torsdag 28 februari 2013

So this is the ***p that Christoffer Berg abandoned our ''Klanger & Spår'' events for ...

Just kidding! Well done Christoffer ... congratulations on an fantastic project!

I had an amazing clip of this played live with Christoffer on piano (He of course was officially drum programmer which I think is producing but with beats?) and the NY skyline behind them. It's from the  ... again ... amazing ... studio they used when recording in NY but for some reason won't play for me any more. Here is a pic and link if you can get it to work!

onsdag 27 februari 2013

On DEM updated ... see tab above ...

or click here ...

Continued and well deserved success for Maeve O'Boyle ...

I mentioned that Maeve had played a very special event but that it was rather secret or at least She had to wait on permission before talking about it.

In November 2012, after watching Maeve's Live ''Brothers in Arms'' you tube video (see also below), 'The Whitehouse' invited Maeve to come over and play at a special event. In December 2012, Maeve done just that ... an amazing 2 hour set. She said ''Martin ,,, the response was amazing ... they loved it''.

The news is now public knowledge. Maeve was asked to record for UK TV because of her work using Her own music school to help underprivileged kids but when She mentioned 'The Whitehouse' they of course got very excited. She recorded for UK television this morning (see photo below). 

So if that wasn't enough Maeve released the single 'Brothers in Arms' on itunes and is donating the entire income from the single to 'Combat Stress' charity. Just 24 years old and creating quite a stir!!

(If you would like to buy a USB (24bit, 16bit, CD, Mp3 + film) pre-release copy of 'Being Patient', Maeve's new album please contact: 250:-)

tisdag 26 februari 2013

The little treat from LINN ... I spoke of ...

With a total of seven inputs including HDMi we now have a low cost stand alone solution from LINN that really can do everything you want.

It comes in a discreet white, black or silver chassis and of course is controlled from your tablet with Linn Kinsky. 

I'm looking forward to trying out the Bi-amping option that gives 2* 33W of power per speaker. 

I have been waiting on this LINN product for years ... Happy Days! 

18,250 :-

Read more:

onsdag 20 februari 2013

Fantastic insight into music from David Gray ...

I remember buying David Gray's 'White Ladder' probably around 1998/99. I loved it ... ''Babalon'', fantastic track which really gives an insight into the Man Himself ... whom ''wears his heart on his sleeve'', some days it goes well, others not so well. I thought about this track when I watched the Youtube clip above yesterday. 

Everything is about His mood, the way He feels, His surroundings ... really great artist!

I think it was Macy Gray that I heard on the radio calling David a ''fantastic, sensitive beautiful man'' after She listened to 'White ladder'. It was the Irish that first caught onto David Gray and when He attended ''Witness Festival'' (Free Download)
I don't think He He could believe the response He received ... 

I was lucky enough to be there to watch His head shaking piano playing and listen to song after song. He had been warned of fines for playing over time but the crowd wanted more and David just played extra song after extra song .. a great memory ...

tisdag 19 februari 2013

A great email to open when I came to work ...

On 18 February 2013 at 14:30 Olof Kårström wrote:


''My LINN Lp12 has, in the last 20 years, been my reference for music delivery with respect to how it effortlessly delivers with ''life in the music''. I had given up for a long time ago, to expect the same relaxed delivery from a digital music based system ... at the price I could afford anyway - and was very doubtful that a small box for 2995 Sek would change that for me.

After having gone through Spotify, AIFF and ALAC files through the Maestro-50 I can conclude that there is hope for digital music reproduction.

Whatever it is that they are doing at AVA Media, Manchester, I can conclude that it's working. I've listened to  rock, pop. classical, and jazz and everything sounds alive and unforced. The Maestro doesn't seem to colour the music with either timing or clang. It's as anonymous at 'The black monolith in Kubricks 2001' and that's exactly how a good HiFi should be, in my opinion. It's the music that talks.

The price of 2995 Sek is of course a joke - I've listened to systems costing tens of thousands of kronor that don't deliver music as well. It feels wonderful that almost anyone can now afford to experience great musical reproduction in the home with a Maestro as their system. That it's an energy effective product is for me important and an extra plus. There is hope in the world and I expect Maestro is selling really well for you!

Many thanks, Olof Kårström ...

