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Author Topic: Bottlehead vs Aria (on Studer A820/2CH)  (Read 6164 times)

Offline useridchallenged

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Bottlehead vs Aria (on Studer A820/2CH)
« on: June 26, 2008, 12:58:29 AM »

Has anyone had the opportunity to compare these two tape head preamps?  These are candidates for connecting to my Studer A820/2CH machines.  I don't want to get into a solid-state versus tube war.  Unless you've actually heard these two preamps side by side, anything else is just an opinion.  I have the Studer 317 PB heads for use with the OEM electronics, and plan to have additional headblocks with appropriate heads dedicated for use with the either the Bottlehead or the Aria.
Eric Jacobs
The Audio Archive, Inc
http://www.TheAudioArchive.com
State-of-the-Art Audio Transfer Services and Preservation Consulting
STUDER A820, Revox C274, ATAE SHR, Calibrated External Azimuth, Cube-Tec Audiocube, Mytek, Simon Yorke S7, SME, Graham, Lyra Helikon SL, Boulder 1010

Offline xcortes

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Re: Bottlehead vs Aria (on Studer A820/2CH)
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2008, 08:39:08 AM »
Please read the forum rules before posting:

Quote
we require registration for the privilege of posting. Also, regardless of your chosen moniker everyone must sign their posts with their real name and any audio industry affiliation they may have. When we have to take responsibility for our actions we tend to show more respect for each other and keep things more civilized

http://www.tapeproject.com/smf/index.php/topic,2.0.html
Xavier Cortes

Offline docb

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Re: Bottlehead vs Aria (on Studer A820/2CH)
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2008, 11:07:52 AM »
I don't think anyone has heard both repro amps on the same machine. I guess Mike Spitz will be the first to have heard both on ATRs, as I just sent a Tube Repro out to him to install on a customer's ATR.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline ironbut

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Re: Bottlehead vs Aria (on Studer A820/2CH)
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2008, 05:51:55 PM »
Hmm, let me look into my crystalbut ball,.. I see a last name starting with a 'G',.. or is it a 'J'. Could our mystery guest be Eric Jacobs?
Not too tough,.. I recognized you from the ARSC conference at Stanford.

BTW If you're free on Saturday (2/28/08) I'm doing a demo with my Tape Project rig (including the Repro Amp) in San Mateo. Here's a link to my post with all the info.
http://www.tapeproject.com/smf/index.php/topic,510.0.html
« Last Edit: June 26, 2008, 06:08:10 PM by ironbut »
steve koto
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Offline mikel

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Re: Bottlehead vs Aria (on Studer A820/2CH)
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2008, 09:57:33 PM »
i have also considered the Aria for my A-820 but need -10db and Mike Spitz told Fred Thal that he does not recommend the Aria be modified to -10db. maybe i need a preamp that can handle +4db at some point.

i would also be curious about this comparison.

last week i had a chance to purchase a Tim deParavincini modified Technics (one of the 1500 family) which is now in route to me from the U.K.

i'm trying to get my wife to still allow me to have my stock RS-1500 fully modded by Doc with the Bottlehead repro.....i sorta blew my budget with the dPv deck. i really want to compare the Bottlehead to the dPv if i can......and then both to the A-820 with some custom output electronics Fred Thal is installing.
Mike Lavigne

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Re: Bottlehead vs Aria (on Studer A820/2CH)
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2008, 06:24:00 AM »
I am not in a position to dispute anyone's technical statement in this or any audio forum, but that said as I am having an ATR refurbished by Mike Spitz, I have a high interest in the capabilities/short comings of the Aria.
Upon seeing Mikel's comment about the issue of trimming/reducing the gain with the Aria, and recalling similar assertions in this forum (by perhaps others, I do not recall) I went right to the source and asked Mike S to comment.
I will not try to recap his remarks, (they were all polite by the way).  I will merely say that based upon my understanding of Mike's comments, the issue which Mikel cautions us about concerning the Aria is able to be addressed without taxing the capabilities or degrading the performance of the Aria.
.
As with all things, I encourage anyone in any circumstance to go right to the source and ask (as it were) the horse.

For those who care, my front end manufacturer is transistor based and they do not look kindly on mixing their gear with tubes.

I know, I am a heretic as well.

That and the proximity of ATR Services to my home, makes the Aria a logical choice and a good match.
Mike S did not ask me to post this remark.

Offline ironbut

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Re: Bottlehead vs Aria (on Studer A820/2CH)
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2008, 06:12:33 PM »
I wouldn't give the balanced +4dB>-10dB conversion another thought really. There's several ways to skin that cat. Most folks use a step down transformer. These are available in a variety of price levels. The cheapies are available from your local Guitar Center (Hosa) and are in the form of an adapter or an adapter cable. Another approach is to have your preamp modded to have a balanced input. My CAT preamp can have that done for about $300. What I've been using lately is an Aphex 124A interface. It's a servo based interface that will either take +4 down to -10 dB or -10 to +4 dB. I'm pretty satisfied with it and they can be had for a song off of eBay.
http://www.aphex.com/124A.htm
I've got a couple and never paid more than $30 for one.
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