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Author Topic: What's The Problem??  (Read 6587 times)

Offline rbwtapeinterlink-Bob

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What's The Problem??
« on: January 23, 2008, 10:46:34 AM »
I am still  smarting from and trying to understand why the efforts of the "Tape Project" is not being covered and talked about at length in the Audio Mags? What a bummer it is just thinking about it. I would think the fact that very high quality reel to reel tapes are now being produced again would be Big News and something to shout about. What's the problem?

As I see it, this is a renewed effort by the leaders of the Tape Project to produce cutting edge sound. This effort requires discussion in Stereophile, Absolute Sound, Hi FI, Sensible Sound and the other audio mags. What's the problem?

A while back I wrote the editor of "Stereo Times" to let him know about what the Tape Project is doing here. I have not heard a word back from anyone. I would think that every audio magazine editor would be interested and would jump at the chance to report on these efforts. What's the problem?

What about all of those individuals who claim to want the very best sound coming through their Apogees, Dalis, Wilson's, Magnaplanars, Theils, Avalon's and other top speakers? You would think that the editors of these magazines would want their readers to have access to any new information about high quality sound to include reel to reel tapes as one of the best way to hear their music. What's the real problem?

Maybe some of my friends here on the forum can help me better understand why what the Tape Project is doing is not great news to the audio magazines still publishing. HELPPPPPPPPP!

Bob W.

Bob W. (African American) VPI, Ref Standard Grado, Denon 103r, Threshold, DecWare tube pre and Classe pre amp, Jolida tube phono pre amp, (Peter Gunn) modified Magnapan 1.6, Tascam 32-2B & 42B tape decks, Parasound belt drive CD transport, Pacific Valve tube DAC, VPI  TT, various upscale cables.

Offline sssmokin99

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Re: What's The Problem??
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2008, 11:56:45 AM »
I agree.  Especially since some of the publications you mentioned review equipment and "software" that is obscure, to say the least.  Perhaps it is a matter of time- what you read in this months Journal of Whatever was actually written quite a few weeks back.  Bob, you were very proactive by writing to them; maybe others should do the same!

Kent

Offline docb

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Re: What's The Problem??
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2008, 12:54:30 PM »
We will be sending a machine and tapes to TAS next month. In fact there are several reviewers at TAS who are vying for the review duty. So I guess I'm saying write to Stereophile. ;^)>

Another trend that shows a lot of developing interest in the Project is that post CES we are being approached by many manufacturers who want a machine and tapes as a demo source. This looks like it will be a key element to getting exposure to a wider audience.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline Danny Kaey

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Re: What's The Problem??
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2008, 04:46:47 PM »
I've been covering it since day -1 to be exact... there's a whole bunch of people sitting it out waiting to see if this will be something for the long run or a fad.

software is / will be the key to success...
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Offline xcortes

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Re: What's The Problem??
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2008, 04:58:52 PM »
Printed magazines are an issue of the past. I've never purchased or read an audio or "hi-fi" magazine in my life and yet, in the past four years I've put together various stero systems and one five channel system that satisfy me enormously. I've met people like Doc, Paul Joppa or Mike Lafevre and I've met in person Paul Stubblebine and Bruce Edgar just to cite a few. I've built, designed and tried for myself fullrange speakers in open baffles, backloaded horns, direct radiators in vented boxes, front loaded horns, gainclones, SET amps, gainclones, etc. I've started a nice collection of vinyl and tapes and I have the #29 serial number at the Tape Project which I intend to maintain as long as the Project lives.

I really don't need Stereophile and I would expecft that there's at least another 199 out there like me.
Xavier Cortes

