in

Podcast: Is Alessandro Cortini an audiophile?

  • You might have heard of him. Electronic musician and guitar/bass/synth player for Nine Inch Nails, Alessandro Cortini emailed me in early March. He’d been following the Darko.Audio YouTube channel and was keen to source ear impressions in Berlin. Could I direct him? I suggested that we meet to chat over coffee. My plan was to persuade Cortini to hold up on the idea of customs until he’d tried universal IEMs from Campfire Audio.

    A week after our first email exchange, the Berlin government shuttered all bars due to coronavirus concerns. Not long after, cafes and restaurants were legislated into takeaway only mode. Only essential businesses would remain open. Our IEM meeting would be moved to a phone call, during which Cortini would reveal that he was already four pairs deep into the Campfire Audio world. “It’s not just the sound, it’s the earpiece design and the packaging. The whole deal!”, he opined. I told him that I could not agree more: that Ken Ball and co. had the rest of the high-end IEM world in their rear-view mirror.

    Would Cortini be interested in moving the phone call to a podcast where he could expand on his journey through portable DACs, DAPs, IEMs, home studio playback gear, streaming services, hi-res audio and how his work as a performer had been impacted by the lockdown?

    Yes.

    Listen to the result here:

    Alternatively, you can listen and subscribe to the Darko.Audio podcast via Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

    Musical excerpts from Alessandro Cortini’s PRE-AVANTI – Berghain – live 1/1/16:
    https://cortini.bandcamp.com/album/pre-avanti-berghain-live-1-1-16

    Mentioned in this podcast…

    Barefoot MM27
    barefootsound.com/micromain27/

    AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt
    www.audioquest.com/dacs/dragonfly/dragonfly-cobalt

    Chord Mojo
    chordelectronics.co.uk/product/mojo/

    Astell & Kern SP1000
    us.astellnkern.com/products/a-ultima-sp1000

    Sony WM1A
    www.sony.com/electronics/walkman/nw-wm1a

    Campfire Audio Solaris
    campfireaudio.com/shop/solaris/

    Campfire Audio Solaris SE
    campfireaudio.com/shop/solaris-special-edition/

    Campfire Audio Andromeda
    campfireaudio.com/shop/andromeda/

    Sonarworks
    www.sonarworks.com/

    Qobuz
    www.qobuz.com/

    ELAC
    www.elac.com/

    Spacehall
    www.spacehall.de/

    Campfire Audio Solstice
    campfireaudio.com/shop/solstice/

    Grado RS-1
    https://gradolabs.com/headphones/reference-series/item/6-rs1e

    HEDDphone
    www.hedd.audio/en/heddphone/

    Aztec Camera – Knife
    www.discogs.com/Aztec-Camera-Knife/master/36430

    Alessandro Cortini’s Bandcamp
    cortini.bandcamp.com/

    Nine Inch Nails – Ghosts I – IV
    archive.org/details/nineinchnails_ghosts_I_IV

    John H. Darko

    Written by John H. Darko

    John currently lives in Berlin where creates videos and podcasts and pens written pieces for Darko.Audio. He has also contributed to 6moons, TONEAudio, AudioStream and Stereophile.

    Darko.Audio is a member of EISA.

    Follow John on YouTube or Instagram

    Immersive ear candy for headphones from Max Cooper

    A short film about the amplifier & loudspeaker pick n’ mix