Year in Review: Vintage amps and speakers, listening sessions, interviews, and audio primers

Written By: 
ISC Team
Tags: 
Share:
  •  

Looking back on 2022…

As we at In Sheep’s Clothing Hi-Fi prepare for a thrill-filled 2023, our final 2022 round-up focuses on a few things: Posts that you in the community have responded to and shared the most – that is, an overview of the tips, explorations, random riffs, and recommendations that hopefully serves as a bookend that, while backward facing, should also serve as a portent, a teaser, a trailer – pick your metaphor – for our path forward; and a glimpse at the listening sessions and in-store events we’ve hosted at our record store in LA’s Fairfax District and the listening areas of our West Hollywood headquarters.

Our online experiences are a mere fraction of our mission, which remains and will alway revolve around in-person listening experiences, the kind that build on-the-ground communities based around the notion of focused high-fidelity immersion. While our headquarters, and many of our events, are currently in Los Angeles, our aim for ISC online is to encourage, and serve as a hub for, worldwide community building centered around music and sound. Expect ISC in ’23 to further this aim.

Our most popular posts involve getting the most from your vintage stereo gear, exploring of spaces designed for group listening, and recommending dynamic, masterful recordings that will carry you into the proverbial mystic.

ISC’s Guide to Listening Bars

Though we were just starting to witness the rise of post-pandemic listening cafes when we penned this overview fifteen months ago, revisiting it offers a blueprint for the movement.

Since this published, hosts of similar spaces have opened, including the excellent Part Time Lover in San Diego (read Phil Cho’s interview), Eavesdrop in Greenpoint, and Port Sa’id in Tel Aviv.

https://insheepsclothinghifi.com/isc-guide-listening-bars/

Seven Vintage Amplifiers That Won’t Bust Your Budget

In late ’21 we posted the results of an informal poll posted to a major audiophile Facebook group.

In our preface to the survey, the mysterious E. Little wrote:

Here’s a scenario that virtually anyone who has entered the home listening game by investing in a vintage power amp or receiver has likely confronted. You’re aware of the brands — Sansui, McIntosh, Marantz, Pioneer, Harman Kardon — but you don’t know where to start and you don’t want to mess up by buying something too old, battered or temperamental. 

We hear you. Unless you’re lucky enough to be the offspring of a noted gearhead like Jimmy Carter, who taught his kids to listen to music through a McIntosh amp and high-end speakers, we all enter audiophilia and intentional listening as novices looking for answers.

The good news is that the internet exists, and so do very smart people who know how stuff works. Whole forums are devoted to which companies’ components still hum like Cadillacs and which turned out to be Saturns. For instance, we asked a populous vintage gear Facebook group this question: “We’re compiling a list of 10 great vintage solid state amps for $600 or so (or less). What models need to be on the list to avoid embarrassing ourselves?”

Readers were curious to read the results.

https://insheepsclothinghifi.com/seven-vintage-amplifiers/

Should You Buy Klipsch RP-600M Bookshelf Speakers?

Audio writer Ian White, whose column for ecoustics is so good that he graciously allows us to reprint it in its entirety, went deep on one of the most iconic brands in home audio, Klipsch.

A lot of ink has been spilt about the Klipsch RP-600M; I rather enjoyed my time with them but I also have firsthand experience with them driven by a lot of amplifiers and have been exposed to their limitations and warts over a much longer period of time.

Most consumers will order them online without even an audition and that’s often a recipe for disappointment if the rest of the system isn’t a good match.

I had the chance to listen to them again recently with another batch of amplifiers and I still stand by my original review; you learn something new every time you switch out an amplifier or source.

Read his whole column:

https://insheepsclothinghifi.com/klipsch-rp-600m/

Celebrating the Smooth, Sexy Sounds of Chris & Cosey

Honestly, a certain ISC writer banged this primer out in about an hour. Don’t get this writer wrong, it was developed after years following the brilliant work of Cosi Fanni Tutti and her musical and life partner Chris Carter’s long running project. But the overview below resonated, which makes sense. Chris & Cosey’s post-Throbbing Gristle music video projects, which mixes music and video to amazing effect, remain profoundly gratifying experiences.

https://insheepsclothinghifi.com/chris-cosey/

Thorens TD-160: A Classic, Floating Chassis Turntable from the 70’s

The famed Thorens TD-160 is pretty much unparalleled when it comes to classic vintage turntables models. The Swiss clock company first launched its phonograph division back in 1903 when much of the world didn’t even know what a turntable was. That changed in 1928 when Thorens produced their first electric (motor-driven) record player and quickly became one of the most heralded phonograph machine manufacturers in the world. Our overview of this gem remains a go-to on the popular model.

https://insheepsclothinghifi.com/thorens-td-160/

Translations in Dub: A Conversation with Bill Laswell

In Sheep’s Clothing’s editor-in-chief Phil Cho interviewed bass hero / sonic visionary Bill Laswell with in-depth discussions about his current health situation, ambient translations in dub, Japan in the ’80s, working with Ryuichi Sakamoto, Haruomi Hosono, DJ Krush, Toshinori Kondo, Gigi, future music, and upcoming projects.

