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The Diner / Re: Last Movie You Watched
« Last post by vers la flamme on Today at 03:52:48 AM »

I'm on Episode 5 (of 6 on Amazon). I never liked the Dead but this is fascinating. They're perhaps the only band that stuck to ideals, at least most of the way through, that set up a way of existing that countered music marketing and money-making generally.
I don't get the music, don't understand it. But I do appreciate them for what they were and for being the only ones. It's interesting because I simply do not find them interesting musically. Anyway, this doc is recommended.

I love the Dead, and LOVED that series when it came out. I ought to rewatch.
The Diner / Re: Worst looking CD/LP artwork
« Last post by Jo498 on Today at 03:39:29 AM »
It had nothing to do with that particular recording; the whole series or at least one batch had these covers that screamed computer graphics, MODERN DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY at you, like the silvery "3D Classics". There was a Philips series with a comparably silly "Tech" cover and Decca Ovation had the most ugly pixelated graphics for some of their covers although these weren't even digital recordings! ;)
Nevertheless, I have some fondness which is partly nostalgia because these were around shortly after I started buying CDs...

[pictures appear at source after clicking on them, not sure why they are not shown in the post]

Gavriil Popov: Symphony No.1, op.7. Alexander Titov, St. Petersburg State Academic SO

First listen to this recording, though I've heard this symphony over half a dozen times in the past month in another performance. Sounding great. Possibly clearer sound than the (great) Olympia recording, but still a bit on the rougher end.
Are there really people who don't know they should brush the dust of their stylus with the little brush that came with the cartridge?
The Polling Station / Re: Three favourite 10th symphonies
« Last post by springrite on Today at 03:20:04 AM »
Another Tenth you could quite like and enjoy too is the one by the Finn Kalevi Aho. Stormy, brooding, with a long and dense slow movement (3rd mov.)
Oh yes. Forgot about that one!
JS Bach: Sonatas for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord Nos. 1-3 BWV 1027-1029 [Musica Antiqua Koln]

Although the viola da gamba is obviously not as bright, tonally, as a violin, these works are no less engaging and compelling. What they may lack in sparkle they certainly make up for in texture and atmosphere. There is, however, plenty of sparkle in the inherent forward momentum of the music and in the harpsichord line for those who seek it.

You don't have to apologize for the Viola da Gamba in these works. I would give 1,000 Bach violin sonatas for one sonata for Viola da Gamba!
General Classical Music Discussion / Re: Thirty three and a third.
« Last post by aligreto on Today at 02:53:13 AM »
Coincidentally, while we are discussing cleaning, I was checking something on Discogs and I noticed this article:

How to Clean and Care for Your Turntable Stylus

Kat Bein posted March 11, 2021

When was the last time you cleaned the needle on your record player? If your answer is, “Hahahahahahah .. wut,” you’re not alone!

I’ve been collecting vinyl since college, which is closer to 15 years than I’d like to admit, and I don’t think I’ve more than once or twice even thought about properly cleaning my stylus, let alone giving it a try.

That’s, uh, not great, though. It turns out that stylus care is one of the easiest and most important steps to a healthy record relationship. Now that you’ve been alerted to the danger living right under your nose, take two deep breaths and follow this simple guide toward a brighter vinyl future.

We only share the coolest stuff because we like it. However, when you purchase something through our affiliate links, Discogs may earn a commission.

What is a turntable stylus?

Did you know your record player doesn’t run on magic? That little tonearm on your turntable is some kind of mechanical wonder. The whole system contains magnets, coils, a cantilever, and a cartridge, wherein lives this tiny, diamond-tipped stylus (AKA needle) that runs across the face of your vinyl record, reading the vibrations and turning them into electrical signals. While there have been leaps and bounds of technological advancement between your Technics and the humble phonograph, it’s the same process by which phonographs worked way back in 1877. Wild.

What happens if I don’t clean it?

Your stylus is on the front line of your record-listening experience. If things break down here, it will affect every element of the process from there on out. It’s the most delicate part of your record player, and unfortunately, it’s the one taking a face-dive into the dirty trenches of your record: the grooves. As the records play, the stylus catches all that dust and dirt settled on your LP.

Are your re-, are your re-, are your re-, are your records skipping? Could be a dirty needle! Does it sound like a dusty vinyl mess? Maybe it is! A quick, 20-second clean of that stylus could turn your muckiest, scratchiest sounding LP into a golden chorus. (But hey, if the vinyl is actually scratched, that’s another story).

Even more importantly, a dust-laden, dirty needle dragging across your record could lead to further degradation of the vinyl itself. No one wants to ignorantly damage their precious, carefully-curated collection – not after I spent all that time searching for the original pressing of Lou Reed!

