March 8th, 2021

You can only put so much of an input signal into an amplifier before it won’t deliver any more output. The amplifier starts clipping. If you look at a sine wave on an oscilloscope, instead of having nice rounded peaks at its highest amplitude, the top of the wave literally looks like it’s clipped off. The result: distortion.

My brain acts the same way. We’re all subjected to endless phone calls, e-mails, text messages, commercials, robocalls and other distractions. When I get overloaded with the endless bombardment, my brain starts clipping. It simply won’t accept any more input! The solution – although easier said than done, avoid situations where I know I’ll run out of headroom.

In this issue: Wayne Robins reviews the landmark Bob Dylan – 1970 collection. Ray Chelstowski interviews Jorma Kaukonen. Anne E. Johnson covers the careers of Alicia Keys and Josquin des Prez. Octave Records offers its first jazz release, Gabriel Mervine’s Say Somethin’. Russ Welton contemplates transparency in audio, while Alón Sagee ponders Mount Everest. Adrian Wu takes a deep dive into reel to reel tape. Ken Sander picks up an interesting hitchhiker (his name is Alice). Tom Gibbs covers new music from Mogwai, Tindersticks and The Pretty Reckless.

WL Woodward delves further into the career of John Mayall. Rich Isaacs continues his interview with synthesizer pioneer Dr. Patrick Gleeson and I talk with Andrew Hoffman of Audiophile Archive and Grading Services. Galen Gareis concludes his series on cable design. J.I. Agnew is in the middle of a very big move. Nils Lofgren bounces by John Seetoo and Stuart Marvin celebrates unsung musical hero Nicky Hopkins. Rudy Radelic embraces music streaming. Jay Jay French was there when many live concerts were recorded. Our AV squad encounters a seeker, expensive audio gear, free audio gear and a high-performance driver.

Nicky Hopkins: An Unsung Musical Hero

Nicky Hopkins is hardly an unknown entity in the world…

Bob Dylan – 1970 50th Anniversary Collection

In 1969, Beacon Books released a collection of essays called…

Cable Design and the Speed of Sound, Part Three

In Part One of this series (Issue 130), Galen Gareis of ICONOCLAST cables and Belden…

Hitchhiking with Alice Cooper

It was late 1968 when my friend, the late Barry…

Octave Records Goes Jazz: Gabriel Mervine’s Say Somethin’

Octave Records just issued its latest release on March 5:…

Don’t Fear the Streamer

We live in good times. As I sit here in…

Put to the Test

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Open Reel Tape – The Ultimate Analog Source?

With the advances in digital audio technology of recent years,…

Jorma Kaukonen: Playing Fur Peace

Jorma Kaukonen has been wowing live audiences for decades with…

The Seeker

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Getting High

I have come to believe that the solo traveler exploring…

Talking With Andrew Hoffman of Audiophile Archive and Grading Services

Audiophile Archive and Grading Services (AAGS) is a vinyl record-grading…

Tale of the Tape

John Seetoo saw this TEAC 4300 tape deck on a…

Where Were You When The Lights Went Out?

You probably wished you were hanging out with me…read on……

Alicia Keys – She’s Ready

From grooving on Chopin and Satie at the piano and…

The Big Move, Part Two

In Part One (Issue 131), J.I. Agnew wrote about the…

John Mayall Part Two – The Turning Point

As mentioned in a previous column (Issue 130), John Mayall…

Josquin des Prez – A New Approach to Musical Expressiveness

Music history often points to particularly innovative and influential composers…

Three Excellent New Albums By Bands That Had Flown Under My Radar!

Mogwai – As The Love Continues Mogwai is a Scottish band…

Dr. Patrick Gleeson: The Interview, Part Two

Musician, Engineer, Producer, Professor of 18th Century English Literature?! You…

Nils Lofgren – A Retrospective Look at a Musician’s Musician

Once upon a time, I was a young assistant manager…

Totally Transparent

When it comes to conversation, occasionally we may preface what…

High-Performance Driver

The last ray of the setting sun catches Jimmie Johnson…
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