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Author Topic: Ravel/Andre Clyutens tapes commanding big prices!  (Read 8900 times)

Offline Gkar

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Ravel/Andre Clyutens tapes commanding big prices!
« on: December 29, 2010, 03:27:03 PM »
what is up with that?  Are these tapes that good, or what?  The prices I am seeing on these tapes are pretty ridiculous for 4-track tapes.  That being said, over the last couple of months the prices in general for 4-track tapes has skyrocketing, any ideas why?
"Music possesses far richer means of expression, and it is a more subtle medium in which to translate the thousand shifting moments in the mood of a soul." - Tchaikovsky

Offline ironbut

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Re: Ravel/Andre Clyutens tapes commanding big prices!
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2010, 06:22:41 PM »
Hi Randy,

Boy, there doesn't seem to be much logic involved with the ups and downs of tape prices anymore. Inflated prices are sometimes the result of a couple of deep pocketed bidders fighting over tapes they assume are very good. That can lead to other folks raising the amount that they're willing to pay.
It would be nice if you could provide a link so we can see the auction(?) where you saw the Ravel tape.
steve koto
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Offline Gkar

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Re: Ravel/Andre Clyutens tapes commanding big prices!
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2010, 11:50:05 AM »
HI, Steve, these were/are on eBay, and this has been ongoing for every one of the Ravel/Clyutens tapes listed.  That being said, this trend is extending to many tapes being sold on eBay, prices are just going crazy over the last couple of months and shows no signs of abating.  I would agree with your premise, but would extend it a bit, there are factions of money makers, basically overpaid people of one sort or the other, that have gotten into tape, much as the 2-trackers did a while back, that have money to burn and are driving the prices up on a number of sorts of tapes, certainly rock tapes, but numerous classical tapes are getting hammered by these buyers/collectors.  I am still working on my system to determine if indeed R2R is the better sounding format, not able to make that determination yet.  But at the prices tapes are going to, tapes will not be in my equation!
"Music possesses far richer means of expression, and it is a more subtle medium in which to translate the thousand shifting moments in the mood of a soul." - Tchaikovsky

Offline docb

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Re: Ravel/Andre Clyutens tapes commanding big prices!
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2010, 12:20:16 PM »
Reel to reel is going to be a better sounding format only if you take full advantage of what it can do. That means optimal track width and tape speed, the best transports and electronics, and good analog masters. People who are driving up the prices on 3-3/4ips quarter track rock and roll tapes that were duped at high speed on average quality tape stock are probably doing so because they haven't really done their homework and they think they are making a wise investment. This is naturally going to happen with the rediscovery of tape as a playback medium. 

We saw the same thing happen with Technics RS1500s. In spite of my suggesting that a studio quality Ampex ATR or Studer was the wisest investment and that the Technics and Otaris were a good choice if one was on a budget, people started overpaying for stock 1500s until they were priced nearly as high as the studio machines. I think that has turned around a bit now that the initial rush is over. Perhaps the same will happen with the quarter track tapes.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
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Offline Gkar

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Re: Ravel/Andre Clyutens tapes commanding big prices!
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2010, 05:11:53 PM »
what you are saying is partially correct, docb, there are buyers who are buying "blind", however, outside of the Ravel tapes, which are Angel recordings, the other tapes I am seeing explode in cost are primarily tapes whose provenance in the LP world is known as high quality, ie., Mercury, London Bluebacks, Living Stereo, etc., so that these buyers are not buying particularly blind, they have some knowledge of high quality recordings from other sources, but are pushing those tapes into outtasite territory.  The question is are these recordings all that great, Steve has noted that many 4 trackers are better than 2 trackers depending on the recordings, etc.  One of my hifi gurus, Arthur Salvatore, has indicated on his excellent website how many holy grail recordings from the '50s/'60s are just not that good, that technology had improved mastering and in some ways, recordings to the point that later recordings are much better than what came before, but he is talking primarily about LPs.  Just as docb has noted, while many R2R people lust after a stereo 350, the ATRs, Studers, etc. machines are just so much better, evolved technology, etc.  And with the improvement in TTP tapes, I wonder how these 4 trackers are stacking up to other technology, such as SACD and LP in similar price point gear...
"Music possesses far richer means of expression, and it is a more subtle medium in which to translate the thousand shifting moments in the mood of a soul." - Tchaikovsky

Offline ironbut

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Re: Ravel/Andre Clyutens tapes commanding big prices!
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2010, 06:37:00 PM »
Just like any other format, the sonic results are directly related to several practical issues (mainly production costs vs return).
As a result, the early 2 tracks that were produced as more of a "statement" product exceed the sonics of "most" of the 4 track tapes which were produced in a much more "cost effective" way.
It's really a shame since the later tapes were produced on better formulated tape and "could" have been very good.
In comparison with the lp's of the same recording, the better tapes (both 1/2 and 1/4 track) can sound as good or better in some ways. But while lp's have issues with things like tracking error and surface noise, tapes can have issues with azimuth and even head height (it would seem) on the duplicator's record heads.
Take for instance the many excellent Solti CSO recordings that were done by London. Many of these recordings won numerous awards and as a result were produced in huge numbers. The pressings reflected this with imperfections in the vinyl and many had "lift" warping from removing the disk before it was allowed to cool.
The London 1/4 track tapes were free of these exact problems but almost all Londons have problems related to azimuth, and proper track placement on the width of the tape. I've thought of having a custom headstack made with graduated control knobs to adjust the 1/4 track repro head but is it worth it?
Personally, at this point in my tape collecting, I don't find any reason to buy tape with these sorts of issues.