How do I clean the stylus?

The good news is, cleaning your stylus is nothing like cleaning your bathroom. It’s quick, easy, painless, and very cheap. Here are a few tried-and-true options from dutiful collectors across the Discogs Community and beyond.

Needle or stylus brush: Any time you buy a cartridge or stylus, it probably comes with a little needle or stylus brush. If you don’t have a brush handy, there are lots of them on the market, usually for $10 or less. Look online or ask your local record shop clerk. They’ve got little, round heads and short, soft bristles. Big tip: Never, ever, for any reason whatsoever, rub your needle sideways. Always brush from front to back, mimicking the movement of a record underneath. Brushing your needle side-to-side will damage the tip or break the damn thing clean off. Then you need a new stylus, and that was opposite your original goal.

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser: Before you head to the record store or search online, look underneath your kitchen sink. If you’ve got a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser in your broom closet, you’ve got a perfectly-good needle cleaner. Do not brush the Magic Eraser against your needle. The abrasive surface is good for getting crayons off the wall but not so good for your needle. Instead, cut a small square from the eraser, place it on your turntable just below the stylus, and gently (very gently) drop your needle on the eraser. Lift the needle back up, and you’ll find the eraser snagged some of that dust, leaving a small mark. Move the eraser a smidge and continue the process until no residue is left.

Onzow Zero Dust Stylus Cleaner: If the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser feels a little scary to you, you can invest $39 into Onzow’s ultra-soft gel product. It works pretty much the same way, in that you drop your needle gently onto the gel pad two or three times, but Onzow’s Zero Dust Stylus Cleaner has been specially formulated to be needle-friendly. You can clean the pad by running it under warm water, which means you’ll get a lot of use from the investment.

Audio Technica Cleaning Kits: A trusted name in the turntable game, Audio Technica offers a couple products to keep your stylus stylin’. There’s the AT617a Cartridge Stylus Cleaner, a polyurethane gel pad that runs about $35 and is used the same way you would use the Onzow gel pad. Make sure you don’t force the needle down or leave it on the gel pad too long, or you might pick up small gel debris. There’s also an alcohol/ethanol-based liquid cleaner that promises a “more thorough cleaning” called the AT607a. For $12, you get a 10 ml bottle with a brush head. Just be sure you brush from back to front, as with any needle brush, and do note that liquid spillage from the bottle onto the vinyl can damage the record. Audio Technica recommends removing the stylus before cleaning, just to be safe.

But for real, how often is cleaning necessary?

Well, it only takes a few seconds, so you might as well leave the cleaning tool of your choice right next to the player and do a little brush between LPs or dance with the gel pad right before you kick off a long night of spins.

If a daily clean seems unrealistic (that’s going 0 to 100 real quick), we recommend refreshing your tip at least once a week. If you treat your stylus nicely, it’ll last for 1,000 or maybe even 2,000 hours. What’s 20 seconds of your life against 2,000 hours of jams? Time and money well spent.

Take what you will, readers, out of the above.
We have discussed here, in the past, the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser [or equivalent product] method. I have never used it myself.

The one major issue that I have with the above advice is that when using the Needle or stylus brush method it states that one never brushes the stylus from side to side. This is absolutely correct. What the article advises is that one should “Always brush from front to back”. This is where I have the problem. I was taught by gnarly old Vinyl Heads when I was a youngster that one always brushed from back to front, to avoid potential damage to the stylus. Therefore, brush from behind the stylus towards you. 

What do others do here, please?

General Classical Music Discussion / Re: What are you listening 2 now?
« Last post by aligreto on Today at 02:47:53 AM »
JS Bach: Sonatas for Viola da Gamba and Harpsichord Nos. 1-3 BWV 1027-1029 [Musica Antiqua Koln]

Although the viola da gamba is obviously not as bright, tonally, as a violin, these works are no less engaging and compelling. What they may lack in sparkle they certainly make up for in texture and atmosphere. There is, however, plenty of sparkle in the inherent forward momentum of the music and in the harpsichord line for those who seek it.
Erich Korngold's Symphonic Serenade 
    Werner Andreas Albert, Nordwestdeutsche Philharmnonie

What a lovely piece! I don't know if it's just because I'm biased, but I keep hearing echoes of Benjamin Britten in it (the opening of the Intermezzo has Playful Pizzicato woven all through it, for example!).
Interesting. I assume a relation of the composer as soloist for VC. Did you enjoy the CD?
Trond Sæverud is a son of the composer Ketil Hvoslef, who again is a son of Harald Sæverud.
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