Can you believe it? Tape Project is ten years old! Thanks to everyone who has supported us in introducing studio quality tape reproduction to the audiophile community!

Author Topic: how about an update? (nt)  (Read 9440 times)

Offline xcortes

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how about an update? (nt)
« on: July 16, 2007, 01:11:56 PM »
  nt
Xavier Cortes

Offline docb

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Our first tapes!
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2007, 05:00:39 PM »


No it's not one of the albums. We still have three or so weeks before we will see our custom reels. But we have some tapes to ship! This is our Tape Project Alignment Tape. It is of course 1/4", 15 inches per second and IEC (CCIR) equalization. It has been recorded at 250 nanoWebers/meter reference fluxivity.

The 5 minute tape contains 30 second tracks of sine waves at 1kHz, 10kHz, 15kHz, 90Hz, 60Hz and 30Hz, which were generated digitally for rock solid frequency stability and converted to analog thru a Pacific Microsonics model II A/D. This should allow one to properly align heads for max output, L/R balance and phase, and the more experienced users can use the lower frequency bands to compensate for head bumps.

The tape also has 1 minute of an asymmetric 1kHz sine wave and 1 minute of polarity pops. One can use these to assure proper polarity of your system, in order to get the best performance from your Tape Project tapes.

The tapes were recorded to RMGI SM468 tape on Larry, one of the ATR 102s we use for recording Tape Project Albums. Larry was carefully aligned using an MRL tape before recording. Why Larry, you may ask. Because the other ATR 102s in the duplicating suite are named Moe, Shemp and Curly.  Using this tape will get you as close the alignment of our duplicating machines as possible.

I will be receiving fitted plastic bags for this first run of tapes on Thursday and we will begin shipping to subscribers as soon as possible. First year Tape Project subscribers receive the alignment tape for free as a thank you for your support. Retail price is $115.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline ironbut

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Re: how about an update? (nt)
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2007, 08:35:34 PM »
Very cool Doc! I like the graphics. Will it include instructions on the proper use of all the tracks? If not, I'd love to see a sticky here explaining it's use. Not that I need it. It would be for the benefit of a friend of a friend that may use it from time to time ( audience laughs ). Regarding the plastic bags, I read a bit of the hints on Richard Hess' tape restoration web site and apparently with old acetate tapes, he found that the cardboard trapping the gases that were released by tapes that were stored for extended periods. I've noticed similar markings in the boxes of some of my older tapes and have discarded the plastic bags that come with some of my tapes in my collection ( hmm, I guess I do have enough to call it a collection now!). Of course, I doubt that this would apply to modern tapes and for this to happen to one of yours, I'd probably have to live to 103. Hey,.. you just can't be too careful right?http://www.richardhess.com/notes/
steve koto
 Sony scd 777es(R. Kern mods)> Vpi Aires>Dynavector XX-2mkll>Bent mu>CAT ultimate>CJ premeir 140>Magnepan 1.6qr(Jensen xover)Headphone Eddie Current Zana Deux>AT ad2000,HD800 ,Metric Halo ULN-2 (battery powered),
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Offline docb

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Re: how about an update? (nt)
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2007, 10:33:55 PM »
Paul is going to write up directions and we have decided to post them on the website rather than printing a booklet for each tape. A scope with an X-Y display and a speaker popper will make the job a lot more interesting if not easier.

The plastic bags are going over the boxes rather than on the tapes, and I doubt that they are made to be air tight. The labels are done with my Epson Stylus 2200 and the matte ink can get burnished a little if it rubs on other things. That's what the plastic cover is for. After quite a bit of debate on the subject (in which I voted for vacuum bagging tapes for shipment to keep out moisture) it seems prudent to leave the tapes nekked and the long term storage decisions to users.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline xcortes

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Re: how about an update? (nt)
« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2007, 01:27:32 PM »
doc,

you got me off base here:

what's a speaker popper?

doesn't all scopes have an x-y display?

