Book title: Deutsche Perfektion
Author: Stefano Pasini
Price: 39 Euro + shipping
Language: English, German, Italian
Publisher: Costa Editore
Reviewer: Lucio Cadeddu
Reviewed: January, 2002
As everyone knows well, vinyl and LPs have been discontinued because the recording Companies and the "big guys" of the audio consumer market (namely, Philips, Sony and Matsushita) wanted to promote the "new, perfect sound forever" digital medium, the Compact Disc. This happened at the beginning of the Eighties, 20 years ago. Despite these 20 years and all the efforts to make it disappear from the market, vinyl is coming back in full force.
Artists still manage to issue their new albums also in vinyl and many audiophiles all around the World are discovering (or re-discovering) the joys and the good quality of LPs.
We at TNT-Audio, mostly vinyl-addicts, have tried, as hard as we could, to push the envelope and review as many analogue machines as possible. Turntables (is it necessary to mention the giant hi-end turntable saga by Geoff Husband?), phono preamps (commercial and DIY ones), tweaks and accessories for analogue playing (disc clamps, mats, cleaning machines, cartridges etc.)...we have been reviewing this stuff for 6 years already.
This giant effort aims to divulgate the analogue credo and to convince the audiophile crowd that NOT ALWAYS newer is better.
The market needs to follow its rules (new products every now and then), audiophiles need to follow their heart. CDs, despite all the efforts, haven't reached the quality of vinyl playback and LPs have proven to be the best anti-copying system ever. No watermarks, no silly anti-copying codes....just pure Music that can't be copied. I'm pretty sure the Gods of Compact Disc will start to reconsider vinyl as an alternative to copy protection codes in CDs :-)
The book I'm about to review tells the fascinating story of some of the best turntables ever made, the EMTs.
Deutsche Perfektion (German Perfection) is all about Wilhelm Franz and his legendary EMT turntables, highly respected pro machines built like battleships and precious like a vintage Longines watch.
The book, written by Stefano Pasini, is both a not-to-miss manual for the collector of these prestigious turntables and a fascinating trip in the history of analogue playback during almost 40 years, from the first EMT in 1950 till the end of the production, in 1989.
Deutsche Perfektion, as a manual, is so complete that you'll find everything made by EMT: not only turntables but also tonearms, cartridges, phono preamps and anti-vibration bases. You'll find production codes (even for spare parts!) and precious advices for the collector (where to buy, what to avoid, no-no's etc.).
Every EMT turntable is described with plenty of details and beautiful B/W pictures (46 in total). You can re-read the whole history of analogue playback in terms of EMT turntables: first the pulley driven models (the legendary EMT 927 and 930), then the belt era (928) and finally the direct drive (the huge 950).
Despite the different approaches, every EMT turntable was built to be the best of the best: outrageously expensive (so much that only big national broadcasting companies could afford them), the EMT turntables were built to sound flawlessly even in the worst operative conditions, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
They had NOTHING to share with the so-called "audiophile" turntables you may be familiar with. These were workhorses, mechanically perfect and built to last forever. For these reasons, seasoned audiophiles are starting to search and restore them, though they are not so easy to find. As said, these turntables weren't available nor aimed for the "consumer" market, not even for the hi-end one. Too different to be understood by the audiophile crowd (always looking for chrome, luxurious finish, voodoo science & snake oil) and way too expensive for the consumer market.
Deutsche Perfektion, as an historical novel, is so fascinating that it will capture every audiophile with its stylish prose, which screams "Passion!" from every single line of text.
The book is written in 3 languages: English, German and Italian, contains 46 good quality B/W pics and sports an elegant white/gold hardcover. It can be bought directly online (even via credit card) at the Author's site for 39 Euro plus shipping (worldwide).
Stefano Pasini is one of those men whose life is guided by Passion. He is an ophthalmologist and a professional journalist, very fond of cars - he has written several books on the history of some of the most beautiful cars in the World such as Porsche, Lamborghini, Jaguar... - and HiFi-nut and fine collector of turntables. He has an incredible collection of 36 turntables plus tons of hi-end vintage HiFi equipment.
He also writes reviews for AutoCapital, one of the leading automotive Italian magazines and, from time to time, he also publishes articles about vintage turntables on Italian HiFi mags (Audioreview, mainly).
There's more, so I recommend you to discover his world via his incredibly rich and informative personal website.
Deutsche Perfektion is a not-to-miss book for every audiophile worth his weight in vinyl. For those who are not in love with LPs, I strongly recommend to read this book: they may discover a new way to think at Music and its faithful reproduction at home. Vinyl is here to stay, dudes.
© Copyright 2002 Lucio Cadeddu - http://www.tnt-audio.com