Ep. 1401: Where we get in the groove with Steve Guttenberg
-What's going on everyone?
It's Thursday, December 12th, 2013.
This is The 404 Show on CNET.
I'm Jeff Bakalar.
-And I'm Justin Yu.
-Welcome to the program, kiddies.
Today, for the first time in the brand new studio, Mr. Sphere Guttenberg--
-I am psyched.
-This is like television.
-All right, true.
-So, I tell you I was on this TV show, real TV show, a cable TV show.
-I know you told me the story personally--
-about two or three dozen times.
-But it's past-- Oh, I love every time it changes a little bit and I love it.
-I have to make it better.
I'm not sure the rest of the audience knows it or Justin.
-I've heard this.
-So before there was a daily show,--
-there was another show in that slot.
-On Comedy Central.
It's called Night After Night.
-And one of the aspects of this show was it was in a very small studio like this size studio.
-And that's what made me think of it all of a sudden, is they wanted a studio audience.
-But they couldn't have one because it was too small.
So then they came up with this idea, we're gonna have an audience of one person.
-They called it the Audience of One.
And it would be like a theater chair and have like ropes around it and then, you know, occasionally, when the show started,
the host would introduce the Audience of One.
Oh, tonight, it's John Jones.
He's the Audience of One.
Hey John, what do you do for a living?
Blah, blah, blah.
-So, I was a huge fan of his show.
So, I came in prepared.
-And I knew this guy's sense of humor.
So, I was like giving him lines.
And it was amazing.
-It was so-- Did people guess?
-I was the Audience of One.
-I do you get to be part of the audience?
-I sent in a postcard and I got picked.
-Yeah, that's how they did it.
If you wanna be the Audience of One, send them a postcard.
And they pick postcards.
-That's pretty cool.
-That is really cool.
So you think we should do that for this show or do we--
-even have room for that here?
-We could put somebody here.
-We could do it occasionally.
-I think we could have more than one.
I think we could have a dozen people standing here.
-I think it would be funnier with just one though.
-Yeah, you know--
-I think that you should bring it back.
-Yeah, that's a good idea.
What year was-- did the show air?
-The comedian news, right?
-Just the early 90s.
-I think we should do that.
That's a great idea.
-I mean, the host's name just popped out of my head, but he never did anything again.
He was a standup comic.
-And the thing that was incredible about this show was it it was like a radio show.
It wasn't scripted.
-It had things that were gonna happen--
-that were part of the show, but it didn't have any like-- he didn't have a model on--
-It was a comedy channel.
It wasn't Comedy Central.
-At that point, it was a comedy channel?
-It was Allan Havey.
-who was hysterically funny.
Well, we're slowly making moves here.
I remember a while ago, I think it was last year, you mentioned that you wanted us to be the successor to David Letterman.
And now we're--
-it's actually starting to maybe happen.
-Yes, this is a little step in the right direction.
Give us another few decades--
-I think so.
-and maybe we'll make it.
-You're secretly behind all these.
I'm like the Malcolm McLaren of The 404.
It's a-- It would be a logical progression.
-You're the Rufus to our billing's head.
-Look at-- Look at Jimmy Fallon.
-Look-- Just look at him.
-Look at him.
I think that Johnny Carson is spinning in his grave.
A lot of people do like--
-Like this is what it's come to.
-But a lot of-- Well, first off, late night is a-- is a living breathing organism that evolves.
-It should change, yeah, absolutely.
I used to not really love Jimmy Fallon.
-And I-- And I think he is doing a decent job.
-I should give it another chance.
-Yes, I'm gonna try 'em again.
-I mean given another shot, it was a little bumpy in the beginning, but you know--
-But you know--
-show my host that like--
-I will never give a shot to.
-'Cause he's one of the most--
-'Cause he's taking over--
-Unfunny famous funny people ever.
-That's pretty blunt.
Yeah, I mean--
-We haven't really seen him do a monologue yet either.
He just has script--
-No, but I've seen him attempt to be funny on Saturday Night Live.
-He only does weekend update--
-and I'm sure he does a good amount of writing on the show.
-Do you think he does it as well as Dennis Miller did it?
-You're comparing Norm McDonald.
-Who is that?
Big chunk-- Norm McDonald.
-Who is that really Irish--
-There were a lot of very funny people who were in that scene.
-And he ain't one of those funny--
-I think even Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey did their job--
-in my opinion than Seth Meyers.
-Yeah, yeah, yeah.
-But I'm willing to give him a shot.
It was like Jimmy Fallon.
it's not just a host that makes a late night show really good.
-For me, Jimmy Fallon is great because of the music, guest too.
-I thought that's something--
-And he does a great, you know, yeah.
-He does-- And he's talented.
He's-- You know, he can sing.
He can play--
-guitar very well.
-Slow down the news.
-I'll take that every time.
-It's pretty good.
-It's getting better.
It's not Conan like when Conan was there.
-But it's a-- it's a different beast and I think, you know, he gets a little--
-Who watches that show?
-It does well enough that he's taken over for Leno, so you gotta be doing--
-But does he--
Those shows in general--
-including, let's say, The Daily Show.
-Do they do well?
-Do they have more people watching it, you know, after like--
-It's a great question.
-you know streaming and some former other than watching it live?
-I know when you look at like Colbert and you look at Daily Show.
-I only know this 'cause of, you know, Stacey--
-who works over there.
They-- Those shows do really well.
I don't know--
-People watching live.
I don't know what the numbers are in comparison to the network stuff.
-But I bet they're comparable.
-Or, you know,--
-I mean, they're probably in that same sort pond.
-And I'm happy that-- what's his name-- who filled in for Jon Stewart.
-Oh, John Oliver.
-He's getting his own show.
Which is really--
-I really thought he was funny.
-He's very good.
He's very good.
I thought he did a great job.
-So, you have to-- See, some people say that's a funny guy.
What do you think about us?
-Seth Meyers is not a funny guy.
-Are we on--
-You guys are amazing.
-That means a lot.
-It really does.
-It really does.
-You think we're funnier than Seth Meyers.
-You're wrong, but it means a lot.
-And you like it so much that you brought us a gift--
-from the studio.
-I love that.
-For the wall here.
-For the wall.
-And this is-- this is a very historic piece of audio hooked up--
-That's older than the both of us.
