On A Higher Note - Update; Great New Gear & Wonderful New & Old Music.

stehno

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Jul 5, 2014
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Salem, OR
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Gryphon Ethos on an Artesania dedicated rack. Photo credit Joseph Cali Systems Design, Pacific Design Center, Los Angeles, CA.

Gryphon - Ethos

Hard to believe that the Compact Disc has been around since 1982 and only now are we hearing something scarily close to “the perfect sound”.
At the simplest level, the Ethos is a CD player. A CD player that can up-sample to high-resolution PCM or DSD, even allows you to turn off the upsampling altogether. But not only is the Ethos able to up-sample to DSD but it also has a selection of filters.
The DAC on the Ethos can be accessed through different digital audio formats, making the Ethos a versatile player/DAC combo.
The DAC in the Ethos is the most sophisticated that Gryphon has ever designed and its sonic performance delivers a wonderful emotional experience, hitherto unavailable from a 5” audio disc or digital music file.

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Gryphon was rightly praised for the sound quality of the Mikado CD player and while it was a stunning CD player in its own right, it was not competitive with the best analog turntables of it’s day.

Given that the sound performance of the Ethos can easily compete with today’s finest analog turntables, speaks volumes about the absolute sound quality of this beautiful piece of functional art.. It does not have the bloom that vinyl adds to the music. But if you want to be honest, then let’s compare the 2 track, ¼” tape at 15 IPS to the CD and LP. I think many of you will agree that the CD sounds more uncolored like the tape. But when all is said & done it's pretty difficult to make this comparison valid because we are usually listening to different mastering sessions.

It really is a joy to rummage through my thousands of CDs & SACDs and play them on the Ethos and in many cases, feel as if I were listening to an album for the first time. Never realized there was so much information on a regular 16-44.1 disc. Amazing. Recent listening sessions comparing the CD to the LP:
Beatles - Abbey Road (2019),
Lori Lieberman - The Girl With the Cat,
Isabeau Corriveau - A Leap Of faith,
David Gray - White Ladder
Kari Bremnes - A Lover In Berlin
Jack Johnson - Brushfire Fairytales

My only regret is that I was unable to share the musical pleasure that the Ethos is capable of at HiFi Shows & Dealer Events across the continent in 2020. Hopefully next year?

Can't speak on the gear but nice to hear your thoughts on Redbook 16/44.1. I agree as there seems to exist volumes more info embedded in a given Redbook CD than previously thought. Sure, hi-rez formats can be a bit more musical but it's rarely a night'n day difference.

I love the format myself and have said for years Redbook CD is or ought to be more than sufficiently musical for even the most discriminating ear. And I'm more convinced than ever that is a generally true statement.

Great catch.
 

ashandger

Well-Known Member
Jun 15, 2013
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258
Thanks for the music recommendations Ash,

I do need to swing by your side of the world; I need to set up a pair of Graham speakers for review with Srajan. Galway is a blast; for those forum members who appreciate beautiful rugged scenery, then Connemara is worth a visit. During the summer, might I recommend the open crab salad. Always game for some craic; hopefully we can meet in Galway sometime next year.

I used to meet Rory regularly 40 odd years ago at a sweetshop on Douglas Road, Cork, whenever he was visiting his mother; we chatted about music; no surprise. Saw him play many times - wonderful.

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Paul Brady - The Missing Liberty Tapes - such a delight to hear a young Paul Brady accompanied by some of the finest irish folk musicians: Andy Irvine, Donal Lunny & Matt Molloy. This is a live recording made shortly after Paul Brady released his first solo album: "Welcome Home Kind Stranger" (1978).
If Paddy's Green Shamrock Shore doesn't melt your heart, you might need to visit a G.P. as there might be some doubt as to whether you are still amongst the land of the living. The mandolin playing is sublime, Paul Brady's voice is a little nasal but young & brimming with ernest sadness. The Lakes Of Ponchatrain is another stand-out song, one that overwhelms me with auch emotion.
Available on CD. Streaming on Qobuz or Tidal

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Planxty - Live 2004; a live album featuring many of Planxty's most popular songs. Planxty was the seminal early traditional music band that helped start the renaissance in traditional Irish music in the early seventies in Ireland. BTW, after Christy Moore left Planxty in 1974, he was replaced by Paul Brady. Planxty disbanded in 1975. Check out Christy Moore's version of The Lakes Of Ponchatrain, also superb. Available on CD.

