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Interview with Alan Cross

The Ongoing History of New Music, hosted by Alan Cross, is Canada's longest running documentary series, celebrating 24 years on the air this year. 


1.    What was the first piece of audio equipment you owned?

A bottom-of-the-line Sansui receiver (12 watts per channel!) along with an Akai APC-100 belt drive turntable and a couple of off-off-off-brand speakers. I bought the gear with the money I earned from my first-ever job, which was working in an ice cream stand-slash-pool hall. My parents were dead against me spending my money on audio gear, but I defied their wishes. Bold stuff for an eighth-grader.

2.     How do you listen to music these days?

A bunch of different ways: FM radio, satellite radio, MP3s from my iPhone, streaming music services and FLAC files played out of my office computer through a 150-watt Yamaha receiver hooked to a 5.1 Mission system. I also have my digital music library rigged so it plays through in-ceiling Sonance speakers throughout the house and a couple of outdoor speakers above the patio.  

My next goal is to have a high-end two-channel music-only system (with a VERY good turntable) when I finally relocate my home office to the basement. I also have a home studio equipped with lots of digital gear and a 5.1 Tannoy system. That’s also where I keep my beloved Technics SL-1200.  And believe it or not, I still have a Aiwa cassette machine hooked up in the studio-just in case.

3.     What are some of your favourite sounding records of all time?

Aja and Gaucho from Steely Dan were my reference records when I was growing up. Today, it’s a 1960s edition of Miles Davis’ Blue in Green along with Radiohead’s In Rainbows on 180 gram vinyl. I also rather like an old version of Dave Brubeck’s Take Five I bought at a record show.

        Alan Cross is a Canadian radio broadcaster and a writer on music.



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