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  • The Mark Colby Quartet

    Audio discussions often devolve into the chicken or egg routine. For example, how many times have you see someone pose the question, "what's the most important component in the audio chain" and someone chirps up it's all about the recording? Well congratulations, you've won the Tim McCarver Stating the Obvious Award! (and if that's the case, then why isn't the front-end the most important then?)

    Truth be told, everything in the audio chain makes a difference and even the best recording in the world can easily be ruined or marred during the mixing or mastering process. Case in point: Jonathan Horwich's latest release “The Mark Colby Quartet.” The Mark Colby Quartet is now the second tape that I've had the pleasure of listening to since Jonathan recently adopted the Manley tube mixer and it's simply nothing less than sensational earning an 11 musically and sonically.

    Jonathan clearly has his finger on the pulse of the Chicago jazz scene and this latest tape recorded in 2014 features four veteran Windy City performers including the amazing Mark Colby on tenor sax, Eric Hochberg on bass, Bob Rummage on drums and Steve Million on piano. All four musicians have at one time or another performed with other leading jazz artists such as Sinatra, Jaco Pistorious, Bob James, Maynard Ferguson, Pat Methany, Pharaoh Sanders, Patricia Barber, Nat Adderly and a host of other musicians. Songs on this tape include Charlie Haden’s “Our Spanish Love Song,” Michael Brecker’s blues inspired “Midnight Voyage,” Johnny Griffin’s “When Were One” and “Double Rainbow (Fades).” The quartet masterfully navigates all four songs and handles both the slow and more upbeat tempo with equal aplomb. All four tunes are excellent with Colby’s playing on sax really standing out.

    Sonically, the recording is a winner too. The sense of instrumental tonality, richness and liquidity especially on the bass and tenor sax are positively uncanny. In fact, this is as good a recording of a bass as one is likely to ever encounter. An intimate recording, all the instruments, especially the sax, are positively holographic in nature. Both qualities are a sizeable improvement over Jonathan's earlier efforts.

    Finally, a little on the recording session. Jonathan recorded the Mark Colby Quartet on a customized Studer/Revox 8-channel machine using a custom stereo tube microphone (drums), the legendary Neumann C-24 stereo microphone (piano), both a B&K 4006 instrument mic and Neumann U-49 (bass) and the amazing Neumann U-67 (sax).

    The Mark Colby Quartet is one of the best tapes that have come my way so far in 2016 and comes highly, highly recommended! Now I wonder if this was all the songs Jonathan recorded from that session or there is more?
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
    -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

  • #2
    Oh should add:

    The Production tape (one reel) runs $150. Quite reasonable! For those who will only settle for the best, Jonathan also sells a Direct Master Copy that I assume is one generation earlier and retails for $400. (in other words, the copy I reviewed was made from the 2-track mixdown tape while IIRC, the Direct Master Copy is made directly directly from the 8-track master tape. Someday will do a comparison.

    Also wonder if Jonathan will eventually consider selling his recordings (some are available on CD) as high rez quad DSD files.
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
    ________________________________________

    -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
    -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
    -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
    -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
    -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
    -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
    -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
    -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
    -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
    -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

    Comment


    • #3
      Myles, thanks for your kind words. Yes, I will make direct copies (with some delay as the set up is extensive). And I have made some of my material available on DSD at the site: http://www.highdeftapetransfers.com However, the Colby and Roebke are both being updated there in the next few weeks -- just to warn anyone. Right now the site has the former copies of the tape. In a few weeks the newer versions will be up and running of the Roebke and Colby. These two performances represent the best of what I"ve done in multi mic applications. The Jeremy Kahn Duets and Lee Konitz Portland sessions represent my best in two mic applications. Thank you.
      Last edited by jonathanhorwich; 05-11-2016, 02:52 PM.
      JLH

      Comment


      • #4
        I need to stop reading Myles' tape reviews. My wallet feels lighter and lighter with each paragraph!
        Kronos Sparta -> Trinity Phono -> Trinity Pre -> CH Precision A1 -> Magico S7s

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by MylesBAstor View Post
          Also wonder if Jonathan will eventually consider selling his recordings (some are available on CD) as high rez quad DSD files.
          The Mark Colby Quartet is already available as a Stereo Quad DSD download at Native DSD.
          Very interested to hear that IPI is working on an even better sounding edition of this one in Stereo Quad DSD. Nice !

          https://hdtt.nativedsd.com/albums/HD...-colby-quartet

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by bmoura View Post

            The Mark Colby Quartet is already available as a Stereo Quad DSD download at Native DSD.
            Very interested to hear that IPI is working on an even better sounding edition of this one in Stereo Quad DSD. Nice !

            https://hdtt.nativedsd.com/albums/HD...-colby-quartet
            Thanks for pointing that out Brian. I think Jonathan has released several of his tapes in DSD?

            I should have later this week a direct copy of the Mark Colby to compare with the tape I already have. The "direct copy" is made directly from the 8-track master while the copy I presently have is made from a two channel mixdown of the master tape. Ergo, as close to the master tape as humanly possible. So this is truly a second generation master and one generation less than the one written about above. It will be interesting to hear what, if any with today's much better tape electronics, differences there are with tape generations.

            That should actually be more comparable to the DSD release I imagine too.
            Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
            Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
            ________________________________________

            -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
            -Goldmund Telos 280 stereo amp
            -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
            -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
            -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
            -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
            -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
            -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
            -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 5, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
            -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA platforms.

            Comment

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