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Re: What's The Problem??
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2008, 06:32:06 PM »
Bob,
Funny, I expressed the same sentiments as an aside to one of my other missives.
I will have to discipline myself to think and post in mono thoughts!
I believe the answer to your distress is quite simple.
Who currently manufactures a prosumer/consumer RTR for the audio press to review/advertise?
Let us face it in many respects we are discussing machines which many folks in audio consider antiques!
In the past and probably present magazines held to a certain standard that there had to be so many years of production, dealers etc for a product to be eligible for review.
This was supposed to be for the protection of the potential comsumer of that product.
On that basis alone, we don't have much hope except perhaps as a music article, or general filler piece right next to the pictures of the 78's and 8 Track players.
Don't get me wrong, I do not agree.
I sort of went a _ _ over teacups for the format in a short time.  Not very wise, but it sure is fun.
If you consider the cost of a good analog rig with table cartridge etc versus the cost of a good to excellent refurbed RTR you are talking comparable cost.
The big difference is lack of currently in production RTR hardware AND software.
That and that alone is why we will not get the attention, or be taken seriously by many.
So all we need to do is start manufacturing machines and dubbing 7 1/2 IPS software and we will get all the attention and press we want.
This is a niche of a niche of possibly another niche with a substantial learning/ sweat equity curve.
We may deserve respect and grudging admiration, but general acceptance I would not count on.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2008, 06:59:41 AM by ceved »

Offline ironbut

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Settle down my cyber brothers
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2008, 07:06:14 PM »
I think that we've all gotten a little too used to the speed that web based e'zines report. Some of the print publications are real slow to report on products. Hell, I bet that Stereophile and TAS won't have their CES layout till March or April.There's also a world of obligations to advertisers that take place behind the scenes. This doesn't mean that there aren't reviewers that are dying to write about the Tape Project. I think that Danny has made a good point. Some may be waiting to review the first years offerings as a whole. I think that Positive Feedback Online will alway be our best ally. If you check out the bio's of their writers, I think you'd be surprised how many reel to reels you'll find in their gear lists. A couple of them are members here so you can bet that they can't wait to "drop the bomb" on the rest of the "have to read it to believe it" audio community with their puny, insignificant SACD players and cobra headed tonearms! We shall crush them with our reels,.. sap their will with our 1970's technology!
And that's kinda how I see it.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2008, 11:14:47 AM by ironbut »
steve koto
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Offline Danny Kaey

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Re: Settle down my cyber brothers
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2008, 12:27:40 AM »
ROFL!!!

well said Steve, well said!!! :)

I think that we've all gotten a little too used to the speed that web based e'zines report. Some of the print publications are real slow to report on products. Hell, I bet that Stereophile and TAS won't have their CES layout till March or April.There's also a world of obligations to advertisers that take place behind the scenes. This doesn't mean that there aren't reviewers that are dying to write about the Tape Project. I think that Danny has made a good point. Some may be waiting to review the first years offerings as a whole. I think that Positive Feedback Online will alway be our best ally. If you check out the bio's of their writers, I think you'd be surprised how many reel to reels you'll find in their gear lists. A couple of them are members here so you can bet that they can't wait to "drop the bomb" on the rest of the "have to read it to believe it" audio community with their puny, insignificant SACD players and cobra headed tonearms! We shall crush them wit our reels,.. sap their will with our 1970's technology!
And that's kinda how I see it.
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Offline mikel

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Re: What's The Problem??
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2008, 08:47:18 AM »
great topic......and one i've given lots of thought to. i want to talk about 'The Tape Project' tapes and my RTR journey so far but i'm still trying to get answers myself......so i'm reluctant to over-state my perceptions.

i am in such a learning mode and with RTR nothing happens quickly; i have gone from zero to 'where-ever' in about 5 months. i'm likely representative of a typical rabid audiophile who might dip their toes into RTR. on the one hand i'm a guy who likes 'sexy gear'.......which means getting some 20+ year old door stop of a RTR machine and having it 'refurbed' is not necessarily my normal approach.....i'm more a plug and play person. then on the other hand i am seriously curious about how far one can go......and RTR machines are sexy.

it really always comes down to software.......and so until there is enough exciting software that one can purchase......diving into RTR will be naturally blunted. in addition to 'The Tape Project' tapes i am trying to subscribe to 'The Quniton Tapes' from Europe. give me 10 or 20 top quality 15ips 1/4" master tapes that my fellow audiophiles can purchase that will rock their world and this thing will get some traction.

master tapes do have high credibility among serious audiophiles. but how many of those can be purchased? when i was checking RTR out last summer i was trying to find out just what level of performance older (7 1/2 ips 2 and 4 track) pre-recorded tapes might have......compared to top digital and especially top vinyl. i got a wide gamet of opinions on that subject.

i ended up purchasing a couple of hundred or so on ebay. so far i'm a bit underwhelmed with those. so i felt that talking much about RTR performance would need to wait until i really had a chance to have optimized gear.

if a serious audiophile was already into top level vinyl performance would he be more likely to go further into vinyl hardware and software or get into RTR tapes? i've gone all the way on vinyl......so hopefully i can help make a case that RTR can take you further. that's why i'm here.

my intention is to get back on my audiogon thread and start preaching RTR, and also on Positive Feedback......once i have it fully happening in my room.

