The Die Is Cast-I've Crossed The Rubicon-Ed Pong Has Made me a Classical Music Lover

The last several tapes produced by Ed Pong and Ultraanalogue Recordings have just gotten better by quantum leaps. I have always liked Classical music but never in an authoritative fashion. Little by little Ed Pong has gotten to me with the release of his tapes. IMO the last two tapes were probably the best produced by Ed and in fact my good friend Marty was visiting several months ago when I played him one of Ed's tapes after which he proclaimed it to be the best recording of a violin he has ever heard

Well along comes Ed's most recent tape that I received several days ago and only today found some time to sit down and listen


IMG_0102.jpg

Tatsuki Narita is a gifted violinist and in this album he brings his "A"game as always but with a gusto that raised goose bumps on my arms.This album was recorded in studio (I think) rather than in a live session as Ed has done in the past

I can say unequivocally that if you are in to Reel 2 reel this album is not only a must have but for my ears it is truly the best tape I have EVER heard. Period. End of story. This album is so ell recorded that I didn't move for the entire recording.The timber and dynamics are staggering

I reached out earlier to Ed to commend him on the release of such a fantastic album and to pick his brain as to what was done differently in this recording

Here are his comments......


Nothing to the recording electronics...
Rug under violinist to dampen hi freq floor reflections

Big change was the violin, bow & piano... the source...

I had legendary French bow maker Alain Herou here to rehair & adjust the camber of 2 great bows Tatsuki uses... Tatsuki only goes to Paris to have him rehair his bows every 3 months... he said no one in Japan or anywhere can do it... wow, so i got him here for this recording!

I had a new soundpost made in Boston by Andrew Ryan which totally transformer the resonance, response & ring of the violin... my jaw just dropped when I heard it in Boston....

The piano was voiced softer to give it more ring & bloom...

I think it all came together... I love the depth & roundedness of the sound, even the piano when he hammers it... it had weight but was never hard...


Ed, this one really rang my bell. I have honestly never heard a tape recorded so well and so realistic as this last one by Tatsuki

This album is not only top shelf but has just become my number one demo tape for visitors. This one is off the wall

Kudos Ed for the joy you bring us tape heads. Hopefully at some point I am going to convince you to release your work on vinyl as well as hi rez digital
 

Comments

Edward Pong

Industry Expert
Jun 24, 2013
241
19
18
Locust Hill, Ontario
#4
I'm happy to announce this tape Steve discussed here "Tatsuki Narita" has been released on the website along with 3 Live recording tapes from this March session!

1) A studio recording of: Danse macabre, Zigeunerweisen, Bloch Nigun, Meditation...
I feel this was Tatsuki at his best so I've named this tape "Tatsuki Narita" (I also think this is one of the best soundscapes I've ever recorded...)

2) Live concert recording: Ravel Violin Sonata No. 1 & 2
3) Live concert recording: Arvo Part Fratres, Danse macabre, Debussy Violin Sonata
4) Live concert recording: Ravel Tzigane, Chausson Poeme, Bloch Nigun

All 4 tapes run the whole pancake time of 33+ minutes.

There are some pieces which look to be duplicates, but they are all different performances & stand on their own merit...

The beginning of Fratres is very soft & Tatsuki actually was playing in the lower level & walked up to the stage level during the 1st minute.

The solo violin beginning of the Tzigane (3-4 minutes) had Tatsuki walking around the pool playing inches from the audience...(he even jumped over the diving board, without missing a beat...) arriving at the front of the stage as the piano part began...

These 2 pieces have an interesting sound at the beginning... for the audiophiles...

Ed
 
Last edited:

Joe Whip

Active Member
Feb 8, 2014
1,126
14
38
Wayne, PA
#6
I prefer the sound of pcm but can convert anything DSD up to 256 to pcm for playback. So, whatever you think sounds the most like the tape is ok by me.
 