''På Svenska''

Hej Martin,

Min LP12 har i 20 år varit min referens vad gäller avslappnad, levande musikåtergivning. Jag har sedan länge slutat förvänta mig samma avkoppling när jag lyssnar på digitala ljudkällor - i varje fall i de prisklasser jag har råd med - och var väl innerst inne tveksam till om en liten svart låda för 2995:- skulle ändra på den saken. Efter att i tur och ordning ha lyssnat på Spotify, AIFF- och ALAC-filer genom Maestron kan jag dock konstatera att det finns hopp för den digitala musikåtergivningen Vad de än gör hos AVA i Manchester så fungerar det. Har lyssnat på rock, pop, klassiskt och jazz och allt låter levande och oansträngt. Maestron verkar inte färga musiken vare sig tids- eller klangmässigt. Den är anonym som den svarta monoliten i Kubricks 2001 och det är väl så en bra förstärkare ska fungera, antar jag. Det är ju musiken som ska tala. Priset 2995:- är förstås ett skämt - har hört anläggningar för 10000-tals kronor som inte förmedlar musik lika bra. Det känns fantastiskt att nästan vem som helst nu har råd att ha bra musikåtergivning i sitt hem - att Maestron dessutom är resurs- och energieffektiv är för mig ett stort extra plus. Det finns hopp om världen... Utgår ifrån att ni säljer mängder av dessa.

Med tacksamhet


fredag 15 februari 2013

LINN Lovers ...

''A beautiful little treat awaits you Monday, one I have been waiting for and with exciting configuration options ;) ... ''

onsdag 6 februari 2013

Mark Knopfler - 'LINN-LOUNGE' EVENT Wed 13 Feb 7pm ... welcome ..

Join us at Peoples & Schmidt at 7pm on Wednesday, 13th February, Linnegatan 5, Gothenburg for Linn Lounge presents… Mark Knopfler and let us take you on a musical journey, uncovering his fascinating story from humble roots to global success as an inspirational solo artist and Dire Straits front man.
We’ll be playing Knopfler’s latest album ‘Privateering’ in Studio Master - the highest quality download available anywhere, letting you hear the music exactly as it was recorded.
Hailed as one of the world’s greatest guitarists, Knopfler considers himself foremost a songwriter and there’s a stunningly eclectic selection of tracks on his latest double side album – with everything from Celtic folk and sea shanty pipes to electric blues and dreamy Americana.
Our Linn Lounge presents… events give you the chance to listen to iconic artists on a Linn system while learning all about their life, loves and inspirations.
There'll be Linn staff on hand to answer any questions and a few beers & sparkling water to keep you refreshed. You’ll even get the chance to listen to some of your favourite music on a Linn system.
Whether it's the latest Studio Master download, a track from Spotify or even a movie, Linn systems get the best sound from anything you listen to at home.

tisdag 5 februari 2013

Day 07: My Top 10 albums of all time in no particular order ..

This is the first album I bought ''myself'' of Queen and YES-Ok, it's a greatest hits album, but I don't care and that's just it anyway ... ''It's the Greatest Hits''!!

From Spotify: QUEEN: Greatest Hits

'Live Aid' ... Oh How Queen showed how it's done ... 

'Bohemian Rhapsody'   ... that's a song ... definitely up there as one of the best songs of all time ... or?

Email from Maeve O'Boyle this morning ..

''Hello everyone,

I am delighted to announce that my new single is out TODAY!!!

But this is special...

EVERY PENNY raised from EVERY SINGLE SOLD will be donated to "Combat Stress" - The UK's Veterans Mental Health Charity.
"Brothers in Arms" was written after a meeting with a soldier who had suffered from PTSD. I am delighted to be able to support this charity who are coming to the aid of so many servicemen and woman who have left the military with psychological wounds.

PLEASE BUY the single here and lets raise some money for Combat Stress... '' ... Maeve ...

Well a couple of years ago Maeve played in front of 100,000 audience at a concert dedicated to The Popes visit. Just before Xmas she sent the video for the single ''Brothers in Arms'' to a very special place, about the most prestigious venue on the planet I'd say. She was immediately invited to come and play. It's all a bit secret but information will be out soon on that ... I'm sure! Her first album was amazing, released on LINN and Her second, available on pre-release as limited USB from us or Her new label, is a bit tougher, with some even stronger songs than the first ... HITS! So She is doing really well and without doubt on Her way to the top.

'Brothers in Arms', was written by Maeve after an emotional discussion with an x-soldier whom basically suffered after what He had been involved in. In typical style from this young artist, Maeve was inspired to help and using music, found a way. A few years ago Maeve started an 'out-of-hours' music school to help keep underprivileged kids off the streets and done it with Her own money. She pretty much works full time and hands on and in 2012, an amazing 600 kids went through her school. So She is well know for her big heart.

With ''Brothers in Arms'', a single capable of bringing in substantial revenue, Maeve is donating ''all'' funds from the single to ''Combat Stress' to help just the kind of people that inspired the song.

Nobody likes War but what is often forgotten is that soldiers, in the UK anyway, are often from tough backgrounds with few opportunities and find the army as young as 16 years old. They are totally removed from society, almost no time off, then one day they meet the front line and another day are cast out ... back into public life that they no longer can relate to.

