Grado Green Cartridge

Grado Green Phono Cartridge

I can't imagine being more impressed with an $80 tweak to my admittedly lower mid-fi system. As soon as I installed this new cartridge on my Technics SL-D303 turntable, the sound difference was noticeable over the older model Audio-Technica cartridge that was on the table.

For me, the Grado achieves the right level of warmth and detail. The sound is not harsh at all and it has a tremendous depth to it. The soundstage on my system opened right up and this cartridge seems as if it was made for my vintage KLH 17s. The blend of warm mid-range and smooth highs is perfect for these speakers and also is well suited to what appeals to my own taste and ears.

In listening to three of my favorite albums, I heard an increased detail and richness in the music that I hadn't heard before with other cartridges. The sound of cymbals and brushes on snare drums was especially noticeable on all three records–particularly on the Vince Guraraldi Good Grief record I listened to this morning. The surface noise on this older record was also noticeably lower with the Grado than it had been with the AT cartridge it replaced.

Overall, for me, I have to say Grado is a winner. I can only hope to win the lottery someday and get a Sonata!

Jethro Tull – Thick as a Brick

jethro tull concept album one of jethro tull's concept albums….all one song.  inspired by the stroy of a boy losing first prize in an essay contest due to critics caliming the literary piece was an example of the boys "extremely unwholesome attitude towards life, his God and country".  excellent harmonizing and alot of really cool flute work on this album.  The album sleeve itself is presented as a newspaper, and when opened it folds out to the actual size of a newspaper.  Pretty cool album, stoked i was able to grab it for 16 bucks

Music to cry to …

One of my big regrets in life is that life somehow intervened the several times I had a chance to see Ray Charles live and I never got to do it. So today I was checking out the vinyl at the local Goodwill and there it was: Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music with a near mint cover still in the shrink wrap and a neatly labeled "Norma" in ballpoint ink on the shrink wrap plastic. The record itself had some scuffs but not any serious wounds–it just looked well loved. I found several other "Norma" albums and picked them up as well as they matched my mood for the day.

So, after a quick clean with the microfiber cloth and distilled water/alcohol, Ray hit the turntable. WOW! Just WOW! I know this album well but I've never had it on vinyl until today. Even with some surface noise and the occasional pop and click, the sound on this mono pressing from 1962 was simply amazing. Ray's vocals are just right there and you can hear him pull away from the mic ever so slightly as he reaches for those notes sometimes. You can even catch him turning his head a bit as he sways on some of the tunes.

This album deserves all the acclaim. It redefined Ray Charles as the artist who could, simply, do it all. And it served as a serious kick in the ass for Nashville in terms of showing just what could be done with some of those wonderful tunes written by some of Nashville's best.

I can only wish that "modern" country music was this good. But that's all right. I have this album and I have Ray's voice and performance that once again reminded me that music still carries the power to move me to tears. And today, when I listened to "I Can't Stop Loving You" on this 1962 performance, I was right there … crying.


Queen- Queen 2

First off this is my favorite Queen album, it's is so over the top which was what Queen was about. The album is not side 1 and 2, or a and b, but side black and side white, with labels that match. Multi layer vocals and guitar abound this album. This is album just flows togther one song to the next, sometimes no brakes inbetween. it contains the steller Seven Seas Of Rhye. Okay here is where it gets bad, this is a terrible press of a great album, I had high hopes for this, but a major let down. compared to my original this dsounds like crap, this had to be sourced from digital, very harsh high end, and alot of surface nosie. This a a 180 Gram reissue by hollywood records, to bad they couldn't do as good as EMI did a few years ago with the 1/2 speed A Night At The Opera. The Artwork is nicely reproduced though.