Tape Project Albums > Waltz for Debby

'Waltz' revisited, 6 months later.

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--- Quote from: docb on April 20, 2009, 11:20:11 AM ---Thanks for the kind words, Mike. Maybe when I get my Repro built for my Nagra I can bring it by and try it in your system? By the way, how did the PNWAS meeting go? Sorry I was unable to be there, I bet it was fun.

--- End quote ---

Doc, you are most welcome....that tape is a joy. last night later i spun tape 2 of Robert Cray's 'False Accusation'.....a 'reel' pleasure for sure. smooth as butter. just me, a wee bit o' single malt, and the Robert Cray Band......loverly.

any time it works for you i'd love to have you visit, with the Repro that much better. let me know.

the meeting was a blast, sorry you could not make it.....but getting across the water at rush hour is a real challenge so i understand.

speaking of the meeting; it seemed that everyone raved about the tapes, as wonderful as the vinyl was (and it was as good as i have heard vinyl).

i had a few attendees complain to me that those in the sweet spot did not move for 4 hours......what does that tell you about how it went?

since that meeting i've had three friends tell me they want to jump into RTR right away, and get some 'Tape Project' tapes. i hope that happens.

Jay-Please do and report back your findings.


--- Quote from: mep on April 20, 2009, 03:34:28 PM ---MikeL-I have been reading your posts with great interest and I read the audiogon chatter about the latest listening session that was held at your place. I want to be friends with the guy who copies all of the master tapes that he gets his hands on!  Anyway,  I have come full circle on what I think of tape now and what you are saying has validated my conclusions.  Tape simply sounds better than vinyl and vinyl does have a higher noise floor than 15 ips 2 track tapes.  Your system and my system are quite different and your components are much more expensive, but the conclusions are the same.  No contest there.
--- End quote ---

yes; my friend the mastering engineer does have some killer tapes.....the 'Jazz at the Pawnshop' was un-*ucking-believable'....likely the best reproduced music i have yet had the pleasure of hearing.

--- Quote ---The first time I listened to tape, it was kind of like an epiphany and somewhere on audiogon is a rant I wrote about being duped all these years into thinking vinyl is superior after coming to the realization that tapes sounded superior to LPs.  And that was 4 track tapes at 7 1/2ips.  Then I came to the realization that even though 4 track tapes sounded better, there were other issues.  Even though vinyl has a high noise floor, the 4 track tapes played back on my Revox A-77 were even noisier due to the tape hiss/noisy electronics and the sound of the reverse side of the tape bleeding through.  So I sold my Revox A-77 and I have said several times on this forum that I was going to sell the 4 track tapes I have.

And then one night recently I was down in my listening room and I was wishing I could hear some of my really good sounding 4 track tapes again.  I had this conversation with my brother and last Friday he showed up at my house with 4 different 4 track machines to let me use for awhile.  I haven't made it past the first one that I put in the system that day.  And that deck is an Akai GX-266D.  This was the first time I have had an auto-reverse deck in my system.  I can tell you that the Akai reduced the amount of bleedthrough from the other side of the tape by an order of magnitude over other 4 track decks I have listened through before.  I don't know if that is just because the heads are really aligned well (and my Revox A-77 had the heads aligned twice), or if there is something to do with have separate heads for each direction of the tape.  The machine handles tape like a dream and I haven't found anything to fault about it.  I found the Akai to be a far better machine in every respect compared to my Revox A-77.

