Non-Smoking Man

  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Everything posted by Non-Smoking Man

  1. James - I find the question you pose about your valve DAC interesting and important (and provocative), but even I know, despite not even having any digital source nearer my system than the one in the downstairs flat, that a DAC, however wonderful , needs a source in front of it to produce music. What's yours? (And how good is it?) Jack NSM
  2. The 20-21 National Hunt season is underway, albeit without spectators. Atmosphere at the racecourses with racing taking place is described as eeirie by professionals. The last meeting that took place with spectators was the 2020 Cheltenham Festival in March. In hindsight Cheltenham were very lucky to scrape in. My following of racing, and the possibility of betting on it to shore up my pension, took a blow when Raceform, publishers of the Official Form Book, closed that publication several weeks ago at the end of the Flat season. I had all but given up the current NH season till the early hours of this morning when I realised the results, times, rail movemnts and the whole kit and caboodle were probably still being published as a supplement in the weekly 'Weekender' paper, also a Raceform publication. I obtained this week's edition this a.m. and tis true. Who was it said 'the game is afoot'... Jack NSM
  3. WEEK 13 Picks: Colts at the Texans The Titans ran over, under and through the Colts last week, thanks to the tank, Derek Henry (in the conversation for MVP, according to Chris Simms). The reason? That would be the absence of Deforest Buckner, the ex 49ers defensive player. He is still on the Covid-19 list and will not play along with their RB Lawrence Taylor. Also significant will be the absence of their kicker, who is in hospital having a tumor removed. They are 7-4 and this has probably influenced the 'line' for the forthcoming match up against the Texans who are merely 4-7. However, the Texans and their QB, Deshaun (sp?) Watson are in form and that 4-7 stat could be misleading. We can only speculate how that mauling could have dented the Colts confidence - I'm betting that it will have (e'g', 'we cant do this w/o Buckner). So I rate the Texans chance as better than 2.6 (the current price) and have bet them at this price. (I rate their chances @ 2.2.) Jack
  4. 'Jazz is my 'go-to' genre, especially at night (something to do with atmosphere I suppose, but I dont know). But, like Greybeard, its limited. In my case to 2 main periods: Swing (I'm a competition standard jiver) and Bebop/Hard Bop. Both major on rhythm, or 'rhythms'. I like some jazz singers the most popular of which are women, once they got a foot in the door: (Ella without the scat, Dina Washington, Sara Vaughan, Amy Winehouse). Then there were the male 'shouters' such as Joe Turner and Cab Callaway - immensely popular with Lindy Hoppers (I can do some partner Charleston). I find it really interesting that Audio Al et al., dont 'get it'. I think that's stronger than 'dont like it'. Speculating, it wouldnt surprise me if differences in musical taste (let's use Ian's term) reflect or are reflections of different ways of assembling a hifi system. 'Separates' lend themselves to blending and the process of upgrading is really a sifting of the mix in order to end up with a system that you like more, or, is more to your 'taste'. For example, there's a bunch of us who meet on the South Coast who all have expensive and well sorted systems, but which all sound different. One might hypothesise that the sifting mechanism/process should produce homogeneity or at least some convergence, but it doesnt seem to have. This leads to the question - do we all have distinguishable 'tastes' in music that are related to the sound of our hifi systems. For instance my system is 'high efficiency' and uses SET amplification and backloaded horn floorstanders and I'm into jazz and blues; 2 of us have electrostatics; Ian (Baggawire) is less keen on electrostatics and favours Yamaha NS1000s and is keen on jazz (as we know), Lurch is eclectic. We are all vinyl lovers. The answer to that question is 'no', probably not. And the area is under researched and too complex to analyse (though one I am frequently thinking about). Is it 'personality' related or is there a link with sense of humour? Some men and women can dance (to music) and some cant and arent even moved to dance (by music). Something's going on because everything is caused. Just dont know what... Jack NSM
  5. Very good imo. The track 'Boy In The Bubble' has a system stretching opening sequence that impresses. Its well regarded isnt it. Jack NSM
  6. Cannonball Adderley Sextet Live in New York, on Riverside, featuring Nat Adderley and Yusef Latif at the Village Vanguard 2010. Jack
  7. COVID-19 and the Ravens.. Apparently Lamar Jackson could be eligible for their week 13 game on the 10-day rule. We dont know what shape he will be in but, from golf, beware the injured player! I.e., even if not 100% fit he could raise his game when things are on the line. Given that the Ravens pair of running backs are also back (Dobbins and the inspirational Mark Ingrams) the future doesnt look so bleak for Ravens fans. Ive invested in this team in a number of markets, so I'm mightily relieved - so much so Ive gone and bought a tonearm from the classifieds, yippee! Jack NSM
