Acoustic Alchemy would make for some good test discs.. [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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05-03-2004, 12:17 PM
and good music to boot.

For fun I was listening to Acoustic Alchemy's "Back on the Case" Digital Master through my Audio note speakers and I A/Bed em against my Sennheiser HD 600s. My Sugden's tape button allows the signal to pass through to my headphone amp so the headphones remain on while the speakers are on allowing me to reasonambly match the volume level - I didn't but I could.

Because the 600s are a reference level heapdhone I wanted to hear how much of difference there would be. Obviously anytime you go from speaker to headphone there are HUGE differences because heapdhones don't suffer from room acoustics issues and they're right in your ear. Visceral bass impact is superior from speakers generally as well...and with my audition I was basically using the Sugden as integrated for the Audio Notes and the Single Ended tube amp for the Senns. SO this is not a test.

Interestingly the midrange presesntation was nearly dead on between the two when it comes to timbral balance of the guitars. The Senns seemed a bit thinner and a tad more strident(no kidding they're on your head RGA) but that is because the headphone amp does not produce the bass the Sugden does(part of the reason I'm looking to upgrade the headphone amp). Oddly the Sugden sounds more valve-like than the ASL.

Anyway back to Acoustic Alchemy - they're a classically/jazz trained guitar duo fusion. Sort of late night Jazz or New Age I suppose. Their recordings are as good as recordings get under the GRP label. Steel string and Nylon String guitars, keboards, percussion, bass, drums, and the odd trumpet sax. Technically strong players.

They have around 10 albums out and would make excellent speaker/equipment testers.

Jimmy C
05-03-2004, 01:25 PM
... here on Long Island at a local venue every once in a while. Inter-Media Art Center ( is a great place to see a show... an old balcony theater converted to a jazz/folk concert venue. Quaint, no screaming a-holes, take a drink back to your seat, etc. A fun night, especially when one considers all the restaurants in the area (Huntington). As a mater of fact, A.A. is playing again in Nov.

"Technically" good players? Yup... and a bit innocuous, ala Spyro Gyra :*)

Definitely a good night, though... I have seen them twice.

05-03-2004, 02:47 PM
Lead player died in 2002 but they are of the few light jazz accoustic groups where everything does not sound the same....good test for speakers....but midrange heavy with guitars...if only Kenny G would listen and vary his style a bit....

05-03-2004, 02:49 PM
Try also Craig Chaquico "acoustic planet"....makes cheap speakers sound like winners and good speakers sound spectacular....old Jefferson Starship retread....could be frightening with Audio Note speakers....

05-03-2004, 03:54 PM
is a bit off the path for them sorry to has that "Fourplay" sound which wasn't the case in the past...and althouhg I'm still a hugh fan I hope they don't get stuck in that "smooth jazz" rut!

all in all both bands are great listening to be sure...

05-04-2004, 09:01 AM
are they kinda like Don Ross...although he's a lone acoustic guitarist

05-04-2004, 05:38 PM
I can't compare Acoustic Alchmey to anything really - Spyro Gyra but not really - I think AA is better. I'm not familiar with Don Ross - I'll have to go listen sometime.

05-05-2004, 06:31 PM
Don Ross is all accoustic guitar, except his stuff is comtemporary unlike many other acoustic players who play classical. So far, I only heard his album "Passion Session." He describes himself as the percussion, the bass, and the guitarist. Check him out, one of my favourite musicians.