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Messages - microstrip

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Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Re: Revox/Studer A700
« on: December 16, 2009, 05:47:43 PM »
Out of curiosity, how do you use external electronics, and who makes them?
For playback look for Bottlehead - I am almost finishing the assembly of an Eros head amplifier for my A700!

Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Re: Check out Sony studio in NYC
« on: December 16, 2009, 05:43:30 PM »
I have never heard the Cello tape machines, but I had some experience with Cello units in the 90's, as I owned several Cello systems at that time - first a Preamplifier Palette and Duet amplifier, later an Audio Palette and Etude amplifiers. The electronic modules used in the more expensive units (as well as in the Apogee based reference DAC)  had definitively a "flavor", adding body and some sweetness to sound, making it very nice sounding. But the cheapest units, based in Analog Devices ICs were cleaner sounding - the Preamplifier Palette and Duet were a fantastic match for Quad ESL63, making a very neutral system.
Another characteristic of the Cello units was that they were difficult to match with other brands.

Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Re: New Deck or Upgrade
« on: November 04, 2009, 05:46:05 PM »
The 741 opamp is the very first operational amplifier to my knowledge - manufactured by Texas Instrument in the 70's and I have not seen one in any of the Studer A series tape machines, A807, A810, A80RC, A80VU, or the A820 that I own and have personally explored.
Hi Ki,
The first monolithic opamp was the uA702 - several years before the 741. I have never seen one, but I have used the uA709, that also preceded the 741. The 741 was the first compensated opamp - it was easier to use, but perhaps sounds bad because of it!

Suggestion Box / Re: More on Mahler 1
« on: October 07, 2009, 05:01:21 PM »
For performance the 1961 Bruno Walter version with the CSO is still my choice.
It is not easy to listen for sound quality - after a few minutes you forget about it!

Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Re: Revox relaped heads
« on: September 14, 2009, 05:58:48 PM »
Just a quick follow-up of my questions. I received today the Revox heads from JFR - they look like new, John also sent a lab report quoting the initial and final tests and an estimated 70% life remaining!

Although we can find several Revox service manuals at the hifiengine site - I have downloaded  and uploaded a few to this excellent site - if you have a good internet connection you can download them from the Studer site
The files are much larger, but they usually are of much better resolution.

Tape Tech / Re: Oscilloscope for RTR Alignment.
« on: August 31, 2009, 05:21:21 PM »
My A700 has a capstan shaft with a highly polished surface, the A77, B77 and PR99 have a satin finish.
I can not remember anymore where I read it, but I had the idea that as the A700 is a constant tension transport, the best performance could be attained with a polished capstan.
MDIPrecisionMotorWorks can redo a capstan with a ceramic sleeving for around 175 usd.

Tape Tech / Re: Oscilloscope for RTR Alignment.
« on: August 29, 2009, 03:57:34 PM »
Although I can accept that a dedicated instrument is easier to use and faster, you have to consider that it can need calibration and service, something not easy to get nowadays and can be very expensive to get- sometimes an order of magnitude higher than purchase price.
I went through the excellent papers of Dale Manken at, and after understanding the basics of his excellent paper on the ALTAIR T2DS I could emulate some of the measurements with a 24 bit 192 KHz sound card and appropriate software. Recently I have sorted some old and recent made pinch rollers to came to the conclusion that no recent one in my possession  surpasses in wow and flutter the original old Revox?s, although they look nicer! As soon as I go through the bearing tests I will post them to this forum - Arian suggestion for Revox was 100% accurate.
Do not forget that modern PC?s can perform very fast FFT?s with 131072 samples at 96kHz sampling rate with  .732 Hz resolution, more than adequate for this purpose.
All we have to do now is asking Doc to issue a 10 minutes reference tape at 15?recorded at 12.5 KHz in his excellent machines to make the measurements of scrape flutter much easier and more reliable. 

Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Re: Revox relaped heads
« on: August 02, 2009, 04:00:28 PM »
Many thanks for your advice - after I exchanged some mails with John French the heads were sent to JRF for relaping.

General Discussion / Re: Proper Way to Align Reel Table
« on: July 25, 2009, 05:53:16 PM »
Can I assume that after rellaping an head must be moved slightly forward to compensate for the removed material?
This can be a problem with some head assemblies.

Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Re: Studer A 80
« on: July 20, 2009, 05:50:57 PM »
I also just checked and it is still down - if you need it urgently I have the file with the service manual of the A80RC MkI-MKII, but the file has 82 Mbytes...

Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Re: Studer A 80
« on: July 19, 2009, 04:30:42 PM »
You can find Revox / Studer operation and service manuals at - the A80 service manual has more than 300 pages!
Just now the ftp server is temporarily unavailable - try again after some time if your connection is reset.

Thanks Steve and Arian - your were absolutely right! The A700 is really a better transport and the measurements show it, although the electronics of the PR99 sounds better. But as I will use Bottlehead  electronics it does not matter.
I have received a new pinch roller from one big Ebay supplier - it looks perfect, smoother and better finished but unhappily the performance is much worst than my old ones - the 4.7 Hz sideband is almost 10 db higher with the nice looking new pinch roller.

Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Re: Revox relaped heads
« on: July 17, 2009, 04:38:07 PM »
I am now sure that it is an head problem - I replaced the heads with some better condition of a Revox B77 and the amplitude modulation at 12.5 kHz disappeared. The only solution seems to be having the heads relaped - unhappily the good heads are 4 track, useless for the Tapeproject tapes.

Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Re: Revox relaped heads
« on: July 16, 2009, 06:01:20 PM »
The heads look nice, the wear pattern is around 3mm but regular and rectangular. Although tape tension is correct and is stable there is some amplitude modulation measured with a 12.5 kHz 0dB tone recorded at 15ips. The flutter spectrum looks quite nice and comparable to the one of my PR99. This A700 is in very good condition and I checked the operation of the tension of arms - the calibration yields the values stated in the service manual. 

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