Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Rega CD Clunker Program Extended!!

Just received word from Rega US HQ and it is good news:

"It seems we have struck a chord with music lovers and audio enthusiasts alike. With this success, and as we near the end of the program, many of you have asked for us to extend the program.

So ... we have decided to do just that!

Starting Jan. 1, we'll be extending the program through the first quarter of 2010! All the terms and conditions will remain the same. The new ending date is now March 31, 2010. So those customers that have been trying to save up in time to beat the Dec. 31st deadline now can take a deep breath and know they have enough time to get that Rega CD player they have wanted so much."

So dig out that old player come down to Puretone Audio for a Rega CD player audition - we have both the Apollo and Saturn in stock now!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Puretone Audio Joins Rega Cash for CD Clunkers Program




LITCHFIELD, Conn. _ If you have been waiting for the right time to pick up the highly-rated Rega Saturn or Rega Apollo CD player, now is the time to act.

And you don't have to give us your car to get it.

For a limited time, Rega's stateside distributor The Sound Organisation and Puretone Audio have teamed up for the innovative Rega Ca$h for CD Clunkers program.

Just carry, cart or tow in that old digital clunker of a CD player and get a spanking new Rega player at a VERY special price - the superlative Rega Saturn ($2395 list price) will be priced at 25% off - just $1795, while Rega's category killer Apollo CD player ($995 list) will now be reduced 15% to $845. Both black and silver finishes will be available, but (in best Billy Mays voice) YOU MUST ACT NOW!

StereoTimes said

The Saturn excels in replicating the interweaving of music lines, the correct timing of the entrance of instruments, and the sudden and often unexpected inspiration of the players in the process of making music. You sense that inner communication of the players that makes listening to good music such an exciting adventure and such a satisfying experience. With the Saturn you always catch the band on a good night.


In the sub-$1000 CD player market, the Rega Apollo has reigned supreme since it's introduction. Stereophile's Art Dudley said:


From day one, the Apollo endeared itself to me—no other word for it—by cheaply doing well a great many things I consider crucial to music playback. Its rhythmic performance was strong—no surprise there, given that none of the Rega products I've heard have made music sound sluggish or unengaging—and its frequency range was well extended in both directions, with good balance between its strong bass registers and crisp, open-sounding trebles....

But it was the cleanness of the Apollo's sound that most impressed me that first day. In that sense, the Apollo was audibly, obviously different from most other players...

The Rega had an unambiguously lower noise floor. Through the Apollo, there was more emptiness between the notes—spaces had been filled with texture through the Sony, which I'd never noticed before. Consequently (or so it seemed), listening to the music was now easier: The tension that belonged in the music was still there, but the stress of listening to it was gone.


As we already mentioned, the Rega Cash for CD Clunkers Trade-In Program won't last long - until December 31st.

So call or email Puretone Audio today and drive on out with something better than gas mileage - a sweet sounding Rega CD player.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Ross Halfin Shoots Mott; Mott Lives!




Really enjoying the heck out of genius/photographer Ross Halfin's blog...some fantastic photos from the seven-show Mott the Hoople reunion show up there now! Looks like a smashing time, although Mick Ralphs might have raided the Tommy Bahama wardrobe one too many times.

And check out sometime Pretenders/Mott pinch drummer Martin Chambers, looking a bit like a young Ginger Baker. If you've missed the shows, like I have, there is always the opportunity to buy the simulcasts there.

All the not-quite-so-Young Dudes were in attendance, I suppose I will have to wait and see if I run into Mott mainman Ian Hunter at the Big Y in New Milford anytime soon. That's where the back cover of his latest album, Man Overboard, was shot, believe it or not. It's fantastic release on New West Records, well worth picking up.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

TAS Agrees - We Carry the Best



Okay, @ Puretone Audio we have been getting emails and calls (sometimes the music is cranked and we can't hear the phone ringing - sorry!) from people asking why we carry certain manufacturers and if brand K's speaker line is really better than brand, oh say, BW.

It's fairly simple, as a small dedicated audio store we only sell products that we believe in and can recommend without hesitation - gear that is better than anything else we have heard at that specific price point. Our store is personal enough that we can focus on "the good stuff" and not worry about covering a ridiculous overhead and frappacino-chugging employees who won't look up until you are stacking blocks of cash on the counter.

Now carrying a product that "sells itself" may not be a common business practice in an audio marketplace in which dealer margins and purchasing deals dictate what a store pushes (and I do mean pushes) as "product du jour", but it DOES allow us to have total confidence that your system and components will do the ultimate goal - to make you LISTEN TO MORE MUSIC.

