Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Classic Rock Videos

The Beatles - And I Love Her

Audiophile Audition-Turntable Review

I want to thank John over at http://www.audaud.com/index.php for the exclusive rights to reprint this great review!

AUDIOPHILE AUDITION focuses on recordings of interest to audiophiles and collectors, with an accent on surround sound for music, and on all hi-res disc formats. Over 100SACD, DVD Video/Audio and standard CD reviews are published during each month, and our archives go back to January 2001.

The Wonderful World of Vinyl; Marantz TT-15S1 Turntable Reviewed

An introduction on getting back into vinyl or trying it for the first time and a review of a quality entry-level turntable system.

Marantz TT-15S1 Turntable
SRP: $1600

Marantz America, Inc.
100 Corporate Drive
Mahwah, NJ 07430
630-741-0300 (voice)
630-741-0301 (fax)


Basic Description

Acrylic turntable including arm and cartridge (manufactured by Clearaudio for Marantz), 33 1/3 and 45 rpm speed belt drive system, Clearaudio Satisfy radial tonearm with adjustable stylus pressure from 0-5 gram; 3-18g cartridge compatibility; Cartridge output voltage at 1 kHz ~ 3.6 mV with recommended stylus pressure of 2.0 grams, Aluminum cantilever; Souther plastic record clamp; 350 mm D x 440 mm W x 110 mm H (to spindle), 6.125” to top of cueing lever when arm height is adjusted for mat; 3 year parts and labor warranty on tonearm and table—90 days on cartridge.

Associated Equipment

Krell KAV-400i Integrated Amplifier, Musical Fidelity A5 Integrated Amplifier, PS Audio GCPH Phono Stage, Whest Two Phono Stage, Bowers and Wilkins 803S speakers, Audioquest cabling. Accessories used are too numerous to list—please see future accessories reviews for more information.


It’s been a while since I’ve done any serious turntable setup, so I thought it would be useful to describe the procedure for those who are in the same boat. After unpacking all the pieces, I made sure the table I was using for assembly was level by using two separate bubble levels (which I later used on the playback surface). The manual is excellent and includes pictures and numbered steps to make the setup as easy as possible.

The three turntable legs unscrew, so in case it is impossible to have a completely level surface, the user can level the table by adjusting the legs. White gloves are included to keep the table clean during assembly and for handling the belt. An extra belt comes with the table, but there is no 45 adapter or dust cover. You can buy an aftermarket Gingko Dust Cover for $279 that measures 19” W x 14” D x 6.5” H. A basic 45 adapter costs $3 and a Clearaudio stainless steel adapter sells for $45. Other options will be discussed in a later accessories article.

The table comes with a tonearm, cartridge, record clamp, as well as tools and oil (which you may need in the future). In addition to the ground wire that is attached to the tonearm, there is a ground that attaches directly to the underside of the table. TIP #1: Wait till the ground wire is installed before removing the tape on the topside of the base that holds the bearing in place; otherwise it may fall out, spill oil, and generally make a mess.

The TT-15 comes with a soft mat, but whether it will be used needs to be determined before adjusting the height of the tonearm. I didn’t compare the sound of both, but the included clamp is only recommended to be used with the mat (or with warped records). A vinyl enthusiast I know said that his experience with tables of this type leads him to believe that it would be better to avoid the mat completely. Adjusting the height is incredibly easy—just slip the counterweight under the tonearm and use the small felt piece or not depending on whether you will by using a mat or not. This will be all that is necessary to adjust VTA (vertical tracking angle).

If the supplied Clearaudio Virtuoso Ebony cartridge (exclusive to this table) is used, then setup is very easy. The supplied screws thread right into the cartridge (without need of a nut above or below) and according to the manual, pushing the cartridge into the forward position is all you need to adjust offset. Most cartridges require a lot of work to properly align the cartridge, so it was nice to be able to have it set easily. If a different cartridge is used, the manual specifies that the stylus tip needs to be 32 mm back from the wood part of the arm. I went ahead and checked alignment with a DB Systems Protractor anyway. This is an indispensable tool for adjusting proper offset. I confirmed that the accuracy was within a small fraction of a degree although it was hard to tell definitively due to the fact that the cartridge has rounded sides. TIP#2: If you are going to use an alignment tool, make sure you secure the platter with tape so that the needle doesn’t get damaged by sliding off the tool.

