Responses from gabbro

the natural sound of a cymbal
Try Jack de Johnette & Foday Musa Suso, Music from the hearts of the masters. Fantastic cymbal work and you can clearly hear different cymbals and variations in percussive style. 
Violin/Cello Clasical Music
Try Zuill Bailey/Awadagin Pratt, Brahms works for Cello and Piano on Telarc. Bailey's solo Bach Cello concertos are also interesting. Great recordings and great performance; I've seen him perform in person also. 
Speaker Cover Cloth?
I would try to find a seamstress or quilter in your local area and have them make you something. Visit a sewing store and ask around. 
U.S. Symphony Orchestras
This is a great discussion. I am traveling with my family to spend the weekend in the city of my nearest symphony (one of the tiny ones on the web link; half the state away) and take in two performances. I would love to hold season tickets, but it... 
Best Classical to "broaden" listening arena?
I assume you are looking for more specific recommendations, and especially some that are well recorded, spacious, and engaging. For violin, try some of Hillary Hahn's Sony recordings, such as Mozart, Barber & Meyer, Brahms & Stravinsky, Me... 
Christmas Music and Audiophiles?
To add to my previous list: The Rose Ensemble "And Glory Shone Around: Early American Carols, Country Dances, Southern Harmony Hymns, and Shaker Spiritual Songs" (2008). There, 6 quick recommendations that sound great, are excellent performances, ... 
Christmas Music and Audiophiles?
(1) The Cherry Tree: Songs, Carols, and Ballads for Christmas by Anonymous 4 (Harmonia Mundi SACD); (2) Christmas through the Ages (Hyperion); (3) The Baroque Christmas Album (Archiv); and (4) both Comfort and Joy recordings by Cantus (Stereophile... 
listening in the dark?
Metralla: I am going to develop my own version of the Music Mask, which I will call the Soundstage Expansion aXiom. At a reduced cost of $39.99 and an irresistible acronym, it will sell in the hundreds. 
B+O MMC2 cartridge What line grade was it,any good
I have had the SMMC1 for about a month now and I have listened to digital only for comparison since. It is surprisingly detailed, appears to present an even response top to bottom, and has a pleasantly wide but not overly so soundstage. My only co... 
B+O MMC2 cartridge What line grade was it,any good
The web address in the second response is You can also get a replacement belt from Bob at Vintage Electronics in Kentucky at , which might be advisable. You can also find the original manual online ... 
are all used LPs dusty?
I recall a product in the late 70's/early 80's that you were supposed to spray on vinyl to 'protect' it. It left them very shiny, as if ArmorAll'd, but made them noisy due to trapping existing dust, as well as leaving behind microbubbles. So much ... 
Is it wrong?
darkj - Nice blog site! Your Feb 3 post featuring a slide show for the song "Synopsis II" is absolutely wonderful. Especially uplifting for a late winter day in mid-February. 
phono amp or not.
I would go with a loudspeaker upgrade so that you will appreciate future upgrades more. I agree with the above note to avoid lateral speaker trades. I saw a Zu Essence on Audio-markt and there are some Devore Nines listed here on Agon that are in ... 
Music to soothe the mid-winter soul
"Cantus borealis - Wind music from the Faroe Islands" by the Reykjavik Wind Quintet (BIS). A great winter recommendation! 
child-free environment?
Yes and yes. As a matter of fact, I specifically purchased a second system to encourage family use in the main room of our house, and it is an exposed tube amp, which is more complicated than my main system. Children are people and learn through r...