TP-028, Nat Adderley's Work Song is now available

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Topics - stellavox

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Events / Tape at the NY Audio and AV show - this weekend (Apr 13-15)
« on: April 11, 2012, 05:27:31 AM »
Hi All,

Will be spinning tapes in the Robyatt Audio Room (1524) - Waldorf Hotel, 301 Park Ave.

Including two TP sampler tapes graciously supplied by Paul S.  Please stop by.


General Discussion / Dubbing "Backwards"
« on: January 18, 2012, 06:59:53 AM »
Sorry if this has been discussed before and I missed it.  Just remembered something I'd heard yyeeaarrss ago.

Story goes like this:  Each time you make an analog tape dub, you "accumulate" time delays on the new recording as the tape moves across the head in one direction and is going "relatively" slowly.  When you play back the tape or make a dub, it's always in the same direction so these delays will inevitably accumulate.

So to help counteract this a bit; when you make a dub, why not do it "backwards"?  This would "reverse" at least one set of "delays".

Any sense to this / in this?


Prerecorded Tapes / Quarter Track "Tapeography"
« on: June 03, 2011, 04:25:17 AM »
Is there, or could someone start a place on the net where interested tapesters could post listing info about good quality quarter-track (stereo) open reels - and quad for that matter?

What I suggest is something like an open access, easy-to-update "shell" where individuals (members) could post information; like title, label, performer and maybe a comment section (like for sonics).  Anyone can read it but only the specific poster could edit his/her information.

Have it organized by perhaps by music type - then label - then title? Artist cross-reference might be nice.



Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Source for Technics 1500 counter belts
« on: November 19, 2010, 06:41:07 AM »
I see them listed on Ebay - anyone know of another source?



One of my customers mentioned they were available and he was.  Didn't know that OR wasn't paying attention.


Jerry Sodomka sent me a bunch of new titles and corrections (Thanks Jerry) so I'm going to be updating the list over on the Yahoogroups Reel_Tapes thread.  Any other changes /  corrections / "sonic ratings" would be appreciated - [email protected]



BTW Here's a new website with a tape thread:

Tape Tech / Technics 1500 series - Reinstalling the Headblock
« on: April 19, 2010, 05:29:44 AM »
Don't know if this has been mentioned before BUT - it is fairly easy to put the headblock back in so that its interconnecting pins are NOT aligned correctly with the socket in the machine body.  Having encountered this problem, I now reinstall the block with the machine on - or turn the machine on after inserting the block, but before tigntening down the mounting screws, to check that the LED strobe is illuminated.


Tape Tech / SO - those of you that have "wired out" out your heads -
« on: March 29, 2010, 07:59:09 AM »
(cables from the heads to outboard electronics) - what kind/type of cables are you using?



Those of you who may have followed some of my posts over the years know that I am a big fan of the Revox A77.  Was my first deck - have to revise that, a G36 was first.  I have always suggested to tape "newbies" who ask about a starter deck to check out the A77.  Built like a tank; decent tape handling; and decent sound.  High speed, two tracks are fairly easy to find and parts will ALWAYS be available due to the sheer quantity of machines out there.  BUT what about it's pretensions to "audiophile quality".

Since a recent, very pleasurable sonic experience with a Studer 810 - thought the "wired-out" stock heads sounded GREAT, I hoped to find a '77, wire out those stock heads and give them a try.  Along came a broken machine for repair and you bet I took the opportunity to try out my theory. 

Listened to that machine with the heads temporarily wired out to my Cello electronics.....AND...the envelope please....I think there we have a winner here.  Dynamics and imaging were VERY good (using my "reference" TP "Arnold Overtures" tape).  Couldn't judge tonality properly as the deck was running slow but opine that this characteristic is fine also.

So, for you'se tapesters on a budget (TP oxymoron) I suggest checking out the A77 - hook it up to a seduction and you could be in bliss territory.  Wiring out the heads appears to be very easy, and as these heads were probably used in the A77's successor machines like the B77 and PR99, finding and experimenting on one shouldn't involve too much expense of effort. 

As always - your mileage may vary...


Tape Tech / Dolby 361 Schematics anyone?
« on: February 09, 2010, 07:33:20 AM »
I'm working on a pair of Dolby 361's ("A" type encoder/decoders) for a project member.  Anyone have schematics for these that I can borrow or get a copy of.  Don't need the Cat 22 card info, just the input output form these to the "outside world"



Doc, spent a bit of time searching the forum and some of your literature but couldn't find this "spec" mentioned.



