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Author Topic: My Bottlehead 1500  (Read 5982 times)

Offline astrotoy

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My Bottlehead 1500
« on: March 05, 2008, 02:54:05 AM »
I picked up my fully tricked out Bottlehead 1500 this evening at the Mission Street Studio. Dan used it for the demos we heard tonight. I couldn't wait to plug it into my system. It was late, but I played the first tape of the Arnold Overtures album. I was totally blown away. I have both the vinyl and the CD - the vinyl has been on the Harry Pearson TAS Super Disc list and deservedly so. My vinyl front end is very good (VPI TNT HR, Lyra Helicon SL, Herron Phono Preamp) but the combination of the modified RS1500 with the Bottlehead electronics and this incredible tape, makes the vinyl pale in comparison. Dynamics, depth of sound field, sense of being transported to the event itself - total involvement in the music. I have to go to sleep now, but I can't wait until tomorrow!  Dan said I got the first completely tricked out 1500 - after people hear this, there will be a long line.  Happy Camper Larry
Larry Toy CharterMember-BHReproTechnics1506/Akai747dbx/OtariMX5050B3-ClassicalVinylFreak-15Krecs-VPIHRXRimDrv-LyraSkala-HelikonMono-HerronVTSP3A/BHPhonoPre-PacificMicrosonics Model2 - Pyramix&MykerinosCard-OppoNE-Proceed AVP2+6/CVP2-CJ MET1-Cary 2A3SE-AvantgardeDuos-3Solos-VelodyneDD18Sub

Offline classicrecordings

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Re: My Bottlehead 1500
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2008, 08:13:35 AM »
What do you mean by "fully tricked out"?

David
David Stangret
HK Citation 1 Pre-amp, Thorens TD-124, Ortofon 309S arm, SPU cartridges, mono block tube amps, Ars Acoustica LaDiva speakers, and I'm still trying to decide what machine to go with.
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Offline docb

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Re: My Bottlehead 1500
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2008, 10:40:37 AM »
Thanks, Larry, for the kind words. Glad it worked out so well. To answer your question, David, Larry's RS1506 was one I acquired from an old friend and mentor of mine who found it in near mint shape and snagged it for me. It has pretty much all of the mods listed on the Machine page of the Tape Project web site. The machine has the Flux Magnetics extended response two track playback head, dummy record and erase heads and modded tape path. The tape path mods include removal of as many impediments to smooth tape travel as possible and a very careful, time consuming alignment of the tape path components. That includes removal of four guides, disconnection of the rather inaccurate tape counter which drags on the reversing idler and can create wow that is quite visible on the built in strobe, replacement of two metal guides with Rulon and ceramic guides, Teflon covers over some other components, higher quality ABEC #5 ball bearings in the tension rollers, re-shimming where necessary of the rolling components, upgraded brake pads and a careful adjustment of tension. The machine also has a new rear power entry panel that accommodates IEC power cords, a rewire of the heads to direct out for an external preamp, and a rewire to connect the infrared remote control. The machine is set up in an early prototype walnut rack box. In fact Larry got the last one of those racks, as one other of the three I had made was destroyed in shipping recently. Also in the rack box are the Tube Repro, which we tuned with some nice NOS tubes yesterday, and the remote unit. Larry also opted for 1/2M Bottlehead interconnects from tape heads to Repro. Oh yeah, and we threw in a Tape Project take up reel...
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline classicrecordings

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Re: My Bottlehead 1500
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2008, 03:27:40 PM »
Sounds great.

Can I get a quote and be put on a waiting list for one?

David
David Stangret
HK Citation 1 Pre-amp, Thorens TD-124, Ortofon 309S arm, SPU cartridges, mono block tube amps, Ars Acoustica LaDiva speakers, and I'm still trying to decide what machine to go with.
http://www.classicrecordings.ca

Offline docb

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Re: My Bottlehead 1500
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2008, 06:43:18 PM »
Hi David,

Larry's machine was made from one of the last few nice machines I had on hand. I don't have any moe machines available. Best to contact me at dan at tapeproject dot com, and I can discuss sources for acquiring a machine that I can then mod for you.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline ironbut

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Re: My Bottlehead 1500
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2008, 08:00:42 PM »
Thanks for the impressions/info Larry and Doc. I asked for exactly this over on the demo-invite thread. Which tubes are you running in your repo Larry? It's almost a shame that you never got a chance to hear the stock electronics. The contrast is huge!
Like I said in the other post,.. Congratulations on getting your rig. I think that you've made the right decision.
PS 'atta-boy Doc! Now we're cookin.
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 astrotoy