But back to the original point - we have made converts out of a few people that came in and heard KEF's XQ-20 speakers, for example, and said "my (multi-billion dollar that takes more time to power up than the Space Shuttle) system doesn't sound anywhere near that good".

Well that system does now, and again, the goal is to enjoy your collection. Apparently Robert Harley and the fine folks at The Absolute Sound magazine agree with us, as a good number of items we carry have been prominently featured in the 2009 Editor's Choice issue.

Here's the rundown with brief review snippets - for the full story, please pick up Issue 195 of The Absolute Sound (forgive me if I skip over anything, it's about 110 degrees in my computer room right now!). Manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) is in ($____)

Loudspeakers ($1500-$2000)

KEF XQ20 ($1999) "a remarkably open and focused sound with stunning 3D imaging that remains convincing even when you sit off-axis" (Playback issue 20)

Integrated Amplifiers (under $1000)

Rega Brio 3 ($699) "a very good sounding well-built little amp at a fair price...the inclusion of a real phonostage is a nice touch. (Issue 167)

Integrated Amplifiers ($2000-$3000)

Cayin Audio A 88T ($2395/$2495 depending on choice of 6550 or KT-88 tubes) "this hand-built honey boasts a fit and finish that would do McIntosh proud...a sound that is sweet and seductive, yet also vibrant and dynamic" (review forthcoming)

Digital Sources (under $1000)

Rega Apollo ($995) "the finest sub-$1000 CD player that CM has heard...a richly textured sound that spans the entire audio spectrum" (Issue 186)

Turntables and Record Players Under $1000

Rega P1 ($395) "what you get is the pace, musical interplay, and involvement that makes analog special" (Issue 171)

Rega P3-24 ($895) "a greater dynamic range, a more convincing sense of air and space, a lower noise floor, richer tonality and improved bass...for an extra $375 one may add the TTPSU power supply which takes the performance to a significantly higher level" (Issue 191)

Turntables and Record Players $1000-$2000

Rega P5 ($1395) "When paired with Rega's Exact 2 phono cartridge, this 'table produced a highly musical sound that JH preferred to most digital players regardless of price" (Issue 180)

Tonearms Under $2000

Rega RB301 ($495) "musically compelling with excellent balance and good detail" (Issue 127)

Interconnects, Speaker Cables and Power Cords

Rega Couple Interconnect ($195) "fine resolution of textures yet without exaggerated transients or edginess" (AVguide.com)

Headphones and Headphone Amps

Cayin HA-1A Head Amp ($875) "An exercise in unalloyed hedonism, the sexy Cayin is actually a vacuum tube integrated amp..." (Issue 178)


Come on in and hear for yourself!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Disclaimer: No Relation to Purtone Speakers!

We have been getting a number of calls lately for some company called Purtone Speakers.

We are no relation to this company and have no idea if their speakers are any good.

At Puretone Audio LLC in Litchfield, Connecticut, we only sell the highest quality products from Rega Research Limited, Cayin USA, KEF, Musical Fidelity and VAS Industries and are authorized dealers of these brands.

We pride ourselves on high quality, audiophile-grade products that offer superior two-channel stereo sound reproduction at obtainable, attainable prices. We offer friendly, knowledgeable advice on building the stereo system of your dreams.

Believe Your Ears! (tm)

Puretone Audio
367 Bantam Road
Litchfield, CT 06759

860.361.9495

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Playing Broken Records???



Interesting article on record preservation efforts at the Library of Congress from the NPR site...

Morning Edition, July 16, 2007 · At the Library of Congress, in a small, white room with bright red carpet, physicist Carl Haber sits down to play a record from 1930. It's a recording of Gilbert and Sullivan's "Iolanthe." But here's the strange thing: This record is broken.

"It looks like somebody just got hungry and took a bite out of it," says Haber. He has positioned the record on a turntable and fitted the broken piece back into place, like it's a jigsaw puzzle. "If we spun this thing fast, the piece would come flying off, you know, and maybe hit somebody," he says.

But this turntable doesn't spin like a normal record player. And there's no needle hovering over the record. Instead, there's a camera linked to a computer. It snaps detailed images of the groove cut into the disc, and uses the images to reconstruct the sound without ever touching the record.

article continues here

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

KEF Introduces Latest Speaker Concept



Concept cars are one of the primary tools that auto companies use to market and infuse a design ethic into their product lines, with the introduction of the Muon concept in 2007, KEF showed the same acute sense of branding excitement into an existing product line. Now for 2009, the next generation of KEF concept speakers has been unveiled.