Deepender

New Member
Feb 2, 2017
9
1
3
#7
A Revelation

Ed Pong recently sent me his latest four recordings, each featuring the estimable duo of violinist Tatsuki Narita and pianist Yun-Yang Lee, along with the assertion that these were his best recordings ever ... EVER ... and drawing particular attention to the tape entitled "Tatsuki Narita," which was laid down as a "studio" version - i.e., without an audience - thus averting the minor audio tradeoffs generally encountered with that configuration.

Now, coming from anyone other than Ed, I would have summarily dismissed this as so much fatuous hype, but for the fact, as we all should know by now, there are virtually no lengths to which Ed would not go in his pursuit of perfection, as he sees perfection. For those of you who would doubt this assertion, I would refer you to the above-included particulars enumerated by Steve Williams

Before auditioning this tape, I spooled up Ed's prior "studio" recordings of Tatsuki's 24 Paganini
Caprices - up to this point, at least, my absolute audio reference for violin reproduction - just to freshly fix the sound of those recordings for comparison purposes.

Then I played the "Tatsuki Narita" tape ...

OMG, holy .... it is better! Before listening to this tape, I had been convinced Tatsuki's Paganini Caprices represented the most realistic violin sound experienced through my system - and probably through any other system in the here and now.

Well, I was wrong ... WRONG, WRONG, WRONG ... and happily so!

Now the Paganini came across as ever so diaphanous and a tad less immediate than the "Tatsuki Narita" reel,
all the while the newer recording showing not a hint of harshness, just like ... well, just like the real thing, what one might experience in the flesh ... AMAZING ..

I could wax endlessly ecstatic about this recording ... but I'll bore you no further, because after all I'm neither a music or an audio critic ... suffice to say, this is the real deal, people.

What I will do, however, is to implore you to get hold of this gem ... It's a revelation!
 
Last edited:

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#8
Ed Pong recently sent me his latest four recordings, each featuring the estimable duo of violinist Tatsuki Narita and pianist Yun-Yang Lee, along with the assertion that these were his best recordings ever ... EVER ... and drawing particular attention to the tape entitled "Tatsuki Narita," which was laid down as a "studio" version - i.e., without an audience - thus averting the minor audio tradeoffs generally encountered with that configuration.

Now, coming from anyone other than Ed, I would have summarily dismissed this as so much fatuous hype, but for the fact, as we all should know by now, there are virtually no lengths to which Ed would not go in his pursuit of perfection, as he sees perfection. For those of you who would doubt this assertion, I would refer you to the above-included particulars enumerated by Steve Williams

Before auditioning this tape, I spooled up Ed's prior "studio" recordings of Tatsuki's 24 Paganini
Caprices - up to this point, at least, my absolute audio reference for violin reproduction - just to freshly fix the sound of those recordings for comparison purposes.

Then I played the "Tatsuki Narita" tape ...

OMG, holy .... it is better! Before listening to this tape, I had been convinced Tatsuki's Paganini Caprices represented the most realistic violin sound experienced through my system - and probably through any other system in the here and now.

Well, I was wrong ... WRONG, WRONG, WRONG ... and happily so!

Now the Paganini came across as ever so diaphanous and a tad less immediate than the "Tatsuki Narita" reel,
all the while the newer recording showing not a hint of harshness, just like ... well, just like the real thing, what one might experience in the flesh ... AMAZING ..

I could wax endlessly ecstatic about this recording ... but I'll bore you no further, because after all I'm neither a music or an audio critic ... suffice to say, this is the real deal, people.

What I will do, however, is to implore you to get hold of this gem ... It's a revelation!
I had a guest over this afternoon and played the tape for him. You simply cannot move for the entire 33 minutes. He was mesmerized. It has become my go to demo tape for violin. This is the real deal.
 

Joey Chan

New Member
Mar 12, 2018
2
0
0
#9
“Tatsuki Narita” is a testament to Ed’s recording. It would definitely be charted at the very top of the TAS if it were a list for reel tapes. Extraordinary.
 

