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Author Topic: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?  (Read 31351 times)

mep

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #15 on: January 16, 2009, 11:43:18 AM »
Sorry Astrotoy, I forgot your technics was modified for playback only.

Offline ironbut

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #16 on: January 16, 2009, 11:47:12 AM »
Hi mep, (BTW we all use our real names here by putting it in out signature in the control panel) I'm a little confused by your description of your brothers set up. Is he using the Crown and the Ampex electronics as two stages of gain? I've heard that the old Crown record and playback amps were very good and of course the 350/351 head units are highly sought after (mostly as mic pre's, but that would say a lot as far as how quiet they are).
I'm sure you guys must've done some comparisons of the two as standalone units. How do you think they compared?
steve koto
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mep

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2009, 12:06:38 PM »
I will fix the signature line.  My name is Mark Pearson.  Yes, you read it right that he using both the Crown and Ampexs' for two stages of gain.  The reason is that the head from his Teac does not have enough gain to drive either the Ampex 350 or the Crown directly.  In order to boost the gain enough for the Counterpoint SA-5.1 preamp, he needs both stages of gain.  Therefore, we have not been able to perform a shoot-out between the two.  There is something magical about the two working in tandem though and I am dumbfounded at how low the noise floor is.  There may be something to using two stages of gain after the tape head and before the preamp that is special.  Technically, I am using two stages of gain after the tape head on my Otari MX-55, but one of those stages is the SS repro amp built into the Otari.  I am coming from the tape out of the MX-55 into the line input stage of a pair of Ampex 350 preamps.  My brother's system sounds better yet, but this is still REAL good.

Offline Kenkirk

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #18 on: January 16, 2009, 12:53:33 PM »
I have made lp dupes with my Otari MX 5050BIII at 15 ips on Quantergy 456. No difference can be detected. I have also made dupes from the Sony SACD player. No difference noted. I have also used the Otari to mix to two track from home studio recordings made with my Tascam TSR 8, which runs at 15 ips on 1/2 inch tape. Now this pushes the Otari with dynamics and again, it makes just about perfect copies. I personally do not think the lp format pushes the Otari to its limits like live music or mixdown from the Tascam. So I use my Nak dragon to record lps. Much cheaper tape and it also makes recordings from lp that are just about perfect copies. But the Nak dragon cannot make a perfect recording from the Tascam TSR 8. It compresses the dynamics. I used my Alesis Masterlink set at 26/96 to mix down from the Tascam until I got the Otari. I also used my Teac x2000r 4 track at 7.5 ips to mix down from the Tascam. Again, some compression of the dynamics. But better than the Nak. So the Masterlink at 24/96 was the best until I got the Otari. I need a Studer..... no I want a Studer... :-)

Ken
Ken Kirkpatrick
Cat Ultimate preamp, Basis Debut Vacuum, Basis Vector tonearm, Urishi,Walker motor drive, Cat JL-1 amps, Sony XA9000Es SACD, Wadia 860,Yamaha CT 7000, Nak Dragon, RX 505, 2 REL Stentor II's, Sonus Faber Amati's, Cardas Golden Cross and Siltec cables, Otari MX 5050 B III, Teac X2000R

Offline steveidosound

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #19 on: January 16, 2009, 01:02:25 PM »
Well, I have an Ampex 351 and a 354 with the stereo electronics as well as a 2tr. Crown with tube electronics. Unfortunately all of the above need some recapping and rework to be actually functional. And I have, 20 years ago, made a few 2 track 15ips copies of Lps. At that time it was probably a Teac A-3300-SX-2T set up for 3M 250 tape. I will see if I still have any of those tapes. But not being an audiophile in the sense of most of the people on this group,  I have no real idea what the table/preamp setup was. It might have been (in that era) a HK Citation 1 with a Signet moving coil and an Ortophon step up transformer in a fairly high end Pioneer linear tracker, or a Grace F9-L in a Dual 1229 or a Shure V15 type IV in that Dual - or maybe another preamp like a first generation Hafler 101, a Dynaco PAS-2 or even the first Carver C 4000 - I traded around mid fi gear a lot back then because I worked at a store.

It is problematic when you start saying better than the original. I hear what you are saying about soundstage and instrument tonality and all but, from a classical perspective, difference = distortion and since you can't really subtract distortion I respectfully submit that although pleasing, we are fooling ourselves with very elaborate expensive subtle "sound coloring" devices. :)
« Last Edit: January 16, 2009, 01:11:39 PM by steveidosound »
Steve Williams

you don't want to know what equipment I listen to...

mep

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2009, 02:10:42 PM »
Ken, you obviously have a great system.  Since you are recording to an Otari 5050 and playing back the LPs that you recorded with the 5050, I am surprised that they sound identical.  I would think the LP would sound better played straight through your system based on your CAT preamp getting a signal straight from the LP vice playing back a SS signal from the 5050.