Some of you have read past posts that I have written telling you that if you make a copy of an LP to 15 ips 2 track tape it will sound better than the LP when the tape is played back through the Ampex 350 repros-and I still stand by that statement.   I have made at least 10 tapes now for my brother where I coped LPs over tape and they are all outstanding.  However, as MikeL pointed out, you can clearly hear that the noise floor of the tape is way lower than the noise floor of the vinyl playback rig.  You can clearly hear the sound of the cartridge in the groove and apparently even $100K turntables and very expensive cartridges won't fix this.
--- End quote ---

while i respect you are telling us what you are hearing; i'm skeptical of the generalization that 15ips recording of a source will better the source. specifically; as my Rockport tt does not suffer from feedback during play (that is audible), there is no reason to expect any type of recording of it to be as good, let alone better. not to say that recording some 7 and 1/2 ips 4-tracks onto specific 15 ips and then playing those tapes back might not sound better than the 7 and 1/2 ips source tapes. there are so many potential variables who's to say that could not happen....and your Ampex 350 repro's no doubt might account for the improvements (differences)

some tt's and tapes might benefit from 15ips recording on some RTR decks, but some won't.

i do have my fully refurbished Ampex ATR-102 sitting next to my Studer A-820. it's purpose will be to allow me to dub tapes off the Studer or the dpV Technics (which can play 4-tracks), or even the Rockport. i've done no recording yet; but 'soon' i will go down that road and i will comment then on my experience with your idea.

--- Quote ---In conclusion, I am back to being bummed at LP in comparison to tape and more bummed that I didn't buy into r2r tapes when they were new and cheap.  And I am more bummed that new music isn't available on tape anymore.

--- End quote ---

don't be bummed by Lp performance; it's wonderful. as you move up the vinyl food chain it gets silly good. but even at that level; tapes can be better. and take heart that as more audiophiles/music lovers get into tape more software will be out there for all of us. just compare today to 2 years ago when i first investgated RTR; huge difference!


--- Quote from: mep on April 20, 2009, 06:20:40 PM ---Jay-Please do and report back your findings.

--- End quote ---
As sson as I get some time and a few querks worked out.


MikeL-you should be skeptical of what I said and so should everyone else.  All I am asking is that other people try my experiment and let me know what you find.  Astrotoy made copies of some of his 45 rpm recordings onto his ATR-700, but I haven't heard him say if he has played them back on his deck that is outfitted with the tube repro electronics yet.  Larry said that the copies he made on the ATR-700 (and played back through the ATR-700) were identical sounding to his table.

The differences I am hearing are not the subtle type that you have to really concentrate to hear.  The differences are really profound and all for the better.  I hope that soon you will become adept at using your decks to record with.  I still would really love to send you a sealed Maxell tape and have you make some recordings from your Rockport of LPs that I have in my collection so I can hear your front end.  And that is the beauty of being able to make recordings onto tape as I will be able to hear your table, arm, cartridge, phono section, and preamp as well as what your noise floor is when I play the tape back.  I will be hearing your front end and that would be exciting and very meaningful to me.

What I don't know is that if people make 15 ips copies of their 7 1/2 ips 4 track tapes (or LPs) and play them back only using the repro electronics built into their decks if they will hear what I am hearing.  Either way, it will be interesting.  Maybe people will come back and say I am full of crap and that is OK.  The truth doesn't lie and I know what I am hearing through the Ampex 350s.  With regards to the better sounding 4 track tapes, I really think there is more information there that only becomes apparent when the tape is converted over to 15 ips 2 track.  I can't explain why this is so, I can only tell you what I hear.  And my brother hears the same thing even though he is playing back his 4 track tapes through the Ampex 350s.  I would be happy to send you my copy of ELP Lucky Man on 4 track tape so you could dupe it over to 15 ips and I would also send you my best version on LP as well if you don't already have it.  The tape beats the LP straight up, and when it is converted over to 15 ips, it is a socks rotter.

And for the music companies, they have figured out that they really can't sell digital music anymore which is why some of the majors are releasing LPs again because at least people are buying them.  It may be too late to turn back the hands of time to convince them to release on tape again.  There are no production houses left that are set up to make large quantities of reel to reel tapes and it would be expensive to make it happen again.  Doc and company are struggling to release 200 copies of 10 different titles in a 12 month period of time.  I think we would all like to dream about having a large selection of new music available on 15 ips tape, but I am afraid it is a dream.


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