Pinch-nosed pliers are a good tool to attach the cartridge leads, but I was able to do it successfully with my fingers (and nails). All that was left was stylus pressure and anti-skate. The quick and dirty way to adjust stylus force is by first leveling the tonearm parallel to the platter surface (so it floats) and then apply the recommended force to the stylus (most often accomplished by turned the weight on the tonearm toward the center of the platter). The cartridge instructions recommended 2.0 grams of force while the turntable manual indicated 2.2 grams. I chose to go with the lighter tracking force. If you ever see the needle bouncing off the record you know that you have applied too little force. Too much force can cause premature breakage of the needle and poor sound quality. You can always listen and make slight adjustments as well.

Initially I tried to adjust the stylus pressure using the prescribed method, but I’ve found over the years that this is not usually all that accurate. In this case, when I measured the pressure with a digital scale from Steve Blinn I found that I was off on the high side by >.1 gram. Like setting offset, make sure to secure the platter to avoid needle damage and set anti-skate afterwards to avoid bending the shaft of the cartridge.

The manual specifies the magnetic screw be set half way for proper anti-skate (which is what I did since I didn’t have a test record or oscilloscope to check to make sure it was set properly).

Lastly, I set up the motor. The pulley needs to be positioned at 3 mm above the height of the motor which turns out to be approximately the tip of the included screwdriver turned sideways. I would recommend a better screwdriver for actually tightening down the plastic screws for the pulley. The supplied one seemed too fat and I couldn’t tell if the screws were tightening or just slipping.

There is a cutout in the plinth (base) for the motor and it is best if the motor does not make contact with the base. However, the power switch is on the side of the motor and turning it on and off causes the motor to move requiring you to reposition it (if you are neurotic about such things) each time you turn the table on. The switch should be on the top or remotely located.

The spindle was a bit tight on some records so I gently smoothed it down, so I wasn’t fighting with the TT-15 to get records off. That concluded the setup. I used a couple of different amplifiers and phono preamplifiers while the turntable was under test (all listed above).

Operation and Maintenance

This turntable is fully manual meaning you will have to lift the arm to the record and then put it to rest when the arm moves into the exit groove. I would agree with the manual and give the platter a slight spin before turning on the motor—this will increase belt life and prevent slippage or possible locking up of the motor mechanism. Other than that, this turntable worked just as expected. I had an old 45 adapter lying around for use with a record or two that needed it. To change the speed, just lower the belt down on the pulley.

To dust the records off I used an Audioquest antistatic carbon fiber record brush. I tested speed accuracy with a KAB SpeedStrobe. According to my measurements, the turntable was between .5-.6% fast. This disc has the speed numbers right on it (as opposed to bars), so it is easy to keep track of how far off the speed is. Also, it comes with a strobe light, so no worries about differences with line voltage or 50/60 Hz issues.

To clean the stylus I used the Extreme Phono solid-state gel stylus cleaner. This is the best, safest and simplest stylus cleaner I have ever had the pleasure to use. [LAST also makes Stylast cleaner which I use. They also offer record cleaners and a very effective preservative for vinyl....Ed.]


I played music on the TT-15 for weeks--off and on every day. Rating the subjective quality of sound comes down to how you feel and what sort of emotional response is elicited when you listen to any given system. I.e.: what is your reaction to the music and not the equipment per se. My time with the Marantz involves a lot of groovin’ and listening pleasure—about as high a compliment you can give.

For those who enjoy all the adjectives and audiophile descriptions, here goes…

I began with Dean Martin’s Greatest Hits Volume I. Sound was delicate with nice top end extension. The sound of this turntable leans toward clarity rather than warmth. Background noise was low and imaging and focus was as good as you’d expect on this record. This table offers better dynamics and focus in comparison with cheaper tables. There is a bigger image and less flattening of the soundstage, with a more fleshed out sound.

A record I’ve heard many times is Earl Klugh’s Fingerpainting. My notes say “transient response is king.” Sound is easy and yet there is nice pluck and pop with a nice portrayal of rhythm and drive. The feeling that sometimes happens with CDs: that the image or acoustic environment is smaller than it should be, is completely absent.