Steve Williams

Site Founder, Site Owner, Administrator
#11
Congratulations Ed . Slowly but surely the audiophile world and tape heads are hearing your music and falling in love with it.

Kudos are truly deserved IMHO
 

Deepender

New Member
Feb 2, 2017
9
1
3
#12
Congratulations Ed . Slowly but surely the audiophile world and tape heads are hearing your music and falling in love with it.
Kudos are truly deserved IMHO
Yes, Steve, kudos are deserved ... but Ed is a restless soul, never resting on his laurels in his relentless march toward sonic and musical perfection. What, you may ask, has he done for us lately? Here’s what ...

(5) New Tapes: - Alena Baeva, violin & Vadym Kholodenko, piano

- Mozart Violin Sonata No. 27
- Beethoven Violin Sonata No. 5
- Schumann Violin Sonata No. 2
- Schubert Grand Fantasy in C Major/Purcell Ground
- Schubert Rondo Brillant in B Minor/Rachmaninov Preludes

How did they sound? Actually, just like all of Ed’s recordings post-improvements, as described in various ways by our Little Lunatic Fringe ... that is, well-nigh PERFECT ... the sonics, not the descriptions.

So let’s face it, dear subscribers, there remains little in the offing on the sound front for the foreseeable future; sound quality has now become a given until further notice.

Well, what’s left then? Oh, just.an endless body of superb chamber music performed by two truly incipient superstars on the world stage.

And just think, you can acquire a second-generation master tape of THAT!!

So yes, kudos are in order for Ed Pong.

I thank you, Ed, for all of us.
 
Last edited:
Feb 8, 2015
54
7
8
#13
I just purchased the following tapes from Ultra Analogue:

Schubert Rondo Brillant in B Minor/Rachmaninov Preludes
Schumann Violin Sonata No. 2
Mozart Violin Sonata No. 27/Purcell Ground

These are beautiful recordings of two performers for Ultra Analogue, both of whom are world class musicians. Alena Baeva is a remarkable violinist, a very articulate musician but also mature in interpretation. Performing with her is her friend Vadym Kholodenko, winner of the Grand Prix at the 2013 Van Cliburn International Competition. The two recordings of him playing Purcell and Rachmaninov are incredible. I understand that they are interested in pursuing other recordings with Ultra Analogue, and I can't wait! They are both amazing talents, and are another great addition to the portfolio of recordings that Ed is amassing.
 

Tango

VIP/Donor
Mar 12, 2017
2,854
1,568
113
Bangkok
#14
I just purchased the following tapes from Ultra Analogue:

Schubert Rondo Brillant in B Minor/Rachmaninov Preludes
Schumann Violin Sonata No. 2
Mozart Violin Sonata No. 27/Purcell Ground

These are beautiful recordings of two performers for Ultra Analogue, both of whom are world class musicians. Alena Baeva is a remarkable violinist, a very articulate musician but also mature in interpretation. Performing with her is her friend Vadym Kholodenko, winner of the Grand Prix at the 2013 Van Cliburn International Competition. The two recordings of him playing Purcell and Rachmaninov are incredible. I understand that they are interested in pursuing other recordings with Ultra Analogue, and I can't wait! They are both amazing talents, and are another great addition to the portfolio of recordings that Ed is amassing.
May I ask if there is a C sharp Minor in one of the Rachmaninoff Preludes?

kind regards,
Tang
 

Edward Pong

Industry Expert
Jun 24, 2013
241
19
18
Locust Hill, Ontario
#16
I'm very excited for this connection with Alena & Vadym!
Two amazing musicians, but also two amazingly warm & kind people...

I already have a date for a solo piano recital from Vadym - November 3, 2019.....!
So I can sense some wonderful tapes coming.... he's playing a lot of the major halls around the world... so to have him "up close & personal", for me is beyond incredible.... it speaks to the focus of his heart - music & the sound of his music on tape.....

We are ALL very lucky!

Alena & Vadym will back in February 2020 for another duo concert & recordings....

Ed
 

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