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Re: My Bottlehead 1500
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2008, 09:52:02 PM »
Steve, Dan can answer the tube question better than I can. Larry
Larry Toy CharterMember-BHReproTechnics1506/Akai747dbx/OtariMX5050B3-ClassicalVinylFreak-15Krecs-VPIHRXRimDrv-LyraSkala-HelikonMono-HerronVTSP3A/BHPhonoPre-PacificMicrosonics Model2 - Pyramix&MykerinosCard-OppoNE-Proceed AVP2+6/CVP2-CJ MET1-Cary 2A3SE-AvantgardeDuos-3Solos-VelodyneDD18Sub

Offline docb

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Re: My Bottlehead 1500
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2008, 10:10:26 AM »
Tubes have been a real bear. I have been looking for a reasonably priced current production EF86 that sounds good. Initially I tried EHs, which pull pretty much the right voltage and current once they cook in and they are very quiet. But they are rather bright and very light on the bottom end. I also tried JJ EF806s and let's just leave it at "I won't be buying any more".

Larry's machine came down from Poulsbo with EHs in it, but after listening on the Big Magnifying Glass it got retubed on Tuesday afternoon with some Ampex labeled EF86s that are presumably Amperexes or Mullards. This is a drag in the sense that old stock EF86s are getting somewhat dear, and I will have to spend a lot of time hunting them up. Also it will mean a price increase. But man, do the old stock EF86s sound GOOD.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline astrotoy

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Re: My Bottlehead 1500
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2008, 07:58:21 PM »
Day 3 with my new Bottlehead Technics 1500 (1506?). I have been playing some of my 4 tr 7.5 in tapes. All of them have reversing foil on them, since I put the foil on to use with my Akai GX-747 monster machine. Inspite of having to thread each side to play on the 1500, I have been startled at the improvement in sound. I have been listening to the Joan Baez Love Songs album from Barclay-Crocker. It is a Dolby B tape (I decode through an Advent Model 100) and though not the same you are there quality of the TP tapes, Joan's voice is amazingly real. The sonic stage is broad and deep and the quality of sound is stunning. I earlier played an old London Ansermet recording of Scheherazade and Polvetsian Dances (around 1960) and again the sound is great. I didn't know how bad my Akai was. I was going to keep it as a second machine, but it is now a boat anchor. If someone wants it for parts or to play with (in the Bay Area), please email off line and it is yours to pick up. Otherwise it goes to Goodwill.

If you have a TR from the heyday of transistor electronics, I think you need to see whether you can adapt the Bottlehead preamp to your machine. Or get Doc to modify your machine. I now have to listen to my 500 R2R tapes!

 
Larry Toy CharterMember-BHReproTechnics1506/Akai747dbx/OtariMX5050B3-ClassicalVinylFreak-15Krecs-VPIHRXRimDrv-LyraSkala-HelikonMono-HerronVTSP3A/BHPhonoPre-PacificMicrosonics Model2 - Pyramix&MykerinosCard-OppoNE-Proceed AVP2+6/CVP2-CJ MET1-Cary 2A3SE-AvantgardeDuos-3Solos-VelodyneDD18Sub

Offline ironbut

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Re: My Bottlehead 1500
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2008, 11:27:52 PM »
Ahh,.. Larry, your rants are music to my ears! I've been dying for someone else to chime in on just what a shocking difference, the Repo Amp in particular, makes. I haven't done a whole lot of experimenting with tubes (or as much as I usually do) or cabling, but they have a more audible effect on the sound than the same changes on a phono stage. That's with the Tape Project tapes that is. There is so little between you and the recording event that what would normally be subtle changes (am I really hearing that or is it wishful thinking), stand out like a sore thumb.
It's also gratifying to hear all the goodness that's been hidden in the 7.5, 1/4 track tapes too. It sounds like you have a great collection. Wait till you hear how great classical vocalists sound! If you have the Mahler "Songs from Des Knaben Wunderhorn"  BC with Haitink, go get it and give it a spin. The baritone sounds so real, you'll think YOU'RE singing it!
btw, is you Advent stock? I have a 100a and it never sounded very good. The one I have isn't in great shape though.
If you're serious about the 747, I know a guy that's been lusting after one forever. Only problem is, he lives in Scotland.
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 astrotoy

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Re: My Bottlehead 1500 and dolby B
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2008, 12:39:26 AM »
Steve, on the Advent 100, it is better than the Teac AN-60 which it replaced. I got the Advent on eBay for $20 plus shipping which was about the same. However, I am sure there is better stuff out there. I'm not a great modifier, so replacing caps and stuff like that is way beyond me.  Any ideas from anyone? 
Larry Toy CharterMember-BHReproTechnics1506/Akai747dbx/OtariMX5050B3-ClassicalVinylFreak-15Krecs-VPIHRXRimDrv-LyraSkala-HelikonMono-HerronVTSP3A/BHPhonoPre-PacificMicrosonics Model2 - Pyramix&MykerinosCard-OppoNE-Proceed AVP2+6/CVP2-CJ MET1-Cary 2A3SE-AvantgardeDuos-3Solos-VelodyneDD18Sub