Put the needle on the record

Since I can remember I’ve always been a huge fan of music, either live bands, playing records or just jamming with a band. I can safely say that it’s probably the “thing” that kept me levelled for most of my life.

A few years back I started reading about the difference between streamed music quality vs CDs vs vinyls and it opened a whole new debate for me. I knew just from listening to streamed music that it wasn’t at the same level as CD quality. Furthermore, I had completely forgotten about my vinyl collection since they had been all replaced by CDs back in the 90s. I did however keep all of my vinyls stored away, unfortunately not in the most optimal location, in my cool room, damp and not tempered. I then started reading about how vinyls were coming back and how the sound was all warm and fuzzy and that you could reach Nirvana just by listening to records, so it got my curious again. I did a little research on some forums + Youtube and found a turntable made by FLUANCE. I had no idea who these guys were but I knew that they were in my price range. I thought about it for a while, read more reviews and went ahead and purchased the RT81 turntable. I’m not going to review this product here, all I can tell you is that I had a great experience with this purchase! The Amazon delivery, the quality of the product and for the price… it exceeded my expectations.

If you’re curious about the whole setup, I hooked it up with a Harman Kardon avr330
and PSB image T4 speakers (both purchased used). The turntable comes with a built-in preamp so all you really gotta do is find a receiver with an analog input to hook it up. So anyways, I was ready to compare my vinyl / CD /streaming… I was so psyched!

I decided to take a closer look at my vinyls… and one by one I started realizing how dirty, moldy and basically dusty most of them were. Out of like 100 vinyls, I would say that 10 were in decent shape. So I’m back on youtube to see if anyone had figured out how to clean vinyls efficiently and most importantly, in a cost-effective way. After a few tries I
found this Gem. First of all, anyone who starts their video by saying “cheers” and taking a sip of…what looks like beer, is golden in my book! I looked at the video a couple of times, was skeptical but not apprehensive. So I tried this procedure on a couple of old vinyls that were really in a bad shape. What can i say, it worked like a charm!!

Here are the before and after photos:

I won’t explain the procedure to you, the video does that just fine. Just a word of advice, don’t over do it with the “finish” liquid. With a little patience and about 4-5 records cleanings per day, I went through my whole collection…and even bought some new ones, because I’m like that. By the way, if you’re from Montreal and you’re looking to buy vinyls, send me a message, I have some great spots for you!

So what’s the verdict? I did my comparison with the album “Aja” from Stealy Dan (new vinyl). To be more specific, the first two songs (Black Cow and Aja) Streaming vs CD = No match, CD wins by a land slide especially if you pay attention to the cymbals and bass + the way the sound travels, there is just more depth and range with the CD quality. CD vs Vinyl = Not as obvious but I believe that it’s really more about how the vinyl sounds different, especially the bass and the richness of the high frequencies. I personally enjoyed the vinyl version more but I can see how some people may find the CD one more appealing. Listening to Coltrane on vinyl though is the top!! Vinyl records were meant to play Jazz, that’s just the way it is.

So this was like 6 months ago and I’m still very much enjoying my music experience, so much so that I started cleaning my sisters vinyls and hooking her up with a sweet turntable for her birthday. the only addition I made since then is a subwoofer, same brand as my turntable. I simply got it to fill the lows I was missing and let my speakers concentrate mostly on highs and mids. I’m just about done with my set-up and couldn’t be happier. All of this for under $1000.

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Hope you enjoyed this entry and learned something new!

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Analog… I missed you

 

I had two undeveloped rolls of film in my fridge for some time now, just trying to get to the lab on my “free” time was quite a challenge. Nevertheless, against all odds, I was able to get them developed and scanned. First frames were taken with some Fuji Acros 100 and the rest with some Kodak 125PX (expired).

All shot on a Nikon F3 / Nikkor 50mm / 1.8

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The next ones with Kodak PX125

 

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I know, I’m old school but film doesn’t lie and to be honest I still haven’t been able get the same from digital. It’s like comparing “like” to “love”.

I need to shoot more film… a lot more!

Ciao!

Another Brick in the wall

What can I say about the last few years, months or anything at all. Lately, the more I look at social media, the more confusing things get. The abundance of information everywhere, be it good or bad, is mind-blowing! Personally, 2017 is off to a better start than 2016, last year was a challenging year… interesting but challenging. Add to that raising two boys under 6 and you find yourself running out of steam pretty quickly.

I learned some very important things these past couple of years, like:

1- Never say never

2- Now I believe there is only a huge grey zone, no black or white

3- Never underestimate the power of wine in solving problems…
or making you forget them

4- I have no idea if I’m a good father

5- I used to think I was a patient person

6- You can survive on 5 hours of sleep or less a night for two years straight

7- My wife is an incredible person

8- Did I mention wine?

9- There are several ways you can prepare toast for your child… none of them will be OK

10- Sometimes it’s OK to cry for a missing piece of LEGO

11- NETFLIX

12- Re-discovering music with your kids is priceless

13- Know your limits, again, know your limits

14- I’m a very lucky human being… I tend to forget this quite often

15- It is extremely important that you keep some time only for yourself

16- I miss analog photography more than I ever thought I would

17- #16 is not an excuse, get off your butt and shoot!

18- You can love someone in a way you had never imagined and also be mad at them
in a way you never imagined

19- “Life changing experience” is probably the most accurate term when you have kids

20- If we’re going to make it in this world, we have to help each other and communicate.

That’s my 2 cents and here are some pictures from this Winter/Christmas/random moments

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Hope everyone is finding their way, thanks for stopping by!

My street photos in Montréal

Montreal street… Working progress

So now that my two sons are at an age where I can (reasonably) hope to have a bit of my personal time back, I’ll be putting more energy into photography, analog mostly. I’m still heartbroken about having to sell my Contax 645 but at least I still have a few great friends to play with.

In the meantime you can see some of my work here and at the same time discover my beloved Montreal.

Cheers!