It always surprises me how even many cheap turntables/cartridge combos can get the bass sound so right. It might be something in the way the recording is mixed, or an anomaly with the playback chain, but for whatever reason drums just tend to sound more real than on CDs. I hadn’t listened to Dire Straits’ Making Movies in years, so I thought it might be worth another listen. The sound of vinyl (when records are well-recorded and in good shape) is highly addictive. Aside from the increasing novelty/coolness of record playing these days, I would absolutely encourage anyone who hasn’t heard a good analog system lately to take another listen—you might just be surprised at how enjoyable the experience truly is.

Another group that hadn’t had much airplay on my system is The Fifth Dimension. The Greatest Hits on Earth has more than a few good tunes and better sounding recordings just shown on this table. The sound was very liquid and musical. Rediscovering old music is yet another reason to get back into vinyl—not to mention how much old vinyl is available in record stores and on eBay. [Whether old or brand new, you might want to consider a record cleaning machine for your vinyl...Ed.]

The last record in the extended listening session was The Doobie Brothers’ Captain and Me. This album was incredibly fun to listen to on disc with the TT-15. Guitar and bass sounded great! All in all the presentation was solid and quite enjoyable.


To put it into perspective, a similarly built table directly from Clearaudio would cost about $1200 for the table and arm, $875 for the Virtuoso cartridge, $200 for upgraded feet, and you get a thicker platter to boot with a 3 year guarantee! In case your head hurts, the math adds up to $2275 vs. $1600—quite the bargain. And these days with the dollar being so devalued it would be hard to find a better sounding combination for less money. Highly recommended!

-- Brian Bloom

Album Cover Art

Socrates "Drank the Conium" was the 1972 debut album of the Greek rock band of the same name. It has more psychedelic- and blues-influenced tracks than their following albums. The work on this album is similar to that of musicians like Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton. Certainly one of my favorite psychedelic album covers (a must in any top ten of that genre)!

Vinyl Collective Update

This from my vinyl friend Virgil over at www.vinylcollective.com which is your source for great indie vinyl!

Vinyl Collective Label of the Month: Don Giovanni

Every month along with our Collector of the Month, we plan to present to you a label of the month and a brick and mortar store of the month (store feature will be posted tomorrow). This month, we are exciting to bring you a feature on the New Jersey independent label, Don Giovanni. Don Giovanni is a great label who has consistently released great music on vinyl. You are more than likely familiar with the many releases they have done with the Ergs!, but they have also released records by The Measure (SA), Pregnant, Groucho Marxists, The Dustheads, Steinways, and more. Joe from Don Giovanni was kind enough to answer my questions about why he releases vinyl, his thoughts on colored vinyl, records he would love to put out, manufacturers, and what bands can do to get his attention.

I hope you take a minute to read more about Don Giovanni. Labels like Don Giovanni really inspire us at Vinyl Collective. Later today, we will be announcing a big Don Giovanni contest where you can win some of their releases as well as test pressings from the Ergs! and more. Thanks Joe for taking the time to do this feature; we hope you continue to put out great records for a long time to come.

VC: When did your label start? What inspired you to start the label? Where is your label based? Do you do the label full time? What don’t most people know about you/your label?

DG: I started the label with my friend Zach in 2003 while we were in college in Boston. We didn’t really have any intention of starting a real label, just releasing a record or two by our band at the time. When some friends of mine from New Jersey heard that we had put out a record, they asked us if we wanted to help them with theirs. There had always been so many great bands, some of which are still my favorite, from New Brunswick, NJ and the surrounding areas when I was growing up making some of the best music I had ever heard, that never got released(and if it did get released, it never had any kind of serious distribution). So when we agreed to do the records from these two bands which asked us, it led to more bands talking to us, and eventually snowballed into what we are today. After college Zach and I moved to New Brunswick, where we are based now. Something a lot of people don’t realize about our label, is that it is a regional label. We put out bands from the NY/NJ area, mostly local to either the New Brunswick, NJ or Brooklyn, NY scenes.

VC: What active bands are on your label?

DG: The Measure (SA), Screaming Females, Pregnant, Cheeky.

VC: Why do you press vinyl? Do you collect vinyl?