thanks,
Xavier Cortes

Offline docb

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Re: how about an update? (nt)
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2007, 01:06:41 PM »
A speaker or polarity popper is a device that can be used to determine if polarity of the signal has become reversed anywhere in your signal chain. Here's the one we used to make the polarity pops on the alignment tape:

http://www.galaxyaudio.com/CRICKET.html

The kind of X-Y display I am referring to is where one channel is input as the horizontal or x-axis (what is normally used for the time base sweep) and a second channel is input in the usual vertical (y-axis) amp input. The resulting figure is called a Lissajous figure, which is very useful in determining the relative frequency ratio and phase of the two signals. When the playback head azimuth is correct two 15kHz signals will be in phase, which will be represented by the Lissajous figure changing from an ellipse to a line with a 45 degree slope. To do an X-Y you need a scope that has the ability to input one channel into the horizontal or time base channel and a second channel into the vertical amp. Dual trace scopes can typically do this because they are set up to handle two separate signals anyway, but single channel scopes may or may not be able to input a second channel of externally generated signal in place of the internal time base sweep generator.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline xcortes

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Re: how about an update? (nt)
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2007, 03:23:30 PM »
thanks doc.

my scope, while being single channel, does x-y operations:

http://www.spctechnology.com/prodinfo/specs/50N1368.pdf

maybe I'll just need an additional probe. i will look in the manual when i get home.
Xavier Cortes

Offline docb

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Re: how about an update? (nt)
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2007, 04:00:37 PM »
The "EXT" input is where you would plug in the second channel. Instead of probes think about a couple of interconnects with an RCA female to BNC male adapter added at one end. That way you can connect directly from the preamp outputs to the scope inputs.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline docb

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Re: how about an update? (nt)
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2007, 04:02:56 PM »
The alignment tapes are bagged and ready for shipping boxes - I forgot that we were waiting for the shipping boxes too. They should be here early next week at which point the tapes will be boxed and on their way to subscribers.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline xcortes

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Re: how about an update? (nt)
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2007, 07:37:39 PM »
The "EXT" input is where you would plug in the second channel. Instead of probes think about a couple of interconnects with an RCA female to BNC male adapter added at one end. That way you can connect directly from the preamp outputs to the scope inputs.

cool! thanks
Xavier Cortes

Offline docb

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Brown truck on the way
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2007, 05:45:54 PM »
The shipping boxes for the alignment tapes arrived this morning and the brown truck just loaded up the first batch of alignment tapes.

Woo Hoo! We have actually shipped tape!
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline ironbut

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Re: how about an update? (nt)
« Reply #11 on: July 24, 2007, 07:43:32 PM »
[email protected]#kin'-tastic! I don't know about the other guys here, but this is the first time I've followed a venture like this from the beginning. I remember seeing a report from VSAC where you had that steel clad ( green wasn't it?) Ampex 351 and thought," hmm,maybe I should keep an eye on these guys. Maybe they'll come up with some worthwhile r2r mods." Little did I know!
Congratulations on shipping the first tapes. And have a drink on me ( bourbon isn't it?). I hope I don't have to say it but, I haven't been this excited about this whacked out hobby in a long time. Thanks!
steve koto
 Sony scd 777es(R. Kern mods)> Vpi Aires>Dynavector XX-2mkll>Bent mu>CAT ultimate>CJ premeir 140>Magnepan 1.6qr(Jensen xover)Headphone Eddie Current Zana Deux>AT ad2000,HD800 ,Metric Halo ULN-2 (battery powered),
 HE Audio Jades

Offline AZ_Gary

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Re: how about an update? (nt)
« Reply #12 on: July 24, 2007, 08:48:54 PM »
Doc,

Great timing. I just completed the alignment of the MX-5050BII-2 in IEC mode at 15 IPS today and installed it in the dreaded entertainment center. According to UPS tracking, I'll have my tape Friday. The adventure begins. Any predictions on the first tape releases?

Thanks,
Gary
Gary Marklund
Sun City, AZ - USA

Offline docb

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Re: how about an update? (nt)
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2007, 10:17:57 AM »
The wait for tapes is revolving around our custom reels. Paul has a call in to the manufacturer, who took about 50% longer than planned to make the tooling. If they stay on that schedule with the stamping and screening we ought to have reels in about three or four weeks. We think our packaging will take a little longer. It was quite a journey, but we finally arrived at packaging we all really like just last week.

What we think at this point is that we will get tapes out as soon as we have reels ready, shipping them in white setup boxes. When we get the proper packaging a little later we will ship it separately. That way you guys can start enjoying your tapes as soon as we have something to hold the tape on, and you can put the finished package together yourself when the boxes arrive.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project