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Needledrop Of The Day - Fairport Convention - Nottamun Town

It's become a cliche to say that Richard Thompson is underrated. At this point he may be so underrated he's overrated. Either way, he's a damn fine guitar player and songwriter. Sandy Denny, who is probably better known for singing on Led Zeppelin's "Battle Of Evermore", was also an amazing talent as well. A great folk voice, maybe my favorite of all.

 

Before either went solo, there was Fairport Convention. I consider their 60's and early 70's output crucial. Even if you don't like folk/rock music, you may find yourself liking these guys, so hope you enjoy "Nottamun Town". This is from their "What We Did On Our Holidays" album, however in the US it was released as simply "Fairport Convention" likely causing mass confusion amongst those that had already purchased their debut, also titled "Fairport Convention"

 

I have been asked by a few what process I'm using to do these transfers. Actually, it varies depending on what record I'm doing. However it's usually a Technics SL-1200mk5 turntable using an Audio-Technica AT440mlA cartridge. I use a Mark Of The Unicorn Ultralite to capture the audio at 96kHz/24bit resolution. The Ultralite has the most transparent DACs that I could find in it's price range ($500-$1000). Then, and this is highly dependent on the source, I'll either use Izotope RX to declick or maybe ClickRepair depending on how difficult the source. For old records usually Izotope but it takes much longer to process than ClickRepair. I don't like to declick any more than normal, and some people don't like to do it at all. In one sense the clicks and pops do add that nostalgic character but they are also distracting to those used to CDs all these years. I listen VERY carefully and I do not detect any degradation of sound quality by running it through declick. If I did I wouldn't use it at all.

 

Also, I should state that I am not a) an "audiophile", b) a hipster, or c) a vinyl zealot who insists that vinyl beats all other sources. In fact, I'm the opposite. If an available CD has a better mastering, it absolutely IS my go-to version. But unfortunately many CDs of material that came out before 1984 or so was transferred using master copies, secondary tapes, and really bad old D/A converters. By the time technology improved and they went back to do "remastered" versions, applying compression, limiting, and no-noising became all the rage. The result is that they simply don't sound anywhere close to the same after that's been done.

 

I'm purely in this hobby to find good sounding versions of this great music. Do yourself a favor, when you listen to these samples, if you can, listen to it on the best system possible. I know that's tough because you may be on the iPad, or a laptop with the tiniest speakers ever. If that's the case it's better than nothing, but these samples I post truly do sound best over a nice full-range system.

 

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