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Topics - steveidosound

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Prerecorded Tapes / the 2 track era
« on: November 30, 2011, 08:09:33 AM »
Anybody ever research  the year and label issue of the first 2 track stereo pre-recorded tapes and also what were the last ones to be issued before 4 track took over completely in, I would guess, the early 60s?

Reel to Reel Tape Machines / # and types of machines owned
« on: September 14, 2011, 10:31:04 PM »
Quote from: Red Grant on Today at 05:53:09 AM

Well, I took it upon myself to move my comment to a new thread rather than hijack the other one.
Hoarding is _such_ a harsh word...

   Quote from: Listens2tubes on September 12, 2011, 08:19:43 PM

        I've got 5 5050s 3 BII-2s no room to set up another.

    Wow!   So you're a hoarder.      I only have 2 Pioneer RT-2022, and 4 Beocord 2000 deluxe as far as RTRs are concerned. 

We could start a  new thread for number of R2R machines currently owned or owned in one's lifetime.
I might win the prize for sheer numbers of machines on this forum.
I actually have lost track of how many I have. Now, as to their _working_ condition, that's another story....

General Discussion / colored tape reels
« on: July 29, 2011, 10:55:04 AM »
I am looking for a few  (3-4) empty ones in various sizes (3",5",7") and colors for an art project.
Are these  now horribly rare and collectible like everything else from the 60s?
It will also include some colored records BTW - looking for a few 7" - 12" ones of those as well. Pref. of horrible material in bad condition so as to have no other value.

Prerecorded Tapes / Bert Kaempfert
« on: January 21, 2011, 01:26:46 PM »
In one of my wanderings into early 60s music, I recently revisited the music of Bert Kaempfert. I picked up copies of the almost identical albums "A Swingin' Safari" on Polydor and the US Decca release "That Happy Feeling". The title cut of the Polydor having found a home as the theme to "The Match Game' on TV.  I have owned the mono 45 release of two of the songs from the album since I was a child.
The album is very well recorded. So much so that I almost put this post in the TP tape suggestion box.
Both the Polydor and  particularly the Decca are very well mastered. Now I am wondering if this might have been issued in R2R by either company. It is old enough it might have even existed as a 2 track.
This album is pretty much all up-tempo dance music in that early 60s big band tradition, but influenced by both early rock and world music. It popularized the so-called "knackbass" playing melody lines on a picked, string muted, Fender electric bass as well as the normal stand-up bass. (See last paragraph)

General Discussion / fake stereo vs. mono
« on: January 21, 2011, 12:59:57 PM »
Don't want to stir things up too much, but I was reading an album jacket of a Capitol "Duophonic" re-processed fake stereo record which described their process as  having a "dimensional two-speaker effect" with "no (annoying) centering and none of the disappointing letdown of hearing mono discs on stereo equipment." :-)

This got me thinking again about the best way to listen to mono. There were other pieces of advertising hype at the dawn of stereo that did tout having a 2 speaker stereo system as preferable for giving mono sound from your old records "spaciousness".

On this very forum I have heard talk about some depth of image in playing the mono TP releases on a stereo system. Although this may be subjectively more pleasing in any case,  all of the above tends to fly in the face of what I  understand from a technical point of view should be correct.
That is to say that a mono source should, if everything is perfect, sound like a single point source of sound.  If played on 2 speakers, the best image would sound exactly as if there is a phantom point source in the center. Even better would be a single mono point source speaker in the center to prevent the variables of two different acoustic paths in the room from the speaker to the listener. and on the tape side, wouldn't tiny phase variations of two identical mono tracks played on a stereo machine be inferior to just the one track played through one amp and speaker? Obviously TP releases played on a proper machine represent the best case scenario. The worst case being something like a mono source material cassette recorded on both channels of a stereo tape with the outputs of the stereo deck combined to mono. If you have ever tried this, the flanging/combing effects from tape skew make it all but unlistenable.

So, is this another case of slight theoretical imperfections making the subjective experience better? Do we need a bit of de-correlation of our mono?

BTW the Capitol Duophonic was probably the best sounding "de-correlation" technique. Much better than the "boost the highs in one channel and lows in the other" methods used by others.

General Discussion / The Reel To Reel Tape Recorder DVD set
« on: December 04, 2010, 04:24:16 PM »
I watched the trailer and now I really want this DVD set.
There have been many referrals on this site to their online museum and now they have made a DVD tour of their collection and the history of the Reel to Reel recorder.
Disc chapters as listed on their website:

Disk One
Introduction & Collection Background            9 min
Brief History of Sound Recording
        & How the tape recorder Works           35 min
Collection Part 1                                       25 min
Recording Background - Martin                    13 min
Collection Microphones                              12 min
Ampex Tape Recorders                              25 min
Collection Part 2                                      30 min

Disk Two
Collection Part 3                                       23 min
Sony Tape Recorders                                 17 min
Phantom?s On-Location Recording                 10 min
Teac/Tascam Tape Recorders                      36 min
Tape Recorder Accessories                          25 min
Collection Part 4                                        38 min

This is my world as well as I have my own collection of machines, tapes, related recording  equipment like mics and mixers as well as  other devices for playing records and other formats, particularly portable players of every stripe from wind up 78 to mini-disc and literature too, and have done semi-pro recording at various times as well. The thing is, the person who runs Phantom is well organized, his equipment is restored to working condition and he has been successful at making a living at it somehow.

Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Pioneer reel turntables
« on: November 03, 2010, 07:51:49 PM »
Hi, Is anybody familiar with the reel turntables for the RT-1050? I have need of the turntable assemblies or at least the screw, spring and twist lock. I have a set where they have been broken off flush with the cast part. Not sure if I can extract the broken off screw from the threaded hole. The bottom part with the three vanes to engage a standard reel and even the top of the post with little notches to work with the bottom of the plastic piece all seem OK.
I think these are the same as the turntables on the RTU-11 transport (RT-2022, RT-2044) and the RT-1020 and RT-1011 series.
I wonder if other Japanese recorder assemblies might work as well? (the twist locks - not the whole turntable)

Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Nagra T "stutter" issue
« on: October 30, 2010, 09:52:59 AM »
My friend and I were going to do a listening session with his Nagra T but it seems to have developed an issue where the left pinch roller  is struggling and clicking in and out rather than maintaining closed loop tape tension across the heads. The left capstan is turning and the right capstan and pinch roller are normal.
Has anybody else experienced this with their  "T" and know what is going on?

Suggestion Box / Isao Tomita
« on: August 15, 2010, 10:06:00 AM »
Here is a category that has not been talked about much, Electronic music. I heard Debussy's "The Girl With The Flaxen Hair" played on piano at a wedding yesterday and was instantly reminded of Tomita's amazingly quirky wonderful early synthesizer versions of the French impressionist's work circa 1974 - "Snowflakes Are Dancing". This deserves better than RCA's 70's Dynagroove/Dynaflex Red Seal pressings. In fact, with all of it's early Moog sharp wave forms and transients, and out of phase material, it is the sort of thing a vinyl disc mastering engineer would dread. It was also mastered and released in CD4 disc as well as both quadraphonic tape formats. "Snowflakes Are Dancing" would probably be pretty amazing as a TP release, especially with surround ambiance decoding playback.

General Discussion / The Enactron Truck
« on: June 29, 2010, 07:20:45 AM »
I can't find out that much about it on line except I think that Brian Ahern might have created it and there was a bunch  of good stuff recorded in it including many Emmylou Harris  (to whom he was married I guess) albums that I personally consider some of the best sounding albums I have. I am particularly fond of "Roses In The Snow" and "Cimarron" (among others).

Does anyone on here know more details about his equipment in the truck or session techniques? Whatever was done there sure sounds "right" to my ears.

Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Concertone 790
« on: June 05, 2010, 01:01:36 AM »
So, I owned one of these Japanese Concertone wonders in High School and am looking for one again. I did miss the only one I ever saw on eBay last September.
It went for under $20.
They are rather rare, unique late 60s machines. Not really a pro deck at all but fun.
Fairly miniature 3 head, 1/4 track stereo, 7" reel, battery or AC power and 4 speeds, 15 - 1 7/8 i.p.s. full portable recorder with built in speakers on the sides etc.
Where else might I look besides there and posting here? Yahoo groups or...?

General Discussion / Golden Age of Recording?
« on: May 13, 2010, 10:54:36 AM »
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. 

General Discussion / interesting book
« on: February 01, 2010, 08:09:28 AM »
I know all of us are interested in why we like the sound of certain types of music or certain playback technologies.
I just got done reading a book that has been out for a while called "This Is Your Brain On Music" by Daniel Levitin.
He goes into all sorts of interesting things as to what is going on in the brain as we enjoy music. It touches on things related to psycho-acoustics for sure.

Prerecorded Tapes / "beautiful music"
« on: November 12, 2009, 01:35:04 PM »
60s era give or take. Not rock, not jazz, not classical. Variously called "pop", "easy listening", "MOR" (middle of the road), "beautiful music", "elevator music" (by it's detractors) and lounge (when re-discovered by post boomers).
 It was a staple of the major labels who each had their own somewhat "in house" orchestra leaders/arrangers, studio musicians etc. There was a ton of this music on radio back when. There was a ton released on commercial pre-recorded  reel to reel tape. (I have a ton of it on reel to reel!)
 I, as a baby boomer, have mixed feelings and a love/hate relationship with all this, having been overly exposed to this sort of thing from my youth via the AM radio on all day as background music in our house.
 It can be as exciting as Sinatra with Nelson Riddle in the Capitol era or as mundane as Ray Conniff, Lawrece Welk, the Tijuana Brass and the ubiquitous infamous 101 Strings. The thing is, the record labels threw their energy into this stuff and promoted it to average adults in this era and at least some of it is very well arraigned, performed and recorded.
 Rock was largely dismissed by comparison, as unimportant and was often poorly recorded until the late 60s, How many teenagers bought reel to reel anyway. (All of us, I know, but we were the exception!)
So, does anyone have any favorites in this genre? Any possibilities that would make the grade as a Tape Project release?

Prerecorded Tapes / others home-made tapes
« on: October 23, 2009, 12:38:19 AM »
There is not a catagory for these, but some can be pretty interesting.

I am for instance, right now as I type this, copying some recordings to CD made in the 1960s of steam locomotives. These were made by a couple of uncles of the person I am dubbing them for who have since passed away. One of them actually owned 2 narrow gauge steam locomotives he restored.
The ones I am doing now are from 1968 on 5" reels of .5 mil tape done on a 2 track mono machine at 3 3/4, but are pretty good none the less. The whistle overloads the tape but the rest is very clear. Some of the others indicate on the boxes they may be in stereo at 7 1/2. I will be excited to hear what those are like. At least they were clear about what trains and locations and dates, writing it all down on the boxes.  Sounds from 40 years ago and even then of an archaic device. Tape is magic sometimes!

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