Of course, while the Concept Blade is not for sale, it's design and principles are expected to take form in the existing KEF speaker line, including the KEF XQ20 which has been compiling rave reviews, well, everywhere!

*Concept Blade - The leading edge of acoustic technology

In loudspeaker engineering as in everything else, true innovation sometimes requires rethinking a problem from first principles. So when we set out to create the Concept Blade, our acoustic research department had complete freedom to explore radical new options. No preconceptions or aesthetic restrictions, and no reliance on existing components.

After three years of exhaustive testing and analysis of traditional as well as experimental approaches to loudspeaker design, they perfected a combination of technologies that generates an extraordinarily pure sound.

Concept Blade is forged from these technologies. Its exceptional acoustic integrity derives from the fact that every element of the system has been conceived to perform as a single coherent unit with all parts working in flawless harmony. The highest quality components and advanced materials have been used in perfecting the design.

While the technologies incorporated into the design are often very complex, the focus has always been on simplicity. The drivers are specifically designed to behave with zero break-up or resonance over their frequency range, and the distinctive cabinet is carefully engineered not to interfere with the purity of their output.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” - Leonardo Da Vinci

Read on download PDF here…

Monday, April 27, 2009

Say It Again, Sam: Cayin H80A Hybrid Amplifier NOW IN STOCK!



Need to add some horsepower to your stereo system? Cayin Audio USA has the solution with the H80a Hybrid Intregated Amplifier. A front end of two (2) 12AU7 vacuum tubes gives the warmth and dynamics of tube amplification, while a MOSFET solid-state amplifier backline pushes out 80 watts per channel of pure Class A power.

The result? A stunning synergy of solid-state responsiveness and power combined with the detail and warmth of tubes.

Cayin's hybrid circuitry utilizes the best of both stereo worlds, in an aesthetically-pleasing brushed aluminum industrial casings, with the matching blue-lit power meters on the front provide accurate usage tracking.

"I'm a tube guy, but I like power too. The H-80A has 12AX7 input tubes feeding a MOSFET output stage. It sounds sweet, but it'll drive just about any load. It's rated from 10Hz–40kHz," VAS Audio's Steve Leung told Stereophile magazine.

As usual, Cayin's attention to detail is impressive, with gold-plated input and output jacks including a pair of line-level RCA jacks for pre-amplification, if desired, and a pair of balanced input XLR jacks. The matching polished aluminum remote control provides control of the triode and ultralinear modes, with 80 watts per channel of pure class A on tap, rising to 150 wpc in the Class A/B mode.

"…The H-80A integrated amplifier strikes me as a landmark Cayin product – one that will more firmly imprint the company's name on the map of the world's premier hi-fi manufacturers. Don't tell your friends, who might think you spend $5000 or $6000 for this thing, but the H-80A retails for $3295…the H-80A fulfilled its promise of delivering the best of tubes and the best of solid-state. The sound was sweet, smooth and exquisitely extended in the treble, with nary a trace of hardness or harshness. Nor was there any lopping-off of the top end; it sparkled…Most impressive was the H-80A's harmonic presentation…With classical or with jazz, it was right on…For a $3000 integrated amplifier, this kind of performance is phenomenal…Put the Cayin H-80A up against anything. With any speakers." – Sam Tellig, Stereophile, August 2007

We couldn't agree more, Sam.

The facts:

Remote Control Full function including Triode and Ultralinear. Also,

Preamp Bypass for using A-300B as a power amp

Power Cord Detachable power cord with IEC chassis mount receptacle

Tube Compliment Two 12AU7 Input Tube

Frequency Response 10Hz-40kHz

THD = <.2% 1kHz, 80W, 8?

S/N Ratio 91dB

Input Sensitivity 380mV

Input Impedance 100k Ohm (RCA)

Output Impedance (WBT Style) 4, 8, 16 Ohm

Power Requirement AC 120V +/- 5%, 50~60Hz

Power Consumption 280W

Weight 80 pounds (96 pounds shipping weight)

Dimensions (WxDxH) 17" x 19" x 8"

Warranty 90-day guarantee for tubes; 3 year parts & labor (shipping not included.)

Other Dual 450W power transformers, extra large cooling radiator, black acrylic decorated panel, heavy duty knockdown amp feet, each foot can adjust the height independently, index type peak VU value ampre meter with blue background light

Thursday, April 23, 2009

KEF XQ20 : Amazing Sound, Astounding Value




After a substantial break-in period, our KEF XQ-20 standmount monitor speakers have really come into their own, with an amazing ability to fill our (admittedly) big and boxy room with a sweet, deep soundstage and impeccable resolution.

