March 18, 2017

Hariprasad Chaurasia: La Flute de Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia [ESP 8408] an LP recorded and released in France (1983-84)

This LP is part of a series on Sonodisc which had some support from UNESCO. All of them sport the same cover design with minimal variations. It is labeled as number 12 in the series. Some of the previous issues can be seen on the back cover. It was recorded in March December [thanks, Rory!] 1983 and sports a copyright date of 1984.

side one: Raga Bhupali (alap): 20:54
side two: Raga Vashaspati (gats in rupak taal and teentaal): 18:26

Hariprasad Chaurasia: bansuri
Shafat Ahmed Khan: tabla
Manmohan Raya: tampura














Equipment used in transfer: 
Preparation: Ultrasonic cleaning for 20 minutes in pure clean water
Turntable:  Audio-technica AT-LP-1240
Cartridge: Audio-technica AT-440MLb
Pre-amplification: Vintage refurbished Pioneer SX-780.
Recorder: Edirol R-09HR at 24bit/96kHz resolution
Software: Audacity, ClickRepair, and xAct. 



(the highest resolution I am capable of producing)

(suitable for burning to CD)

(highest possible quality mp3 file; 
suitable for listening on a portable player)

March 17, 2017

Pannalal Ghosh: Raag Yaman [EALP 1252] An LP recorded and released in India (1960)

Pannalal Ghosh (24 July 1911 - 20 April 1960) is one of a handful of truly crucial musicians in Hindustani music in the 20th century. His innovations to the bansuri (bamboo flute) included greatly increasing the size of the flute, from about 12 inches to more than 30 inches. It is said that the first time he performed on the radio, listeners were not even certain he was playing the flute, such was the change in tonal quality.

After beginning his musical education with the sitar, he eventually changed over to the flute. His guru was Annapurna Devi, the daughter of Allauddin Khan and the first wife of Ravi Shankar. His disciples included the brilliant Devendra Murdeshwar

Because of his untimely death in 1960, there are few modern recordings of his performances. Most are either on 78s or are very low fidelity live recordings or radio air checks. This is one of the very few exceptions. 

The sound of this mono record is thrilling and full bodied. I would have no qualms whatsoever to bring this as a demo LP were I to go shopping for a turntable. The surfaces are quite clean and the balance between Ghosh and the unnamed tabla player are excellent.

I recently purchased a new phono cartridge, the Audio-Technica AT440MLb. This is the first post using the new cartridge and I am very impressed with its ability to track well even in the inner grooves (often an area of increased distortion). There was a quite noticeable decrease in the amount of surface noise as well. 

These are mono files, so the file sizes are smaller than usual.

side one:
Raag Yaman

side two:
Raag Shri







Equipment used in transfer: 
Preparation: Ultrasonic cleaning for 20 minutes in pure clean water
Turntable:  Audio-technica AT-LP-1240
Cartridge: AT-440MLb
Pre-amplification: Vintage refurbished Pioneer SX-780.
Recorder: Edirol R-09HR at 24bit/96kHz resolution
Software: Audacity, ClickRepair, and xAct. 



(the highest resolution I am capable of producing)

(suitable for burning to CD)

(highest possible quality mp3 file; 
suitable for listening on a portable player)

March 9, 2017

Mahmud Mirza: Rag Darbari [Tangent TGS 123] An LP recorded and released in the UK in 1976

Here is a delightful LP released on the Tangent Records label from England. Tangent is known more for folk releases, but they did release several albums of music from India as well as "the World of Islam" in the early to mid 1970s.

This is not exactly a super rare LP; several other blogs have featured it. However, I believe my transfer has fewer defects and more mid-frequency warmth than other transfers I have listened to. This is despite two large pressing defects on each side (it looks like 4 tiny wads of cardboard the size of a grain of uncooked rice somehow got mixed into the vinyl at the pressing plant). Naturally, I wouldn't be uploading the transfer if I weren't confident that I had repaired most if not all of the sonic aberrations.

The first Raga, Darbari, is present only in the alap section and this section has been spread out over two sides (see photo of the back cover or of the labels). I have combined the two parts of the Raga in a way that is not perfect but does flow very well.

One interesting aspect of this copy is that the original purchaser has inscribed his full name and postal code on the back cover in blue ink (see photo). Maybe if Mr John Lewis is reading this, he can tell me the story of where and why he bought this LP!

Mahmud Mirza: sitar
Ramzon Khan: tabla (track 2 only)

01 Raga Darbari: Alap, Jor, Jhalla
02 Raga Kafi: gat in teentaal










Equipment used in transfer: 
Preparation: Ultrasonic cleaning for 20 minutes in pure clean water
Turntable:  Audio-technica AT-LP-1240
Cartridge: Shure M97x
Pre-amplification: Vintage refurbished Pioneer SX-780.
Recorder: Sony PCM-M10 at 24bit/96kHz resolution
Software: Audacity, ClickRepair, and xAct. 



(the highest resolution I am capable of producing)

(suitable for burning to CD)

(highest possible quality mp3 file; 
suitable for listening on a portable player)