-It's older than you.
-Can we bring that into the shot here?
Just try to get that into our--
-I mean it's only-- It's pretty heavy.
I don't wanna scratch this on the table.
So, here's-- So here it is.
Steve, explain to us just what the hell this is.
-This is a company, a British Company.
It's called New Acoustic Dimension.
-And then the--
-And then that sounded stupid so they called it NAD or N.A.D.
-Right, 'cause NAD doesn't sound like anything else.
-And they're a British company.
-And they were one of the first companies.
This is in 1978.
That they didn't have a factory.
-They designed it in London and then they would subcontract it out and build in China or they would build it in Taiwan.
-They build it all these places, but there was never a factory, which is kind of the way everybody does it now.
-Like there's not an Onkyo factory--
-that builds things.
This was the first electronics company that did it that way.
They just found--
-the place in the world to build it.
But the thing that really made them stand out was at the New York High 5 Show, when they launched this product,--
-which I think is 77 or 78.
-And how much did it go for back then?
-Sign me up.
-So, it was-- so that's like 400 bucks--
-in mail money.
-And what they-- They said we're gonna do something in this demo in New York at the-- at the High 5 Show in New York.
We're gonna hook up four pairs of speakers to this amplifier and we are just gonna crack the hell out of it.
-And we defy any other company.
We wanna see Sony, or Onkyo, or Yamaha, or anybody else that can do that in any of their jobs--
-at any price.
-And nobody really could--
-That's pretty neat.
-So, in other words, this thing was built with this power split, which is outrageous--
-for something in this-- in this price range.
-And it could handle-- You know, put music out to four different sets of speakers.
-Yeah, it wasn't like what we would buy it for, but it was--
-it was like--
-It's a proven concept.
-We're not just saying that we were smart--
-and we will show you--
-We're something better.
-We're gonna show--
-We're gonna defy other companies that do what we can do.
-And beyond all that, it sounded great.
-It was-- It was almost like it's ugly.
It wasn't shiny.
It didn't have chrome and blinking lights.
-It's kind of humble thing sort of made it endearing.
-And everybody just took to it.
And it had this sort of underground hipness kind of thing like it's not like the mass market brands.
Here's this company that nobody ever heard of.
-And it took off and it became the best selling amplifier of all time.
-I think they sold 300,000 or 400,000--
-in two years.
And it became a really big deal.
And then the company's thing was like, what do we do next?
How do we make, bigger--
-How do you top this?
-more expensive with--
-And they did and they have their ups and downs and everything, but this is-- this is a really a legend.
And this is the very first version of it.
They made-- This is the 3020.
There was a 3020-a and b that were very similar, but this is an original.
So, this isn't a tube-based sample.
-No, no, I--
-These tubes are separate from the--
-These tubes are prop that I brought in to-- for the one of whom we're gonna like--
-Stick 'em on just--
-Is that-- Is that all right if we do that?
-Yeah, it's gonna be perfect.
-So, you're donating this to us?
-I am donating this.
-You even snipped the power cable just so that we won't be able to try it.
-Or hurt ourselves.
-Anyone could hear how great it is.
No, what's amazing is I bought this a few years ago.
This one is-- I bought it just to use in reviews.
-By the way, it was funny that at home I compare this to a brand new digital amplifier.
-And this thing just stomped all over it.
And the manufacturer was really pissed.
He was like,
you can't compare my thing to this one.
This thing is 30 freaking years old.
I love that.
-Your brand new, shiny, latest technology thing can't beat this.
-And you're pissed that I am comparing it to it?
-So, have these gone up in value since they won't off the market?
There's too many of them.
-You could still get 'em for pretty cheap.
-You could still get 'em.
-It's crazy how heavy it is.
They were really solidly made.
-I find that, you know, like my dad has a bunch of overseers in the basement.
-And they're all like 40 pounds each.
-I mean you're excited about--
-Well, they have real power supply.
It's like actual--
-That's what makes them heavy.
-But like I feel like-- I just installed a new Onkyo receiver in my home theater set and it was not as heavy--
Why is that?
-Well, they made them better then.
-So like you think it's a-- you think it's a reflection of equality.
-Yeah, I think they--
-really built it like--
-So like it's not that like--
-I think in those days people-- And I have a thing about this Sony headphone, the MDR-SA5000,--
-which is a great headphone from 1985.
-And it's like--
When I did this blog about a year ago called When Sony was Apple,--
I saw that.
That was good.
-when they did no wrong, you know, when they made something they made it great.
-So, these are the Sonys that you recently blogged on.
They look a lot like the Sennheiser Hd800.
-They looked-- Yes, you can see this headphone clearly inspired Sennheiser's most expensive, most advanced headphone that came out--
-Yeah, the ear cups.
-like five years later.
So, the Sony preceded--
-That's really cool.
They look-- That's why I bought them actually.
-I bought them
and then I wrote a piece about them because they're just so shocking--
-that how much-- It's like-- That's kind of scary.
It's almost embarrassing for Sennheiser--
-that they would do something that's so close they resemble that headphone.
-Well, thanks, man.
-Thanks for bringing this in.
-So, I just wanna talk about how this came to pass that I'm donating--
-'cause in order to use it actually--
Why have we been--
-So, NAD is still around and they brought out this new model, which is sort of the commemorative version of this,--
-of the D3020.
-No, no, it's a little--
Something's going on.
And I thought, great, I can compare the D3020 against the original 3020.
-And I had him home and I get everything ready, get everything all hooked up, and I hit the on button and it blew up.
-That's a sign.
-What-- But what an awful timing though.
This was gonna be like the face off.
-Awful timing for you.
Awesome timing for us, I guess.
-'Cause now we got something cool to put up on the show.
It's really awesome.
I love that you're into this type of old technology that still works today.
I feel like so often we just talk about disposable technology, but--
-When Steve's around, there's a legacy to that [unk]
And it's gonna wind up being older than us,--
-which is amazing.
It's 32 years old.
-It just made it.
So speaking of old tech, but new,--
-So, I did a blog recently about this turntable.
-The company's called YouTurn and their turntable is called Orbit.
-And it started as a Kickstarter project just about a year ago.
-And it did really, really well.
They got double the money they were asking for and they had their stumble on things that had overcome to start making this turntable.