I swear, never again will I scoff when a rep tells me that speakers need to be broken in - after four or five hours of mid-volume play the resolution began to grow seemingly every 15-20 minutes and now after two weeks, these 20 lb. beauties push out a sound that would make most floorstanders blush with envy.

The first two sets (the wonderful Khaya Mahogany and the lighter Birdseye Maple) have already found happy homes and both purchasers are ecstatic with the results.

I can't state enough how beautiful these speakers are, with flawless fit and finish and an unmatched attention to detail that even extends into the packaging in dynamite-proof shipping cartons. Even the isolation feet come with little cups to keep things perfectly symmetrical.

The new Absolute Sound (April/May 2009 CES Issue) gives a brief rave and photo on page 18 - can a full review be in the making?

Stop in for an audition today, bring your favorite disc or record, but don't say we didn't warn you...the value at a low $1999 list price is amazing - KEF definitely outkicked their coverage with this one (American football reference).

Puretone Audio is now an authorized KEF dealer and we can obtain in the line right through the Stereophile Magazine Product of the Year 207/2 Reference loudspeakers.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Beatles CD Remasters Slated for September - Official Press Release





The Beatles' Entire Original Recorded Catalogue Remastered By Apple Corps Ltd. And EMI Music For Worldwide Release On September 9, 2009


Apple Corps Ltd. and EMI Music are delighted to announce the release of the original Beatles catalogue, which has been digitally re-mastered for the first time, for worldwide CD release on Wednesday, September 9, 2009 (9-9-09), the same date as the release of the widely anticipated “The Beatles: Rock Band” video game. Each of the CDs is packaged with replicated original UK album art, including expanded booklets containing original and newly written liner notes and rare photos. For a limited period, each CD will also be embedded with a brief documentary film about the album. On the same date, two new Beatles boxed CD collections will also be released.

The albums have been re-mastered by a dedicated team of engineers at EMI’s Abbey Road Studios in London over a four year period utilising state of the art recording technology alongside vintage studio equipment, carefully maintaining the authenticity and integrity of the original analogue recordings. The result of this painstaking process is the highest fidelity the catalogue has seen since its original release.

The collection comprises all 12 Beatles albums in stereo, with track listings and artwork as originally released in the UK, and 'Magical Mystery Tour,' which became part of The Beatles’ core catalogue when the CDs were first released in 1987. In addition, the collections 'Past Masters Vol. I and II' are now combined as one title, for a total of 14 titles over 16 discs. This will mark the first time that the first four Beatles albums will be available in stereo in their entirety on compact disc. These 14 albums, along with a DVD collection of the documentaries, will also be available for purchase together in a stereo boxed set.

Within each CD’s new packaging, booklets include detailed historical notes along with informative recording notes. With the exception of the 'Past Masters' set, newly produced mini-documentaries on the making of each album, directed by Bob Smeaton, are included as QuickTime files on each album. The documentaries contain archival footage, rare photographs and never-before-heard studio chat from The Beatles, offering a unique and very personal insight into the studio atmosphere.

A second boxed set has been created with the collector in mind. 'The Beatles in Mono' gathers together, in one place, all of the Beatles recordings that were mixed for a mono release. It will contain 10 of the albums with their original mono mixes, plus two further discs of mono masters (covering similar ground to the stereo tracks on 'Past Masters'). As an added bonus, the mono “Help!” and “Rubber Soul” discs also include the original 1965 stereo mixes, which have not been previously released on CD. These albums will be packaged in mini-vinyl CD replicas of the original sleeves with all original inserts and label designs retained.

Discussions regarding the digital distribution of the catalogue will continue. There is no further information available at this time.

http://www.thebeatles.com

The Stereo Albums (available individually and collected in a stereo boxed set)
The stereo albums have been remastered by Guy Massey, Steve Rooke, Sam Okell with Paul Hicks and Sean Magee
All CD packages contain original vinyl artwork and liner notes
Extensive archival photos
Additional historical notes by Kevin Howlett and Mike Heatley
Additional recording notes by Allan Rouse and Kevin Howlett
* = CD includes QuickTime mini-doc about the album
Please Please Me* (CD debut in stereo)
With The Beatles* (CD debut in stereo)
A Hard Day's Night* (CD debut in stereo)
Beatles For Sale* (CD debut in stereo)
Help!*
Rubber Soul*
Revolver*
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band* (also includes 1987 notes, updated, and new intro by Paul McCartney)
Magical Mystery Tour*
The Beatles*
Yellow Submarine* (also includes original US liner notes)
Abbey Road*
Let It Be*
Past Masters (contains new liner notes written by Kevin Howlett)

