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Author Topic: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?  (Read 30218 times)

Offline niklasthedolphin

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #30 on: January 18, 2009, 07:58:56 AM »
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.

I will question if true balanced output from a phono stage is at all possible.
Where is the steady reference that the two counterphased (sorry my bad english) signals are supposed to curve/float around?

Recordings sounding better than the original tells me something about who likes a certain character of sound and who prefers the sound to be as close to the Analog Reference as possible.

The certain sound character some people tend to like makes them go for tape decks adding this character in the Recordings or the PlayBack.

"dolph"

Offline ironbut

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #31 on: January 18, 2009, 10:24:32 AM »
Good point dolph. I was just thinking of the extra shielding and noise rejection that balanced cables afford to long runs of cable. I'm not really sure if phono amps such as the E.A.R 324 is +4 dB out but it is killer sounding (even to a die hard tube fan like me).
steve koto
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Offline sound signal

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #32 on: January 19, 2009, 04:13:56 AM »
Hi Steve,

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.

Myself, I sit as far away from the speakers as possible.  I have the turntable and preamp close to me, and the power amp or amps close to the speakers.  In my experience, the long interconnect between the preamp and power amp does not degrade quality, but having the turntable and preamp as far away from the speakers as possible on one hand, and having as short a speaker cable as possible on the other, makes for a significant improvement.

At line level, and at the kind of cable length we're talking about here - enough to get across a room - unbalanced inputs and outputs are OK.  Balanced interfaces do offer advantages, but having unbalanced interfaces wouldn't stop me from running long interconnects in my room - in fact that's what I do, I have seven metres between my preamp and power amp and everything is unbalanced.

You do need to watch the output impedance, though.  Anything below 1k is OK to drive up to twenty metres (sixty feet) of cable of 100pF/m capacitance (30pF/foot) and get a -3dB bandwidth of 80kHz.  An increase of cable length, or of output impedance, or of cable capacitance per unit length, decreases the bandwidth proportionally.

If you want the advantages of balanced interfaces, I hold that you can get most of them by driving a balanced input from a single-ended output if they are interfaced properly.  The other way around - balanced output into single-ended input - does also get you some of the advantages, but not nearly as many as when driving a balanced input from a properly interfaced single-ended output.  Of course, driving a balanced input from a balanced source is the optimum in terms of interfacing, but the balancing at the source end of things is the icing on the cake, and not the cake itself, especially at line level, in my humble opinion.

So it's not actually necessary to upgrade all your sources to balanced outputs to reap most of the advantages.  I consider that the most bang for the buck when going for balanced interfaces is a preamp with balanced inputs - that will give most of the advantages of balanced interfaces with all your sources, single-ended or balanced.  Also a power amp with balanced inputs will get you most of the advantages of balanced interfaces when driven by any preamp.  I consider balanced outputs from the sources to be the last priority.

So I suggest that, if you're interested in balanced interfaces, having balanced outputs from your phono stage is lower in priority than having balanced inputs on your preamp or whatever else the phono stage will be feeding.

Best regards,
George Karaolides
Nicosia, Cyprus

Offline mikel

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #33 on: January 19, 2009, 08:57:46 AM »
Hi Mike,

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,

hi George,

the 301 plinth was made by Steve Dobbins [email protected]. it's a constrained layer design with hardwood, duraluminum, man-made slate, and other 'stuff'......engineered to be lively and neutral sounding. it uses Stillpoints as footers, and weighs about 80 pounds without the 301. it accomodates 2 arms with separate arm boards. Steve also tweaked the 301 for me and installed a new bearing. i'm currently auditioniong a new platter for the 301 of Steve's design (which is quieter than the stock one). Steve is also building me a plinth for my Technics SP-10 Mk3.

at some point i suppose i will experiment with recording 15ips off the Rockport as it presents an interesting opportunity for discovery as MEP mentions above. my audio/music culture has never included any recording as i believe recording from one media to another cannot 'improve' anything. my motivation for getting into RTR was to be able to hear master tape performance in my room and not to move music from one format to another.

