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Messages - RogerD

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General Discussion / Re: Golden Age of Recording?
« on: May 14, 2010, 09:46:45 AM »
I was just listening to "sing along with Mitch" last night. I think a lot of people enjoy music from 1957-1962 when reordings were done correctly. It's true that "big" sound is intoxicating and there's really nothing like it. I have to say some of the best sound I hear is when I use my Ampex 350 as a post preamp. Why the 350 should sound better listening through the tape section on my preamp than the "preamps electronics puzzles me. Some might say it is too Hi-fi,but if that's what hi-fi sounds like, I'll take that kind of heaven anyday. Btw that 350 sound not only brings out the best in "kind of blue" but one of my favorites Nancy Griffin's "One Fair Summer Evening" which is a live recording, sounds incredible. Live recordings can't be boxed in and thank god for that.

So I think that old Ampex 350 had a lot to do with the signature sound that is produced listening to these recordings of that era.

Any electronics that has point to point wiring and uses octal tubes,including 12sj7's and 6sn7's should sound stunning and it does. Now my 350 has all glass tubes,Tungsol,RCA,and Brimar,which I have found to be magnitudes better than the metal can tubes. Incredible detail and a black background that gives a live sound in the listening room.



I seem to be stuck somewhere around 1960 in my tastes for music and recording techniques plus or minus a few years.
I was 5-6 in 1960. I love the sound of the best of these early stereo recordings which could truly be very high fidelity, but before we got to the era of very complex multi-tracking and non-real time studio sessions . These techniques later produced their own "magic" in that one person could play all the parts and led to our present era. But I love the older big-group-in-big-room sound.

I have posted before,1233.0.html
 about pre-recorded tapes of this era of the pop "Beautiful Music" category that seem so ubiquitous even now because, let's face it, they outsold rock or jazz or classical titles in the era and to the demographic most likely to own a reel to reel machine in this era. Like my father.
While there are certainly many great jazz, country, folk and classical recordings from this early 60s era as well as the pop ones, they have been covered in other posts and in some cases have been issued as TP tapes.

I struggled whether to place this post as an actual suggestion for a TP album or not. Perhaps it should have been two posts.
I just got done listening to ... here it comes... "The Happy Beat" 1963 Ray Conniff. Yes, you can probably still find zillions of copies of this in the $1 vinyl bins, along with his other albums. This stuff was enormously popular in it's day. My father and mother actually went to one of his concerts (the only concert I can remember them going to as a child). My father came home and excitedly explained to me, his budding techno-geek 8 or 9 year old about how the concert sound system was actually stereo. BTW, I would love to know what equipment they pulled that off with in the early 60s.
This stuff was state-of-the-art pop recording with all the kitschy, tape delay echo and reverb saturated, left, center mono, and right counterpuntal stereo arraigning that had been in development as the Columbia "sound' by Conniff and Mitch Miller since the 50s. It also represented one of the last gasps of the old form "dance orchestra" carried over from decades past, brought into the early rock era, spiced up with new songs and the use of wordless voices as part of the orchestra, doubling the instrumental parts with their  "oohs, daas and ahs". And it was recorded with excellent studio musicians and all the quality a major label could throw at it at the time.
Much as Nelson Riddle's orchestrations kind of "made" the Sinatra Capitol era what it was, this stuff deserves it's place in history, beyond muzak and the dusty bargain record bins. 

Tape Tech / Re: Studer meter bulb replacement
« on: May 14, 2010, 08:34:03 AM »
Hi Roger:

Replacing VU meter bulbs on A810, A812, and A820 can be tricky when the white plastic covers had turned yellow in color and had become brittle.  You can easily break the latch tab trying to remove it from the circuit board.  So be careful.  I usually undo the one side first and gently push the tab over.

It is a good idea to replace both light bulbs on both VU meter assemblies all at one time while you have it disassembled since the working bulbs will eventually go out sooner than the new ones.

After replacing the bulbs, I usually file the circuit board down a little where it is making contact with the white plastic latch so that it will come out easier the next time (probably 10 years from now...)

Hope it helps.


Thanks Ki,

Your always helpful and I appreciate it. I'll give it another shot.


Tape Tech / Studer meter bulb replacement
« on: May 13, 2010, 05:08:03 PM »

I have a light out on my A820, so I tried to replace the bulb,but I'm having trouble with the white plastic tab. Is there a trick? As I don't want to break it. These are 15 years old and it has probably lost some flexibility. Anybody have a better experience.


Roger D.

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