Regarding the old 2 tracks and the very early 1/4 tracks, all of these were made on acetate stock and with that comes issues of breakage etc.. Tape hiss is also much more audible.
That said, most of these early tapes were made very carefully and things like the generation that the running masters represent were taken into consideration.
So these are the tapes that have the most attraction to me.
IMHO, the Barclay-Crockers are the best of both worlds. Carefully made on fairly modern tape stock and wonderful performances. These are of course, Dolby B encoded (a few DBX) so having the use of a good decoder is important to getting the most from these. These and a few other companies offerings are a total exception when it comes to 1/4 track.

When it comes to particular labels, RCA did they're own duplication and these seem to have all been done very well. While other companies like Mercury took a big nose dive when they stopped producing their own tapes and Ampex took over. And the Ampex produced, Dolby encoded Mercuries have got to be the low point in that storied label's history.

I won't say how I think other label's tape offering such as Blue Backs, Commands and DDG compare since I've only gotten a few of each and some are in pretty back condition but there are certainly jewels out there.

The best tapes (both formats) can have qualities that are lacking on most lp versions of the same recording. I don't have a collection of the original pressings so I can't say that's true for those though. And I don't spend time playing the lp then the tape just to make comparisons. That's an activity for someone with a different outlook on music reproduction.


steve koto
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Offline Gkar

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Re: Ravel/Andre Clyutens tapes commanding big prices!
« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2010, 07:39:43 PM »
Thanks, Steve, well reasoned thoughts.  I have a few of the Command Classics, most are "boxy" sounding that open up a bit when played back more loudly than other tapes, I thought they might be better sounding because of the recording techniques, but not sure about that.  A good number of the Living Stereo tapes that I have heard have congestion in the tuttis, I can also hear that to a lesser degree in the SACDs of the same performances.  That being said, there is a beguiling sound to tapes that I can't quite put my finger on...
"Music possesses far richer means of expression, and it is a more subtle medium in which to translate the thousand shifting moments in the mood of a soul." - Tchaikovsky

Offline Gkar

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Re: Ravel/Andre Clyutens tapes commanding big prices!
« Reply #7 on: December 30, 2010, 07:43:58 PM »
forgot to mention, one of my favorite Nutcracker's is the the Rodzinski version that I have on an MCA cd, very vivid recording!  I have seen the tape of the highlights on Sonotape, but am more interested in the whole ballet.  Wondering how that tape compares to the cd...
"Music possesses far richer means of expression, and it is a more subtle medium in which to translate the thousand shifting moments in the mood of a soul." - Tchaikovsky

Offline astrotoy

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Re: Ravel/Andre Clyutens tapes commanding big prices!
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2011, 03:18:19 AM »
Sorry for the late reply. I have been out of the country and not monitoring the Forum regularly. The Ravel-Cluytens issue was originally on the EMI Columbia label (SAX2476-9) a four record set which is one of the more expensive in its oriignal Blue-Silver label. I have seen the four records for well over 1000 GBP in nm condition (more than $1600 at current exchange rates). There was a very fine reissue done by Testament - I have it, but am currently 7000 miles+ from my record collection. It was much less expensive, under $150 as I remember. I think the rarity of the original may have a lot to do with the high price of the tapes.

Larry
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Offline MylesAstor

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Re: Ravel/Andre Clyutens tapes commanding big prices!
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2011, 07:57:10 PM »
Sorry for the late reply. I have been out of the country and not monitoring the Forum regularly. The Ravel-Cluytens issue was originally on the EMI Columbia label (SAX2476-9) a four record set which is one of the more expensive in its oriignal Blue-Silver label. I have seen the four records for well over 1000 GBP in nm condition (more than $1600 at current exchange rates). There was a very fine reissue done by Testament - I have it, but am currently 7000 miles+ from my record collection. It was much less expensive, under $150 as I remember. I think the rarity of the original may have a lot to do with the high price of the tapes.

Larry

You beat me to it Larry :)

I was lucky to find Vol. 2 for a reasonable price--and it's much better than the Testament :(

Myles B. Astor
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Offline Red Grant

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Re: Ravel/Andre Clyutens tapes commanding big prices!
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2011, 06:06:02 AM »
what is up with that?  Are these tapes that good, or what?  The prices I am seeing on these tapes are pretty ridiculous for 4-track tapes.  That being said, over the last couple of months the prices in general for 4-track tapes has skyrocketing, any ideas why?

After witnessing and archiving the rtr pre-recorded tapes, this goes through cycles.   One very common Venture tape (7 1/2 4 track) was recently sold around $70!    I remember buying the very same title in the similar condition described at 99 cents about a year ago!

Hyok (Tony) Kim,  yes, this is my real name.

Btw.  How do you know it's my real name?  Just because I say so?

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