Happy listening,
Philip

P.S. I ordered this morning Paul Brady's "The Vicar St Sessions Volume 1" on LP from the Paul Brady website.

Hi Philip, that's just incredible to hear that you knew Rory. My wife and were lucky enough to see him live many, many times as well and each night was truly an extraordinary experience. Rory never wanted to end the concert so we would always leave exhausted from freaking out but also super happy. Rory's brother presented his Strat to Joe Bonamassa to use for his concerts as Joe is a HUGE Rory fan. Lots of videos on Youtube showing Joe using Rory's strat. Joe's Live at Royal Albert Hall (2013 I think) is great and he plays a blistering version of Ballad of John Henry on it.

For those Forum members not familiar with Rory Gallagher, he was a truly extraordinary Irish blues rock guitarist who sadly left this world way to soon!! The Rolling Stones actually asked him to join them and so glad he declined them.

Seems like you are also a huge Paul Brady fan like us. Back in the 80s my wife and I used to travel all over Ireland to see him live....another artist at his best live. Still have our 40 year old copy "Welcome Home Kind Stranger". Paul's version of Lakes of Pontchartrain is just extraordinary. Great to see most of his albums are on Tidal now. "Hard Station" sounds wonderful on Tidal. I suspect Helpless Heart from True For You would be amazing on a Gryphon system.
You may be interested to know that Paul's concert from The National Concert Hall this Saturday is being streamed live....have attached a Youtube link with Paul talking about it

Paul is also playing Vicar St again next March with Andy Irvine, Donal Lunny etc in case you were planning your trip to Ireland around then.

Would be wonderful to meet up in Galway whenever you make it over....Galway just got voted as the most friendly city in Europe.

Happy listening and please keep sharing all your great music.....one of our all time favs is Mary Margaret O' Hara (Irish Canadian based in Toronto) and her one and only extraordinary album "Miss America". Michael Stipe (REM) described her as Canada's national treasure. This album deserves best of the best system.
Cheers, Ash
 
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marty

Well-Known Member
Apr 20, 2010
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MOR = Magnum Opus ReDiscovered.

Must-Have Re-Issues

These albums will make your system sing, truly remarkable albums both musically & sonically.
Classic albums that we have all heard countless times, but never at this sound quality. The cheapest improvement to your system. Enjoy.

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Dire Straits - Dire Straits. Mobile Fidelity, 45 RPM, 2LP. Original release 1978

When first released in Ireland in 1978, Dire Straits’ debut was an immediate sensation, here was a fully formed band with an inspired lead guitarist and truly memorable songs. Catapulted by the single “Sultans of Swing”, the album went to Top Ten throughout Europe. After having lived through the U.K.’s punk period in the mid-seventies, when lo-fi recording quality was the norm, it was refreshing to discover the first Dire Straits album, original music with great sound quality. Mark Knofler has such a distinctive guitar style.

If you were a Dire Straits fan during your College days, you’ll want to upgrade to this; it is a HUGE sonic improvement over every previous release. Well developed, driving bass, that distinctive guitar, coupled with terrific, memorable songs. This is my fifth copy of the album on vinyl; this is the one to own.


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Dave Brubeck Quartet - Time Out, 200g 45rpm 2LP. Original release 1959.

