gets very interesting... I have a rare bow which was not so much liked by many violinists I showed it to... Alain after looking at it said, "let me rehair it, do some adjustments & you will see, this is one of the best bows I have ever seen".... This was Friday before the concert on Saturday.... Tatsuki played a few phrases with this bow for us… We all felt it was fine, but nothing special... then we went to my basement workshop (I also make violins..) and Alain rehaired & adjusted it slightly...
We came upstairs, he handed Tatsuki the bow & after the 1st stroke, we all looked at each other in astonishment... there was so much depth, colour, texture & dynamics to the sound... In audio, it was like we just got new tube amps! Tatsuki was shocked & so happy... with Alain sitting at the back of the hall, we decided to record these 5 pieces to commemorate our 4 years of making music together. They are literally 1st takes one after the other... Amazingly, the Saturday concert program was completely different!

First the key is really, not so much the recording equipment we’re using...(that is very important) but what are we recording? What is the source creating the sounds? It's the combination of the artist, violin & bow that creates the sound & almost no one is aware of the importance of the bow in this equation!
The magic in these sounds is captured by the signal path we have built. Literally, we’ve built everything from the microphone cable to the record & playback amps for the Studers. The microphone pre-amp is the magical component that lets all of the low level signals thru which creates the naturalness & air in the recordings... this mic-pre is based on a pair of WE437a input tubes, a pair of NOS 1956 WE300b output tubes, and all silver transformer coupled… Everything behind this mic-pre was designed to not mess up these signals…

This is the background story about those 5 tracks...
Magic happens rarely & I was very happy to capture it that afternoon!

Ed
 
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Marcus

Member Sponsor
Oct 5, 2012
431
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Tatsuki is special & the story around this recording, "Tatsuki Narita" is interesting in that it shows the efforts taken to create the source of the sound we record... a violin is not just a violin.... it really is a marriage between the artist, violin & BOW....

Magic happens rarely & I was very happy to capture it that afternoon!

Ed
Have you ever considered cutting LP’s from your tapes? I know quite some people who would be very happy if you decide to do this, me included. I have a few of your tapes but a carefully cut (by Bernie Grundman for instance) and pressed LP (one step if possible) would be a revelation for so many more classical music lovers who do not use R2R format.
 

Edward Pong

Industry Expert
Jun 24, 2013
324
100
383
Locust Hill, Ontario
Thanks for your suggestion & comments! I've thought about it a lot & only hesitate because, I don't want stock of LP's that I have to sell... that's why I decided to offer the digital downloads, as these sound very analogue & likely have a greater range than LP's can cut.... Have you tried any of the downloads? If you have some tapes, please try a download & see what you think... I'd be eager to hear your comparison of it.

I will give this LP idea more thought & thanks for your post!

Ed
 

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