“I’m not a research person. I’m not good with memory with everything. But I think you absorb it, and that’s what dub is anyway. It’s not the visual thing that you see. It’s the shadow.”

https://insheepsclothinghifi.com/bill-laswell-in-conversation/

Classic Album Sundays: Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson’s “Winter in America”

For our first deep listening session of the year, we presented Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson’s Strata-East classic “Winter in America” as a part of Classic Album Sundays LA. The session included full album playback along with a Q&A with none other than Brian Jackson himself who shared stories about meeting Gil, their collaborations together, and upcoming projects.

Open Format: Suzanne Kraft & Manoj Dias

Open and In Sheep’s Clothing presented a series of events featuring a unique and immersive combination of music and guided meditation. The events featured some of our favorite local artists including Suzanne Kraft, Nailah Hunter, and badbadnotgood’s Arrangeent Studio.

From the first event: “Over the course of an hour, Los Angeles-based artist Suzanne Kraft will create a sonic landscape complementing prompts from Open meditation teacher and co-founder Manoj Dias. Together they’ll explore concepts of returnal and home with the participation of a limited audience.”

Sam Wilkes & Sam Gendel

A secret show from two of the best around…




Syng x ISC: Leaving Records Showcase

Another of our ongoing collaborations, Syng x ISC presented a pair of listening sessions / live performances at In Sheep’s Clothing HQ. The event will opened with a deep listening session featuring unreleased music and selections from the featured label presented in “Super Spatial Sound” on Syng’s Cell Alpha speakers. Live performances followed in our intimate outdoor space. Artists included Sam Wilkes, Green-house, Matthewdavid, Rejoicer, and Frankie Reyes.

Scientist Rids Hollywood of the Curse of the Evil Vampires

In Sheep’s Clothing does reggae… In June, we hosted a special live dub performance at In Sheep’s Clothing HQ with the legendary Scientist featuring Incient Rootsman, DJ Lady Eyela, spoken word from Tangianna Saint Aleis, and local dub/reggae crew Tuff Shed with island food by Rubie Los Angeles, pre-rolls from Pure Beauty, and drinks from In Sheep’s Clothing.

Common Time & In Sheep’s Clothing present: CS + Kreme

One of our favorite new acts, Australian experimentalists CS + Kreme, joined us at our headquarters for a rare live session supported by Mana’s Madalyn Merkey, Leaving Records’ Maral, and Total Stasis.




Eddie Chacon and John Carroll Kirby

Pleasure Joy and Happiness … Enuff said. This is one of our favorite duos making music right now and there’s much more to come. Be sure to check out their latest singles Comes and Goes and Holy Hell. The second album should be coming soon!

Bronze Hours: A Listening Party

We explored the history of Bronzeville jazz with listening sessions and DJ sets hosted by the team + select Japanese whiskey, beer and wine. Selections included classic albums from Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, and Miles Davis. More of these coming soon probably closer to Spring 2023…

Purelink + Motion Ward Showcase

Towards the end of the year, we presented two live electronic music showcases featuring some of the best new artists around including Purelink, Smoke Point, Vestals, Ulla, Ura, AshTreJinkins, and Motion Ward.

“new life from the faint ash of reminiscence”




Crates LA Record Popups

Crates LA is a music blog uploading obscure and unknown songs across a multitude of genres including sweet soul, cosmic jazz, soft rock, digital reggae, latin funk, and more! The founder of the channel, who prefers to remain anonymous, has dedicated countless hours diving deep in the bins to discover under-the-radar gems and certified classics. “Crates LA listens to thousands of bad records so you don’t have to.”

Check out the Crates LA YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/CratesLA/videos

Minor Figures: Deep Tasting Sessions

A journey through origin stories, flavor, and music… In May, we explored the connection of music and coffee during a weekend long take over by Minor Figures oat milk. Pairing exclusive roasts by Chicago’s Metric coffee with sonic selections from the brews country origin, handpicked by ISC contributor Tana Yonas!