-But they sent it to me, you know, about a month ago.
And I was kinda nervous when I opened the box like, after all this, will it be any good because--
-it's an audio file turntable.
They were cheaper turntables.
-But there aren't cheaper turntable engine audio files.
I don't think there's one under $400.
-So, this is less than half the price.
It's made near Boston.
And it's really well made.
It sounds fantastic.
-There's no down side to this.
-They really pulled it off.
And they could have done short cuts along with it.
It could have bought tone arm from some other company and stuck it on.
They said no.
We're gonna design our very own tone arm.
They designed everything except the motor, which designs their own motor.
-This is a very interesting design.
There seems to be like sort of like a conveyor belt that wraps around
-That's the belt, so the belt and it goes to the motor in the back left side of the turntable.
-And, you know, belt drive turntables are usually preferred by audio files 'cause it's--
-decoupling the motor from the platter.
-So when a direct drive turntable, whatever vibrations or hum is coming out of the motor, is directly transmitted to the platter and therefore to the record--
-So, this is not relying on--
-This is literally 100 percent decoupled.
-This is something else, man.
-I'm just shocked that, you know, for first attempt that it's that--
-That they killed it.
-They nailed it.
-She can get to 180-dollar sort of entry level one.
-And then there's one that's up $100.
It has an acrylic platter.
It looks a little prettier.
It comes with a better phono cartridge.
And the other nice thing about this is the turntable's kind be kind of fuzzy to setup.
-But this is-- A blind man, such as myself, could set up this turntable 100 percent--
-because there's nothing to adjust.
-That's cool, man.
-Just plug it into receivers.
-You plug it into receiver or this if it was working.
-And there's nothing to fuss with.
-I mean you have to put the platter on the-- on this pendulum and put the belt around the motor.
-But that's it.
-And that's it and then you're ready to go.
-That's very cool.
So, this is something that I wanted to ask you about because earlier in the week we had one of our CNET employees come into the lab where Joey and I work.
He asked me if I had a turntable recommendation for him.
I don't own one at home personally, but he was sort of looking for an all-in-one system.
-And so he was considering those crossly
You know, those had the speakers built into it.
-You don't have to buy a separate receive.
-Oh, you mean all-in-one like it's a--
-a turntable and a speaker.
-And that was his main thing, is he didn't wanna have, you know, a big--
You know, he has a small apartment, so he needed--
-Yeah, I get it.
-a small machine.
Would you recommend this for a first time--
I mean I described how to set it up in the-- in the.
-So, how does it like-- how does the audio command?
But it's just like an RCA sort of connection.
-We have to hook it up to an amp--
-and speakers and you're good.
-And that's it.
-So, do you think-- I mean--
-I mean, let me put it this way.
The thing that's great about this is that junkie turntables don't sound good.
-And my fear is that someone who's like been hearing, oh, analogue's great.
-Those are great.
-They play it across the turntable and go, that sounds like--
-I'm not missing anything.
-That's why-- So, this-- When you hear this, you say, I get it.
I understand why people like records.
-That's the-- That's the beauty of it.
-So you're gonna have to end up spending maybe a few hundred dollars to buy a decent set of speakers and an amp.
-What do you think is the least amount you can get away with?
-My go-to recommendation for cheap speakers is Dayton Audio B652.
-And they have a 6-inch woofer.
They're about this--
-Like a 2.1 thing?
Oh, you had a subwoofer.
-No, no sub.
It's got a reasonably sized woofer.
-Oh, built in to the speaker.
-Built in to the speaker and then my favorite Lepai LP-2020 plus amp,
-like 28 bucks.
-You need phono preamp, which I recommend one on my thing for the turntable.
-So for under $300,--
-I think that's totally reasonable.
So, this is the YouTurn Orbit Basic and you can buy it now.
The Kickstarter is totally done.
-And they're shipping.
-And they're shipping and are--
-It's so-- Are they having any issues?
A lot of these kickstarter people have problems out of the gate is going on with these guys.
I think that they delayed the launch a couple times to make sure that it was right.
-They actually have a 15-point quality control thing.
-They have somebody listen to every turntable--
-before it's put in a box.
-I respect that, man.
-I'm saying they did everything right.
-I am-- I'm amazed.
-A very rare case of when Kickstarter goes right.
-There are way more bummer stories.
-And it's not like, oh god, not another turntable.
-It's not like there are no other turntables like that.
-That kind of money.
-Well, I'm glad that you bring up turntables because over the weekend I went and visited a records store, a new record store in Williamsburg that you actually blogged--
-on the Audiophiliac for CNET.
-Yeah, it was--
-It was the Rough Trade shop, the record label's--
-new retail outlet in Williamsburg.
-It's actually a brand new records store.
I feel like most record stores now have sort of survived on their used record sales like Amoeba or things like that.
-But it's very rare that you see a music store that only sales new vinyl.
-So, you went and visited this--
-Were you into it?
-I was blown away.
First of all, it's like am I dreaming?
-How could this possibly happen?
-You somehow went to a time machine.
-It's a really-- It's huge too.
It's not a tiny record store.
-I interviewed the manager and I said, it takes a lot of nerve to do this, right?
-And it's 15,000 square feet.
It's not a little--
-It's big and it actually--
-It has a performance space in it.
-The location used to be the HBO prop warehouse.
-And so it gigantic.
-I know where that is.
Right on the waterfront and
they signed a deal with-- Who was the venue that they have?
I think it's Bowery--
-Yeah, the Bowery Presents.
And so they're gonna have live stage shows though I think they were delayed.
Last week, they announced that they're gonna have to cancel a bunch of shows because the neighbors have already started complaining.
There's nobody there.
-Be surprised the Williamsburg waterfront is starting to--
-It's starting to become pretty inhabited.
So, I think they had to put a bit of a delay on that.
-Regardless, I love seeing stuff like that pop up.
-It's so rare.
-I bought a record that when I went there to do the blog,
I bought this record, This british band called The Savages.
I love The Savages.
-Aren't they amazing?
-And again, I can't say it's true for every record that not-- Records don't always sound like way better than the digital equivalent.
-In this case, the record sounds way better than the digital equivalent.
-On the Orbit actually, which is how I played it when I went home.
