Saturday, June 27, 2015


Just the other week, STICKY FINGERS was reissued.  Available in a variety of formats, this is not a remaster job but more of a repacking job (with some bonus extras).

If you are into CDs, there is the Deluxe Version.  2CDs plus a small booklet.  The first CD is the 2009 digital remaster of the original LP.  The second CD contains some well-known and well-bootlegs alternate takes (Eric Clapton and Al Koopler playing Brown Sugar!!!).  It also contains some live tracks from the Rolling Stones performance at the Roundhouse back in '71.

For a considerable amount more money, you can get the SUPER deluxe edition which includes a THIRD CD plus a DVD and a considerably bigger booklet.  The third CD is from their Leeds University 1971 show and has been bootlegged extensively as "Get Your Leeds Lungs Out".  I believe the bootleg has only been available in mono.  This new version has been cleaned up and is in glorious stereo.  Very nice!!!

The DVD is a teaser that contains a couple of tracks from the Stones' show at the Marquee Club in 1971.  The Rolling Stones: From The Vault series has just released the Marquee Club 1971 show in its entirety and is a beaut.  The show is the last UK show before the Stones went into self-exile to France to get away from the oppressive British tax laws.

There is also a single vinyl version of the original LP (again, sourced from the 2009 remaster).  There is also a double-LP version which includes the outtakes and Roundhouse songs mentioned earlier.  The 2-LP version also includes a working zipper (see photo), the single LP does NOT.

I should also mention that you can go to the iTunes store and purchase the 3CDs from there.  At $19.99 it's a great price, but no booklets, but a very nice digitial copy.

A classic LP that should be in every music lover's collection. 


Ok.  I really want to try taking another serious stab at this webpage.  I just want something and someplace to publish my ideas and opinions on music and other interests.

Please remember to tune in to every Friday night at 8pm EST.  This is my show.  Produced and put together by me, it features a different topic every week.  I try to vary topics and content to keep things interesting.

Check it out!!!  Only on the greatest classic rock internet radio station, THUNDERROCK RADIO!!!

Monday, March 17, 2014


Meester Music here.  Going to start getting involved with my blog.  Not sure where I'm going or what I want to do with it, but come along for the ride.  I hope it will be interesting!

Friday, May 10, 2013

Monday, February 04, 2013

Beatles 2012 Vinyl Box Set - Rainbo Pressing Issues

I've mentioned previously on the blog about the new Beatles Stereo Digitally Remastered Vinyl LPs that hit the stores in November.

Many "purist" have been complaining that the fact it's a DIGITAL remaster totally defeats the purpose of a vinyl reissue. 

Consider, however, that the original analog master tapes are almost 50 years old or more now.  Digitization is the best way to preserve these gems forever.  I think the sound engineers are working with the best technology possible, and are able to archive in 24bit/192khz digitization, which is pretty close to damn near perfect.

keep in mind that vinyl doesn't have the same compression limitization that CD has, and you get a pretty nice representation of the Beatles' music.

I bought a copy of the White Album just before Christmas, and wrapped it up and stuck it under the tree.  Opened it up on Christmas day and looked at Record One, Side One.  Pretty good.  Threw it on my turntable and nice.

About a week later, I took a look at record one, side two.  Holy crap!  No WAY I did this!!!!!  Looked like somebody dropped something right on top of the record.  Have a look at the photos:

Ouch!!!!  In all the years I've been purchasing and/or collecting records, never have I seen ANYTHING like this!!

Go on and see the number of customer complaints re: this reissue.