‘The Beatles in Mono’ (boxed set only)
The mono albums have been remastered by Paul Hicks, Sean Magee with Guy Massey and Steve Rooke
Presented together in box with an essay written by Kevin Howlett
+ = mono mix CD debut
Please Please Me
With The Beatles
A Hard Day's Night
Beatles For Sale
Help! (CD also includes original 1965 stereo mix)+
Rubber Soul (CD also include original 1965 stereo mix)+
Revolver+
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band+
Magical Mystery Tour+
The Beatles+
Mono Masters

Re-mastering the Beatles catalogue

The re-mastering process commenced with an extensive period conducting tests before finally copying the analogue master tapes into the digital medium. When this was completed, the transfer was achieved using a Pro Tools workstation operating at 24 bit 192 kHz resolution via a Prism A-D converter. Transferring was a lengthy procedure done a track at a time. Although EMI tape does not suffer the oxide loss associated with some later analogue tapes, there was nevertheless a slight build up of dust, which was removed from the tape machine heads between each title.

From the onset, considerable thought was given to what audio restorative processes were going to be allowed. It was agreed that electrical clicks, microphone vocal pops, excessive sibilance and bad edits should be improved where possible, so long as it didn’t impact on the original integrity of the songs.

In addition, de-noising technology, which is often associated with re-mastering, was to be used, but subtly and sparingly. Eventually, less than five of the 525 minutes of Beatles music was subjected to this process. Finally, as is common with today’s music, overall limiting - to increase the volume level of the CD - has been used, but on the stereo versions only. However, it was unanimously agreed that because of the importance of The Beatles’ music, limiting would be used moderately, so as to retain the original dynamics of the recordings.

When all of the albums had been transferred, each song was then listened to several times to locate any of the agreed imperfections. These were then addressed by Guy Massey, working with Audio Restoration engineer Simon Gibson.

Mastering could now take place, once the earliest vinyl pressings, along with the existing CDs, were loaded into Pro Tools, thus allowing comparisons to be made with the original master tapes during the equalization process. When an album had been completed, it was auditioned the next day in studio three – a room familiar to the engineers, as all of the recent Beatles mixing projects had taken place in there – and any further alteration of EQ could be addressed back in the mastering room. Following the initial satisfaction of Guy and Steve, Allan Rouse and Mike Heatley then checked each new re-master in yet another location and offered any further suggestions. This continued until all 13 albums were completed to the team’s satisfaction.

New Notes/Documentaries Team

Kevin Howlett (Historical and Recording Notes)
Kevin Howlett’s career as an award-winning radio producer spans three decades. His music programmes for the BBC have included many documentaries about The Beatles, including 'The Beeb's Lost Beatles Tapes.' He received a Grammy nomination for his involvement with The Beatles’ album 'Live At The BBC' and, in 2003, produced the 'Fly On The Wall' bonus disc for 'Let It Be… Naked.'

Mike Heatley (Historical Notes)
Mike entered the music business via HMV Record Stores in 1970, transferring to EMI Records' International Division three years later. He eventually headed up that division in the early Eighties before joining the company's newly created Strategic Marketing Division in 1984. In 1988, he returned to International, where he undertook a number of catalogue marketing roles until he retired in December 2008.

During his career he worked with many of EMI's major artists, including Pink Floyd, Queen, Kate Bush and Iron Maiden. However, during the last 30 years he has formed a particularly strong relationship with Apple, and has been closely involved in the origination and promotion of the Beatles catalogue, besides solo releases from John, Paul, George and Ringo.

Bob Smeaton (Director, Mini-Documentaries)
Bob Smeaton was series director and writer on the Grammy award winning 'Beatles Anthology' TV series which aired in the UK and the USA in 1995. In 1998 he received his second Grammy for his ‘Jimi Hendrix: Band of Gypsys’ documentary. In 2004 he gained his first feature film credit, as director on the feature documentary ‘Festival Express.' He subsequently went on to direct documentaries on many of the world's biggest music acts including The Who, Pink Floyd, The Doors, Elton John, Nirvana and the Spice Girls.

Julian Caiden (Editor, Mini-Documentaries)
Julian has worked with Bob Smeaton on numerous music documentaries including 'Jimi Hendrix: Band of Gypsys' and the 'Classic Albums' series, featuring The Who, Pink Floyd, The Doors, Elton John and Nirvana among others. He has worked on documentary profiles from Richard Pryor to Dr. John to Sir Ian McKellen, Herbie Hancock and Damien Hirst and on live music shows including the New York Dolls and Club Tropicana.

