To say, that our senior contributing writer Stefano Bertoncello's article below is simply execution of the bold statement would be an understatement. Stefano goes beyond labelling and shares his genuine thoughts about his recent trip to the Japan. Yes, its all about love for music... The way it should be!

Someone among my loyal readers maybe noticed a sort-of embarrassment and shy silence re. my recent Japanese trip... Sincerely also the random readers shared this feeling - randomly, of course;-) - with yours truly... Why... WHY? do you not write about the several aural experiences you had in Japan?

I invite you all to wear my shoes for a while: just imagine...

The trip was marvellous, the people I met was awesome, I found sought after records, played incredibly rare guitars, listened to the most precious Western Electric speakers on Earth, shared laughs and thoughts and chats, travelled from Sapporo to Fukuoka and some points in-between, got empathy and friendship, esteem given and received, was hosted and enjoyed great moments with great people...

So what?

Why this embearassment, you'll say?

I'm in a crisis, pals!

I MUST... M U S T,  as asked by my honesty, report in my diary my truest feeling without offending, hurting my Japanese friends and hosts.

Easy task?

Naaaaaaah!!! Just don't be jealous about my journey!

It's a nightmare, actually... let me try to explain...

Did you notice I didn't quoted music, yet?

Are you after this elusive element so important for - sure mine - our lives?

Well, hell.. YES! I'm pretty sure.

... as are my Japanese pals, the proud owners of these extremely expensive, hyper-rare, unobtanium pieces of audio art.

Western Electric and Kanno's Western Electric replicas are among the MOST sought-after gears on the planet and people got a sort-of mythical-fellowship... you know: the kind of Ferrari 250 GTO or Isotta Fraschini or BMW Rennesport thing, you know...

The more rare the best, isn't it?

So what?

Western Electric horns and drivers are so rare, veritable audio four leaf clovers...

Who really listened to WE 15A, 16, 13 horns and WE 555 field coils and Tungars?


At Silbatone's shrine in Munchen's M.O.C., maybe... or... sure not at your local Radio Shack or Yodobashi;-)

... music?
... sough-after gears?
... music?

Sincerely, folks: I'm and always have been after music, not gears... I consider them electronics electrical appliances... at least if/when they're idolized, per se...

This happens, ooooh, how it happens... and I'm also guilty for sometimes idolizing... you bet it? Goto speakers, for example...

What I'm badly trying to say?

When I meet friends at my place, my humble, tiny studietto, I try to give my hosts the best music I can...

I search in my personal, music-data base for seldom heard music, adapting my choice to my hosts...

... I'm very, very, very seldom playing Diana Krall or Take Five or other audiophile tricky tracks!

I like to explore and give to my friends the best I can, music-wise.

TdP, I wrote...

Tim de Paravicini, yes...

I consider Tim a one-of-a-kind, eccentric, truly unique individual... a love or hate him-kind of guy for someone, not me... but, he knows!

During the recent Japan Triode Meeting, while other people were exhibiting and showing expensive audio electrical appliances of sort, Tim was playing music! I mean music he mastered, cutting the lacquer, injecting the right dynamics and headroom... an art.

Am I nut?


I'm the Audio Anarchist, I'm baaaad and I'm baaaack;-)))

The Audio Anarchist with Jean Hiraga

Tim was showing and playing his own electronics with a pair of (Italian-made) Diapason Astera bookshelf speakers, so... sure NOT the kind of elusive gears played in other meeting venues...

... blah, blah, blahhhh...

What a lesson, folks...

A for free, invaluable lesson.

... while many of other participants were mouth-watering at those hyper-hyped Western Electric speakers and bespoke amps and crossovers and PSUs, not many were hooked at Tim's room where he was officiating a mass to the Gods of Music...

These Gods are someway... spiteful - i.e. they hide and seek, unrespectful of magazine, webzines, gurus and money...

... they show themselves up whenever and wherever they wish... here and there, randomly, yet always, ALWAYS true to themselves!

I was sooooooo impressed at Tim's room at the temple, in Ukiha, Fukuoka-ken, Japan!

I got a satori... an illumination!

Tim played his ace, the trick of his very trade: music!

He began with a Procol Harum remastering test-disc, then he played Dire Straits, Buddy Holly and... BANG!

He put his very best foot forward, indeed...

A '60s Frank Sinatra's superb mastering he did for an aborted project...

... and what I heard, ohhh my!

What I heard!!!

Subtleties, music, class, details, surprise, joy, good feeling... hey, is it not what I'm after?

I sincerely don't give a fuck to hyper-expensive gears!

I want emotion a-plenty!


I feel so hugely better: I had some days to look inside me to settle my doubts and express them.

Tim knows, do you remember?

He got straight to the core of the thing: he played the immaterial truth I was looking for... I was joined in this very illumination by my pals Glenn, David and Rafal... I'm pretty sure this moment was something for us all!

... look at our smiles: isn't it happiness? I bet it!

Tim the Maven Baron so easily "hypnotised" us all with his craft and was a winner!

Too bad if only a bunch of us were able to experience this blast... ohhh, it was!

He simply played out the hell from these grooves... while others were after the WE physical gears-idols.

Music, d'ya remember?

... not audio electrical appliances.

I'm a believer, folks...

Thanks, Tim.

Stefano Bertoncello