while i agree that the concept of 'complete isolation' of a tt in the same room as the music is played is theoretically unlikely; practically speaking the Sirius III does seem to achieve that trick. that is exactly the idea behind the design. what the Rockport does in terms of noise elimination is remarkable. it weighs 600 pounds, the 250 pound plinth floats on an active air suspension, then an air bearing, 55 pound platter, and vaccuum hold down. as far as air borne sound waves and their effect; without some sort of testing i am just guessing; but the profile of the Rockport plinth, the mass and stoutness of the arm design, the barrel of the air bearing arm, the the tiny profile of the actual linear tracking arm all may minimize the effects. that's what ya get for your $80k (if you can find one to buy).

in any case as my previous post mentioned; even at 382/24 resolution myself and 3 pro audio guys could not hear any difference between a test recording made with the speakers on or off. when i do get around to recording 15ips off the Rockport onto either the Studer or Ampex we will see if that can reveal some difference. i have a 1/2" head stack for the Ampex; maybe that might reveal it. i am very skeptical of hearing any difference but i've been wrong before.

i will need to learn how to record onto tape properly.

regarding the issue of long interconnects; i also have my preamp, tt's and other sources near my listening chair and the amps away between the speakers. therefore i've always used a long pair of interconencts between the pre and amps. i use to use an 8 meter set of XLR Nordost Valhalla. now; my preamp and amp are made by darTZeel so i use an 8 meter set of darTZeel 'zeel' connectors. they are designed to use a 'zeel' 50 ohm BNC cable; with 'perfect' impedence matching of preamp and amp. it is not recommended to use them any longer than 10 kilometers (seriously). if anyone is interested you can go to this darTZeel PDF and read page 17 and 18 about this. my digital player; the Playback Designs MPS-5, also has this 50 ohm BNC interface built in to great advantage. i own and have owned obscenely priced interconnects. these 'cheap' 'zeel' interconnects are almost free in comparison and better the higher priced products when used on gear designed for them. you can also read a November 2001 Stereophile paper written by Herve Delatraz (Mr. darTZeel) about the significance of impedance matching with interconnects which was written prior to his 'zeel' cable design.

warmest regards,

mikel

« Last Edit: January 19, 2009, 10:51:53 AM by mikel »
Mike Lavigne

Offline ironbut

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #34 on: January 19, 2009, 11:41:13 AM »
I use single ended interconnects everywhere in my main listening rig. I also have the long runs between my preamp and amp. Actually, those aren't even shielded, just carefully routed. I have a "project studio"/diy bench/computer room in the next room which can be connected through a "rabbit hole"  when I want to hear what's on the studio's sources on the main system. Some of the gear in the studio is balanced but outside of that, I've never had any balanced inputs or outputs on my main system. Thanks for the advice George. That makes a lot of sense and will save me the expense of going through those experiments myself if or when the occasion arises.
It's great to see a number of Garrard 301/idler drive turntables among the members here. I guess it goes hand and hand with the appreciation of using the best source media and transducers we can get our hands on. I really enjoyed Georges page on his website regarding his plinth design and Mike's description of his (use of dissimilar materials has always made a lot of sense to me but as we all know, common sense and good engineering doesn't always yield good sound). To think that Mike's 301 could be mentioned in the same breath with a turntable with the pedigree of the Rockport says a lot and I'd love to hear more from 301 owners on their experiences with it.
I don't think that you can listen to the TP tapes (or any master recordings) and not have your listening skills improve. It really adds to the credibility of subjective opinions. I don't know about other members here but I have much less difficulty chasing down fidelity issues than I used to. On the other hand, it doesn't seem to take anything away from the enjoyment of great music on a lousy system or media. For this I'm thankful.
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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #35 on: January 19, 2009, 02:23:08 PM »
I am going to try this again.  Here is a picture of my brother's system that shows the Crown repros and the Amepx 350s.

