Butta Radio

Part of my analog McIntosh stereo equipment collection. A stereophile from way back, I have setups in 3 rooms and the rest of the collection is stacked in a closet. Playing jazz on Denon and Rega turntables, old stuff never gets old.mcin 2.jpgmcin 1.jpg

Here is some trivia about the Kind of Blue album, considered one of the greatest albums of all time. The LP was one of fifty recordings chosen in 2002 by the Library of Congress for the inaugural year of the National Recording Registry, and in 2003 it was ranked number 12 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 2019, Kind of Blue was certified 5× Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipments of at least five million copies in the United States.

Trivia most people don't know is that the tape recorder at CBS Studio had been calibrated incorrectly so Side One is off-pitch on most of those 5 million copies sold. Sometimes not having perfect pitch is great, you don't notice these things. While the album has been remastered many times, only a 1992 remaster corrected the recording speed problem. There have been many remasters since then but they all used the original tapes. They cleaned up the tone of the instruments, got rid of some tape hiss but didn't fix the tape speed problem.

"This 1959 album is one of the most important of all time but the production values in the studio were questionable, in fact it was later determined in 1992 that the main tape used for Side 1 of the LP (also used for the CD) was off speed! The problem was that the recording deck hadn't been properly calibrated. So anyone hearing an LP or CD of KOB released between 1959-1992 is guaranteed to be hearing the wrong speed/pitch. Another issue is that some of the sax sounds, on both sides 1 and 2, have a weird buzzy distortion which has never been definitively nailed down as to the cause. All versions, analog and digital, have this so it is embedded in the master tape itself. Theories I've heard as to the cause include:
  • a loose ligature screw that's buzzing as a sympathetic vibration
  • a cracked or chipped reed
  • split in the mouthpiece
  • microphone or microphone preamp distortion"
A quick 8 seconds of some of the sax distortion
Sax Distortion

Some interesting things about the original tapes


Another issue with KOB is the opening half minute or so is almost a poster child for demonstrating "On what material is an issue of wow and flutter most easily noticeable?". M. Zilch answers this very question in his AR-XA video: "sustained piano notes".

Here's a guy's $28,550 (VPI/Dynavector/Pass Labs) phono rig exhibiting audible wow on this cut but apparently he's blissfully unaware of it. It's most likely predominantly due to his pressing's off center spindle hole: Notice the cartridge swaying in and out per rotation? Wow makes the sustained piano notes sound "sour" or "wavering in pitch".

musashi, nice stereo! :love::love::love: That could easily pay for my Berklee tuition!

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Been seeing the name Berklee mentioned a bit lately and a friend's son is out there now for a 'song writers mini summer camp'. Figured I'd play something by 'regular' students not named Steve Vai, John Mayer, Donald Fagen, Melissa Etheridge, Al DiMeola, Jan Hammer, Bill Frisell, etc. A little surprised the audio mix is a little muddy on the high end. Hard to hear and differentiate the two guitar players and can't hear the keyboard player at all. Maybe I am getting old or shitty speakers? Otherwise, the singer and drummer kill it. The horns are a nice touch too! The female guitar player is not a Berklee student but 16 year old(at the time) high school student from Nashville, Grace Bowers. A interpretation of George Gershwin's classic "Summertime'.

17 year old Grace Bowers. Turns 18 in a few weeks.