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  • Washing Records with the Audio Desk Vinyl Cleaner Pro Ultrasonic and the Spin Clean

    In getting fully re-obsessed with (and re-committed to) vinyl in the last year, I knew I was putting myself on course for a collision for one of my least favourite things: washing records. Back in my last phase of vinyl obsession, in my mid-twenties (mid-aughts), I had a traumatic experience with vacuum cleaning. I bought…

  • LP12MF Listening Test: Audio Desk Vinyl Cleaner Pro Ultrasonic

    In this, my most ambitious Listening Test to date, I test whether the Audio Desk Vinyl Cleaner Pro ultrasonic cleaner makes records sound better. If you’re curious about how and why I bought the Audio Desk, and what exactly my cleaning system is, please check out my post “Washing Records with the Audio Desk Vinyl…

  • LP12MF Listening Test: Tiger Paw Khan Top Plate

    A few weeks ago, I swapped out the stock stainless steel top plate from my Linn LP12 and installed an aluminum Tiger Paw Khan in its place. You can read about the installation process for the Khan, and check out my listening methodology. Full listening impressions on the Khan-modified LP12 are below; digestible, numerical summaries…

  • How I Finally Got into Jazz; or, Records from Jared

    I am currently obsessed with jazz. This is due entirely to the wisdom, taste, and generosity of my friend Jared. For many years, I’ve wanted to get into jazz — a kind of music I had absolutely no contact with growing up, either from my parents or my friends. In undergrad, when everything in my…

  • Record Shopping in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Palm Springs

    In case anyone wondered whether I’m one of those people whose equipment is worth more than their record collection… I wish! I am, for better or (probably) worse, even more obsessed with records than with gear. Case in point: my recent two-week trip to Southern California. I used to live in San Diego, but I…

  • LP12MF Listening Test: Mober Subchassis

    Below you’ll find all my listening notes for my first “modification”: the replacement of the pressed steel Cirkus subchassis + laminated armboard with the machined aluminum Mober one-piece armboard/subchassis. You can read about the installation process of the Mober. You can read all about the “pre-modification” Base setup. You can read about my listening methodology…

  • LP12MF Listening Test: Before Any Modifications

    The LP12 Modification Frenzy has begun: I have swapped my Cirkus shuchassis + laminated armboard for a one-piece machined aluminum Mober subchassis. Before doing that, I did my first detailed listening test, so that I could have a reasonably well-described “before” position against which to analyze these upgrades. Methodology I’m an English professor, not a…

  • Test Tracks, Test Albums

    Things are all in place now to get started on my LP12 Modification Frenzy (as I’m calling it). I’ve got three subchassis (Mober, Linn Kore, Greenstreet), two tonearms (Linn Ekos 2 and Naim Aro), a top plate (Tiger Paw Khan), and two cartridges (Linn Troika and Dynavector XX-2). That’s a lot to play with. But…

  • Best Pressing Shootouts

    This is where I’m collecting links to all my “Best Pressing Shootouts.” I’m going to try to organize these in a useful way, by genre and label. But this may develop over time… Winners are bolded and underlined. Since I’m always updating my hifi, I occasionally return to an earlier comparison to evaluate it in…

  • Records I Have Listened To and How Good They Have Sounded

    My musical taste is my own, and yours is yours. The grades assigned here are purely on the basis of production and pressing quality. If it gives me audio thrills aplenty, it gets an A. C Bill Callahan (well, [Smog]), Supper (Drag City, 2003) is a B+ pressing. On “Truth Serum”: A little shrill bit…