DG: This question isn’t really what it used to be. I mean, isn’t every label all the way up to Capital records pressing vinyl these days? It’s all people seem to be buying. Things were different though when we started. We pressed vinyl because it was what I was into at the time and still am. There was something really special about going to a show and getting a record that wasn’t on any other format that there weren’t many of, and then taking it home and it being awesome. There was also something really special about going to a record store and picking up a record for under 10 dollars when the CD version was 18.99. A lot of that has changed now as a whole in the vinyl industry, and has resulted in me buying far fewer records, but with the label, we are trying to maintain that sense of worth to vinyl collecting that got me into it in the first place with what we put out.

VC: What do you look for in a band? Have you ever signed a band from a demo? What advice do you have for bands trying to get your attention? What band or bands would you kill to work with?

DG: There’s no real formula. We try to look for bands who really have their own sound and are doing something really cool. Sometimes we are able to tell that from a demo, other times we need to see them live or a band needs to develop. The best way to get our attention is to send us an email or a demo. We really do listen to and read all of them(even if we don’t reply). Just liking a band or demo isn’t always enough for us to want to work with them, but we’ll often tell our friends about them and help them out with a show. Finally, we are actually working with the bands we previously would kill to work with. If you had asked me a year ago, I would have said I would kill to get to work with Hunchback and Screaming Females, now we are. There was a time I would have killed to work with The Ergs, and Cheeky, and if we didn’t get to do their first record, we would kill to work with The Measure (SA). There are two bands right now though, that aren’t from our area that I would love to do records with if we didn’t keep the label local, and those bands are Tenement and Deep Sleep.

VC: What manufacturer(s) do you press your records through? Do you recommend them?

DG: I would highly recommend Imprint for everything related to printing jackets/posters/anything else you can think of, and Icon for everything related to CDs, and TDT for T-shirts. We use different manufacturers for vinyl all the time, and throughout the years have used almost every one, and I wouldn’t really say any of them are especially better or worse than others.

VC: There are lots of opinions with regards to pressing numbers and number of variants with vinyl. I personally prefer to press 1,000 copies initially over 2 variants (300 of one and 700 of another). What is your thought on number of variants and pressing numbers? How about with represses?

DG: What is the point of that? Why do you need to press 300 and 700, or anything else? We’ll usually just pick a color that looks good with the record and put the entire pressing on that, or we’ll just do it all on black. For the most part, all this limited color nonsense detracts from the actual purpose of making and buying records. People are buying music they are afraid to even put on or that they don’t even need two because they already have at least one more copy, it doesn’t make any sense. We are in the business of selling music, and not collectibles, and I want someone to buy something from us because they want to listen to it, and not because it fills a hole in a collection of some sort. I got nothing against colored vinyl, I think it usually makes a record look a little nicer, which is why I don’t really see the point in limiting it.

VC: Who handles your distribution?

DG: No Idea and they are beyond amazing.

VC: What do you see as the future of music sales?

DG: I can’t take credit for the idea, but I think the future of music sales is selling a little bit of a lot. Chris Anderson writes a lot about this concept in The Long Tail and I think anyone interested in the selling of music should read it.

VC: What is your stance on bundling mp3 coupons with your vinyl? Do your releases come with mp3 coupons?

DG: personally think it’s kind of silly to buy a record so you can download mp3s of it, but it’s what people want to do. We leave this decision up to the bands. As a result, some of our records have come with download coupons, and others haven’t.

VC: If you could tell the world to buy one release on your label, which one would you tell people to purchase? Why?

DG: I’m always most excited about whatever our most current release is, and right now that’s a new 12” Single from The Ergs, a new 12” EP from The Measure (SA), and a 7” from Pregnant. I am also really excited about records coming soon from Screaming Females, Cheeky, and Pregnant.

Feel free to nominate who you think should be our next vinyl collective label of the month. Stop by Vinyl Collective and check out the new releases, colored vinyl and picture discs!


