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Author Topic: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?  (Read 30409 times)

mep

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ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« on: December 18, 2008, 02:13:32 PM »
Curious as to whether anyone has experimented with making 15 ips 2 track copies of LPs for their own enjoyment.  If so, what do you think of the results compared to listening to the LP?  My brother has drawn his own conclusions based on tapes I have made for him, but I don't want to spill the beans until I hear some other reactions first.

Offline Ben

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2008, 02:31:38 PM »
Umm read twice now.  Do what you want with the beans, just don't
touch my tobbaco now ...  Um why bother unless the LP has never been
played before?  Now a shoot out with 7.5" pre-recorded tapes and average LP's would be interesting. Did any of the audio mags in the 50's and 60's
even speak the word Reel to reel?

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mep

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2008, 03:01:32 PM »
We (my brother and I) will be doing a shoot out with BRAND NEW (NOS) prerecorded 7 1/2 ips tapes and the exact same BRAND NEW (NOS) LPs very soon.  It should be interesting.  I will record the brand new LP on its first play to a brand new 10 1/2" tape and then compare the two tapes.

I will say that my system is really LP based and my brother's system is tape based.  I have half a dozen 4 track recorders and two Ampex ATR-700 decks, but I am probably going to sell them all.  My brother has given me his Otari MX-55 2 track mastering deck in order to make tapes for him.  My brother has some interesting tape repro units in his system.  He is using multiple stages of gain to boost his tape signal.  He is going straight from a tape head to a pair of Crown tube repro amps into a pair of Ampex 350 repro amps and then into a Counterpoint SA-5.1.  I have to say it sounds very good (can you say "punch"?).

Offline VPI

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2008, 03:53:14 PM »
I recorded a two track tape at 15 ips straight from Vinyl to try out two RTRs I picked up last week.  While I am not proficient enough yet to ensure the decks are set up perfectly I thought they ended up sounding pretty good. I took one tape to an Audio meet and everyone that listened were pretty impressed with the sound quality.

I don't think it sounds as good as the Vinyl as the soundstage collapses a bit and the bass is a bit boomy but it still sounded pretty good.  I would imagine someone with a properly set up recorder might be able to make some decent "mix tapes" straight from vinyl.
Jeff Kernohan

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Offline joeljoel1947

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2008, 03:54:30 PM »
I have compared my LP's to 2-track 15ips dupes I've made of them.  Played back against each other they sound the same (and sometimes the tapes actually sound slightly better to me as do SACD's when I record them to tape even though many state this is not "possible") as long as your at 2-track, 15 ips or greater and your machine is calibrated properly.  

I use my open reel decks all the time to record from vinyl so that when I make a change to the turntable I can hear "before and after" the change.  For example, I make a recording from LP to reel with cartridge "a" on the turntable and then switch to cartridge "b" on the table and compare that back against the open reel recording I made of cartridge "a" in real time, levels matched to hear the differences between the 2 carts.

Comes in handy!!

As for comparing pre-recorded 7.5 ips tapes to their vinyl counterparts, well thats another story.  Usually, the LP will "win" because IMHO of the crappy Ampex tape they used way back then---little better then voice grade?  Still, there are pre-recorded 7.5 ips gems that beat the snot out of their LP counterparts.  Miles Davis "Kind of Blue" and Dave Brubecks "Time Out" are two famous examples that come to mind off the top of my head.  There are several others....

Joel
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Joel Kozlowski

Offline ironbut

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2008, 05:01:20 PM »
Hi Jeff, welcome to the forum. I'm glad to see another Headfi guy here! It looked like you were using RMGI 911? If so, you probably want to set the recording bias to medium. It's on the back panel. There are other settings back there and if you don't have a manual for your Otari, here's a place you can download one for free. You may have to find and load a RAR archive application (for the real big files there) but if you google RAR files, there's lot of free ones available. The manual will help you make all the correct settings on your machine. The bass probably shouldn't be boomy since the built in electronics are solid state and usually problems with your heads result in treble loss so it's likely that you have something set wrong.
Are you using balanced cables? It probably shouldn't matter but it could be that the pin assignments of your XLR's are reversed. The manual goes into that stuff too.
Well, I hope this helps.
steve koto
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mep

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2008, 05:13:43 PM »
Joe-Good idea using the reel to reel to capture changes in your LP front end!  I will remember that.  I wish I could have done that when I was experimenting using step-up transformers in place of my Counterpoint SA-2.  The transformers are long gone, but the mightly SA-2 is rolling on.  I am not surprised that you think in some cases a 15 ips 2 track tape of your LP sounds better than the LP.  Even though we are told this can't be so, it just may be so for a number or reasons. 