Deep Listening with Nabihah Iqbal

Nahihah Iqbal made a stop at the In Sheep’s Clothing HQ during her spring tour of the west coast and shared personal and eclectic vinyl sections from her extensive home collection in our HiFi listening room.

Be sure to check out Nabihah’s NTS radio show: https://www.nts.live/shows/nabihah-iqbal


In Sheep’s Clothing is powered by its patrons. Become a supporter today and get access to exclusive playlists, events, merch, and vinyl via our Patreon page. Thank you for your continued support. 

Related Articles

Sort By
12th Isle
2 Tone
2020
2022
2023
33rpm
45rpm
4AD
5 Selects
7"
99 Records
A&M
Abbey Lincoln
Aboriginal
Abstract
Ace Tone
Acid
Acid Archives
Acid Folk
Acid House
Acid Punk
Acid rock
Acoustic
Adrian Sherwood
Africa
African
Afro
Afro-Cuban
Afrobeat
Alan Ginsberg
Alan Greenberg
Alan Thicke
Albert Ayler
Album Cover
Alex Patterson
Alice Coltrane
All Genre
Altec
Amazon Music
Ambient
Ambient Jazz
ambient techno
American Primitive
Amoeba Music
Amplifier
Analog
Anatolian Rock
Andrew Weatherall
Andy Warhol
Anenon
Animal
Animation
Anna Butterss
AOR
Aphex Twin
Aquarium Drunkard
Archie Shepp
Archival
Armenia
Art
Art & Design
Art Dudley
Art Film
Art Pop
Art Rock
Artform Radio
Arthur Russell
Article
Arvo Part
Ash Ra Temple
Asian Underground
Audiogon
Audiophile
Audiovisual
Australia
Autechre
avant
Avant-Garde
Avant-pop
Avant-Rock
Avent-Garde
Balearic
Bali
Ballad
Bargain Bin
Baroque
Baroque Pop
Basquiat
Bass
Bauhaus
Bayou Funk
BBC
BBC Radiophonic
Beats
Beats in Space
Bebop
Belgium
Bennie Maupin
Berlin-school
Best of 2020
Beverly Glenn​-​Copeland
Bhutan Stamps
Big Band
Bill Laswell
Black Ark Studios
Black Jazz
Blaxsploitation
Blue Note
Blues
Blues Rock
Bob Marley
Bola Sete
Bollywood
Boogie
Book
books
Boredoms
Bossa
Bossa Nova
Brazil
Brazilian Folk
Breakbeat
Breezy
Brian Eno
Bruce Weber
Bruton Music
Buddhism
Budget Audiophiler
Cabaret
Calypso
Cambridge Audio
CAN
Candombe
Canterbury
Cape Jazz
Cape Verde
Caribbean
Carla Bley
Cartridges
Casio
Cassette
Cats
CD
Celluloid
Chamber Jazz
Chamber Music
Chan Marshall
Channel One Studios
Chanson
Charles Lloyd
Charles Mingus
Chee Shimizu
Chet Baker
Chicago
Chillout
Choral
Christmas
City Pop
Classic Album Sundays
Classical
Classics
Clothing
Club
Cocteau Twins
Coctueau Twins
Coffee
Coldwave
Colorfield
Comedy
Commercial
Community
Compass
Compass Point
Compilation
Concept Album
Condesa Electronics
Conlon Nancarrow
Conny Plank
Contemporary Jazz
Cool Jazz
Cornelius
Cosmic
Cosmic Disco
Cosmic Folk
cosmic jazz
Country
Country Pop
Country-Rock
Covers
Cult Classic
Cumbia
DAC
Dacne
Daft Punk
Dance
Dance Music
Dancehall
Dark
Dark Entries
David Behrman
David Bowie
David Byrne
Davida
Dedicated listening session
Deep Dive
Deep House
Deep Listen
Deep Listening
Delia Derbyshire
Demo
Dennis Bovell
Denon
Detroit
Devotional
Diasporic Disco
Dick Verdult
Diggin in the Mags
Disco
Discogs
DIY
DIY / Amateur
DJ
DJ Shadow
Documentary
Dogs
Don Buchla
Don Cherry
Donald Byrd
Doom Metal
Downtempo
Dowtempo
Dr. John
Dream House
Dream Pop
Dreamy
Drone
Drum Break
Drum Machine
Drum n Bass
Drums
Dual
Dub
Dub Poetry
Dub Techno
dublab
Dubwise
Durutti Column
Düsseldorf School
Eames
Earl King