I sincerly hope that EMI/Capitol gets their act together for the MONO Vinyl releases in May 2013


Friday, January 25, 2013


Ok, so let's make the assumption that you have acquired a half-way decent turntable!  You don't have to spend a ton of money at this point.  Just so long as the table will deliver a relatively good signal, with minimal motor noise, rumble, wow & flutter.
As I've mentioned, an old skool table will do the trick.  Just be careful of a worn stylus, loose belts, uneven speeds.  What I did was take my old Dual 506 in to RING AUDIO and let the boys at 'er.  I asked for a new belt, check out the motor, stylus and cartridge.  Got the table back with a new belt (important, as the belt has probably stretched out of shape if standing around for too long) and was told my stylus was still good, probably an average year's worth left.  Then bring it in for a replacement.  GOOD TO GO!

The next step is getting the signal from your turntable cartridge to your PC.  If you just run your turntable and leave your amp/receiver OFF, you can hear the signals coming off the cartridge but with no amplification.  Excellent!  That is what your amp/receiver does.  Provided you have a phono input, that signal from the cartridge will be amplified AND RIAA equalization put on the signal before it is forwarded to your speaker system.

Whoa....wait...RIAA equalization?  What the heck is THAT?  Well, try to imagine how those sound engineers put 20 minutes worth of music on one side of a 12" hunk of plastic!  To be able to fit all those grooves onto the platter, the low end frequencies were supressed (limited) and the high ends exaggerated a bit.  I'm no expert on this.  Click here, RIAA EQUALIZATION , to better understand what I'm talking about.

One good thing....most of the old receivers/amps have this RIAA EQ built into their electronics via the phono input jack.  But a lot of the newer receivers/amps DO NOT HAVE A PHONO INPUT!!  Running your turntable into anything but a phono input jack will not work, and might even damage your amp/rcvr.

That is where a phono pre-amp comes in.  It will take the place of the old circuitry that was present in the receivers with a phono input.  Also, a phono pre-amp allows you to plug your turntable directly into the pre-amp without having to set up a big, space-consuming rcvr.

There are many different phono pre-amps available.  Costs start at around $200.   I purchased a Rega Mini FONO A2D pre-amp.  (A2D = "Analog to Digital").  See the photo (Front View - Left, BackView - Right):

Simple to use.  On the front, there is a level controller, then the USB outlet, followed by a Earth pin (for ground).   The back view shows white/red INPUT RCA jacks, another set of OUTPUT RCA jacks, an input jack for the charger, and a red LED light to indicate when it on.

Not too hard to set up.  Red and White RCA jacks from your turntable into the pre-amp INPUT jacks.  Then a special cable that runs USB from the output jack to a usb terminal on your PC (I bought gold-plated ones from STAPLES for $30 CDN).

I can put my turntable, the phono pre-amp and my laptop on a regular-sized coffee table.

If you have an old rcvr/amp, you can run your turntable into the phono input jacks, then you can buy a cable that will allow you to run out of the HEADPHONE socket and into the microphone socket on your PC/laptop.  It works, but I found that there was a lot of noise and other issues that made it unreliable.

And that's really what you want.....a solid, reliable signal.  Otherwise, why bother?

You will need software on your PC to be able to further manipulate the music.  The best one out there is a cool program called AUDACITY.  

It's free.  Download it and the manual and any tutorials.  A bit of a learning curve, but not so steep that with a little determination, you couldn't figure it out.  (After all, you got THIS far, didn't you?).

That's it in a nutshell!  If you don't believe how good it sounds, check out my podcast "Rippin' Da Vinyl" elsewhere on my blog.  All the tunes I used for that show were ripped off the vinyl and onto my laptop in this exact fashion.  Even transferring back to mp3 192kbps for broadcasting purposes, the sound still came through.

Good luck. Drop me a line in the comments section if you have any questions or issues.

- Meester Music

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Not too long ago, I was in a downtown record store on Yonge Street.  A young couple were standing next to me and eyeballing the latest in USB Turntables, and they were discussing how they wanted to transfer a lot of their stuff to digital format so that they could put their stuff on their iPod/iPhone.

This turntable retailed for around $80 CDN.  Not bad price, I thought.  Then I took a closer look.  Oh boy.