-The Savages record, even the cover, looks like it's made to be for a 12-inch--
-cover 'cause they have--
-the silhouettes of people on it.
-You couldn't see it.
It's too tiny.
-Yeah and then I even have the track listing on the front--
-just like the old records used to be.
You could tell that it was sort of made for that--
-Yeah, those guys-- they call it guys-- those women are not messing around.
-I have not heard them.
I'm gonna listen to them.
-Oh man, they are intense.
-It-- Steve, do you like this band?
-It's like a Joy Division that were made of all females.
-Now, you're talking about language.
I could see that.
-The lead singer sounds a little bit like Patti Smith--
Sign me up.
-from way-- But--
-Did you notice-- and this is gonna be such a nerdy thing to bring up about the Rough Trade shop-- did you notice the headphones that they had to preview there?
-The Bowers & Wilkins P5 is one of my personal favorite headphones.
Listening stations with 300-dollar headphones.
-It's pretty sick.
-Really cool 'cause not only you go to Sam Goody--
-But do you think like-- And I-- This sounds amazing and I have to go there 'cause it's just-- it's like too good to be true.
-Will it last though?
I'm like I'm worried.
-I can't predict--
-I'm very worried.
-I feel like it would last just because the prices are really affordable there.
-I went and--
-No, prices are not cheap.
-Well, you can get some records for cheaper than they appear on Amazon, which is really surprising to me.
-Oh yeah, The Savages is $2 less than it was on--
How are they-- How are they doing that?
It's because they get support directly from the label, but--
-I mean you also get the privilege of just, you know, talking to other music heads--
-getting like sort of experience.
-I mean they should put a bar in there.
You know what I mean like they--
-There is a bar.
-Oh, there is.
-For the, you know, the concert.
-And there's a food thing, which wasn't opened when I was there.
-So that's how they had-- I'm trying to just take it like the business of it, you know, 'cause it's just like-- it sounds so awesome.
I said to the manager--
-I just don't want it to go away.
-I think this is fantastic, but are you insane?
-Right, like to--
-And he had the best response.
He said, hey, we have one in London.
-It's been there since 2007, which is the same model as this.
-So, it's been going and it's fine and we're making money.
-It makes sense to me.
-So why can't it happen in New York?
-It makes perfect sense.
-been a really big year for records too.
Vinyl sales are up.
Highest they've been since the early 2000s.
-I mean-- I mean a lot of people buy vinyl.
-I think the interesting thing about the whole vinyl story is that
10 years ago there was still vinyl.
There is still plenty of people making turntables.
-But the difference was that most of the vinyl then was reissues.
-They come back on.
-But now, that store doesn't sell Beatles records.
-It doesn't sell Miles Davis records.
It sells new artists.
-Like they have the new Arcade Fire album.
-Yeah, they have every-- most new bands have vinyl.
So, it's like that's the big difference.
-Vinyl never went away.
There has always been people making records and turntables and stuff,
but it's only over the last five years or so that this-- that every band--
So, which leads to a segue about your guest from yesterday.
-And I could do a whole tirade about Spotify.
-I mean, do-- Look, we know--
-But I won't.
-we know how you feel about Spotify.
-I just wanna think they dig over the artist.
-I do, right.
-And they-- And the numbers seem to indicate that there is some, you know, validity to that statement.
Look, it's a complicated beast.
-Of course digital music.
-And it's almost in a completely different conversation than what we just talked about with the vinyl stuff.
That is-- To me, that's like--
-But I'm gonna tie it to vinyl.
-But that's like an aesthetic sort of--
-I'm gonna tie it to vinyl.
Don't you think like-- Do you think people are buying vinyl in Middle America?
Like do you think that's happening as much?
-No, I don't think so.
-My only tie-in is that the two guys from the Black Keys, Dan Auerbach, and I don't know the other guy's name.
-They said somewhere recently that they make as much money from one-- one--
-101 LP sale.
-as 17,000 streams.
That makes sense.
-But think about how many people stream that album though.
I mean it's not--
-just a handful.
And you can't equate that-- like the streaming of one song is not the same as listening to an mp3.
You know what I mean?
It's just not the same.
-What is that?
Well, how is it different?
-It's different because it's streaming--
-and it's not necessarily, you know, being played in the-- in the optimal sort of environment.
They're similar, but they're just not the same.
I think getting the LP, a CD, vinyl, whatever it is, there's something aesthetically different.
-Yeah, yeah, yeah, absolutely.
-There's like actual material there.
-Also from a promotional standpoint too, a play--
a song on Spotify will get played by someone who is looking for the band, but it can also get included in playlists and things like that.
Your end list.
There's a lot of other room for promotional Spotify.
I'm not saying that--
-it's the best way--
-for a band--
-to get marketing.
-that-- He recently say that whatever, the Radiohead or his own stuff, his new record will not be streamed.
-It's okay for his old stuff.
-But he doesn't wanna cannibalize sales of his new whatever it is and have it--
-be available for free.
-That's a totally lucid argument.
I don't really buy music anymore because I have a Spotify account.
-I rest my case.
-But I don't think--
-Bad guys won.
-The bad guys, well, I understand that.
But what's the solution?
And I-- And I'm not trying to like, you know, discount what you're saying.
-You can't put the tinny bag in the bottom.
-You're not wrong.
-It's already done.
-And what about indie bands that couldn't get major label support, but could very easily just put their band up on Spotify and make money that way?
-But the thing is though,--
-But they don't.
That's a fantasy.
-Well, the thing with that though is, you know, you have to like weigh it out.
It's like, all right, well, I'm an indie band and I'm only-- I'm going to like thousand person venues.
-And sure, I could put my stuff up on Spotify, but the amount of streams that I get on Spotify will not result in any sort of revenue.
-Right and will-- Even if you had a CD-- if you had fans--
-that will buy a CD, well, if you basically said to your fans, you don't have to buy my CD for 10 bucks, I will sell the gig--
-You'd never sell.
-You could hear it any time you want for free--
-You would never-- You would never say that to your--
-Well, I'm saying--
It's a problem.
-They are making more money than we were before.
Do you remember when Spotify first came out?
There was a figure that-- something like 0.000001 cent--
-per play on Spotify.
There's no way it's that bad.
-It was pretty bad before.
-I think, when I last--
-wrote about it.