The Abbey Road Team

Allan Rouse (Project Coordinator)
Allan joined EMI straight from school in 1971 at their Manchester Square head office, working as an assistant engineer in the demo studio. During this time he frequently worked with Norman (Hurricane) Smith, The Beatles’ first recording engineer.

In 1991, he had his first involvement with The Beatles, copy¬ing all of their master tapes (mono, stereo, 4-track and 8-track) to digital tape as a safety backup. This was followed by four years working with Sir George Martin as assistant and project coordinator on the TV documentary 'The Making of Sgt. Pepper's' and the CDs 'Live at the BBC' and 'The Anthol¬ogy.'

In 1997, MGM/UA were preparing to reissue the film 'Yellow Submarine' and, with the permission of Apple, asked that all of The Beatles’ music be mixed for the film in 5.1 surround and stereo. Allan requested the services of Abbey Road’s senior engineer Peter Cobbin and assistant Guy Massey and, along with them, produced the new mixes.

Two years later, he proposed an experimental stereo and surround mix of John Lennon's song 'Imagine' engineered by Peter Cobbin. Following lengthy consultations with Yoko Ono, the album 'Imagine' was re-mixed in stereo and the Grammy award-winning film 'Gimme Some Truth' in surround and new stereo. This led to a further five of John’s albums being re-mastered with new stereo mixes and the DVD release of 'Lennon Legend' being re-mixed in 5.1 surround and new stereo.

Further projects followed, including The Beatles ‘Anthol¬ogy', 'The First US Visit' and ‘Help’ DVD and the albums ‘Let It Be…Naked’ and ‘Love’ along with George Harrison’s 'Concert for Bangladesh' DVD and album.

For a number of years now, Allan has worked exclusively on Beatles and related projects.

Guy Massey (Recording Engineer)
Guy joined Abbey Road in 1994, and five years later assisted on the surround remix for The Beatles film 'Yellow Submarine.' This led to The Beatles’ 'Anthology' DVD and later, along with Paul Hicks and Allan Rouse, they mixed and produced 'Let It Be… Naked.' In 2004 he left the studios to become freelance and has engineered The Divine Comedy: 'Victory for the Comic Muse,' Air Traffic: 'Fractured Life,' James Dean Bradfield: 'The Great Western' and Stephen Fretwell’s 'Magpie,' co-producing the last two. Since leaving, Guy is still a vital member of the team, and has been the senior engineer for the re-mastering project and was responsible for surround and new stereo mixes for the DVD release of 'Help!'

Steve Rooke (Mastering Engineer)
Steve joined Abbey Road in 1983 and is now the studio’s senior mastering engineer. He has been involved on all The Beatles’ projects since 1999. He has also been responsible for mastering releases by John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.

Paul Hicks (Recording Engineer)
Paul started at Abbey Road in 1994, and his first involvement with The Beatles was assisting engineer Geoff Emerick on the Anthology albums. This was followed by 'Yellow Submarine Songtrack,' 'Anthology' DVD and 'Let It Be… Naked.' Like Guy Massey, he has also become a freelance engineer and since leaving the studios he has been responsible for the surround mixing of Paul McCartney’s DVD 'The McCartney Years' and The Beatles' 'Love.' Paul has been in charge of the mono re-masters.

Sean Magee (Mastering Engineer)
Sean began working at Abbey Road in 1995 with a diploma in sound engineering. With a wealth of knowledge in analog and digital mastering, he has worked alongside Paul Hicks on the mono re-masters.

Sam Okell (Recording Engineer)
Sam’s first job as a member of the team was in 2006, assisting Paul Hicks on Paul McCartney’s DVD 'The McCartney Years,' and during that same year he was responsible for the re-mastering of George Harrison’s 'Living In The Material World' CD along with Steve Rooke. This led to him restoring the soundtrack to the Beatles film 'Help!' in surround and stereo, in addition to assisting Guy Massey with the song remixes.

Sam has re-mastered 'With The Beatles' and 'Let It Be.'

Simon Gibson (Audio Restoration Engineer)
Simon joined Abbey Road in 1990. He has progressed from mastering mostly classical recordings to include a much wider range of music, including pop and rock, with his specialized role as an audio restoration engineer. Apart from the re-mastering project, his other work includes George Harrison’s 'Living In The Material World,' John Lennon’s 'Lennon Legend,' The Beatles’ 'Love' and the 'Help!' DVD soundtrack.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Excitement Builds for New KEF XQ-20 Speakers



It's not often that we get genuinely, jump-up-and-down excited about new products here at Puretone Audio in sunny/overcast/snowing Litchfield, Connecticut, but we have the store staked out for the FedEx guy awaiting the arrival of our first few pairs of the KEF XQ20 speakers.