For the here and now, my brother is putting his money where his mouth is and buying 10 1/2" new reels of tape to give me to make recordings for him.  If anyone was watching the auctions on Ebay that just ended where two cases of 10 1/2" NOS Maxell tapes just sold, my brother bought both of them.  My brother keeps busting my onions and telling me that he is hearing my LPs via tape better than I am hearing my LPs at my house.  I will be there for Christmas (he lives 100 miles away) and hear for myself.

Offline sound signal

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2008, 10:12:28 AM »
Yes, I've made 15ips, 2-track, IEC eq copies of LP's.

If, while making the copies, the monitoring is done on headphones and not loudspeakers, the turntable is not affected by acoustic or mechanical feedback.  This gives the tape copy a definite advantage to the turntable when playing back over loudspeakers.

Of course, the only LP's worth such lavish treatment are extremely rare, fine-sounding ones.  I heard, some years ago, the BIS double LP La Spagna - Siglos XV-XVI-XVII by Gregorio Paniagua and Atrium Musicae De Madrid at a friend's house and begged him to lend it to me.  That's one of only two such LP copy tapes I have made, and I treasure it.  It was only later that I found out on the Web how much of a desirable piece of property that LP is, and that good used samples go for hundreds of dollars - so it was definitely worth the almost three 10 1/2" reels of 468 the recording took up.

It was while making that copy that I noticed the extent of the effect I describe above.  Monitoring over headphones while making the copy, as is my habit, I noted the usual slight difference when switching from source to tape, slightly in favour of the source - no surprises there.  Then I played the tape over the speakers and it seemed to me to sound better than I remembered the LP sounded.  I played the LP and, sure enough, it didn't sound as good as the tape.  That made me think.  Going back to headphones, the difference was again in favour of the turntable.  That was when the penny dropped - when listening over speakers, the acoustic feedback affected the turntable, but not the tape recorder.   The tape copy was providing the ultimate isolation between turntable and loudspeakers.  No turntable and arm can achieve that in the real world, unless you put it in a separate, sound-proofed room.

The other such tape copy I made purely for demonstration purposes.  It's a copy of my Buena Vista Social Club LP.  I also have the CD, so with that record, I can give people demonstrations of the CD, the LP and the tape copy of the LP.  No prizes on guessing which sounds best.

For the record, the turntable was the Garrard 301 on my own design of plinth, with SME 3012 arm and Shure V15VxMR cartridge.  It is as good a record player as I've ever had in my system, the only one to give the EMT 930 which we're currently using as a reference record player a run for its money (though with an Ortofon SPU in the 3012 now, instead of the Shure).

With best regards,
George Karaolides
Nicosia, Cyprus

mep

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2009, 05:35:43 PM »
OK.  I promised a follow-on to this thread I started after I returned from my brother's house at Christmas.  After hearing the tapes I made for him, my brother has decided to sell all of his 4 track tapes so we didn't bother making comparisons to LPs vice 7 1/2 ips tapes.  For those of you that own 15 ips 2 track decks capable of making recordings and you own TUBE repro electronics, you should try a little experiment.  This experiment assumes that you have a high quality LP rig and preferably a tube phono section and tube line stage that will send the signal from your LPs to your tape deck.  Spool up a high quality blank tape, set your speed to 15 ips, set your record levels, and record a song from LP that you know very well.  Now rewind the tape, cue up the LP again, start both the LP and tape and switch back and forth (matching levels of course) and tell me which one sounds better.

This experiment works best if you have a friend that will switch between the LP and tape without telling you which is which while you listen from your favorite chair.  If your LP rig is good and you have really good tube repro electronics, the differences will not be subtle.  This experiment assumes that you choose an LP that was made from the analog master tape and was well recorded in the first place.  Based on my my limited experience at my house and my brother's house, there is something magical about reverting the analog LP back to tape at 15 ips 2 tracks.  Of course, the quality of your LP rig will determine how good of a tape you can make.  In all cases, the tape should sound at least as good as the LP. Now if you have SS repro electronics, all bets are off.  If your LP rig is playing through tubes in the phono and line stages, the LP will most probably sound better than the tape if you are playing the tape back through SS repro electronics.