  8. WEEK 13 Picks: Rams v. Cardinals I have a strong view about one game in particular - Rams at the Cardinals. Ive been keeping an eye on the NFCWest and its a 3 horse race: Seahawks are favourites and the Rams and the Cards are 'duking it out' for second spot. Yet to play each other this season, they are matched up twice in coming weeks and both games are crucial. This is why the Cardinals will win both games - the determination and skills of the Cards QB, Kylar Murray will see them through in a crunch situation. Of course they have to stay healthy and Gonzales has got to kick straight. But I think they are slightly the better team. In which case I have to take the near 6/4 (which is 2.5) on the moneyline. I make them evens or a shade of odds on. Plus they are at home (though there will be no fans presumably). The rest of the games look onesided but no bets - I dont back short odds. Jack NSM
  9. Note to Dave (DIB) - I see you live in Manchester Dave. I spent my twenties there and loved the city (not the team 'City). Spent some time at Manchester College of Commerce in Aytoun Street, Picadilly, and lived in Salford, Old Trafford, Didsbury and Fallowfield. i knew some big local Red supporters in those days, lifelong types and they had a critical view of their team and hated, I mean hated City. (Those were the days of Franny Lee, Mike Summerbee at al.) I was at Wembley to see Bobby and co. lift the European Cup from Eusebio and co. Great days.. This team is not as good as that team nor as good as the Beckham days, nor the Ronaldo team but thay might be good enough to trouble most of the best. I view the Southampton game as a confidence builder and a platform for a run at the top four. I'll be backing them to win their next Premiership game if the odds are right. Jack NSM
  10. I seldom 'allow emotion to cloud my judgement' Myles.And I'm not doiung so here, I dont think. From what I have seen of the Premiership this season its much like the current state of the NFL - there are quite a few teams who are capable of winning matches, and the old order, the status quo 'top four' are vulnerable and not what they were (Patriots and the 49ers in the NFL and Liverpool look beatable this year in the Premiership). Its all to play for and in both codes; teams not previously rated may emerge as top performers. Also Covid may play a part in who is available as in the NFL with last year's MVP ('most valuable player'), Lamar Jackson, the Ravens quarterback, testing positive for Covid 19. Who knows what UK based players may succomb with all this hugging and what - not. I backed United at 40/1 earlier in the season and now only 5 points back I am using my observation and reason to assess their chances. I grant you Southampton arent much but United have the potential to do better as they have the players to mount a challenge at least. Jack
  11. The Sancho transfer didnt go ahead as terms couldnt be agreed, but that's all forgotten now as the signing of ex PSG centre forward and 4th leading goalscorer in Europe in recent seasons, Edinson Cavani, looks a masterstroke. Wearing no. 7, led the United attack to an unlikely comeback win against the Saints. Shearer on MOTD2 was fulsome in his praise of the 33 year old who should a wonderful attitude. I wonder if he will be eating his words having stated on the previous day on the BBC that United cant win the Premiership. Jack
  12. Excellent local knowledge there Klassik. As you predicted the Bronchos gotten well beat, but on the bright side for them the Raiders couldnt take advantage. Its feast or famine for Las Vegas lately - they almost beat the World Champs and then lose 43 - 6 to the Falcons. I had a nice win on the Titans who gained revenge on the Colts. They were unlucky in their previous meeting but were always in command here with Derek Henry unstoppable. The Cardinals threw away the game against the Patriots by missing a late field goal - Gonzales at fault. I know I'm with the Cardinals but they looked the better side for me. Murray seemed fit at QB, seemingly throwing with no issues, but best keep an eye on the injury list. In the NFC West, their division, the 49ers shaded a win against the Rams. Surely the Hawks will win against the hapless Eagles to secure the lead in this division. My other team, the Vikings, keep a little hope of making the play offs alive through a narrow win. Havent seen that yet. All players still embracing each other at the end of the games - unbelievable! Jack NSM
  13. I read on an American Forum (iBasso) that, at the flip of a switch, you can use 12Au7 valves as well as 6922s. The same goes for the rectifier which can be 6x4 or 5u4g. Also, as you run the unit balanced, you have the capability of bypassing the volume control. (12au7 is a lower output but possibly sweeter valve.) Can you confirm and have you tried these options James? (I cant comment on your question, alas, as I dont use any digital sources, but I note well that the system is balanced and has valves in it - both plus points imo.) Jack
  14. Ravens QB Lamar Jackson has tested positive for Covid-19. That's the end for them then. Doubts surround whether Sunday's game against the Steelers will go ahead. The high numbers affected in the NFL are surely down to the fact its a close contact sport, not just on game day but in practice. Ive been watching team sportsmen both in the UK and the U.S. of necessity in close contact in the game, hugging each other in celebration and so on. The potential for contamination is clear. Jack
