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Topics - rbwtapeinterlink-Bob

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General Discussion / I REMEMBER WHEN ............
« on: April 18, 2014, 01:46:41 PM »
Last night I spent some time (til well past midnight) thinking about my first venture into owning a reel to reel tape deck. Then, came the task of trying to find a place on the internet where I could get more information on this field I knew nothing about. Actually, as I think back on this period in my life, I should have sought out "The Tape Project" first but ignorance prevailed. My first tape deck was am Ampex 7300 (me thinks) ordered from Ebay. Prior to bidding on this tape deck I had read somewhere that I wanted a 2 track deck in good working order. Well, to be brief, what I got was not what I had read about. The Ampex was shipped from California. It arrived to Baltimore Maryland where I resided at that time in a cardboard box (no inner box) full of popcorn stuff and rolled news paper. Not only was the deck not 2 track, but, it arrived in several pieces. It appeared to have taken a terrible beating at the hands of the postal service after riding the rails and whatever else over 7 days. I immediately contacted (written letter) to the gentleman who sold the tape deck and his reply was "tough" or something similar. He suggested I contact postal service. He did not respond to why the tape deck was not 2 track as I had expected. He properly noted that his Ad did not say it was 2 track even though I thought it was. I figured the law suit would be too expensive, so, I gave up on that deal.

I was fortunate enough to find this forum and great group of folk who knew much about reel to reel and had not problems sharing their knowledge. Aside from the great knowledge base, I loved the fact that there were so many folk who were also new at this thing called "reel to reel" and like babies in toyland. I enjoyed the "family like" atmosphere and easy going attitude of everyone here including the Bottle Head Team. Steve was one of the first to make me feel right at home and was always ready to feed this "babe-in-arms" new reel to reel information as were others. Steve enabled me to reach the next level where I could actually begin to understand the particulars about tape decks.

Another joy for me was the fact that there were so many here who had different brands of tape decks with no need to knock anyone who did not have a Studer or studio Ampex. Eventually, and based on the information I got here, I was able to find a local radio station and purchased 2 Otari's and one Sony studio tape deck. And I got them all very cheap. A dear friend of mine (Bhek) drove me out to the station and helped me load those decks into my SUV and return home.

I believe this forum will be where a new generation of tape deck lover will be born. I say that because there are many who want to get into the tape thing but don't know where to start and don't have funds for the very high end tape decks. I believe it's important that no one feels the need to have to prove themselves based on how much they paid or the brand name of their tape machines. I sincerely believe it's important for people to have somewhere to come just to get information about tape decks whether they be Akai's, Pioneers or whatever. I am looking for that resurgence to start soon. 

General Discussion / Red Rodney (Albino Red)
« on: February 19, 2014, 03:22:01 PM »
Today as I was heading to noon bible study at my church, I heard a recording of the late great Red Rodney. The recording was, "What can we do". I was almost moved to tears for two reasons. One, this was a beautiful recording, and two, I felt so bad that I had forgotten this extraordinary musician and trumpet player. I had not heard from him in some years and wondered where he ended up. I found out he had expired from lung cancer in 1994, but had a large selection of recorded music. He was around and actually played with Charlie Parker. Almost anyone who hung around with Charlie Parker  (Bird) would have gotten into the use of heroin and that included Red Rodney. In my honest opinion, there were only two trumpet players that could match this gentleman's musicianship. They were Dizzy Gllespie and Woody Shaw. I also learned that due to segregation Red had to play under the name Albino Red which was something I found amusing yet degrading. I found it hard to believe that segregation and the racial situation during that time period had reared its ugly head even where jazz music was played. I applaud Bird and other jazz musicians who did not care that Mr. Rodney was Caucasian. Their only requirement was that Red could play. There is an amazing amount of stuff featuring Red on YouTube. Check him out. He was one of the baddest and technically gifted trumpet players that ever lifted that instrument to his lips. His ballad playing was emotional and sooooooo beautiful.  I've got to start buying everything I can get my hands on of his music.

General Discussion / To all of my wonderful friends here
« on: December 23, 2013, 05:29:08 PM »
May you, your family and friends all have a blessed and wonderful Christmas and New Year!

Bob W.