At this time, I don't know what the minimum quality of tube repro electronics you need in order to make the magic happen.  Just as Doc B has warned everyone that if you are playing back TP tapes through machines like the Technics or Otari using their SS repro electronics that you are not hearing what the tape really sounds like, the same holds true here.  Sorry, but it is true.  My brother and I are both using Ampex 350 preamps although my brother is also using a pair of Crown repro units feeding the line input of the Ampex 350 for a total of gain stages before it goes to the preamp.

If you have the right gear, try it and let me know what you find out.  I know there are people on this forum that have the gear to pull this off.  If you are a SS person and try this anyway, I doubt you will have any of the MOJO that actually exists and that will leave you scratching your head in wonder.

Offline Ben

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2009, 05:51:27 PM »
I am always looking for more 4 track tapes, so contact me off-forum if your
Brother has any tapes for sale. Oh a good ebay sale:
10 Dr Evil-head Polka's with mind control

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Offline niklasthedolphin

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2009, 04:46:51 PM »
I made many 15 ips 2-track recordings from TT.

Indistinguishable from source.

No wonder when I think about live recordings I made are classes over any other source.

"dolph"

Offline xcortes

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2009, 07:12:24 PM »
I posted this a year ago at the Bottlehead forum:

"I took me about 8 months since Eileen shipped me my Seduction but this weekend I finally put it together. Leaving aside a screw up when modifying the equalization curve that made me drill two more holes than needed to place the NAB/IEC switches and some desoldering and soldering back of two pair of resistors it all went smoothly. I used Auricaps for the coupling positions and C4S right from the start.

Yesterday I hooked the Seduction up to the heads of my Technics RS-1500 and played a tape of Pink Floyd TDSOM that I recorded on this deck from the lp. I don't recall the lp sounding this good! Actually I don't recall my system ever sounding so good.

I will let it break down a few hours but I'm ready to start playing my Tape Project tapes soon! "

I don't know what qualifies as a "good lp rig" but I like mine which you can see here:

http://www.theanalogdept.com/xavier_cortes.htm

Both tape and turntable use BH Seduction amps.




Xavier Cortes

Offline mikel

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2009, 11:59:25 PM »
Yes, I've made 15ips, 2-track, IEC eq copies of LP's.

If, while making the copies, the monitoring is done on headphones and not loudspeakers, the turntable is not affected by acoustic or mechanical feedback.  This gives the tape copy a definite advantage to the turntable when playing back over loudspeakers.

It was while making that copy that I noticed the extent of the effect I describe above.  Monitoring over headphones while making the copy, as is my habit, I noted the usual slight difference when switching from source to tape, slightly in favour of the source - no surprises there.  Then I played the tape over the speakers and it seemed to me to sound better than I remembered the LP sounded.  I played the LP and, sure enough, it didn't sound as good as the tape.  That made me think.  Going back to headphones, the difference was again in favour of the turntable.  That was when the penny dropped - when listening over speakers, the acoustic feedback affected the turntable, but not the tape recorder.   The tape copy was providing the ultimate isolation between turntable and loudspeakers.  No turntable and arm can achieve that in the real world, unless you put it in a separate, sound-proofed room.

The other such tape copy I made purely for demonstration purposes.  It's a copy of my Buena Vista Social Club LP.  I also have the CD, so with that record, I can give people demonstrations of the CD, the LP and the tape copy of the LP.  No prizes on guessing which sounds best.

For the record, the turntable was the Garrard 301 on my own design of plinth, with SME 3012 arm and Shure V15VxMR cartridge.  It is as good a record player as I've ever had in my system, the only one to give the EMT 930 which we're currently using as a reference record player a run for its money (though with an Ortofon SPU in the 3012 now, instead of the Shure).

With best regards,

interesting; but the acoustic feedback problem George mentioned does not effect my Rockport Sirius III turntable. it is a limitation of some tt's, not a format flaw.

i have had 2 occasions where this issue has been tested.