-Spotify put out a new revenue model online last week.
-I'm not saying that this is the truth.
This is just what--
-the website says.
They put out a blog that said 0.6 cents for the artist per stream.
-Which sort of amounts to--
-about 166 plays for a dollar--
-when you do the math.
-Well, I'm not crazy, but--
-That's not the worst deal in the world.
I mean if you're a big band--
-Here's an amazing thing--
-you can make decent money off that.
-But if you're Big Ben, you don't have those problems anyway.
-I cannot remember the name of the guy.
But anyway, had somebody stepped forward and say that he was gonna give me all of his numbers--
-'cause he's on Spotify, he's on Rhapsody, he's on all those things, and he makes LPs and he makes CDs and he's on iTunes.
-Guess which one made the most money.
-I think iTunes.
-iTunes, by far.
-So, he would get a check from iTunes.
This is like-- I think except for the year.
It wasn't a check, but it was the-- He made close to $2,000 on iTunes.
-Well, it's because you're paying for each song.
-Guess how much money he made from Rhapsody.
-That's-- What a depressing--
-I don't know anyone that uses Rhapsody.
-What are the pressing--
-But I mean--
-all of the time; Spotify, Rhapsody.
They were all like $11.
They were nothing.
-I mean I understand and I'm with you, man.
I get it.
-Making the record ain't free.
-I understand that, but it's a hell of a lot cheaper than it used to be.
-His records cost like, I think he said, $3,000 to make each.
He made two albums.
-That's way cheaper than how much records used to cost.
So, he made-- he's still-- he's still in the haul.
He's still in the haul.
-But he made-- So, he had a-- he had to spend money to make those--
-So, all right, fine.
So, you've complained about this before.
We've done this,--
-you know, dance before.
-You can move on.
-No, no, no, no, I don't wanna move on.
I wanna know what the hell the answer is.
Like how do you fix--
-Back to the future.
-We happen to [unk]
-How-- Like how the F do you fix this?
-You can't 'cause it's already out of the back.
We've already had a generation grow up with the idea that music should be free.
-Right, like it's a utility.
-it's hard to go back--
-I understand that.
-to get people to pay.
-But there's other things that we've sort of backtracked on like, you know, the whole, you know, movie rental seem to be
generating revenue like that.
Home media seems to be doing okay.
So how do you do it for music?
-I feel like there's gonna be a big resurgence of physical media.
-You think there's gonna be a big resurgence?
-And that's why vinyl sales have gotten so popular this year alone.
-It's because I feel like people-- They're gonna hit a certain point where they're gonna miss that physical-- that changeability.
-Who's gonna miss that when they've never been exposed to it?
-When they see--
-A 15-year-old has no clue what a vinyl record is.
-How are they gonna miss something they don't--
-A few do.
-A few do.
-And they are not gonna be the oracles of the industry.
-They just sort of like.
-I think it will be a combination of both.
You're starting to see a lot of vinyl sales that come out with free digital downloads with it, you know.
It's not one or the other.
-I think there's a way for both to play together.
-I think-- I think it's gonna-- I think it's gonna be one of the things it's not gonna be just like in a year or two and suddenly it's gonna be significant.
I think this is gonna keep creeping up.
-I think in 10 years I would be thrilled if 5 percent of the people were buying vinyl, or CDs, or whatever the equivalent is
in physical form.
-You know, I think that would be enough, you know.
-But that's basically how I summed up this whole thing.
-It's freaking wishful thinking, man.
I want it to happen too like I'm not against it.
-But don't you think--
-I just live in the real world.
-people wanna have stuff?
-I used to think so too.
-I think we have--
-I used to think so.
-We're talking about your wife's shoes and women's shoes.
-You have a closet full of shoes.
-But you can't get digital shoes though.
-There is something--
-People like having--
-about a giant record collection.
-a thing like you were--
-I get it.
-You were-- You were having an organism over your--
-Because it's a thing.
-It's a thing.
-I love that.
-You can look at it on videos.
-But people don't care about physical things anymore.
-You were coveting--
-Oh, I don't know--
-if that's entirely true.
-Look at what's--
-Kind of a sweeping stage.
-Say that to Barnes & Noble and say that to the music stores of the world.
-Sure, not everybody.
-Like there's-- Music falls into that category.
There was some point in our evolution where we're just like, you know what, I don't need the CD anymore.
I don't need the vinyl anymore.
I used to love, you know,
sort of like gazing at my collection.
It was awesome.
I'd be like, hell yeah, look at all the freaking CDs I have.
-It's not like that anymore.
-Now you think it's sick.
-Now, it's just like, oh.
-Sick as in ill.
-It's all on my phone and it's easy.
I can carry around everything I own.
-I kinda wanted-- Okay, I wanted to bring this up to sort of transition us out of this topic--
-Okay, all right.
-'cause we do talk about it so much.
-But it is relevant.
-I mean it's always real and I love hearing about it.
Have you seen a show called Crate Diggers on Fuse?
-I wanted to bring this up because Ariel actually put me on to this.
-This is like storage wars where the guys with the buy--
I mean it's not a buying and selling thing.
-But it's basically just, you know, 15-minute profiles of famous DJs and record collectors--
-Oh, oh okay.
-showing off their massive, you know, 15,000-20,000--
You know, there's Baboons on there.
Who else is on there?
Shepard Fairey shows off his collection and what was so interesting about that to me was it showed how each one organized their collections differently.
-Some do it chronologically by purchase date.
-Other people do it chronologically by release data.
-And I wanna ask you because I know you have a huge record collection.
You've blogged about it on the Audiophiliac before.
-How do you organize them?
It's so hard.
I mean how many do you think you have?
-I have-- I'm actually calling my record collection and CD collection Runway Records.
And so I think I had-- A couple years ago, I had 5,000.
-Now I'm down to maybe in the low 4,000s.
-Still a lot of stuff.
-And I have 3,000 or 3,500 CDs.
-Is that all in storage or is that in your apartment?
-No, it's in my apartment.
-Wow, yeah, so--
-You have a huge apartment.
-you can't move ever?
-Is that what you're saying?
-No, I'm not moving.
-At my-- At the height, I had a thousand CDs, I think.
-But you know what I think is an amazing thing about having big record collection?