Prerecorded Tapes / UltraAnalogue's Bach & Vitali's Chaconnes
« on: November 29, 2013, 07:04:50 PM »
I have always loved Bach's Chaconne for unaccompanied violin. I have several records featuring this music, but never thought I would hear it on tape. Well, I have a copy of UltraAnalogue's recordings of Bach's D minor and Vitali's music in G minor. Both are beautiful. I am amazed that Dr. Ed Pong could squeeze both Chaconnes on one reel to reel tape.

I put this tape on my Tascam 42B tape deck with cables running from the playback head out to a separate tube tape head pre amp. These are vibrant, sumptuous, and beautiful recorded tapes that almost took my breath away. The playing on this tape is outstanding. The violinist is Xiang Yu with Li Wang on piano. What a team and they compliment each other magnificently. This recording is so real I felt I could get up and walk to the front of my listening room and touch the artists.

Tony Ma who has designed and built most of the electronics used at the Studer tape decks and mikes is awesome at what he does. He and Dr. Pong who does all of the recordings work very well together. Please don't pass up an opportunity to go to and listen to the many samples of what they have on reel to reel tape. I honestly believe you'll end up buying something.

bob w.

Tape Tech / Amina HD4 Tube Tape Head Pre Amp Link
« on: September 17, 2013, 02:35:30 PM »
Good evening forum members,

With the full assistance of "Ironbut" who provided a ton of information on how to finally present photos of my new head pre amp and other music system parts, I am more than grateful. Thank you very much Steve.  Below is the link to those photos. Thanks for looking and all comments.

Link >>>>>>>>>>>>

Bob W.

Tape Tech / My New Amina HD4 Tube Playback Head Pre Amp
« on: September 13, 2013, 04:01:48 PM »
Good afternoon everyone,
I've tried for the past several hours to re-write a lengthy piece of what's been happening with me for the past year. Each time I re-wrote what I wanted to say and tried to attache photos of my system, there was a long wait and everything vanished. Yes, the entire post was gone. So, now, let me just say that I've got my new tube tape head pre amp. Actually, as much as I wanted the Tube Repro, I could not afford it. So, I asked my engineer/tech Mr. Benny Amina if he could build such a pre amp. He said he could given time since he not only repairs high end audio for those in the Atlanta, Georgia area, but he and his staff builds and sells speaker systems, amplifiers and preamps they sell on their website. Initially, Mr. Amina said he could build my pre amp for about $1600 dollars. I gave him the Ok but knew it would be 6 months to one year before he would have it ready, what with all of the testing required. Long story short, Mr. Amina finally called me and said he had completed the pre amp and it would cost me $1195.00. I was so overjoyed I had to sit down. Grinning for ear to ear I arranged to pick up the HD4 tube tape head preamp plus my Tascam 42B tape deck which I left with him to make sure everything worked. By the way, I had to contact Mr. John French (JFR Magnetics) for advice on a playback head. This very nice man recommended the pro Nortronics Laminated (400mHy) playback head. He also said he would have to build a shoe so that the Nortronics would fit my Tascam. The price for all of his hard work was very reasonable. I was more than pleased.

The sound of the combination HD4 tube preamp and the Nortronics head is fantastic. I wanted a preamp that may not approach the sound of the awesome Tube Repro, King Cello or the DeHavilland pre amps, but would give me and others maximum pleasure non-the-less. As a retiree living on a fixed income I was looking to purchase a tube head preamp I could afford and really did not want to spend more than $1500 dollars maximum. There is more to this story but I don't want to do a lot of writing and it all vanishes. I think it might have been due to not knowing how to properly attach my audio system photos. Someone will have to help me with that since I am not all that computer literate. At any rate during 2 listening sessions with friends, we were all pleased with what we heard. My tech, Mr. Benny Amina of Atlanta, Georgia can be found in the "Service Resource" session here. I will post photos when I am sure how to do it properly. Thanks so much guys for all your guidance and support. The photo of my pre amp file is too large and won't post. Please PM me and I will email photo to you.

