Monday, 15 September 2014

The Juxtaposition of Joe Bonamassa Live

On Friday 12 September 2014 I had the conflicted pleasure of being there when Joe Bonamassa graced Auckland with a live performance. The concert had no support act and was instead billed as Joe Bonamassa supporting Joe Bonamassa, being split into two parts, an opening acoustic set (~50 minutes) followed by an electric set and encore (~90 minutes).

Monday, 8 September 2014

Human Jukebox?

What's cooler than a human jukebox - 2 guys busting out a wide range of music on the street, and letting the public determine the speed of play...!

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Katja Maria Werker | Agnes Obel | Emma Pollock

Katja Maria Werker - Contact Myself
One of my recent 'additions' to my music library (and a wonderful discovery) has been German singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Katja Maria Werker - her debut album "Contact Myself" is simply fantastic - released in 2000 Katja's song writing as well as her vocals and guitar work are enthralling and engaging, this album grabs you from the first note and you fall completely under Katja's spell - what's more the engineering quality is excellent - so the impact is even greater when on a system that can present every last detail of the album.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Emma Stenbeck: New Single

Emma Stenbeck's new single 'Anymore' is released today - this single has been engineered and mastered using the stunning Focal SM9 monitors. It's another great track from this promising new New Zealand singer/songwriter, well worth a listen.

Official Press Release:

New Zealand artist Emma Stenbeck is due to showcase her voice further this July with the release of her second single ‘Anymore’.

Friday, 20 June 2014

The Gloaming

The Gloaming carves new paths connecting the rich Irish folk tradition and the New York contemporary music scene. From haunting sean-nós songs to raucous folk explosions, they make music that is both ancient and utterly new. Their debut album 'The Gloaming' is something special and I highly recommend it...

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Emma Stenbeck

Recently met mPHATic who has 30 years or more in the music business and has previously released a 'chill out' style album (see Mphatic on Facebook and check out his album 'Asutra' on iTunes). mPHATic is also a recording engineer & producer and has been working with Emma Stenbeck, another promising new NZ talent. Emma has recently released a single off what will be her first album once released, its called Something About You (available on iTunes) and is pretty damn good! Emma's next single is due out in July, and her EP will hopefully be out sometime in the near future after that on iTunes (and hopefully CD). Emma has done some earlier demos and such as well, including several covers, prior to working on this album and you can hear those on Soundcloud and MySpace (and some are also on YouTube). But the new single (and album) is the one to watch - try it out on iTunes!

Sunday, 1 June 2014

Ethernet vs. USB for Streaming

The Sonore SOtM (Soul Of the Music) sMS-100 is an excellent Network Music Streamer that connects via Ethernet and outputs Aysnchronous USB to your DAC. It supports Vortexbox/LMS SqueezeLite, Apple Airplay, DLNA, and MPD.
In the past those of us streaming digital source material to our music systems have used S/PDIF via Optical or Co-Ax (in fact many still do from CD Transports where resolution is only 16/44 – 16 bit 44 kHz). In more recent years there has been a move to USB as the preferred source for streaming into external DAC (Digital-analogue Converters) devices or Amplifiers and AV Receivers with built in DACs. This has been due to the rise of Asynchronous USB support – and improvements in computer O/S (operating Systems) serving the source data to the DAC. However one question now is whether Asynchronous USB is still the best, or whether network streaming across a (cabled) Ethernet network (or even a high reliability Wi-Fi one) is now the better option?

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Record Shopping In Barcelona

David Millar, freelance blogger, recently travelled to Spain and did some extensive vinyl shopping in Barcelona. Check out his account of his experience on his blog: Barcelona Record Buying Bliss.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Update on Neil Young's Pono Music Service

Pono Player in use at The Audio Saloon Pono Session
Further to the original 2012 announcement of Neil Young's new Pono Music Service, last week at The Audio Salon, was the first time many consumers had the opportunity to hear the PonoPlayer and Pono music. Pono CEO John Hamm was on hand discussing where Pono has been, where it's at now, and where it's headed. It seems to have been Unanimously agreed that Pono sounds great. Read the full article (and see photos of the event) at Computer Audiophile: The Audio Salon Pono Event Wrap-up.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Uncrating Focal Stella Utopias

Just recently I changed careers, and now work in the Hi-Fi Retail industry. Yesterday at our showroom we unpacked a pair of Focal Stella Utopia III EMs - this is the first time speakers of these quality and value have been publicly available in New Zealand in a retail setting for people to view and demonstrate. So here's a little video of us unpacking one of them...