I mean it'd be true if it was on a computer.
-But there's something about like it just-- I think the idea of how one song leads to the next song,--
-that I want to do that myself.
I don't want a computer doing it.
-Are you talking about like the arrangement of the songs?
I mean like what am I gonna play after I played this song, you know.
-You know what I love--
-One of-- I think it was Jazzy Jeff on one of those episodes.
He talks about how he basically has his own radio station because he has so many records that he sort of forgotten about ones that he's bought--
-10, 15 years ago.
And what he can do is when he feels like listening to music, just go on to his collection and he has stuff that he knows he'll like--
-and just pulls it out.
It's like, oh, remember this thing?
He can look at the photo on it and read the album and all that stuff.
-I think it's pretty cool.
It's like your own personalized Pandora, which seems like backward because obviously this came first.
-But it's just nice to have it all there.
-That happens to be with mp3 sometimes.
You'll like go into a folder you've forgotten about.
There's ways to do that too.
Like there's-- I mean--
-But the tangibility of it is I love the dust on top of it.
-And you know, you have memories.
-And you remember where you got it and who--
-who you played it with and all--
-these other things.
-And how you got that crack on the CD.
-Yeah, I don't know that that-- there's an equivalent with you have, you know, a file on your computer.
-There's an equivalent to organize them in the way that
you can browse and have a visual representation--
-And to me, that--
-No cover flow--
-will ever be as good.
-Of course not.
-Or the smell of them.
-We should go and take a tour of your apartment.
-Can we do that?
-Can we tour your apartment?
-Why don't we do that?
-Not with cameras.
-Get the cats out.
-What do you mean-- What-- No cameras?
-No, I'd like to see it.
-Doesn't have to be on air.
-But, you know,--
-Just popped out.
-It just popped out?
-It's because you got too many records to think about.
So, do you have--
-Oh, I remember.
-So, Miles Davis' Bitches Brew.
-Very important record.
-And there was a reissue of course and that's something anniversary a couple of years ago.
-And this company is-- I can't remember the name of this beer company.
It's like Dogshead beer.
-It's on Philadelphia.
And they made a Bitches Brew.
-So, I said, now, when you--
when you listen to Miles Davis' Bitches Brew, you can have all five senses engaged.
-You can hear it.
You could see it.
You can smell it.
You can taste it.
You can touch it.
That's the best.
-That's how it should be.
-Try to do that on a computer.
-Do that on Spotify.
-I take it back.
It's a-- It's a Delaware brewer.
I'm with you, man.
I-- Look, I-- Why do I-- I feel like I'm the asshole--
-Yeah, you're like a teenager on this show.
-I'm like the Gen X guy who is like, you guys are losers.
-So, wait, you know, I was thinking about this.
-Yeah, we gotta-- we gotta move on 'cause it's--
-I'm gonna back up.
-You're already against the wall.
-I'm gonna back up all the way.
-Back it up.
-To the dawn of time.
-Dawn of time.
-Think of the beginning of 2001 with the guy with the monkeys and stuff.
-So, we got-- we're all-- all of us, humans, right.
-We're out there--
-in the primordial soup.
-It always gets--
-It's so surreal.
-I love it.
-And we're out there and we're just scratching and--
-and screwing and sleeping and making babies and surviving, right.
-Otherwise, we wouldn't be here.
-And this went on for how-- How old is the human race?
150,000 years, right?
-We're up there.
We've been around for a good amount, you know, with all the dinosaurs.
-So up to like-- So up to like maybe, let's say, 6,000-7,000 years ago,--
-all humanity was just surviving, right?
-It was pretty rough.
-it was hunting and gathering.
-Imagine how cold that must have been.
-So you spent your days,
you know, trying not to get eaten by--
-Yeah, not to get eaten and to get your food.
-What would you have done?
-That's all humans--
-What would you have done with your need for glasses?
-I would be cowardly.
-You would have-- You would have been dead so quick--
-with those glasses, babe.
You can't see.
-You can't see.
-I don't know if I'm hitting a shrub or a tiger.
-It's like where did that-- Oops.
-Down at cliff.
Down at it, yeah.
-And I always thought, what happened to funny people then?
-There was no-- There was no humor then.
'Cause what-- Woody Allen would be doing, you know, 100,000 years--
-Dead, dead, dead.
There is-- No, I'm sure there was human that were like--
-Were there funnier guys?
-There's basic like--
-There were funny ones.
-Like funnier cavemen, you mean?
Like, you go, there goes Zog.
He's always tripping over his big ass hobbit feet, whatever it is.
-This should somehow get to vinyl.
-Yeah, yeah, yeah.
-It's gonna be like two hours.
-We'll take you, man.
-And then there's vinyl.
-I feel like I'm a Mel Brooks movie.
-So that's all that was happening.
-But even if you-- even if you go up to, let's say, 200 to 300 years ago, most people--
-Still, they did--
-The next deal was not a guarantee necessarily, right?
-What was the average age back to when we're just talking?
It's maybe 20.
-You mean the hunting and gathering?
-The hunting and gathering.
-20 years, early 20s.
So, we go through this thing then finally along comes the industrial revolution.
-It changes everything.
-And now, people are no longer in that mode anymore, right.
They're in factories and they're hot and they're uncomfortable and they make their little money and they go home to the little hovel, you know.
-And they have their little stove and stuff and--
So, they're moving along.
-the way they--
-Our lives have meaning now.
-There's time to enjoy and reflect.
So now, now we're getting close to the present where we--
-We skipped a lot of shit, by the way.
-I'm-- You wanna [unk] right?
-I'm missing what I'm missing.
-So now, we, let's say the three of us, many people--
-in the 21st century live this mere virtual existence where you're tied to a computer--
-and you're playing games.
-And you're listening to music that was recorded yesterday or 50 years ago.
-And you're not connected to this reality.
You're not worrying about your food or where you're gonna sleep tonight or anything.
-We don't need to worry about that anymore.
-You don't need any of that stuff.
-Well, most of the planet doesn't need to worry about that.
-But the next step is that why should we even be physical anymore?
Why don't we become--
-You're talking about the movie, Surrogates, is what you're talking about.
-Well, we're gonna just-- because you don't wanna have CDs anymore cluttering your apartment.
-Well pretty soon you won't be cluttering your apartment.