AD ASTRA PER ASPERA “Catapult Calypso” LP
COALESCE “Functioning On Impatience” PIN green
COALESCE “Functioning On Impatience” PIN white
EULCID “The Wind Blew All The Fires Out” PIN
EULCID “The Wind Blew All The Fires Out” T-SHIRT
EULCID “The Wind Blew All The Fires Out” T-SHIRT x-large
GRADE “Kitties In Space” PIN
GRADE “Script” PIN
ILYA “Poise Is The Greater Architect” POSTER
ISIS ìThe Red Seaî LP 10YRLTD 180 Gram (Black Cover)
ISIS ìThe Red Seaî LP 10YRLTD clear/white vinyl
ISIS ìThe Red Seaî LP 10YRLTD red/black vinyl
ISIS ìThe Red Seaî LP 10YRLTD white/gold vinyl
JAGUAR LOVE “Highways of Gold” 7″ picture disc
KRAKATOA “Channel Static Blackout” PIN
KRAKATOA “Channel Static Blackout” POSTER
KRAKATOA “Channel Static Blackout” T-SHIRT
KRAKATOA “Channel Static Blackout” T-SHIRT x-large
OLD CANES “Early Morning Hymns” POSTER
REGGIE AND THE FULL EFFECT “Greatest Hits ‘84 - ‘87″ CD
ROCKY VOTOLATO “Suicide Medicine” PIN
SECOND NATURE “Logo” T-SHIRT brown medium
SECOND NATURE “Logo” T-SHIRT brown small
SECOND NATURE “Logo” T-SHIRT brown x-large
SECOND NATURE “Logo” T-SHIRT brown youth large
SECOND NATURE “Logo” T-SHIRT brown youth medium
SECOND NATURE “Logo” T-SHIRT brown youth small
SHARKS KEEP MOVING “Desert Strings and Drifters” PIN
THE BLOOD BROTHERS “Ambulance vs. Ambulance” PIN
THE BLOOD BROTHERS “Scarecrow” T-SHIRT women’s
THE BLOOD BROTHERS “Scarecrow” T-SHIRT women’s large
THE BLOOD BROTHERS “Scarecrow” T-SHIRT women’s medium
THE BLOOD BROTHERS “Scarecrow” T-SHIRT x-large
THE BLOOD BROTHERS “The Graduate” T-SHIRT medium
THE BLOOD BROTHERS “The Graduate” T-SHIRT x-large
THE BLOOD BROTHERS “The Graduate” T-SHIRT youth large
THE BLOOD BROTHERS “The Graduate” T-SHIRT youth medium
THE BLOOD BROTHERS “This Adultery Is Ripe” PIN
THE BLOOD BROTHERS “Young Machetes” 2xLP 180 gram vinyl
THE BLOOD BROTHERS “Young Machetes” 2xLP grey vinyl
THE BLOOD BROTHERS “Young Machetes” 2xLP half black/half white w/ red
THE BLOOD BROTHERS “Young Machetes” 2xLP light blue vinyl
THE BLOOD BROTHERS “Young Machetes” 2xLP multi-color vinyl
THE BLOOD BROTHERS “Young Machetes” 2xLP orange/black splatter vinyl
THE BLOOD BROTHERS “Young Machetes” 2xLP translucent blue/black splatter vinyl
THE BLOOD BROTHERS “Young Machetes” 2xLP white vinyl
THE BLOOD BROTHERS “Young Machetes” 2xLP white/black vinyl
THE CASKET LOTTERY “Choose Bronze” Pin
THE CASKET LOTTERY “Looking Good In Orange” PIN
THE CASKET LOTTERY “Looking Good In Orange” T-SHIRT large
THE CASKET LOTTERY “Looking Good In Orange” T-SHIRT medium
THE CASKET LOTTERY “Looking Good In Orange” T-SHIRT small
THE CASKET LOTTERY “Looking Good In Orange” T-SHIRT x-large
THE CASKET LOTTERY “Looking Good In Orange” T-SHIRT youth large
THE CASKET LOTTERY “Moving Mountains” T-SHIRT x-large
THE CASKET LOTTERY “Possiblies and Maybes” CD
THE CASKET LOTTERY “Smoke and Mirrors (Moon)” PIN
THE CASKET LOTTERY “Smoke and Mirrors (Sun)” PIN
THE CASKET LOTTERY “Survival Is For Cowards 1″ PIN
THE CASKET LOTTERY “Survival Is For Cowards 2″ PIN
VEDERA “The Weight Of An Empty Room” POSTER
WAXWING “Squared Logo” PIN


InSound Anniversary!