             Here is the link to photos of my music system speakers, tape deck and new Amina HD4 Tube Tape Head Preamp>>>>>>>

Hello all,

Finally, I am going to try and provide a link as well as briefly describe what a great time we had when Paul Stubblebine paid us a visit. Some of the club members joined those of us who arrived early to set up the room where the activities were to take place. A friend of mine, Pablo and I hauled out our tape decks. Mine, the Tascam 32-2B and Pablo's, the Otari MX-55. There was one time when a recording was playing and no one knew which tape deck (the Technics or MX-55) was providing the music. Note when some of the guys up front begin to point over to their left where the MX-55 was positioned.

By the way this video was made available by a fine member of our club, Mr. John Clower who actually does this for a living. The tape deck used for much of the time was a Technics 1500 which was provided by Nick, program director. I've also got to give a shout out to Mr. John Morrison, our club president and Mr. Chuck Bruce, who is in charge of Industry Relations. Chuck also provided the EAR pre and power amp. After the meeting concluded, some of the members accompanied Paul out to dinner. I was beginning to feel ill and did not go. By the way, that me in the blue cap with my wife sitting to my right. I don't expect the fidelity of the music played to come though on this video. The main aim is to give you all of what was said by Paul and just a bit of the atmosphere on this beautiful day. As you can see and hear, Paul was his usual awesome self. Thank you so much Mr. Stubblebine for bringing such joy to us.  Please follow the link below:

Bob W.

Hello all and hope you, your family and friends all had a great 4th of July. I was sick but am feeling much better today. Most of you know I've had my Tascam modified with cables running out from the playback heads and terminated in high end RCA plugs. Before I share what I learned about my Tascam tape deck, I've got to give lots of credit to our friend and mentor to many, Mr. Paul Stubblebine. This fine gentleman did an outstanding presentation at our meeting (Audio Video Club Of Atlanta). I don't want to blow what's coming from Nick our program director in terms of photo and videos. However, I've got to say that Mr. Stubblebine brought alone the "Tube Pro" pre amp and permitted us to plug my Tascam in to see what would happen regarding music output. Mind you the pre and power amp were top-of-the-line tube EAR stuff provided by our club VP of Industry Relationships (Chuck). His pre and power amp was in pristine condition as was the Tape Project's "Tube Pro". To make a long story short, the music being played via my Tascam could barely be heard.

As a matter of fact, I found that the playback head on my tape deck was below 100mHy which was OK playing though the tape decks internal solid state electronics, but would just barely produce a whisper playing back through a tube tape head pre amp. Actually, this was great news, because I will need to replace the original TEAC playback head with one that has higher output. Nortronics produces such a playback head. The problem has to do with it's shape is different from the TEAC requiring a special bracket and shoe to hold it in place in the Tascam head block.
I spoke with Mr. John French before he went on vacation. He notes that Nortronics produced 400 or 600mHy playback heads. I've got to say this is exciting news and I can hardly wait for John to return from vacation. Just sharing folks and thanks for your patience. Comments welcomed.

Bob Williams

WOW! WOW! Mr. Paul Stubblebine was awesome. I got up out of my sick bed (bad cold) to get the word out about this gentleman's presence at our Sunday club meeting. We had a great turnout and I am excited that there are so many club members wanting to know more about the tape recorder and its future. Paul was appropriately introduced by our wonderful club president (John) with just a bit of history about what he does presently. Paul took it from there. I am going to take some meds and return to bed but our club program manager (Nick) who arranged for videos and photos at the meeting will share all of that with you soon. I just had to give a big "Shout Out" to Paul for a fabulous presentation. Personally, I think he outdid himself.

Some club members took Paul out to dinner and he invited me to go, but by the time the meeting was over and we got all the chairs and tables put back in place, I knew I needed to go home and hit the bed. I know those guys had a wonderful time. Thank you so much Paul for coming and bringing us good news, great music and lots of fun. Finally, I want to thank Chuck (VP -Industry Relationships) for providing extraordinary electronics. His stuff really made the music sound right. I don't see and hear this kind of equipment unless it's at an audio show. What a sound, what a sound.

Bob W.