The short list:

- High Resolution
- Compact Size
- Expansive Soundstage
- Immaculate Finish and Construction
- Bi-Amp Compatible
- Fantastic Value

here is what AV Review (UK) has to say...

High on designer attraction, the XQ20 was sent to us in faultless piano black and is arguably the best-looking monitor of the group. It was certainly the focus of attention for most visitors to the listening room. Its metallic-finish cone also added to the smartness of the presentation. Equally impressive are the other two finishes, Birdseye Maple and Khaya Mahogany.

KEF uses its famous Uni-Q mid/bass driver with centre-mounted tweeter. There are some notable changes here, including cone shape upgrading to match the new 19 mm elliptical tweeter and 'tangerine' wave guide. The woofer also uses a redesigned voice coil assembly with new materials. These changes to the main driver include extra cone excursion.

The enclosure features a large front-mounted reflex port which means that tonal changes are likely to be less noticeable in response to room shape and positioning. Stability is assured with three-point mounting using substantial metal feet which are height adjustable at the front. A fairly wide stance means that not all speaker stands have a large enough platform to accommodate them.

Passing from one monitor to another, the KEF demands attention during listening tests with a high gain and accurate attack. Everything about the speaker's sound suggests that it has been carefully voiced and is the recipient of a massive research and development programme to produce instant listening satisfaction. There is no doubt that this is a speaker designed to impress, particularly with its finely-drawn sound stage capabilities.

The specifics:

* Full bandwidth two-way stand mount/bookshelf speaker
KEF's latest 165mm (6.5in) Uni-Q midrange/HF 'point source' array with new 'tangerine' waveguide
* Natural-sounding high performance elliptical dome 19mm (0.75in) tweeter
* Low distortion 165mm (6.5in) driver
* Magnetically shielded, with a choice of three superb high gloss finishes and optional stand
* $1999 suggested list price

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Clapton and Winwood Live Set Coming May 12


Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood - Live From Madison Square Garden is set for a spring release (May 12 is the current date)

It will be available as a four-disc set (2 DVDs and 2 CDs) and also as individual CD and DVD releases The shows are compiled from the February 2008 Garden run that the two played on together.

The DVD will run as a complete show although the running order is slightly different than on the night.

DVD 1
01. Had To Cry Today
02. Them Changes
03. Forever Man
04. Sleeping In The Ground
05. Presence Of The Lord
06. Glad
07. Well All Right
08. Double Trouble
09. Pearly Queen
10. Tell The Truth
11. No Face No Name No Number
12. After Midnight
13. Split Decision
14. Rambling On My Mind (EC solo acoustic)
15. Georgia On My Mind (SW solo hammond)
16. Little Wing
17. Voodoo Chile
18. Can’t Find My Way Home
19. Dear Mr Fantasy
Encore:
20. Cocaine

DVD 2
Includes ‘The Road to Madison Square Garden’, an exclusive documentary featuring new interviews with Eric and Steve, together with rare footage and photographs of Cream, Traffic and Blind Faith. ‘Rambling On My Mind’: The final preparation for the three legendary performances highlighted by an acoustic soundcheck performance by Eric of the Robert Johnson standard ‘Rambling On My mind’.

Plus Bonus Performances of ‘Lowdown’, ‘Kind Hearted Blues’ and “Crossroads’.

CD1

01. Had To Cry Today

02. Low Down
03. Them Changes

04. Forever Man
05. Sleeping In The Ground
06. Presence Of The Lord

07. Glad
08. Well Alright
09. Double Trouble
10. Pearly Queen

11. Tell The Truth

12. No Face No Name No Number

CD2
01. After Midnight
02. Split Decision
03. Rambling On My Mind (EC solo acoustic)
04. Georgia On My Mind (SW solo hammond)
05. Little Wing

06. Voodoo Chile

07. Can’t Find My Way Home

08. Dear Mr Fantasy
09. Cocaine

Monday, March 16, 2009

Vinyl Numbers

Here are Soundscam's ridiculously underreported vinyl numbers for 2008...at least it shows some interesting trends of who and what are selling on LP.

Neutral Milk Hotel should be passing GNR any day now (*aka since Chinese Democracy tanked) for the 2009 chart...