Steve, you say that difference=distortion, but in this case I am not so sure.  When one thinks of distortion in a high fidelity system, that should be a negative and not a positive.  The sound should become worse and lose fidelity to the master.  If you upgrade your preamp, or cartridge, or amp, etc., and you hear a difference compared to what you used to hear and you think your system has made a big improvement because of your new investment, is that distortion?  I know that what I am proposing is somewhat different in that we are making a copy of something onto tape and playing it back over the "same" system, except in this case when I listen to an LP straight-up, the Ampex 350s are not in that play back chain.

 JV from TAS once made an analogy that compared a snapshot of music to paint-by-numbers painting.  I liked his analogy.  He was using the analogy to compare SS gear to tubes.  His analogy was that SS put enough colors on enough numbers that you could make out what the painting was and that tubes filled in all of the blank numbers with paint so that the painting was completely fleshed out.  I think that what I am hearing is close to JV's analogy in that when the LP is converted to tape and played back through the Ampex 350s, there is now much more information presented.  There are way more numbers that now have paint on them and the painting is much easier to understand than before when you didn't realize that you weren't seeing the complete picture.  One could also argue that maybe the Ampex 350s are coloring outside of the lines so to speak which would bolster your argument.  I don't think so, but maybe I will change my mind with time.

In the meantime, I wish someone else with the appropriate gear could perform this experiment and tell us what they think.  The key to this experiment is playing back the tape through tube repros into your preamp.  I have already heard the SS comparison and it doesn't work.  My brother is a musician with a set of very sharp ears (he does not consider himself an audiophile) and he is grinning from ear-to-ear when he listens to the tapes I made him. He for one is convinced that that tapes he is hearing sound superior to the LPs they came from (and he was present when I made some of these tapes for him) and of course being my brother, I never hear the end of that.  If you told him that the difference he was hearing was due to distortion, I know he would laugh and question your ability to hear what music really sounds like.

Another experiment that I would like to perform is to make the Ampex 350s part of my LP playback chain and see if the same magic is there.  Unfortunately, the output from my cartridge is .23mv and I just don't know how I could incorporate the 350s with my SA-2 and SA-5.1.

Offline Kenkirk

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #21 on: January 16, 2009, 02:57:15 PM »
Ken, you obviously have a great system.  Since you are recording to an Otari 5050 and playing back the LPs that you recorded with the 5050, I am surprised that they sound identical.  I would think the LP would sound better played straight through your system based on your CAT preamp getting a signal straight from the LP vice playing back a SS signal from the 5050.



Well in theory it certainly should sound better. But the reality is that it is very hard to tell "is it live or is it Quantergy"  :-)   The first thing I do is adjust the levels and bias for the tape I am going to use. Then when recording from the lp, I plug my Sennheiser HD 600's into the Otari and switch between source and tape. I just don't hear hardly any difference with most lps. With 45's or direct to disk, some plumping of the bass is noted on the tape. Sounds nice really, but it is a tape artifact. But with most lp's, it just sounds so much the same that without knowing which is which, you would not be able to guess. Same with the Dragon on lp's. An even better test is to switch between the just recorded tape to the lp direct through the Cat. Not only does this eliminate a bunch of Otari electronics in the loop, but the cables too. I have not nor have my audiophile friends been able to correctly identify which is the live lp or the just recorded tape. Both the Dragon and the Otari can do this. The Dragon will fail the test with dynamic SACD's. But the Otari at 15ips can pass the test. Now I do not use my studio monitors for casual listening. I use my Sonus Faber Amati's with the REL Stentors for the last bottom octave. My Mackie Monitors might expose some differences, but it is really not something I care about since I hate to use my monitors for anything but mixing music. But like I said, in theory the lp direct should be better. In reality, the difference is slight at best. I will put it another way. If my buddy has a minty, expensive lp. I do not care to find my own copy of the lp. I make a tape on the Dragon and it more than satisfies. Now, duping a Tape Project tape, no way am I going to get a copy that sounds as good as the original. Hell I have not even heard how good those tapes are yet on my stock Otari! I know there is more music on those tapes than my Otari can resolve.