  15. Dances For Orchestra CBS BPG 62153 The Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Eugene Ormandy. This appears to be the mono version on CBS with the '33' and Orange Label. It could b a reissue of the mono ML5857. Discogs are unclear on this. Really enjoyed the Carmen excerpts ('Habanera' and 'Danse Boheme') by Bizet - especially the former (very dramatic with tremendous dynamic range). 'Russian Sailors' dance will exercise your cartridge's tracking ability and side 1 is completed by the wonderful 'Danse macabre' (small m it says on the sleeve notes). Of course popularised by being the theme to Jonathon Creek, the mystery crime series. On side 2 there is a piece by Ravel (Alborada del Gracioso) which drew me to the record (vinyl only for me) as I find Ravel more to my taste and more accessible to me as someone who has only lately 'got' 'classical'. My breakthrough came when Jessica brought an obscure ballet LP round to mine as part of my 'Room To Breathe' thread in 2 Channel. If you look the thread up you will find details of said album. I come from jazz and blues really and I am investigating classical using Ravel as an entre as he seems quite 'jazzy' - there are lots of surprises on the way and what in jazz are called dissonances, or discordant passages that throw the listener around. I find Ravel a bit more 'modern' than some composers. Excellent album and quite rare in mono. Cant wait to try it on my mono deck (Garrard 401 equipped with a 12" unipivot and a retipped 'mono'd (by David Wright) Decca Gold. Jack NSM
  16. Excelllent performer at its pricepoint. Jack NSM
  17. Week 12 Picks: The Thursday fixture between the Ravens and the Steelers has been postponed till Sunday. Part of the cause is the Covid outbreak amongst the Ravens (both the star running backs proving positive). This is a blow to their chances of a wild card (realistically the only chance of reaching the play offs for them). However, Lamar is still healthy and whilst that is the case there is hope. I had strongly fancied the Ravens to beat the Steelers on the spread and at the odds but now the Virus has taken a hand in proceedings. The return clash between the Colts and the Titans looks a good game in the offing. The Titans returned to form against the Ravens latest (despite Chris Simms having doubted them in his podcast) and will be stiff opposition for the Colts who could be without their QB, Phillip Rivers (toe). Also, DeForest Buckner has been placed on the Reserve/Covid19 list weakening the run defence. The Titans have Derek Henry dont forget! Rivers missed midweek practice and the Colts have been on the drift in the betting all week. I got 2.74 against the Titans early this week and they are now at 2.44. Jack NSM
  18. Still Week 11,what we learned.. That Kylar Murray , the cards QB and team leader has sprained his throwing arm. This will inevitably impact his effectiveness and damage their chances of a play off place. Bad luck..and not great for my bets on them. Also the Rams beat the Bucs in the Monday Night game so the Cards have dropped to third in their division. On the bright side I backed the Rams to beat the Brady Bunch (watched the first half early hours and just watched the highlights this a.m.; Brady threw 2 interceptions.) Hats off to Sean McVay (sp?) the Rams head coach who only selected 3 running plays in the first half - the Bucs defence has allowed the fewest rushing yards in the League this season. Clearly it made a lot of sense to throw the ball. Also their starter running back, Henderson, only ran for 28 yds in their previous game. (Rams led 17-14 at HT.) The Rams enter the picture for the title and shorten to 14/1 from 22/1 on Betfair. Jack
  19. More week 11... Chiefs 35 v. Las Vegas Raiders 31 A 4 point game with the Raiders in front for much of the match. Carr , the Raiders QB, really came to my attention here with 3 TDs, displaying a strong arm. It takes a good team to stretch the current Superbowl champions, and the Raiders put up a strong alround performance. They are in the same division as the Chiefs so will not win it and if they make the playoffs they wont get that important bye. However, they are at 6-4 and, to quote the commentator, have 'the easiest schedule in the NFL'. Moreover their performance can be marked up because at 7-14 down, the rookie Arnette had a pass interference call against him when, quote, ''it was as much Kelce as Arnette'. That was a big penalty and led to a TD that might only have been a field goal. That's a tie! So, an obvious chance of a play off berth ( the next team in the division 4-6), and as good, or competitive with the 3/1 Chiefs, what price do think the Raiders are for the big one? 64/1! I quickly snapped that up with the price of two pints in Wetherspoons - £5.75. Jack
  20. What did we learn from Week 11 (Rams game v. Tampa bay to come) I'm trawling through the highlights so its a bit at a time.. Chiefs pulled it off against the Raiders with a last minute TD but were losing for most of the second half. Raiders looked dangerous and Carr is doing a vg job. He and Josh Allen are coming forces and not to be underestimated. Raiders are playing with a lot of energy (favourite 'catch-all' americanism there). For a 3/1 shot to win the whole shebang the Chiefs look poor value even though they are arguably the best equipped team in the league. (That's not a contradiction.) I'm with 4 teams for Superbowl outright winner: Vikings, Cardinals, Titans and Ravens. The first 3 I bet before the season commenced at big odds and ive been punting the Ravens prior to their last 2 games, expecting wins, but not getting them. They have an upcoming crunch game against the confident and unbeaten Steelers - which i think they will win because its a must win. It comes up quickly in the calender which makes it harder but that will be built into the moneyline. Titans shored up their divisional chances but the Colts won too from the same division which takes away the shine on that. Both these teams look play off types to me. I must start looking at possible play off match ups - I'm lacking on that aspect. I know divisional winners get a bye and homefield advantage. You wouldnt mind playing the Eagles in the first round should they win their division with a losing record. They are bereft of skill, pesazz, and imagination. Wentz is a disaster on a big contract. Jack
  21. Did look for it Jon.. So Miami and Bills. Thanks. Jack
  22. I'm lost - who should be 7 - 3? Jack