On March 1st Insound will officially be 10 years old! To celebrate the anniversary, they have a lot of new Insound exclusive products and exciting album pre-orders! Stop by the site today and see for yourself!

In Sound

Music News & Notes

Slough Feg Cover Art, Album Details Revealed

San Francisco's veterans Slough Feg will release their long-awaited new album, Ape Uprising this May! Release dates vary, landing on the 8th of May in Germany and Europe, 11th of May in UK and June 2nd in USA/Canada via Cruz Del Sur Music. Ape Uprising consists of eight tracks and it is undoubtedly the heaviest release in the twenty-year long history of the band. The band used the usual team for recordings, Justin Phelps and Justin Weis, later mastering the album at Traxwork studio.

The cover artwork was created by Californian artist Larry Luna. View the cover art at the band's MySpace page or Cruz Del Sur label website. A vinyl version of Ape Uprising will be released by end of April by German label Iron Kodex, in a limited edition of 666 copies.

Slough Feg's official line-up is: Mike Scalzi - Vocals, Guitar, Adrian Maestas - Bass, Angelo Tringali - Guitar and Harry Cantwell - Drums.


THERAPY?'s 'Crooked Timber' To Be Released On Limited-Edition White Vinyl - Mar. 2, 2009

Global Music has announced the release of THERAPY?'s new album, "Crooked Timber", on limited-edition white vinyl, available from March 30.

In the '90s, THERAPY? self-released a number of vinyl recordings until the bandmembers were told by various companies that "there wasn't a market for it anymore."

As avid music buyers themselves, THERAPY?'s members reminisce: “We still remember the thrill of buying vinyl, colored punk singles, metal picture discs, noise bands on splattered vinyl. DR2 were prepared to release a vinyl version of 'Crooked Timber', so we jumped at the chance to give our fans something special to remember too.”

A final word of advice from frontman, Andy Cairns: "Just don't leave your copy in front of a radiator!"

Due on March 23 via Global Music, "Crooked Timber" was produced by Andy Gill, a founding member and guitarist for the English rock group GANG OF FOUR, considered among the most influential post-punk bands. Gill also produced much of GANG OF FOUR's output, and albums for many other artists, including the RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS, THE JESUS LIZARD, THE STRANGLERS, THE FUTUREHEADS, MICHAEL HUTCHENCE, KILLING JOKE and THE YOUNG KNIVES.

According to the group, "Crooked Timber" focuses more on rhythm, rather than melody. While it is a heavy recording, it’s not exactly the obvious path for THERAPY? Frontman Andy Cairns explains: "I guess we’re always challenging just what makes us THERAPY? After so many years, if we were formulaic about it, we'd have gotten bored with the band long ago. The album was written together as a band, and each track has its own concept and inspirations. They took a while to write and we've taken our time to write them."


New Prince Music

Prince has announced that he will be releasing a new 3-CD set exclusively through Target.

Included in the release will be two albums of new material, LOtUSFLOW3R and MPLSoUND along with a disc by new artist Bria Valente. According to the press information, the retail price for the set will be a low $11.98. Release is set for March 27.

Mark Schindele of Target said, "Prince has long been renowned as one of the world's most original and iconic musical artists. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to share his most recent work with our Target guests."


Bon Jovi Chronicles Life

Bon Jovi is ready to chronicle their long career in both book and film. Bon Jovi: When We Were Beautiful will be released by HarperCollins this fall at the same time as a documentary of the same name.

A press release from the publisher said, "The book offers unprecedented insights into the members' lives on stage, on the road, and at home, as well as intimate reflections on the highs and lows of their 25 years together."

The New Music Model?

New spin on vinyl: Bundled MP3s
A record store prospers by blending old and new technologies.

By Jonathan Blum

(Fortune Small Business) -- Like many music retailers, Nathaniel Bernier was getting squeezed. His store, Wild Rufus Records, in the seaside town of Camden, Maine, was selling fewer CDs. It was suffering as a result of the music industry's broader woes - CD sales nationwide were down a steep 17.5% last year. To make matters worse, the local Wal-Mart (WMT, Fortune 500) was beefing up its music section and drawing customers away.