2 years ago a fellow audioasylum member and i had a wager which resulted in a 'shootout' in my room. he claimed that his digital copies of an Lp were indistinguishable from the Lp playback. i disagreed and claimed i could easily tell the difference blindfolded. in the course of his recordings off my Rockport he tested recording with the speakers active and using only headphones. he could not hear a difference between the two recordings. he also sent these recordings to other people (including me) and no one could hear a difference. i choose 5 out of 6 in the shootout blindfolded (with an audience of 25 people)......digital copies of Lps are distiguishable from the Lp playback. digital is not transparent to the source.

when Winston Ma recorded the 'Fukamachi Steinway' DD Lp onto hirez off my Rockport we did a few test tracks with headphones only (at 386/24 resolution) and could not hear a difference from those tracks and the ones with the speakers on.

could 15ips 1/4" reveal a difference between headphones and speakers? in theory, maybe.......but not likely.

btw George; i also have a Garrard 301 in a custom plinth; i am not surprised that it is somewhat affected by acoustic and floor sourced feedback. i love the Garrard none-the-less, it makes great music.

anyway; my personal perspective is why worry about making a copy; you cannot improve the original Lp by copying it, you can only make it less or different.

that is just my perspective.http://
« Last Edit: January 16, 2009, 01:01:07 AM by mikel »
Mike Lavigne

mep

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2009, 10:49:08 AM »
MikeL, I am trying to understand how your post relates to the experiment I suggested.  You talked about making hi rez copies from LPs to digital, but that is not what I am talking about.  I am specifically talking about making a copy from LP straight to tape at 15 ips 2 tracks preferably through tube electronics.  I know you have the capability to make a 15 ips 2 track tape as I have seen pics of your system, but I believe your system is all SS.  I know your system is worth somewhere in the high six figures, so maybe the mojo I am talking about would still come through-maybe not.  The magic seems to be in the use of tube repro electronics as I have not heard it with SS repro electronics yet.

As for the Seduction being modified for tape playback, although this unit is reported to sound good, as Doc B has said, it does not deliver the performance of his $4K unit.  For one thing, the bottom end is rolled off.  But look at the price difference between the cost of the Seduction and the cost of the $4K unit.  You can't expect to pay less than $300 and get the performance of a $4K rig. The Seduction is another gift from Doc B to help people out who can't afford to shell out $4k for the big rig.

I am just curious as to whether or not someone with the "right" system can record an LP to tape as I have previously described and hear what I hear.  For one, I know Astrotoy has this capability.  If any of you own a properly working pair of Ampex 350 repros, I highly recommend you try the experiment.  I know they have the mojo.  We can argue that it can't be real,  but I don't think we can argue that is sure sounds real.  If my soundstage gets bigger (taller, wider, deeper) and all of the instruments are much more firmly rooted with a defined space and everything seems to sound more real and natural and the bass seems to take on another octave of extension (with much more definition), who am to complain?  And that is what I am hearing.

MikeL, I would love to hear a tape made from your Rockport to see what that sounds like on my system.  I would gladly send you a brand new 10 1/2" tape and pay for shipping back to my place.  It would be really cool to hear the difference between your super high-end Rockport (and I know that you have a killer collection of cartridges) and my VPI TNT/ET-2 combo as well as the differences between your SS preamp.  It should be an ear opener if you are up for it.

Offline astrotoy

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #14 on: January 16, 2009, 11:29:28 AM »
Unfortunately, I don't have a Tape recorder that can make 2 track 15 ips tapes. I wish I did. My Bottlehead Technics is playback only and my Akai 747 is only 4 tr 7.5 ips.  I haven't tried to make copies of LP's to my Akai, but it would not be in the same league as a 2 tr 15 ips machine.  A friend has a few B-C tapes (all dolby B encoded) that he would not sell to me. He let me borrow them and I made dubs playing them back on my Technics (in 4 tr 7.5ips mode) and copying them with my Akai. I did it with close level match and no dolby B on either playback or record. I then played back the dubs on my Technics with the dolby B decoder and compared to the original. There is a noticable difference, but the sound of the dubs is very fine. I prefer the originals, but if I didn't have them for comparison, I don't know that I would think these were dubs. There is a coloration to the B-C tapes from the dolby B decoding, but it is not unpleasant and maintains the musicality to my ears. Certainly better than much of the digititis distortions of CD's.   Larry
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