Offline TommyTunes

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #36 on: January 19, 2009, 02:55:27 PM »
I dub many of my 45 rpm albums (such as the Analog Productions Fantasy Jazz or Note Note Series) onto 2 track 15ips tape.  They come out exceptional with no loss of quality.   I go straight out of my phono stage to the inputs of the deck (equipment used VPI Aries 3 maxed out with SDS, Ring, Heavy Clamp, HRX feet), Lyra Skala and Modwright Phonostage all wired with Kimber KCAG's.  However based on the cost of new tape stock (appx $50 a reel), I've now been transfering them to DSD digital discs.
Thomas Caselli

Offline ironbut

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #37 on: January 19, 2009, 03:04:41 PM »
Hey Thomas. What kind of authoring software are you using to make DSD disks? I haven't kept up with it for a while but that last time I checked, the software was still super expensive. I was thinking about getting one of the Korg portable recorders and one of the issues was being able to author portable media without converting it to high sample rate PCM.
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Offline astrotoy

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #38 on: January 25, 2009, 01:09:17 AM »
You folks have gotten me interested in looking at a 2 track 15ips machine. I see one on ebay - Teac TASCAM 32 2-Track Mastering Reel To Reel Recorder - which has been reconditioned by a dealer in Appleton WI that apparently does a lot of work on R2R's. The price is $899 including shipping. If a recorder like this records well, and I can play back the tapes on my Bottlehead 1506, it looks like a good deal to me. At this point I have the Bottlehead 1506 which is only playback, and my old but functioning well Akai GX-747-dbx which records and plays at 7.5 and 3.75 only four track, 2 channel.  For less than $1K I would be able to record 15ips 2 track. Thanks, Larry
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Offline astrotoy

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #39 on: January 27, 2009, 01:30:46 PM »
I want to thank this forum. Because of my last posting, one of the forum members has just kindly sold me one of his Ampex ATR-700's, for a very reasonable price (much lower that what I was looking at at the ebay store from WI). I've emailed US Recording Media and Kurt has advised me to use the RMGI LPR35 for copying LP's - since the 3600' length will fit the typical LP. For shorter LP's he is recommending the ATR Studio Master tapes which he recommends over the SM911.  He said they are out of stock of the pancakes of SM468's and probably would not reorder them in the pancakes. Not sure why. Any thoughts on the tape recommendations from Kurt?  I will be recording at 15ips, 2 track.  Over the past years I have bought most of the classical 45 reissues from Classic Recordings (mostly the RCA reissues and a few Mercuries) as well as a few jazz/pop titles (like those on the TAS Super Disc list - KOB, Ah Um, Casino Royale). I pulled them all out yesterday and it turns out I have 62 titles - many more than I thought I had! I'll be starting with some of those to test out the setup once everything arrives.  Larry
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Offline ironbut

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #40 on: January 27, 2009, 02:44:18 PM »
Hi Larry, I'm not familiar with the ATR700 but you might want to check and see if it can be biased to take advantage of the higher output of the ATR Magnetics tape. Some prosumer machines can't and that would pretty much decide things right there. I'm not sure that recording the 45 rpm lps would benefit from this higher output either and to get this higher output, more oxide is generally used and can be slightly more abrasive to the tape path. I'd give the LPR35 a try first. It should have a similar bias to Ampex 456 and your "new" machine will almost certainly have a setting for that already. The disadvantages of this thinner tape are almost totally nullified by that fact that you can always rerecord the albums in the future. The main problems with 1 mil or thinner tape is increased print through, possible stretching (if the machine is particularly hard on tape) and lower wear tolerances. The pro's are, twice as long, easier to erase and lower cost per foot.
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Offline dwilawyer

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #41 on: February 04, 2009, 12:54:49 PM »
Hi Larry, I'm not familiar with the ATR700 but you might want to check and see if it can be biased to take advantage of the higher output of the ATR Magnetics tape. Some prosumer machines can't and that would pretty much decide things right there.

That ATR 700 is a great professional deck, designed by Ampex and made to their specifications by Teac/Tascam in Japan.  Not quite up to the ATR 100 series, but it should serve you well, and for a long time.  It can be biased to any professional tape equiv. including 456, GP9/996.  The ATR in ATR Magnetics comes from the ATR in Ampex so you shouldn't have any trouble biasing it  to any tape they make.

