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Interview with Dr. Edward Pong of UltraAnalogue Recordings

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LL: And you also happen to have a repair expert to back you up.

EP: Yes, Roger Ginsley is the Studer technician who used to take care of all the tape machines at CBC. His father was a violinist in England. Roger now lives in Pickering. As you can see, everything just seemed to happen. And I have Wayne Chan as my piano technician. I’ve known him for many years.

After completing our homemade stereo system, we listened mostly to LPs at first. Then the live music thing started to happen: we met the musicians, and began hosting home concerts with the string players.

Sony recording artist Ray Chen, winner of the Queen Elisabeth Competition 2009, with Julio Elizalde at the piano

LL: Did your soirées musicales at home all start with TSO’s assistant principal cellist Winona Zelenka?

EP: Yes.

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra’s Winona Zelenka at a recording session

A 2-CD set of Bach’s cello suites for the Marquis label, signed by Winona

Then my next invitee would be Teng Li. And that’s when I first experimented with the acoustics of my indoor swimming pool area. First I tried it with my little upright Heintzman piano, then I moved in the grand. We used to do everything in the living room.

TSO’s Teng Li (viola) and Yao Guang Zhai (clarinet), with Eldon Ng at the piano

LL: Your current Steinway Model B is a hybrid of some sort?

EP: It is a New York Steinway. But we changed the hammers to Hamburg. The action is really made by the same company. Wayne was the one who modified the whole mechanism for me. He changed the bass strings too, and that made a huge difference. There’s much more pitch definition in the bass.


4 Responses to Interview with Dr. Edward Pong of UltraAnalogue Recordings

  1. Adam says:

    A very interesting interview. I’m curious, are some of these recording available via CD or vinyl to the average audiophile, and if so, what would we expect to hear different on these recording recorded and produced by Dr. Pong?

    I ask because while reading about the extremes of one man’s hobbies can be interesting and motivational, it can also be sad, since I’ll never be able to hear his system. So what is my possible take home? How can I share in Dr. Pong enthusiastic pursuit of exalance?

  2. Edward Pong says:

    Dear Adam,

    If you go to my website: in the store section, there is 1 CD available. My main focus is to offer a tape copy of the master tape which will sound very different from any other source material….it will shock you. The dynamics, low level detail, emotion are all much more realistic.

    You will need a 2 track 15 ips tape deck to play these tapes. Most Studer decks would be fine. Like LP’s, if you have an outboard tubed playback amp for the Studer, you will hear more from the tapes.

    Please feel free to e-mail me if you have any other questions!

  3. Edward Pong says:

    Dear Adam,

    I forgot to tell you, the CD was made with a DSD recording of the master tape, it retains much of the analogue qualities of the master tape. The purity of sound from the silver transformers will be heard.

  4. Adam says:

    Thank you for your response Dr. Prong. I look forward to hearing your recordings.

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