« Last Edit: January 24, 2008, 09:03:26 AM by mikel »
Mike Lavigne

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Re: What's The Problem??
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2008, 06:53:35 PM »
FOR THOSE OF US CLOSE BY AND ON SPEAKING TERMS WITH HIGH END AUDIO SALONS EVER APPROACH THE PROPRIETOR ABOUT A WORKSHOP/LISTENING SESSION WITH YOUR RIG AND TP TAPES?
The mags are always exhorting the trade to be more proactive, and add value to their customers.
It is one thing to read; quite another to listen.
Forums, chat rooms and the like are one thing, but grass roots is where it all starts.
Not all of us care to, or can go to The Show, or CES and the like.
I recall when these types of sessions were the norm rather than the current exception.
I do not have the setup at hand, but I bet that Terry M of Overture in Delaware would like to show off anything that would showcase his two channel merchandise.
There must be other primo dealers close to fully functioning members willing to tote their stuff about for the cause.
You may even get some of these dealers to carry the TP tapes with their other software if we want to explore that possibility.
Think big.
Start small.

Offline Danny Kaey

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Re: What's The Problem??
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2008, 09:49:24 PM »
Philip O'Hanlon, distributor of Luxman & Vivid will be doing a formal all inclusive demo @ Digital Ear in Tustin during the month of February for LA/OC's society event...
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Offline docb

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Re: What's The Problem??
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2008, 11:27:04 PM »
I think Philip just demoed tape at a show in Phoenix too. I'm doing a demo at the Pacificnorthwest Audio Society meeting on Mercer Island, WA, Feb 14. Gary and Cindy Kerr of Audio Gallery in Lake Oswego, OR are getting an ATR102 with a Bottlehead Tube Repro for demos in their store. Joe Cohen of PranaWire has asked for a Technics machine and a subscription. I have been asked to do a demo at Nuts About Hi Fi in Silverdale WA sometime soon, and to talk about tape at an upcoming panel on alternative formats at the local AES chapter. Joe Kubala is doing demos with tape. Tim Marutani of Marutani Consulting in Berkeley will be getting set up to demo with tape soon as well. Shunyata and Tenor Audio have both expressed interest in getting machines for demos too. I'll be doing up a machine for Andrew Jones of TAD sometime soon too. I am certainly forgetting some other industry folks who have inquired too, only because my brain is a bit overfull at the moment.

So rest assured, notice is being taken. We would all like this thing to happen overnight, but it's going to take some time to build up a head of steam. From what we've seen, a lot more folks will be demoing high end gear with tape in the not too distant future.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

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Re: What's The Problem??
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2008, 08:54:25 AM »
Sounds as if most of the fun is out West.
Any action on the East coast or a bit closer planned, or contemplated?

Offline docb

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Re: What's The Problem??
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2008, 06:55:59 PM »
There may be some TP tapes at the Montreal show in April.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline ironbut

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Ooh boy CV you gonna hate this then!
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2008, 07:11:18 PM »
I'm doing a demo in Marin (north of San Francisco) next weekend. It's another Headfi (headphone community) meet. 5 guys from NY, 10 from Fl, and even a fellow from the Caymans are flying out. It's going to be a real state of the headphone art affair and my $2k headphone amp will be the cheap seats. We're going to pass my tape rig around so people will be able to hear it on some of the uber gear (lots of electrostatic gear for me to try before I dive into that this year) that will range on up to the $40k stratosphere (headphone wise). It looks like there's going to be about 40 of the more outspoken (I'm being kind here) and influential Headfi members there. It should be pretty fun!
steve koto
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