You're talking about The Matrix.
You wanna like live in a-- in a simulation.
-Like why should we even have to click on our music anymore?
-You should just play it when you want to.
-And you just put-- know what it wants and all that effort that you put into clicking things.
-My fingers are getting tired.
-I hear what you're saying.
I hear what you're saying.
You're like-- You're putting together a Philip K. Dick short story right in front of us.
-I'm just saying.
At the end, then you become-- then human beings become-- Why do we have these bodies live with fluids inside and stuff?
-I'm with you, man.
-It's very messy.
It takes up a lot of energy.
-No, I understand and I love that you go there.
-Isn't that where that all heads to?
-I love that you go there.
-And it is inevitable.
You're saying that it's inevitable.
-In a hundred starting, it could be a hundred years from now.
-I think we're talking like maybe 5,000 to 10,000 years.
-And somehow you'll still be there refusing to get into the pod.
-I'm not gonna do that.
-Well, it's like a-- it's like Vanilla Sky, right?
You've seen Vanilla Sky?
-Yeah, yeah, yeah.
-It's like that idea that like you can set-- like we'll get to the point where we can just like separate human consciousness from the,--
-you know, the inferiority of the human body.
-But why would people need to eat?
They don't need to eat.
They won't need to have--
-You're getting pretty deep.
They won't need to have anything.
-It's all like an illusion, man.
-And it all starts with you guys saying we don't need CDs.
-Look it over the internet.
-Not you guys.
-You can just have it all--
-in your freaking phones.
-You started the other problem, not the solution as we used to say in the '60s.
We still say that.
-You're either part of the problem?
-Or, you know, like you're the reason we can't have nice things.
-You're not wrong.
-I am right.
-But I guarantee you--
-I guarantee you--
-that there was something in your lifetime that equated to what you're complaining about now where you--
-Are you saying I'm a hypocrite?
I'm just saying evolution.
I'm saying like there was something better like you didn't wanna listen to the freaking radio anymore because the picture box-- I can't say-- the picture box--
-was more entertaining.
-Not to me.
-No, stop it.
You can't see well, is that what-- I don't wanna make--
-The theater of the mind.
-Theater of the mind.
But you understand like there was definitely some sort of luxury that you were afforded--
-in your childhood.
-It's like when washing machines came out and people like, well, I don't handle--
-He's not that old.
-I should get rid of this washboard.
-He's not-- He's not that old.
He is not that old.
-It's like when the wheel got invented.
-Someone said I wanna do that.
-When I was a kid, we used to push things.
-Dude, weren't you safe you didn't have to clean up horse shit and you could just get into a car
-No, but you know what I mean.
-Now, we're going way back.
-You understand what I'm saying though?
-You weren't in Stone Age.
-You understand what I'm saying though?
There was something that you were afforded.
-This is pinnacle.
-It was-- It was the NAD.
It was the NAD.
-This is it.
Went back right there.
-Do you think that we all started taking a wrong turn?
-Just around this time.
-Like so, get this and here's a modern sort of a-- And don't-- and like-- you don't think that Justin and I and Ariel, we all share those frustrations that you did
-We're right on cusp.
-like we're super mad at like young people now.
-These kids, what do they know?
-F those kids.
No, no, no.
Like last night, South Park had a fantastic episode talking about Photoshop and how everything we see in reality is not real.
-Nothing we see is real.
-And they were making fun of Kim Kardashian.
They were calling her a hobbit.
It was pretty funny.
But the whole idea of that like we don't really care what you look like in real life, it's just more of we wanna know what you-- how good you can look
on the internet--
-as a photo.
-Think about all their Facebook and Nokia coupon and how everyone wants to, you know, confuse people and misdirect people as to what they really and truly are.
-That to me is more of like the real social issue.
-Not going from CDs to mp3.
-It's all same thing.
-No, it's not.
-Well, that's what Steve is saying, is that eventually--
-we'll only be a version--
-It's an extension.
-You won't have to inhabit our own bodies.
-And it won't be thousands of years from now.
-I think a thousand years from now is gonna be pretty messed up if they're still--
-I think it's gonna be a hundred years from now.
-if they're still aplenty.
-I don't know, man.
100 years ago like--
-Didn't they say that you could basically download someone's brain into a computer very soon?
-This is very soon.
You could take pretty much the entire thing.
Now, what you do with all that, I don't know, but you can--
-You can take every--
-all your memories, all that stuff, and put it in a computer and live essentially forever.
-I feel like you should--
-I think you've been watching--
-You've been watching a little too much fantasy sci-fi.
-You're scaring me now.
-That futurist guy.
-The [unk] guy.
-I don't-- I think a lot of you--
-Recurs of the--
-I do think we're gonna start to see a lot of that stuff and in our lifetime, but, you know, I think--
-And all these people--
-are sort of the--
-That's the reason it's all started.
-They're evil doers.
They're evil doers.
-In the meantime though, the holidays are coming up.
-God, you guys--
-This was great though.
This was good, man.
-I like that.
-Before we get going because it's been kind of a long shot already--
-It's the holidays.
You know, I know, Steve, you don't like Christmas just by what your shirt says.
-You are the Scrooge if there ever was one.
I don't like children either.
-Well, who does?
-You know, between the two of us right now, we sort of aesthetically represent Christmas.
-I don't care how much you hate it.
-But you have a pretty good yearend list of gift guide stuff--
-you wanna talk about.
-So, I have this under $100--
-I like that.
-which starts with the Koss--
-Yeah, 10 bucks right now.
They have a blowout thing on-- I think it's on Amazon.
-They're worth it?
-And look how gorgeous they are--
-Well, they're not gorgeous, but they sound good.
They have this weird thing that they're very open savvy.
-they don't sound--
-They look like you freaking get them on an airplane.
Trust me they're really good.
-That's a thing about Koss.
-Really, really good.
-With this, the Porta Pro and then there's another one, the PRO1, I think, that they're called.
Yeah, the PRO1.
There are all sort of these cult classics and they look unchanged
since they were probably first designed in the mid--
-'80s or '90s.
-They're not into cosmetics.
So, and the other good thing about Koss and we talk about this a lot of times.
-You can step on it.
You could put it in the washing machine.
They don't care.
-I love that.
