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Messages - JoeG

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OK all you subscribers, we've had the tapes in our listening rooms long enough to begin to formulate some very definite opinions. I am interested in your favorite tape to play for visiting audiophiles and non-audiophile guests. That tape that shows just how special this project is (I know, they are all special). But each of you must have an opinion about which of them really lets the medium and your system shine.

My choice: TP-007 "Exotic Dances from the Opera" The dynamics, soundstage and performance even get to the most hard-core vinylphile. If I haven't said it yet on these forums: Doc, Romo, and Paul, this one is an out-of-the-park grand slam. Thank you!!

General Discussion / Re: Revox/DarkLabs hub O ring
« on: May 26, 2009, 07:21:36 PM »
I have a pair of the Dark Labs hubs for my Technics. I know what you are saying Mike. I too have noticed that one of the hubs works just great, but one of them always gives me fits getting "just right" in order to lock it on the deck. If it doesn't seat correctly on the reel, I get some really nasty wobble. One trick I have been using to make sure it is seated correctly, is to click it into place on the reel, then place the back side (the side facing the deck) against the flat of my palm and give it a firm push with my other hand. That seems to work 90% of the time to do away with the wobble.

Tape Project Albums - general / Re: Lots of tapes shipping
« on: May 18, 2009, 11:29:24 AM »
Thanks for the updates guys! I sure hope the move went as smoothly as it could. good luck in the "new" facility. Keep up the great work!!

Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Re: Maple floor in Jersey sides!
« on: April 12, 2009, 07:10:40 PM »
Welcome aboard Anatta! That looks really nice. Your brother looks like the type of craftsman I am always looking for. I too, live on the South Jersey side of Philadelphia. would you be willing to share the name of his firm? I may have a project or two I would like to talk to him about...

Prerecorded Tapes / Re: Tape Catalogs and Production Thread
« on: March 29, 2009, 09:35:48 AM »
Good link. I was able to see most of the RCA 2 tracks that I own. I now at least know that they are all pre-1961, as according to that site, 4 track was in production after 1961. My tapes are all in original boxes, with cover art and liner notes. The notes have zero information about where and who did the dubbing. I am thinking about contacting the guy at "Radio Ranch" to see what he may know. I am playing through most of the collection, and to date, only one tape has drop outs and/or serious print through, some have leader, some do not. Just ordered an ATR splicing block from US Recording media.

The acetate on some of them is really brittle and I have had some break off in my hands while threading them up. The transport on my machine is being gentle on them thank goodness.

Prerecorded Tapes / Re: Stereotape history
« on: March 28, 2009, 01:20:07 PM »
So - I am wondering where the RCAs I have fit in this matrix? They are 2 track, 7.5 ips, with the Chicago Symphony/Fritz Reiner like:
Liszt "Mephisto Waltz"  (ACS-25) and Prokofieff "Lt Kije" (BCS-96), Strauss "Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme"(DCS-43), Strauss "Salome Dance of the Seven Veils"(CCS-23). were these all run at the same facility, or does the different code indicate the house that produced them?

General Discussion / Re: Pick-up truck loads of old tapes?!?!
« on: March 25, 2009, 08:42:06 PM »
what a great story Steve! Thanks for posting that link. For all we know, it's the same fairy at work. Just like Santa, the Easter Bunny and the tooth fairy, they can be all over the globe in one night, delivering goodies. Philadelphia one night, and then Boston. Keep looking for old pickup trucks and unmarked bags left at your doorstep. As long as the TF doesn't leave an unattended bag at an airport, we're OK. Otherwise the TSA is likely to try and detonate it...

General Discussion / Re: Tape fairy strikes again
« on: March 24, 2009, 10:31:00 AM »
You are so right. One of the RCA's had leader in good shape, so I took it for a tentative spin last night, and a lot of the magic is still there.

All the Mercs and most of the RCAs are going to get leader fore and aft before serious playback begins, compliments of your great sticky on tape basics, I have new leader spools and that spiffy Ampex splicing block on the way to take good care of these gems.

General Discussion / Tape fairy strikes again
« on: March 23, 2009, 01:54:28 PM »
For those of you who read about the acquisition of the Mercury tapes in another thread, I am happy to report that today the TF (Tape Fairy) left a brown bag at my office with a selection of RCA/Reiner/Chicago
recordings. I have not yet had a chance to inventory what's in there, but I think there just might be some real goodies...