Early Electronic
East African
Easy Listening
EBM
ECM
ecoustic
ecoustics
Electric Lady
Electro
Electronic
Electronic Jazz
Electronica
Elegant Pop
Elvin Jones
Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam
Enossified
Environmental Music
EOY
Eric Dolphy
ESG
Esoteric
ESP Institute
Essential Listen
Essential Listening
Essential Listenning
Ethereal
Ethiopian Jazz
Ethnic
Event
Events
Exotica
Experimental
Factory Records
Faye Wong
Fela Kuti
Festival
Field recording
Films
Fingertracks
Fingetracks
Fishing with John
Fleetwood Sound Company
Floating
Floating Points
Folk
Folk Funk
Folk-Rock
Fonts
Footwork
Fourth World
France
Free Improvisation
Free Jazz
Friends of ISC
Frippertronics
Fundraiser
Funk
Fusion
G-Funk
G.S. Schray
Gal Costa
Gamelan
Garage Rock
Garrard
Gems from the Dollar Bin
George Martin
George Oban
German techno
Gifts
Gilberto Gil
Glam Rock
Glitch
Gogo
Gospel
Grado
Graphic Novel
Grateful Dead
Group Sounds
Guide
Guitar
Gwo Ka
Gypsy
halloween
Hard Bop
Hard Rock
Harold Budd
Harp
Harry Nilsson
Haruomi Hosono
headphones
Heavy Metal
Henry Lewy
Herbie Hancock
hi-fi
hi-NRG
Hidden Gem
Highlife
Hip Hop
Hip-Hop
Hiroshi Yoshimura
history
Holger Czukay
Holiday
Hollywood
Holy Grail
Home Listening
House
Hypnotic
Iasos
Ibiza
IDM
Illbient
Illustration
Improvisation
Impulse!
In Conversation
In Stock
India
Indian
Indian Classical
Indie
Indie Rock
Industrial
Ingmar Bergman
Installation
Instrumental
International
Interview
ISC Classic
ISC Collection
isc guide
ISC NYC
ISC Record Store
ISC Selects
Island Records
Isolation
Italo Disco
Italo House
Italy
Jackie McLean
Jamaica
James Baldwin
Japan
Japananese
Japanese
Jazz
jazz funk
jazz kissa
Jazz-funk
Jazz-rock
JBL
John Coltrane
John Fahey
John Martyn
Jon Hassell
Joni Mitchell
Judee Sill
Jungle
K-pop
K. Leimer
Kankyo Ongaku
Keiji Haino
Keith Haring
Keith Jarrett
Kid-Friendly
Kitty Records
Klaus Schulze
Klipsch
Kompakt
Kosmiche
Kosmische
KPM
Kraftwerk
Kranky
Krautrock
Kruatrock
kwaito
L.Shankar
La Monte Young
Labels We Love
Lafawndah
Lagniappe Sessions
Laraaji
Larry Levan
Last Resort
Laswell
Latin
Latin Jazz
Laurel Canyon
Laurie Spiegel
Leaving Records
Lebanese
Lee Scratch Perry
Left-field
Leftfield
Lena Horne
Les Baxter
Lester Bowie
Library
Library Music
Liquid Liquid
Listening
Listening bar
Listening Party
Listening Session
Live Performance
Live Recording
Loren Mazzacane Connors
Los Angeles
Lost & Sound
lost and sound
Louisiana Blues
Lounge
Lounge Lizards
Love Songs
Lovefingers
Lovely Music Ltd.
Lovers Rock
Luaka Bop
Mad Professor
Magazine
Mandopop
Marantz
Marcel Duchamp
Marcella Cytrynowicz
Marcos Valle
Mark E. Smith
mbaqanga
McCoy Tyner
McIntosh
Meditation
Meditative
Melancholic
Mellow
Melody As Truth
Meredith Monk
Metal
Mexico
Miami
Michael Franks
Microhouse
Mid-Century
Miles Davis
Milford Graves
Mills College
Minako Yoshida
Minimal
Minimal Techno
Minimal Wave
Minneapolis Sound
Mixes
Mixtape
Mizell Brothers
mo wax
Mobile Fidelity Sound Labs
Modal
Modern Classical
Modern Soul
Modular Synthesis
Moki Cherry
Mono
Mort Garson
Motown
MPB
MTV
Munich
Music Blog
Music from Memory
Music Interior
Music Therapy
Music Video
Musique Concrète
Mwandishi
Narrative
Neneh Cherry
Neo Soul
Neptunes