Interested to hear how it  sounds.

Travis

Offline astrotoy

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #42 on: February 04, 2009, 08:11:03 PM »
Thanks for the info on the ATR-700. I am awaiting its arrival, hopefully by the beginning of next week. I'll let you all know how it goes.  Larry


Hi Larry, I'm not familiar with the ATR700 but you might want to check and see if it can be biased to take advantage of the higher output of the ATR Magnetics tape. Some prosumer machines can't and that would pretty much decide things right there.

That ATR 700 is a great professional deck, designed by Ampex and made to their specifications by Teac/Tascam in Japan.  Not quite up to the ATR 100 series, but it should serve you well, and for a long time.  It can be biased to any professional tape equiv. including 456, GP9/996.  The ATR in ATR Magnetics comes from the ATR in Ampex so you shouldn't have any trouble biasing it  to any tape they make.

Interested to hear how it  sounds.

Travis
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Offline astrotoy

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #43 on: February 09, 2009, 11:30:47 PM »
My new (old) Ampex ATR-700 arrived today from its cross most of the country journey, safe and sound. It came in its original travel case (trunk) which looks like it has had a few miles on it. Thanks to Mark for his kindness. The machine works great - I did my first test recording, using a CD. The machine is 15/7.5 ips, 2 track only, with two sets of inputs which can each be switched from mic to line and the 700 can mix the two sets of inputs. Unfortunately the line inputs don't seem to work, but the mic inputs work fine - there is a -20db setting to lower the input level. I was very pleased with the quality of the recording (using SM468 from US Recording Media) at 15 ips 2 track. Switching between my CD input and the tape head output, I don't think I could hear any difference. I used NAB EQ. The 700 also has IEC EQ. I haven't played a TP tape on it yet. That will be next. My next recording experiment will get back to the topic of this thread - recording LP's at 15 ips 2 track. I guess I'll try both IEC and NAB EQ settings. Anyone have any suggestions here?  One thing, I have to be careful because my current set up - the Bottlehead Technics 1506 is only playback. Since the 700 also records I don't want to accidentally push the record button on one of my TP tapes.  Larry
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Offline astrotoy

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Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« Reply #44 on: February 11, 2009, 04:54:23 PM »
My new (old) Ampex ATR-700 arrived today from its cross most of the country journey, safe and sound. It came in its original travel case (trunk) which looks like it has had a few miles on it. Thanks to Mark for his kindness. The machine works great - I did my first test recording, using a CD. The machine is 15/7.5 ips, 2 track only, with two sets of inputs which can each be switched from mic to line and the 700 can mix the two sets of inputs. Unfortunately the line inputs don't seem to work, but the mic inputs work fine - there is a -20db setting to lower the input level. I was very pleased with the quality of the recording (using SM468 from US Recording Media) at 15 ips 2 track. Switching between my CD input and the tape head output, I don't think I could hear any difference. I used NAB EQ. The 700 also has IEC EQ. I haven't played a TP tape on it yet. That will be next. My next recording experiment will get back to the topic of this thread - recording LP's at 15 ips 2 track. I guess I'll try both IEC and NAB EQ settings. Anyone have any suggestions here?  One thing, I have to be careful because my current set up - the Bottlehead Technics 1506 is only playback. Since the 700 also records I don't want to accidentally push the record button on one of my TP tapes.  Larry

Thanks to Steve W. I traced down the problem on the line input of the Ampex.  It was that pin 3 of the XLR is hot, not pin 2. I pulled out my seldom used soldering iron and switched pins and it is working like a charm.  I looked on the web and found out that since 1982 pin 2 hot has been the standard for XLR three pin plugs. However, it also said that much American equipment uses pin 3 hot. It has been mentioned that Otari uses pin 3 hot as I remember. Since the Ampex ATR-700 comes from Tascam/Teac, the Japanese may also use pin 3 hot.   The line input works like a charm!! Thanks, Steve.

Larry
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