Saturday, July 31, 2010

I'm starting a home for wayward vintage audio gear

The speaker cabinets are starting to really pile up now. A friend called and said hey do you want an early Klipsch Rebel speaker cabinet for free. Well yes. Now it is official I am starting a home for wayward vintage audio gear. Just drop it off or mail it to me lol. It all started after Jeffery Jackson dropped of some JBL 4560 style cabints.

Last week a friend called and said he had a vintage pilot tube amp console. Well it looks like a tube amp but is an early solid state receiver. It likely uses those old tube transformers like the early Mcintosh solid state. The console also had an unused Garrard Type 50.

The Jolly Boys Jaimaican Mento meets Modern Contemporary

If I were to say I am Caribbean music junkie it would be an understatement. The fact that I didn't notice the Jolly Boys until now makes me wonder what else I have missed. These guys are the real deal with a musical legacy going back 60 years. They were Errol Flyyn's house band for god sake. These guys are well seasoned and steeped in early Island musical tradition.Here is an excerpt from their site. There are some good videos and documentary on the site.

For nearly sixty years, the Jolly Boys have been integral to the fabric of Port Antonio’s musical landscape and cultural heritage. Masters of mento, one of Jamaica’s original musics, this band has rocked innumerable private soirées, charmed the traveling elite and toured the world, leaving an indelible mark on everyone who has heard them. Their new album, Great Expectation, introduces a new sound and direction, making them more unforgettable than they have ever been.

The Jolly Boys quickly rose to local prominence in the 1950s as the house band for the Rat Pack’s Jamaica chapter, chaired by the swashbuckling enfant terrible, Errol Flynn. Singing songs of double entendre and ribaldry to those in search of escape and excess, the group served as Port Antonio’s go-to band for thirty years. Being “discovered” by a new generation of world music aficionados in the late 1980s meant that the Jolly Boys could take their musical party on the road. Several album, dozens of countries and thirty years since, the Jolly Boys have become the most recognizable mento band in the world.

Now, the Jolly Boys are back, reinvigorated with a revolutionary new sound. In early 2009, Jon Baker, founder of Gee Street Records and one-time leader of the A&R team at Island Records in NYC, held a recording session at Geejam studios to capture some of the Jolly Boys vintage material. He was looking for the rebel mento–the punk rock of its day–where singers sang frankly about sex and wrote biting commentary about relevant social issues. The Jolly Boys delivered, but it led to a fresh creative idea: why not dip into the rock repertory, take the songs that resonate with mento’s raucous history and give them a different vibe? Baker, together with his long term friend and creative partner Mark Jones from Wall of Sound, worked together and chose tracks from artists like the Clash, the Stooges, the Stranglers and Amy Winehouse. They fit the mento vibe so naturally that work on the new project began immediately.

Over the next several months, the group worked tirelessly with Dale Virgo, Baker’s co-producer, on a set of innovative arrangements and modern beats to complement and contemporize an older sound defined by banjos, maracas and rumba boxes. To bridge the narrows between the two styles, Baker brought in mento scholar and banjo driver Daniel Neely as the project’s music director. In addition, Jamaican saxophone legend Cedric Brooks added both his unique musical insight and his horn to the project. The entire endeavor was documented by filmmaker and director Rick Elgood (One Love, Dancehall Queen, Westway to the World), whose docudrama about the Jolly Boys past, present and future is currently in production. The result of these efforts is the Jolly Boys’ new album, Great Expectation, the birth of modern mento.

The well-seasoned and ever energetic Jolly Boys thrash out this new mento sound with as much heart and flex as any contemporary performer. Lead singer Albert Minott’s saturated vocals, natural retro chic stylings and limitless charisma convey an uncommon originality and musical creativity that is entirely his own. On tour this summer to promote the new album, Albert will be supported by a sensational group of foundational Jolly Boys and young Jamaican lions. It’ll leave you excited and wanting more.

Great Expectation was recorded at Geejam Studios, a residential recording studio and hotel, in Port Antonio, Jamaica. The video for Rehab, featuring Albert Minott (with a cameo by Patrice Flynn, Errol’s wife), was filmed at the Seaview Entertainment Centre, Limbo Lounge and Pat’s Rum Bar in Port Antonio by Rick Elgood.

Here is a video by the Jolly Boys a cover of Amy Whinehouse song rehab which I am not a fan of but they did a great job on this one

Friday, July 30, 2010

Retro Hi-Fi Girl Friday

Hi-Fi Dancer Bar Drinks : )

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Acoustic Recording The Dawn Of The Audio Age

I love this pic of an early recording with Stroh violins. Definitely looks like a steampunk scene. No pesky wires to get in the way. This is just straight in.

Scientific American 1896


A very interesting site on the history of early recording.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Tube Of Unusual Size And Power

I saw this tube on Triode Electronics a while back. It is a 2 megawatt tube. Wonder if Jeffery Jackson has one of these in his stash yet? What a monster of a tube. The tank on top is a liquid coooler.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Saturday, July 24, 2010

HiFi toon

My girlfriend also loves large speakers :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Retro Hi-Fi Girl Friday

Nice console. Is that a Grundig? Why don't I get invited to that sort of party.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Quad 33 Control Unit 303 Power Amplifier Ads

The vintage Quad designs always look great to me. Simple functional and sleek.

A Corner Labrinth Transducer

This is an interesting critter. It meets my first criteria in a speaker which is that it isn't small but it could be bigger still. I have severe distaste for small speakers. If you want it to sound real make it big. If you want it to sound like a speaker make it small. Ok sorry for the rant there. This looks like a missing link or like a bunch of speakers went to an orgy and this came out as a backloaded cornerhorn karson looking thingy.

Fulmer's patent is here

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Tube Glow

I've missed the sight of tubes glowing in the music room. There is nothing like a good light show while you listen to tunes with a nice beer.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

i'm back into tube audio

I have been buying selling and rotating through gear basically to get my speakers where I want them. So far so good the Jubilee's and Klipschorns are doing well. Now time to bring my electronics up to par. The Klipschorns respond very well to vintage receivers and integrated amps so when my buddy Dee offered to sell his Fisher 800-C I jumped for it. In its present state it sounds wonderful but it has some things that need upgrading. The Klipschorns are basically in my tv entertainment room. No I don't want a home theater I'd rather just get two channels right.

It is in wonderful shape. It deserves a wooden cabinet and a revamp.

I've been talking to Michael Sarma a regular post on Audio Asylum and he has some interesting ideas for this receiver. He has worked on many of these and says he has a few tweaks that can really make it sing. I can't wait for him to work on it this fall.

It is so nice to have glowing tubes again. I don't like being without them. The Klipschorns are going to be much happier.