So Bernier, 35, came up with a solution that married convenience with cool. He decided to focus on selling old-school technology - vinyl records - bundled with pass codes that allow customers to download MP3 versions of the same songs when they get home. For audiophiles, it's the best of both worlds: the rich, analog sound of vinyl for home listening and a digital version they can take anywhere.

A few labels, such as First World Records and Saddle Creek, had begun experimenting with these hybrid vinyl-MP3 packages. Bernier was attracted by the profit margin: A Ben Folds Five hybrid set, for example, retails at $24, a substantial markup on the $15 Bernier pays for it.

"I sell what makes people happy," he says. "They're going to want that experience no matter what the economy does."

The hybrids delighted the store's iPod-toting customers, who associate vinyl with popular DJs - and can't find it at Wal-Mart. In 2008 more than 40% of Bernier's sales came from vinyl and hybrid packages. His vinyl sales alone were up 100% over 2006. (National vinyl sales were up 46% in the same period, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.)

"CDs are an outdated mode of digital storage," explains music blogger Josh Madell. "Vinyl seems to be a lasting format."

SOURCE: http://money.cnn.com

This Date In Music History-March 3


Willie Chambers- The Chambers Brothers (1938)

Mike Pender- The Searchers (1942)

Jennifer Warnes (1947)

Robyn Hitchcock (1953)

Tone Loc (1966)

They Are Missed:

In 2008, Norman "Hurricane" Smith died at age 85. He produced Pink Floyd’s first three albums and served as engineer on numerous Beatles recordings. Smith also had a ’72 pop hit with "Oh Babe, What Would You Say?"

2002, James Blackwood of gospel group The Blackwoods died in 2002 following a stroke.

Born on this day in 1927, Junior Parker, US blues singer/songwriter who wrote ‘Mystery Train’, which was covered by Elvis Presley. He also worked with BB King and Howlin’ Wolf. Parker died on November 18th 1971.

Harlan Howard, who wrote such country classics as "I Fall to Pieces" and "Busted," died in 2002 (age 74). His songs were hits for, among others, Ray Charles, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, George Jones and Waylon Jennings.


Today in 1951 the song "If" by Perry Como topped the charts and stayed there for 8 weeks.

Elvis Presley’s RCA debut, "Heartbreak Hotel," entered the Top 100 in 1956. It starts at #68.

In 1983, an Oakland Hell’s Angel testifies before the U.S. Senate that the motorcycle gang has a grudge against the Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger stemming from ‘69’s tragic Altamont concert. Apparently, there were two failed murder attempts. Seems the Angels can't get any satisfaction either.

In 1999, US music professor Peter Jeffrey went to court to sue The Smashing Pumpkins, their promoters and a company who make ear plugs after claiming his hearing was damaged at a concert in Connecticut. Uh, it’s a concert and it’s supposed to be loud.

In 1986, Metallica released their highly influential album, “Master of Puppets,” considered by many in the metal community to be the best metal album of all time.

REM’s drummer Bill Berry underwent surgery for a brain aneurysm in 1995. The ailment forces him to leave the group.

In 2005, 50 Cent released “The Massacre,” the follow-up to his 6x platinum debut “Get Rich or Die Tryin.” The album sold over 1 million copies in its first week, going 4x platinum in two months. The success of the album gave 50 Cent five top-five singles in 2005.

In 1957, Samuel Cardinal Stritch banned rock 'n' roll from Chicago Archdiocese Roman Catholic schools. Yeah, that’ll stop it.

The first Supremes' single, "I Want A Guy" was released in 1961.

In 1931, the "Star Spangled Banner" was adopted as the American national anthem. The song was originally known as "Defense of Fort McHenry."

The first jazz album to sell a million copies was recorded in 1931. It was "Minnie The Moocher" by Cab Calloway.

Neil Young, Stephen Stills, and Richie Furay formed Buffalo Springfield in L.A. in 1966. Young is fresh from Toronto, arriving in Los Angeles driving a hearse he has nicknamed "Mort."

In London in 1967, guitarist Jeff Beck debuts his new group featuring bassist Ron Wood, drummer Aynsley Dunbar, and a new singer by the name of Rod Stewart.