Ken
Ken Kirkpatrick
Cat Ultimate preamp, Basis Debut Vacuum, Basis Vector tonearm, Urishi,Walker motor drive, Cat JL-1 amps, Sony XA9000Es SACD, Wadia 860,Yamaha CT 7000, Nak Dragon, RX 505, 2 REL Stentor II's, Sonus Faber Amati's, Cardas Golden Cross and Siltec cables, Otari MX 5050 B III, Teac X2000R

Offline ironbut

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #22 on: January 16, 2009, 03:29:00 PM »
Really interesting thread guys.
I always dreamed of having an isolation booth to put my turntable in but until the advent of standalone phono stages that wasn't really practical. Now I could see that have a phono stage with balanced outputs could get the table far enough away so that any mechanical feedback would be eliminated.
On the subject of recordings of the lp's sounding better than the lp (aside from any influence that the feedback would have) I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that perhaps somewhere in the cutting process, there's a point where the eq that's applied (reverse RIAA) that the formula for eq is perhaps biased a tiny bit to help minimize tape hiss or maybe some other artifact that occurs during the cutting. And maybe (a lot of maybe's here) the tape hiss or something in the biasing is filling in that gap. Kind of like an analog dither. I'm sure you know that it's common for folks to run their recordings (mostly digital) through tape to smooth the sound. Most of them attribute the improvements to natural tape compression but could there be other factors involved?
Well, just another one of my half baked theories. I'm sure Paul could slap this one down with no effort.
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 Kenkirk

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #23 on: January 16, 2009, 04:29:00 PM »
Well no doubt tape has a sound. But in my limited experience, it is hard to really hear what tape does to the signal unless you monitor a live mic feed. Then it is kind of obvious with my gear anyway. And I must admit, it is a sound I like. I think over the years they perfected tape to sound very good with the mics and associated gear. Then when digital came out, with its own distortions and advantages, it has taken 20 something years to get it to sound good with the associated gear. Digital can sound very good now. But getting that sound to the masses has been a challenge. But there is just something special about pure analog, especially with tubes. My opinion. Others don't think so. But my ears tell me otherwise.

Ken
Ken Kirkpatrick
Cat Ultimate preamp, Basis Debut Vacuum, Basis Vector tonearm, Urishi,Walker motor drive, Cat JL-1 amps, Sony XA9000Es SACD, Wadia 860,Yamaha CT 7000, Nak Dragon, RX 505, 2 REL Stentor II's, Sonus Faber Amati's, Cardas Golden Cross and Siltec cables, Otari MX 5050 B III, Teac X2000R

Offline ironbut

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #24 on: January 16, 2009, 04:40:58 PM »
I'm with you 100% on that one Ken. I'm so glad that there are at least a few of us that think that way. I started out being totally against digital but in the last 7 years or so, I've softened my stance. And there's just no getting around it, when it comes to the lazy side of me, digital's the bomb!
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 Kenkirk

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #25 on: January 16, 2009, 04:56:16 PM »
Yea, I trashed digital for years. But when I first hooked up my Alesis Masterlink and mixed down from my Tascam at 24/96, I was shocked. It sounded dam good. But I give credit to mastering engineer Stan Ricker who told me the Masterlink was good stuff. So I softened up a bit. And now I have 2 terabits of Apple lossless music on a server here at the house and I send it around using those Airport Expresses. I even hooked up one of them to my Wadia via toslink. Talk about the bomb! I just sit here on my Macbook and pick music and it plays everywhere! And I can even use my Iphone as a remote control to adjust the volume or change songs. Try that with vinyl or tape!! :-) And those new Blue ray disks with their DTS Master and Dolby True HD sound spectacular also.

But when I want to listen closely, and focus, it is all analog for me. Right now my old trusty Teac X2000r is playing music I recorded from SACD and lp's. I used Quantery 407 which is 3600 feet and at 7.5 ips and 4 track, auto reverse, I can sit here on my ass and type away for a few hours of uninterrupted bliss. 

Ken
Ken Kirkpatrick
Cat Ultimate preamp, Basis Debut Vacuum, Basis Vector tonearm, Urishi,Walker motor drive, Cat JL-1 amps, Sony XA9000Es SACD, Wadia 860,Yamaha CT 7000, Nak Dragon, RX 505, 2 REL Stentor II's, Sonus Faber Amati's, Cardas Golden Cross and Siltec cables, Otari MX 5050 B III, Teac X2000R

Offline steveidosound

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #26 on: January 16, 2009, 11:43:58 PM »
I realize that the topic is wandering a bit, but I have my own story about the Alesis Masterlink. What finally convinced me that CD was just not good enough was the folowing experiment.
I had been asked to dub some really good pristine early 60s jazz Lps to CD for a person who no longer owned a turntable. He did keep the records afterwards BTW. I recorded them to the hard drive of the Masterlink at 24/88.2 Great, playback sounded exactly like the vinyl.
I then rendered the CD image to write to a standard CD within the machine. I listened to that before burning the actual CD. Well, the air was gone and the soundstage had somewhat collapsed ! This is between 2 digital files on the same machine from the same drive through the same internal electronics playing back through it's own analog outputs! I have repeated it with other vinyl since with the same results. The higher bitrate file sounds great like the vinyl, the  16/44.1 CD image, sounds like the finished CD, OK, but not spectacular any more.
I did keep discs burned at 24/88.2 of all the titles I did for this fellow...
Steve Williams

you don't want to know what equipment I listen to...