The whole body of this turntable appeared to made of some kind of plastic.  ANY kind of noise near this unit is going to be transferred right into that tonearm and onto whatever/where ever you are recording.  Besides, plastic is a lot cheaper than the old wood they used. 

But wood must have been good for something other than just nice to look at.  The REASON was that wood does not conduct sound very well.  Turntables TURN because of a motor mounted inside.  Motors are not 100% smooth, so wood dampens the vibration, resulting in a lower wow and flutter value.  Important!!!

Plastic?  Ouch.  Don't have the numbers in front of me, but I'm willing to bet that plastic-body TT's carry all kinds of wow/flutter and turntable RUMBLE.  Not good for those quiet passages, eh?

The tonearm:  not even a counterweight to set the tracking force of the stylus/cartridge.  So we are looking now at something I might have owned when I was a kid.  I've even read stories on the net about these tonearms and their INABILITY to ride out the grooves on some modern releases.

What kind of cartridge/stylus combo are we looking at?  Hmmm...dunno.  Is the tonearm plastic too?  The trend these days is towards carbon fibre material.  No resonance, no extra noise, just the sound off the record.

Needle won't track?  Solution simple, right off the internet (I swear it's true):


This will not be a viable solution in the coming years, as the Canadian Government is not making pennies anymore.  Better start hoarding them NOW.

What is this, 1965?  Mom and Dad's Turntable?  Next thing, you are going to tell me that you want to stack your LPs three or four at a time, and let them drop down to the record below on your platter when you are done. 

Fun to look at when you are a kid.  Do you think it's so much fun to watch a $30 Audiophile Remastered record drop down about 8 inches or so onto ANOTHER $30 Audiophile Remastered record?     Yeah.....didn't think so.

Time out!!

You want to pay $80, OK.  Then please....don't complain when your vinyl sounds like shit when you hear the end result in digital format.  Oh yeah:  "Vinyl sucks, man!"   No.......your TURNTABLE sucks.

So my first word of advice is this:  spend the money on a half-way decent USB turntable.  Audio-Technica makes a nice brand in the $400 range.  Nice and solid.

Or.....find a used "old skool" turntable.  They are available.  And you can get a working one from a place like Ring Audio for around $100 or so.

NEXT UP:  PART TWO - ok, ya got the turntable.  Now what?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Turntable Upgrade

Well, after almost 30 years with the same Dual 506, I finally went for an upgrade with the Christmas money I received this year.

I purchased a brand spanking-new PRO-JECT DEBUT CARBON turntable.  I got it from a really cool audio shop in Toronto called AUDIO OASIS.  Check out the link to their webpage.  If you ever get a chance to drop in, say hi to George!

Here is a picture of the turntable.  Black.  "Piano" they call it.


Carbon tonearm and an audiophile Ortofon 2M RED cartridge/stylus makes for a nice delivery of sound.

Platter is bigger, heavier AND it comes with a felt mat, so it cuts down on static pick-up and hence less pops and clicks.

Got a Boxing Day discount on it!  Took about an hour to assemble.  Cartridge was already mounted, so it was more of putting the belt on the motor (easy), adding the counterweight and balancing off (easy), and then attaching the anti-skating counterweight (easy).

My Dual 506 now becomes my official back-up TT for transferring vinyl to digitial format via my REGA phono pre-amp into my laptop.   The dual 505-2 now goes on sale.  I'm reluctant to part with ANY  turntable, but I've got a real beaut now and a maintained backup.

I also have another Dual 506 but I noticed one of the phono jacks has a break in it and grounds out on occasion.  anyone who is deft with a soldering gun could fix it in about 30 minutes (I do not possess that skill).   I ALSO HAVE an old BSR 25CV MacDonald turntable.  However, the platter is seized and I can't even pry off the platter to fix.  I'm sure a professional could do it in a heartbeat, but I'm not prepared to invest any time/money on this one, so I'll try to sell it too, but for cheap.