New Age
New Jack Swing
New Music
New Orleans
New Wave
New York
News
Nico
Nightmares on Wax
Nina Simone
No Wave
Noise
Non-Profit
Northern Soul
Now Sound
NTS
Nubian Pop
Nubian Soul
Numero Group
NYC
OBI
Obscure
Obscure Sound
Occult
On Screen
On-U Sound
online radio
Opera
Organ
Organic
Organic Music
Ornette Coleman
Ortofon
Oswalds Mill Audio
Outsider Pop
Overtone Singing
Painting
Painting with John
Pandit Pran Nath
Paradise Garage
Pastoral
Patrick Cowley
Paul Horn
Paul McCartney
Pauline Oliveros
PBS
Penguin Cafe Orchestra
Pensive
Percussion
Pharoah Sanders
Phillip Glass
Philly Soul
Piano
Pioneer
Plantasia
Plants
Player Piano
playlist
Playlists
Plinth
Podcast
Poetry
Political
Polygonia
Pop
Pop not Slop
Pop Rock
Popp
Popul Vuh
Post Bop
Post Rock
Post-Punk
Post-Rock
Power Pop
Premiere
Prince
Private Press
Producer
Productions
Professor Longhair
Prog Rock
Progressive
Progressive Rock
Prophet-5
Proto-techno
Psych-folk
Psychedelic
Psychedelic Rock
Psychic Hotline
Psyhedelic
Punk
Qobuz
Quadraphonic
QUARK
Quiet Storm
R&B
Radio
Raga
Rare Groove
rca victor
Receivers
Record Fair
Record Label
Record Store
Record Stores
Record Stories
Reggae
Reggaeton
Reissue
Reissues
Releases
Religious
Remix
Retrospective
Rock
Rocksteady
Roland
Roland Kirk
Roller Skate
Room Recordings
Room Treatment
Roots Reggae
Rotary Mixers
Rough Trade
Rudy Van Gelder
Russia
Ryuichi Sakamoto
Ryuichi Sakmoto
Sacred
Sade
Sam Gendel
Samba
Sample
Samples
San Francisco
Saxophone
Sci-fi
Séance Centre
Seefeel
Sensual
Shamisen
share
Shibuya-kei
Shoegaze
Singer-Songwriter
Sisters with Transistors
Ska
Sly & Robbie
Smooth Jazz
Soft Rock
Solid State
Songwriting
Sonia Pottinger
Sonny Sharrock
Soul
Soul-jazz
Sound Art
Sound Collage
Sound Installation
Soundsystems
Soundtrack
South Africa
South African
South America
Southern Soul
Space Rock
Spain
Speaker
speakers
Spiritual
Spiritual Jazz
Spoken Word
Squama Records
Staff Picks
Steely Dan
Stereolab
Stereophile
Steven Halpern
Stevie Wonder
Stoner Rock
stores we love
Stories
Streaming
Street Soul
Studio One
Substack
Sun Ra
Sunn O)))
Supergroup
Surround Sound
Susumu Yokota
Suzanne Cianni
Suzanne Kraft
Suzanne Langille
Swamp Rock
SYNG
Synth
Synth Pop
Synth-pop
Synthesizer
Synthwave
Taarab
Takoma Records
Tangerine Dream
Tape
Tapes
TD-160
Technics
Techno
Techno Pop
Tel Aviv
Television
Terry Callier
Terry Riley
The Beatles
The Broad
The Fall
The Loft
The Meters
The Mizell Brothers
The Music Center
The Orb
The World Stage
Theater
Thelonious Monk
Third Side Music
Third Stream
This Mortal Coil
Thomas Fehlman
Thorens
Tim Sweeney
Too Pure Records
Total Luxury Spa
Traditional
Tribal
Trip-hop
Tropical
Tropicalia
Tuareg
Tube
Turntable
Turntable Lab
TV
UK
UK Jazz
Ultramarine
Underrated
Val Wilmer
Vandersteen
Vanity Fair
Velvet Underground
Vice
Video
Video Art
Vince Guaraldi
Vintage
Vintage Audio
Vintage Gear
vinyl
Virginia Astley
Visible Cloaks
Visual Art
Vocal
Vocal Jazz
Vocoder
Wackies
Wah Wah Watson
Walearic
Wally Badarou
Warp
Water
Website
Werner Herzog
West Africa
West African
Windham Hill
wiring
World
Wrecking Crew
Yacht Rock
Yamaha
Yann Tomita
Yasuaki Shimizu
Yellow Magic Orchestra
Yma Sumac
YouTube
Yukihiro Takahashi
Zamrock
Zither