Offline Kenkirk

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #27 on: January 17, 2009, 09:07:10 AM »
Hi Steve,

I have the exact same experience as you burning red book cd's from the Masterlink. I use the 24/88.2 sample rate if I know the final is to be a cd.  I am going to record a high school percussion concert next month. I will use the Alesis in tandem with my Otari. I will burn the cd's for distribution to the family and friends from the Alesis. The Otari will record my copy... :-)  If anyone really wants to hear how bad 16/44.1 sucks the life out of music, hearing the loss from 24/88.2 to 16/44.1 tells an ugly story in our musical history. So much music lost for the future....


Ken
Ken Kirkpatrick
Cat Ultimate preamp, Basis Debut Vacuum, Basis Vector tonearm, Urishi,Walker motor drive, Cat JL-1 amps, Sony XA9000Es SACD, Wadia 860,Yamaha CT 7000, Nak Dragon, RX 505, 2 REL Stentor II's, Sonus Faber Amati's, Cardas Golden Cross and Siltec cables, Otari MX 5050 B III, Teac X2000R

Offline sound signal

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #28 on: January 17, 2009, 09:35:40 AM »
Hi Mike,


[...] 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.

[...]

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.


Great looking Garrard 301 and plinth!  Who made it for you?  I had mine made up by a local carpenter to my own design.  It's in two parts, the top part on which the turntable and arm are mounted is isolated by three squash balls that do a pretty good job in killing off structure-borne vibration.

If you have a tape machine that can record and play back at 15ips, why not try an experiment with your Rockport turntable?  Record an LP onto open reel at 15ips while monitoring on headphones.  Then play back the recording on your speakers and compare to the LP playback from your turntable, again on the speakers.  I think you will find the results interesting.

It does seem to me that the complete isolation from the loudspeakers afforded by the copying process can't be matched by any amount of turntable design or engineering.  Even if complete mechanical isolation is achieved, the arm and cartridge will always be affected by the airborne sound waves, unless the turntable is placed in a separate, soundproof room.  Of course, with a really high-end turntable like your Rockport, the difference might be so small as to make the degradation from making the tape copy more significant.  Thinking about this another way, it's a different way of assessing how good a turntable setup is...  Try it and let us all know.

I do concede that copying to 15ips tape is an expensive and inconvenient method of listening to LP's, though, even if it does give a copy that is much more durable than the original.  In my case, it's only really worth it in the case of the mega-rare and expensive La Spagna LP that I had the good luck to borrow and copy.

With best regards,
George Karaolides
Nicosia, Cyprus

Offline ironbut

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #29 on: January 17, 2009, 11:32:48 AM »
Hi Steve,

I have the exact same experience as you burning red book cd's from the Masterlink. I use the 24/88.2 sample rate if I know the final is to be a cd.  I am going to record a high school percussion concert next month. I will use the Alesis in tandem with my Otari. I will burn the cd's for distribution to the family and friends from the Alesis. The Otari will record my copy... :-)  If anyone really wants to hear how bad 16/44.1 sucks the life out of music, hearing the loss from 24/88.2 to 16/44.1 tells an ugly story in our musical history. So much music lost for the future....


Ken

Take heart Ken. A study that was released last year to set minimum standards and best practices for the archiving of sound and visual media (which runs the gamut from wire recording, 78's, lacquer disks, magnetic tape etc) to "preserve our recorded heritage". Part of the study was to decide how best to store these digital transfers. The transfer of musical sounds was decided to be at 96/24 and stored that way as BWF files (Broadcast Wave Files). The study was done at Indiana University and Harvard. If you'd like to know more about this (much of it involves long term storage , metadata etc) it is called " Sound Directions Best Practices for Audio Preservation" and googling it will produce a downloadable pdf.
Soap Box Time:
Many one of a kind recording are currently at risk of deteriorating beyond the point of being played and transfered as we speak. The most at risk are field recordings on magnetic media (think Alan Lomax) and lacquer disks. There are millions of hours of transfers that need to be done from fragile media and the Library of Congress has recently opened a center for media preservation at Culpepper Va that was designed to do just that. Unfortunately, there aren't nearly enough trained hands and ears to do this time consuming work. If this sounds like something you might be interested in pursuing, PM me and I'll try and hook you up. Here's a link to Eric Jacob's web site that gives you a great idea of what media archiving and restoration is all about.
http://www.theaudioarchive.com/
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