Prerecorded Tapes / Re: Bel Canto
« on: March 19, 2009, 05:36:47 PM »
I came into possession of a Bel Canto today. The first one I have ever seen. It's a dupe of Anderson "The Music of Leroy Anderson" Fennell/Eastman-Rochester Pops. 7.5 ips 4 track ST-90009

General Discussion / Mercury 7.5 in acquisition
« on: March 19, 2009, 05:19:09 PM »
Today I came into possession of 11 reels of Mercury recordings. They appeared in my office in a plastic shopping bag. They are:

Albeniz "Iberia" Dorati/Minneapolis
Borodin "Polvetsian Dances", Tchaikovsky "Cappriccio Italian" Dorati/Minneapolis
Anderson "Music of Leroy Anderson" Fennell/Eastman-Rochester Pops
Grieg "Piano Concerto" Farrell/Weldon/Halle Orchestra
Strauss "Der Rosenkavalier" Dorati/Minneapolis
Chausson "Symphony" Paray/Detroit
Bizet  "Carmen Suite", "L'Arisienne Suite" Paray/Detroit
Wagner "Dawn", Siegfried's Rhine Journey", "Siegfried's Idyll" Paray/Detroit
Brahms "Haydn Variations" Dorati/LSO
Debussy "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun", "Iberia" Paray/Detroit
Suppe "Suppe Overtures" Barbirolli/Halle Orchestra

The tape fairy has been very good to me this week between the arrival of TP009 and this stash of Mercs that fell into my hands. One of the tapes is actually a dupe distributed by Bel Canto, the subject of another thread.

Suggestion Box / Re: Back on the topic of orchestral blockbusters
« on: March 18, 2009, 01:22:38 PM »
While I have never been much for DG recordings, or von Karajan for that matter, I must confess that I do really like the performance the Berlin gives under his baton of Holst's "The Planets". This despite that fact that besides being a DG it is also a digi recording. Therefore it gets ruled out as a candidate. The Mehta "Planets" is a real winner too.

I may have mentioned the next one in another thread, but Strauss "Alpine Symphony" is a monumental work. My only LP of the work is another von Karajan/Berliner issue, but I am sure some of you could suggest a definitive recording that could be a candidate.

There has not been a whole lot of talk about chamber works. Perhaps the Dorati Merc release of "Ancient Airs and Dances", Starker's "Six Suites for Unaccompanied Cello", also from Mercury.

Blackjack David / Revisiting Blackjack David
« on: March 18, 2009, 12:58:22 PM »
I have not sat down with this tape since shortly after receiving it. It arrived shortly after my deck and pre. Now that we have a lot more time on the deck and the right cable synergy, all can say is: Wow! This is a really fine tape. it has a delta blues/California folk feel to it, despite the fact that the lyrics are kind of dark and sad. Excellent soundstage and instrument spread, and like TP009, the vocals are locked dead center. Now that we're 9 tapes into Series 1, perhaps more of you are like me: you haven't been listening to this one as much as in the early days when we only had a couple of tapes. do yourself a favor and mount these reels on your deck, turn the lights down low, and enjoy...

Creek Bank / Re: First listen
« on: March 18, 2009, 11:55:38 AM »
I'm listening to TP009 for the second time at the moment. I have to agree with Mike and Larry about the "naturalness" of the piano. It's not quite the in-the-room balanced tone of "Waltz for Debbie". Glad Mose's voice takes the center fill. He is dead center in my room as well. Not being familiar with Allison's work prior to receiving the reels, one thing that hits me: I keep expecting Leon Redbone to step up to the mic and take the background vocals behind Mose. This is indeed a toe tapper though. It's really growing on me.

General Discussion / Re: Made some system changes
« on: March 16, 2009, 11:17:19 AM »
I was quite surprised about what I was hearing. The rest of my system is very resolving and my ears are very picky. I had grown accustomed to the synergy between the Kharmas and the 220 tube wpc of the Wolcotts, thinking that only another megabuck amp would unseat them.

My friend, up until recently, was the North American distributor for Opera/Consonance. he brought a pair over for a listen one afternoon, and in that short time, I was intrigued, given their inexpensive (by High end audio standards) retail price tag. He told me if i was really interested he could get me a new pair at a reasonable price as he was leaving Consonance to pursue other business opportunities.

keep in mind that what I am hearing in my system with these amps includes the fact that they are cabled with products that exceed the retail price of the amps 2x, and I still have the Wolcotts. I just can't bring myself to sell them. But, I also have no immediate intention of putting them back in any time soon, as I am currently enthralled with these little 78 watt gems from China.

The bass slam, control and articulation is better with the Consonance, they don't give anything up to the Wolcotts in the mids, but the Wolcotts have the edge with respect to upper frequency extension, due no doubt to their higher power and the octet of EL34 output tubes in each amp as opposed to the quads in the Consonance.

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