Events / Mr. Paul Stubblebine Coming to Atlanta, Georgia
« on: May 30, 2013, 08:52:24 AM »
On June 30, 2013 (2pm to 5pm)  the grammy award winning mastering engineer, Mr. Paul Stubblebine will leave his stomping grounds to visit the Audio Video Club Of Atlanta and we can't wait. This will be my second time meeting this extraordinary individual and I can truly say, he knows how to WOW the crowd. This fine gentleman will discuss examples of his 15ips reel to reel master tapes. We also hope (fingers crossed) he will share with us some of the highlights of his 40 plus year professional career.  We are also looking forward to hearing some of those great reel to reel tapes he will bring along. I have no doubt there will be much excitement, fun and plenty of questions. We welcome anyone in the Georgia area to come have fun with us and share an experience you won't soon forget.  Questions: Please contact our club president (John Morrison) [email protected]

Bob W.

Hello all,
I am about ready to setup my Tascam, but, I am thinking about replacing the playback head. After speaking with Mr. John French, I found out that the original heads on my tape deck are very low output. I was not aware of that initially. The present heads are all TEAC's. What I am wondering is whether these are the same heads on the Tascam BR-20? If so, is anyone using their deck with an outboard pre amp, and if so, are you having any problems with low output, hiss or hum?

Mr. French suggest I check out the Nortronic 400mH heads. He notes there should be a significant increase in gain without and increase in hiss levels. The problem is whether my tech will be able to mount the Nortronic in the tape head shoe on my deck. Right now, my tech has to send the TEAC head off to Mr. French for matching. We will see what happens. Again, I am wondering if any other Tascam user have problems using an outboard pre amp and if so, what are the problems? I plan to post a photo once I am set up and ready to go. Thanks so much all.

bob w.

General Discussion / JRF MAGNETICS
« on: May 14, 2013, 03:00:10 PM »
Good afternoon all,
I had the unique opportunity to contact JRF Magnetics recently and what a surprise I got. I've read here about the special qualities Mr. French has but really did not think he would be so special. I wanted to get Nortronic tape heads for my Tascam 42B tape deck. The present tape heads on my deck are all original and the playback head is of the very low output variety. Since I have an outstanding tech who is able and has the testing tools to properly install and align tape heads, I did not have to send the head block from my tape deck. I also did not know there is more than one kind of Nortronics tape playback head. When I called and spoke with Mr. French he was most kind and gentle. He took the time to explain what he would have to do to match the Nortronics head to my tape deck. He also explained that Nortronics made 200 and 400mHy tape heads. After a very thorough explanation (5 minutes) I decided to go with the 400mHy heads. Actually, I had to insist Mr. French return to work as I felt guilty he spent so much time with me. Bottom line, this man epitomizes great customer care and service. His is one of the reel to reel services I will use and won't hesitate to tell others how impressed I was. Thank you Mr. French.

Bob W.

General Discussion / All That Jazz
« on: April 14, 2013, 03:38:06 PM »
After church this Sunday I decided to check out YouTube for Art Blakey And The Jazz Messengers. And what do you know, I found myself fixated for over an hour listening to music. As much as I hate listening to music on my computer speakers I kept finding musicians I had not heard in years or had forgotten about. I had totally forgotten about Soft Machine, Jaco Pastorius, Carter Jefferson, Weather Report and Jeff Beck. I also heard music by a very young Wynton Marsallis, Woody Shaw and John Coltrane. What a music session. I only wish I could have heard these great musicians on reel to reel rolling at 15ips over my Magnapan speakers. Oh Well!

bob williams

General Discussion / Absolute Sound Mag Mentions Tape Deck
« on: February 06, 2013, 09:09:30 PM »
Hello Forum Members,

Just got my copy of the Absolute Sound "Editors Choice Awards" mag and what do you know, there is a very brief mention of UHA-Q Phase ll Tape Recorder (see page 111). It's a short piece but I longed to see the mention of tape decks. I hope this is the start of something a little bigger. Maybe we will next see tape head pre amps and, shall I say it, pre recorded reel to reel tapes? I wonder how much better can it get. I will continue to send in letters and other medium urging them to do more.

bob williams

« on: December 24, 2012, 08:34:17 PM »

To all my dear friends here, please, you, your family and friends all have a blessed Christmas and prosperous New Year. Thank you all for the assistance you've provided and you've provided plenty.

bob williams

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