Tape Project Machines / Technics 1500 VU Meter Lamps
« on: December 17, 2009, 09:40:19 AM »
When I took my unit apart to work on a few issues I also investigated the burnt out VU meter lamp situation.  Each bulb looks like a very small (diameter) fuse with a lead coming out each end.  Both bulbs are connected in parallel and attach to a tap on the 12 volt (center tapped) power transformer winding.  I did NOT think to measure the AC voltage going to the bulbs but it will be LESS that 12V.  I unsoldered one side of the good bulb so both of mine are now dark.

MCM electronics sells bulbs which look like they will work just fine - in fact the catalog describes them as "level meter lamps".  They are available in 3 voltages 6.3V(AC)-Order #25-445, 8V-Order #25-450 and 12V-Order #25-455.  Each cost around 60 cents.  Absent measuring the actual voltage you could probably get by with the 8V units but I'd try the 12V ones - if they are bright enough, they will probably last much longer.


Tape Project Machines / Technics 1500 - take 'er down
« on: December 08, 2009, 02:04:11 PM »
OK, I finally decided to take my 1500 apart as the "squealing" reappeared and was affecting the breaking action in rewind - like there wasn't any.

So I started talking it apart today to also install some other parts I got from ironbutt. 

Took off the takeup motor assembly.  unscrewed the three screws at the back of that assembly which seems to "position" the back end of the table shaft. First (working forward from the back) came the metal backplate (with an adjustment screw in the center), then what appears to be some spring-steel thingy which I can only describe as a large washer assembly, and then a "three-armed" plastic spacer. This spacer appears to be some kind of bearing surface; that the ball-bearing, force fit into the back end of the table shaft, seemed to ride against and use as a bearing surface.  Instead of it being one piece, it was broken into three pieces or "arms" - undoubtedly "broken" by many years of the ball-bearing-end of the reel table riding/pressing on it.  Took off the backplate securing the (other) spooling motor shaft and found the same broken "spacer".  I'll bet that they're ALL broken - yours too??

OK - anyone observed this and what did you do about it???  Looks to me like I should fashion a new spacer assembly out of, say, Teflon???

By the way, the brake pad was all "gummed up" with plastic residue from the spinning "collar" on the table assembly.  A crefull application of acetone seemed to clean and even rejuvenate it.  Will this stop the squealing and restore proper braking action - will find out.



Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Transports and tape handling
« on: November 29, 2009, 01:11:48 PM »
Finished working on a few machines and got to thinking:

We've had discussions about tape recorder "sound" but this mainly has focused on the electronics. How about a discussion of the (mechanical) transports themselves, how they handle tape and any "sound that they may impart?

I'm particularly interested to hear from those of you who may have made MECHANICAL modifications.  What did you do, and what did the modifications do to the sound? As most of us seem to confine tape deck use to reproduction only let's concentrate on that end but if you've done some work on the record end also please let us know. 

Let me start off with scrape filters/rollers; Has anyone tried with / without these - can you describe the audible difference?  Then there's tape path guides; most of the mods I have read seem to suggest replacing fixed guides with moving rollers, or putting Teflon tubing over fixed guide surfaces to reduce friction.  Doc seems to have done the most - what have you found?

An area where I've come across big differences between transports is the ability to play "imperfect" tapes.  Those of you who collect pre-records know exactly what I'm talking about. A lot of these can be cupped or otherwise stretched such that they "wobble" across the playback head causing image "wander".  I've found that many machines lack what I'll call good "tape wrap" (maybe good tape tension or support is a better description - or a combination of the three); I'll define good tape wrap/support as forcing the tape to lie flat against the head.  This appears to be aided by rollers or guides near the heads coupled with the amount that the tape is allowed to wrap around the head over the gap.  And just fact that some transports have servo drives to keep the tape under constant tension doesn't guarantee that they will play imperfect tapes well if the tape path around the head doesn't have good wrap / support. 

I have not had an opportunity to listen to pre-records played on many different machines.  The 1500 seems to do a good job as does the Stellavox.  Lyrec - not so good. 


General Discussion / System Photo Gallery
« on: November 17, 2009, 04:18:22 PM »

What would it take to set up such a beast? 

Would probably result in comments galore!

Plus the WOW factor!


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