Virtually all serious and even casual music lovers ought to be familiar with, or at least are likely to have heard The Dave Brubeck Quartet, even without realizing it for the quartet's best-known hit "Take Five" has graced the soundtracks of multiple films, including "Mighty Aphrodite," "Pleasantville" and "Constantine."

The piece is famous for its distinctive, catchy saxophone melody, as well as its use of unusual 5/4 time so distinctive, it's a rare jazz track that became a pop hit.
Time Out is a jazz and audiophile classic. Every music collection needs a copy. And now, mastered by Bernie Grundman and cut at 45 RPM on 200-gram premium vinyl, pressed at Quality Record Pressings, Analogue Productions brings you the definitive copy. The new reference.



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Joan Armatrading 180g LP. Original release 1976

I am not in love
But I'm open to persuasion
East or West
Where's the best
For romancing


When I first heard Love & Affection in 1976, I was smitten. Great vocals, smart lyrics, and wonderful delivery. I could empathise with the young woman’s exhilaration at being in love. The male backing vocal, which has been described as a "honeyed baritone", was performed by American actor and singer Clarke Peters. The alto saxophone was by Gallagher and Lyle session player Jimmy Jewell. The rest of the album was equally compelling with its mixture of acoustic folk, tinged with jazz, and the occasional rock seasoning. A remarkable confluence of gifted folk singer/songwriter meets a rock producer delivering an album fleshed out with some of England’s finest folk & rock musicians.

Joan Armatrading’s self-titled, third album has aged well, and deservedly so. Kudos to A&M for hiring Glyn Johns as engineer & producer to provide a muscular edge to this unique West Indian folkie. Glyn Johns In 1971 worked as engineer/producer on The Who's - Who's Next, the Faces’ - A Nod Is as Good as a Wink...to a Blind Horse, and the Rolling Stones' Sticky Fingers.
So in 1976, Joan Armatrading surrounded herself with some choice English musicians; including Jerry Donahue of Fairport Convention who provided superb guitar on both Love and Affection and Save Me. Bryn Haworth’s played slide guitar on "Like Fire" and mandolin on "Somebody Who Loves You" which added some nice texture. Drummers Dave Mattacks (Fairport Convention) and Kenney Jones (Faces, Small faces & The Who) were employed by Glyn Johns as appropriate to the different songs.

Like the Dire Straits debut album, here was a new talent, who arrived fully formed with a unique style & delivery. (Though this was her third album; she was “new” to me. and I was gob-smacked by this muscular folk-rock album. Four decades later, her songs are fresh & moving as ever, and a real window into the heart of a young woman. "Down to Zero" captures the essence of heartbreak; "Water with the Wine" describes the joyful regret a young woman feels after having been seduced.
This is both an audiophile demo disc, with depth, realism, breathing dimensionality, and a music lover’s delight. Highest recommendation


Happy listening,
Philip

Not only do you make the best audio demo discs on the planet, but who knew you were a masterful record reviewer as well? I loved these reviews because it gave me insight as to why I might want to go buy or listen to the albums you mentioned. By analogy, I once stayed at the Hassler Hotel in Rome because Sophia Loren said it was her favorite hotel so I then said "if it's good enough for Sophia Loren, the it's good enough for me". (Plus she ate pasta every day- what's not to like?) Well, if these albums are good enough for Philip....you can fill in the rest.
 
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There is a few of us on here!

Born and bread in Dublin, moved here to Perth, Western Australia, in 2002.
For my music recommendation, I’ll go with Hilary Woods. Ambient, modern classical, minimalism with a hint of menace.

I was last in Perth in June 2018; went to say goodbye to a brother on his deathbed - yuck. Have wonderful happy memories of cycling along the Swan with him. Perth is a beautiful city with fantastic amenities; a wonderful place to raise a family.