Selling now for less than 20 Sek on itunes ... P.S. ''Hero in the Sky'' LIVE B-side is also a cracker. We need a B-side ... ok ... LIVE straight from the sofa, no mix, no master, to itunes ... interesting!

söndag 3 februari 2013

AVA-Maestro 50. What is it with this little box?

This tiny box, about the size of your hand, has been taking up all of our attention since we received the very first prototype ever made back in December. The production models are literally flying out the door and for a while we had 100% hit rate on customers visiting our shop ,,, we are still close to that rate even 4 or 5 weeks into stocking it.

So it's small, very small. It comes in a machined from solid aluminium chassis (see above CAD), black anodised and laser etched logo and text, something unheard of at this price but rather associated with super high end products determined to get the absolute best shielding, stability and finish. So it feels and looks amazing, like 'real' quality, way over the expectation at that price.

It's 50W but I'm told, actually 65W so it packs a punch and delivers even with some impressive floor-standers. There is no remote and just two inputs, both digital (spdif & Toslink) and they are manually switched so it is very minimalist. This is what really surprised me when I started using it ... what a relief that it's so simple ... almost mechanical. Send a signal, it automatically comes out of standby and plays, I'm not searching for a remote because there isn't one. 

We are littered with music renderers (source products) in our homes, Sonos player, MacMini, Apple TV, Airport express, Smart TV, PS3, Boxee, LINN, naim, Simple Audio ... and so on. I have an embarrassing amount of ways to stream both music & film ,,, lets face it, just one or two is enough so do I need more renderers, more APPs, more remotes ... No!

When thinking about the above scenarios you start to see that Maestro is a simple box that just works with anything you have without ''butting in''! It just gives amazing performance from any of the products that have digital out and lets face it, that's just about everything. So yes it's a simple aluminium block with just one function ... to amplify a digital signal to your speakers. So if that's it's function, does it do it well? I'll answer that shortly! First lets just mention that this takes open digital code and converts it to an amplified analogue signal to your speakers. It does this without a DAC, well what we all understand a DAC to be ... it does it with a different technology, something they call 'pure-audio-stream' with a pulse-code-modulated (PCM) to pulse-width-modulated (PWM) converter called a modulator .. I have no idea what that means but it apparently has no digital clock so it has no clocking problems, no jitter ... I understand that!

So how good does it sound? Well with an airport express, an ipad, Spotify premium and a pair of LINN Majik 109 speakers (11450 Sek) ... I can fool any visitor into believing the Maestro costs 30,000 Sek and that I am playing high quality files! 

It's probably the cleanest sound I have ever heard from any HiFi and that is what this tini box is, it's a HiFi, the only HiFi you need in a home and it's a really good one. It's also one of the most pure sounding HiFi's I have heard. This sounds silly but a dog sounds like a dog, like a real dog! I watched 'Alla vi Barn i Byllerbyn'' hence the comparison but honestly I never heard Childred, birds, and music sound so REAL like this. For me this delivers completely uncoloured sound ,,, crystal clear! I'd say it probably ranks extremely highly as one of THE best studio tools around ... absolutely perfect for listening for detail and individual instruments and effects.

So it costs 2995 Sek, which is rather a bad joke, when you consider the chassis it comes in, never mind the amazing performance. Bearing in mind I make my living from sales of rather expensive equipment, is this a good thing? Well for the customer of course it is, for music ... of course it is because the ordinary family with an ordinary budget will now experience music at home way above what they dreamed was possible and get more out of their music! 

It's not even made in China, but rather in a small family owned manufacturing factory in Manchester, England ... I mean made there. I sent Gustaf to check! CNC machines, anodizing machines, design & IT, it's all there ... big raw aluminium blocks on forklifts queuing to be made into world class HiFi and IT solutions they provide.

2995 Sek, the size of my hand ... actually fits in with everything I use and want, film, music, multi-room with minimal inputs, one retractable knob (also made from machines-in-house aluminium) head volume control, which for most uses, is not used (I'm always streaming from media players with tablet control and digital volume control or simply with my smartTV) and an input selector switch which again you hardly use. 

I talked about showing off playing Spotify wirelessly comparing to 30,000 Sek boxes well what does it do when you play 24 Bit, 192 Htz direct from MacPro, MacMini or PC for example? It's totally insane and I have no idea what to compare it with ... it's really really good!

Henryk, the founder from Musicimatic (Gothenburgs oldest Studio with some, NO sorry Henryk ... it's ALL amazing gear and an impressive list of artists recording there) commented:

''I can't even lift my amplifier in the studio ... it sounds amazing, must be trickery, what's going on ... put me down for one'' :)


To give you an idea of size, that's the Maestro on the right with a small marker pen standing next to it. The AVA RipnPlay (again mystery price-tag, machined from solid RipNas) is shown on the left.

P:S: special thanks to Anders for tipping Maestro in this months HiFi & Musik page 32.