2008 TOP TEN VINYL ARTISTS

(based on vinyl album sales from 12/31/2007-12/28/2008)

Artist Units Sold
1 Radiohead 61,200
2 Metallica 39,500
3 Beatles 20,400
4 Elliott Smith 17,800
5 Bob Dylan 15,200
6 Portishead 15,100
7 Ryan Adams 14,000
8 Coldplay 13,900
9 Guns ‘N Roses 13,600
10. Neutral Milk Hotel 13,200

Monday, February 9, 2009

Vinyl Takes Another Spin With Music Lovers



Our friend Eric Danton had this great article in Sunday's Hartford Courant

By ERIC R. DANTON | The Hartford Courant
February 8, 2009

As album sales plummeted in 2008 for the seventh time in eight years, there was one bright spot for a music industry still in love with physical products: Sales of vinyl records increased by nearly 90 percent.

That's right, they still make vinyl. Consumers bought almost 1.9 million new LPs last year, the most since Nielsen SoundScan started keeping track of such things in 1991. That's a mere fraction of the total music sold in 2008 — 1.5 billion units, which accounts for albums, singles, digital tracks and music videos. But it's a strong showing for a format thought to have begun its death spiral with the introduction of the compact disc 25 years ago.

Actually, the dominance of digital music is part of what has sparked a resurgent interest in vinyl, say some in the music industry.

"Ultimately, I think in some form it is a backlash against technology," says Jack Tieleman, who owns the small Canadian label Lance Rock. "There is something special about having to look after your purchase. Downloads and CDs do not have this quality. The consumer recognizes the value of the product and is willing to pay for it."

Tieleman, whose label has put out vinyl editions of CD releases by country-noir singer Neko Case, stopped making compact discs five years ago to focus on LPs.

It's not just indie labels that are keeping vinyl alive. EMI has been reissuing some of the most revered records on its Capitol and Virgin labels, including albums by the Beatles, Roxy Music and Radiohead, along with new albums by Brian Wilson and Glen Campbell.

read the full article here

Monday, February 2, 2009

Rega Introduces New Speaker Line!



Whoa!!! Now if only a stateside magazine would REVIEW Rega's speakers...(hint hint)
"Oh, we already review their turntables" is NOT an acceptable excuse when a product features the Rega trifecta of engineering, workmanship and value.

Puretone Audio is proud to announce the highest performance Rega loudspeaker range to date. The New RS range offers superb performance combined with classic good looks and outstanding craftsmanship.

The entire range features the new Rega-designed high frequency unit using Z-R-R technology (Zero Rear Reflection) The RS7 uses our new HF20-ZRR high frequency unit which is uniquely designed by Rega. By removing unwanted rear reflection the design of the ZRR tweeter helps maintain a distortion free response.

RS5 and RS7 use re-designed 8-layer side mount bass driver for improved bass response and stunning sound reproduction.

New high-quality real wood veneered cabinets make the Rega RS line beautiful furnishing accessories, highlighted by new grille and foot designs.

The full range of new loudspeakers will include RS1 / RS3 / RS5 and RS7, for full details on all of the new speakers in the range please click here...

Puretone Audio is northwestern Connecticut's authorized Rega Research dealer and features a full array of Rega turntables, amplifiers, CD players, speakers and accessories.

Get classic
British hi-fi quality at a stateside price!!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A New Faces album ???



(just had to take time out from the usual audio babble to report this!)

The previously rumored Faces reunion is apparently on, as Contact Music is reporting (via a report in The Sun) that the band have completed an album of new material, and are planning to hit the road this summer with original members Rod Stewart, Ron Wood, Kenney Jones, Ian McLagan all signed on to tour. The band reportedly recorded the album in Costa Rica, Bermuda, and Miami. There's no word on when the tour will start, or when the album will be out, so all of this is still tentative.

“We just have to sort out when and where and drop all of the management egos and just do what we can. We know we can do it. It’s just a matter of getting everyone’s availability sometime next year,” Wood said.

But...Rod Stewart denies reunion

Now that we've cleared up Flea's non-involvement with The Faces, the situation betweenold mates Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood remains murky. Published reports last year confirmed that the two had agreed to reform the band.

Today, however, a spokesman for Stewart told Billboard that the singer claims "there are no plans for a Faces reunion next year."

and Mac chimes in:

"The rehearsals were a lot of fun, everybody was in fine form, but nothing's happened since November. Don't believe anything you read about an album in the works,
or a tour being planned until you read it here, because this page is bullshit free. I kid you not. I'll be happy to announce good news, or any news, if and when there
is some.


People lie, I don't know why, who cares? "

-Ian McLagan, 1.23.2009

Okay so it's back to listening to the Faces box set and keeping the fingers crossed then...