Listened to "Colt" on Tidal and ordered the LP. Always on the lookout for interesting new music.
Thanks for the music recommendation.
Philip
 
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Hi Philip, that's just incredible to hear that you knew Rory. My wife and were lucky enough to see him live many, many times as well and each night was truly an extraordinary experience. Rory never wanted to end the concert so we would always leave exhausted from freaking out but also super happy. Rory's brother presented his Strat to Joe Bonamassa to use for his concerts as Joe is a HUGE Rory fan. Lots of videos on Youtube showing Joe using Rory's strat. Joe's Live at Royal Albert Hall (2013 I think) is great and he plays a blistering version of Ballad of John Henry on it.

For those Forum members not familiar with Rory Gallagher, he was a truly extraordinary Irish blues rock guitarist who sadly left this world way to soon!! The Rolling Stones actually asked him to join them and so glad he declined them.

Seems like you are also a huge Paul Brady fan like us. Back in the 80s my wife and I used to travel all over Ireland to see him live....another artist at his best live. Still have our 40 year old copy "Welcome Home Kind Stranger". Paul's version of Lakes of Pontchartrain is just extraordinary. Great to see most of his albums are on Tidal now. "Hard Station" sounds wonderful on Tidal. I suspect Helpless Heart from True For You would be amazing on a Gryphon system.
You may be interested to know that Paul's concert from The National Concert Hall this Saturday is being streamed live....have attached a Youtube link with Paul talking about it

Paul is also playing Vicar St again next March with Andy Irvine, Donal Lunny etc in case you were planning your trip to Ireland around then.

Would be wonderful to meet up in Galway whenever you make it over....Galway just got voted as the most friendly city in Europe.

Happy listening and please keep sharing all your great music.....one of our all time favs is Mary Margaret O' Hara (Irish Canadian based in Toronto) and her one and only extraordinary album "Miss America". Michael Stipe (REM) described her as Canada's national treasure. This album deserves best of the best system.
Cheers, Ash
Ash

What caught my eye was:
Paul is also playing Vicar St again next March with Andy Irvine, Donal Lunny etc in case you were planning your trip to Ireland around then.
That's terrific news, as Paul Brady stopped playing folk music for decades and he is a fabulous musician who attracts the finest to accompany him. I Would definitely buy Live at Vicar St. Vol 2 when it appears on LP. Something to look forward to. His Missing Liberty Tapes is one of my favourite Irish folk albums.
If travel restrictions are eased, I would be more than happy to fly over for the concert.

Many thanks for the heads-up,
Philip
 
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ashandger

Well-Known Member
Jun 15, 2013
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Ash

What caught my eye was:
Paul is also playing Vicar St again next March with Andy Irvine, Donal Lunny etc in case you were planning your trip to Ireland around then.
That's terrific news, as Paul Brady stopped playing folk music for decades and he is a fabulous musician who attracts the finest to accompany him. I Would definitely buy Live at Vicar St. Vol 2 when it appears on LP. Something to look forward to. His Missing Liberty Tapes is one of my favourite Irish folk albums.
If travel restrictions are eased, I would be more than happy to fly over for the concert.

Many thanks for the heads-up,
Philip

Hi Philip,
You won't believe what I found on Youtube just now. Enjoy

 
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Totally agree about the Transatlantic Sessions....all seasons were great. Some are on Tidal. Amazing collaborations.
Couple of tracks featuring John Martyn
I hadn’t heard of these before, listened to the John Martyn tracks - certainly sounds interesting
thanks,
Philip
 
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Modi air-bearing turntable = delivers an extraordinary flow to your music.

Introducing the “Modi” Bergmann’s latest air-bearing turntable, using trickle-down technology from the Galder turntable. The Modi enjoys the Galder’s remote pump ON/OFF flexibility.
No switches needed to activate or disengage the pump, just press the speed button once to wake up and a second time to spin the platter. The pump shuts down after two minutes of hibernation.
Modi will accommodate two tonearms, up to 12” each. One Bergmann linear tracking, air bearing tonearm can be installed, though a larger air pump would be needed.



View attachment 70786
Check out the official Modi video - here
 

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