-They'd give you another one.
-I respect that.
-That's very cool.
-So, if you need like a decent, cheap pair of headphones,--
-It's way under-- Under 100 bucks, man.
-All right, so what else you got on your little list, Santa?
-So, also coming up is that-- is that turntable, the Orbit turntable.
-It's a different one that's gonna go up over the weekend.
-There is the shiz.
-Right, the shiz.
-You could say it.
You said it.
-It's chopped out in the air.
-But shit, it's shit.
-It's in an amp?
-Schitt audio headphone.
-Made in California.
-Not by 14-year-old Chinese girls chained to desks.
-And it sounds really good.
-Sounds super shitty.
-It sounds super shitty.
-It's hot Schitt.
-[unk] to the next hour.
-Then I have the Zoom H1 portable recorder.
That's 89 bucks.
-That records high resolution.
It's a mic.
It's a recorder.
Records on to SD cards.
Sounds fantastic actually.
I want you to tell us about these guys.
Another Koss pair of headphones.
These are the PRO4AA.
-Yeah, I'm gonna be reviewing those soon on my blog.
They're an old, old design.
-I think from 1975.
You can step on them.
You can throw 'em against the wall.
They are impossible to break.
-Because they weigh 20 pounds.
-They weigh a lot.
-Those look like military grade.
-Yeah, they crush your head.
When they started making them, they had fluid filled ear cushions--
-and this green geez in there.
-And when they got old, the plastic will crack and then you'd get this like stream of green slime.
-So you stop doing that.
Don't put the green slime in there.
-But they're great sounding headphones.
It's kind of shocking that they're so--
-That's cool and they're not comfortable, but they sound amazing--
-and you can beat them up and nothing bad can ever happen to--
-Even if they do, again, lifetime warranty.
And if they do, they'll fix them.
-Speaking of, I got-- I have a bone to pick with the Koss Porta Pros.
-because we sort of talk about these headphones a lot.
They've been on our best headphones list--
-on CNET for the last five years.
-I can't believe you're about to talk crap on--
-Yeah, they're one of my favorite headphones.
And recently, they came out with a KTZs, which has iPhone--
-remote control and microphone built into the wire.
And those are about $65 now.
I would say that, you know, at $30, the original cost Porta Pro would get my endorsement.
65, not so much.
And I've also gone through three pairs in the last six months.
I'm starting to wonder if their supply chain is starting to fail in durability.
Have you noticed that?
-I've had to send them in, which is $18 worth of shipping.
That price is gonna up a lot.
-Was it only $9?
-It's $6 for the Koss Porta Pros.
-But you send the check in.
I don't know if I can endorse these anymore.
I might have to take them off the list.
-This is heart shattering.
-Yeah, I know.
We're gonna have to talk to Koss when we're at CES.
-Are you gonna be there?
-No, no, no.
I'm not going to CES.
-You're not going to CES?
You go to all these heavy sci convention--
-He is smarter than that.
-but you don't care about CES?
-I don't care about CES.
-It's not for me.
Well, what's going on with the Head-Fi crew?
Are there any more meetings coming up?
-Actually, there's one in April next, but there was one like maybe a month ago.
I went to it.
It was nice.
That's where I heard the Sony MDRSA-5000 actually.
-Oh, they're always-- there's always fun.
There's always a lot of crazy people.
So, I met this French guy who has-- who started a headphone company in France.
He also-- He has a store in Paris no less--
-that sells just his headphone.
And it's beautiful.
It's very, very French.
Industrial design is off the charts.
I can't say it's like the best headphone I ever heard.
-Name of the company is Aedle.
-And it's beautiful.
I'm gonna review that soon.
I met him at the-- at the Head-Fi Meet and he's 28 years old.
-And he just had this thing like I wanna start a headphone company.
-That's so young.
-Didn't know anything and he just-- he worked on it for three years, you know, working with a designer and making sure it worked and everything
-just followed his dream.
-So, these are the ones you're gonna review?
-They look like Bluetooth headphones.
I don't see a cord coming out of 'em.
-No, they wired-- No, they have detachable cables.
They're incredibly beautiful-looking headphone.
-Look at that Parisian leather.
-From those Parisian cows.
-Yeah, I love that.
-Oh, that's great.
-What else you got for us?
-Yeah, what else do you got?
We don't have too much more time.
-Consult the chicken scratch and see what we can--
-The Wrecking Crew.
You wanted to talk about a documentary.
-Yes, The Wrecking Crew.
And then we'll have to finish up after that.
-So, The Wrecking Crew
was a band in L.A. of studio musicians and they play on everybody's records starting in the mid '60s through the early '70s.
And it was interesting-- so they made this documentary and they have this Kickstarted to raise money to make the film come out.
-And in those days, a lot of bands didn't play on their own records like--
-They have studio like--
-They had studio guys 'cause they-- who just come in and knock it out.
-So they played on Elvis Presley records.
They played on Beach Boys records, The Birds.
Pretty much every big band in the '60s that was L.A.
based it was those guys playing on their records.
-So this documentary is sort of like has, you know, historic footage of them doing sessions and stuff, but it's them also in like 2010 when they filmed a lot of the stuff.
The guys were much older and just sort of their stories, but it was just like so many things that they did that were-- that no one knew who they were.
-You know, like they're unheralded and they created so much music.
-You know, it's like-- one of them-- you know, this song The Beat Goes On?
-Sonny & Cher.
-Well, it has that great bass line, right.
And the woman in the band who is the bass player said, you know, we showed up at the session and the chart was written down.
She's looking at the chart.
She said that's really lame.
And the guys says-- The guy who wrote the song said, you got something better?
-She said, sure.
And she just brings that out.
-Oh, that's awesome.
-That's a crazy story.
-So-- and then the whole movie is filled with these things--
-of them doing these things and no one knew who they were.
-So, what does The Wrecking Crew sound like since they've worked with so many different musicians?
-They were whoever you wanted them to be.
-Oh, so they weren't a separate band where they produce their own music?
-No, no, they never made their own record.
-They were only studio-- like session musicians.
-They were-- The Mamas & Papas, I mean--
-every big '60s band that was L.A.
-they were the band.
-That's really cool.
You could donate to their--
-The Monkeys were The Wrecking Crew.
-But looking at their K
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