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

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Topics - mstcraig

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General Discussion / The Tape Project and TAS
« on: October 07, 2008, 06:34:48 PM »
Hi all. I had the chance to email Robert Harley of TAS a few days ago to ask some questions. One of these was about TAS reviewing the Tape Project albums and machines. What follows below is the email I sent to him, and his reply to me:

 ----- Original Message -----
    From: [email protected]
    To: [email protected]
    Sent: Saturday, October 04, 2008 10:28 PM
    Subject: some questions, if I may

    Hi Robert. Love the magazine and look forward to each new issue. I have two questions for you. 1) Are there any plans to review any of the Tape Project recordings and/or their modified Technics open reel machines? 2) Whatever became of J.Gordon Holt? He does not appear anywhere on the masthead. Is he still with us? Thanks, Craig

Dear Craig:

We had some communication with the people at The Tape Project about Jonathan Valin getting a Technics SL-1500 and some tapes, but they have not pursued the review.
J. Gordon Holt lives in Boulder, Colorado and is active as am amateur recording engineer. He no longer writes for any audio magazine, unfortunately.
Thanks for the kind words about the magazine.

Best regards,

Anyone from the Tape Project care to comment on the above? Is this avenue being pursued or not? If not, why? Curious minds want to know, namely, the ones in my own head...

Suggestion Box / Howabout some more suggestions?
« on: August 11, 2008, 09:31:19 PM »
Hi all. Been a long time since I visited this board- Having a 2 year old will do that for ya! I kind of put the whole TP enchillada on hold since I do not, as of yet, have either a subscription or proper machine to play them on. I'm trying to pay down my many bills first, then I can go "tape crazy" afterwards! But, that does not stop me from saying hello to all, and to suggest a title or two. I had a birthday recently, and treated myself to a trip to the local record store (as in LP's). This place is called The Bop Shop, and they are just brimming with said black vinyl. I was lucky enough to acquire a mint, original copy of Blood, Sweat and Tears second album (Columbia CS-9720) for $8.00! Now, like many of you I'm sure, I cannot possibly pick just one record out from the thousands I've heard and call it "the best ever". Maybe you can, but I believe most people cannot. That said, this record would absolutely be in the top three for me. Everything came together just right on this session, musically and sonically, and it shows. It's got its share of top 40 hits to be sure, but it also has an overall timeless quality, just right for the Tape Project. To be able to hear "Blues, Part II" on tape would be an all-time treat. My other two suggestions are also from the Columbia catalog. Chicago Transit Authority (Columbia GP-8) is great anyway it is sliced. Lastly, any album by The New Christy Minstrels would be most welcome. My picks are "Tell Tall Tales" and "Land of Giants". The sonics have alot to do with these two choices, since they are both early 1960's Columbia Stereo 360 recorded in Southern California. Their singing is great, the playing is great, and you feel happy when listening to them. What more can you ask? After all, isn't that what this hobby is all about?

Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Attn: ReVox B-77 users
« on: April 01, 2008, 07:41:35 PM »
Hi all. I had a nice phone conversation with John French today (of JRF Magnetics). I asked him about aftermarket Flux heads for the ReVox B-77 HS, since the Technics RS-15xx Tape Project machines use them with great success. He told me he can supply both the record and playback heads, if desired. Cost is about $650-700 a piece. When I told him I was interested in replacing both the heads on my recorder, he actually talked me out of it. The reason given is because Studer record heads are wonderful in the first place, and I would be spending hard-earned money for minimal gain to replace it. He suggested, instead, that I relap my existing record head and purchase the Flux playback head alone. This will give me the maximum bang-for-buck, and allow me to keep more of my own money in my pocket. After some consideration on my part, I have to agree with the man. He's right. BTW, relapping of your old B-77 heads is $70 each, and includes a written printout on head condition. I think if you put this information here together with Arian Johnson's B-77 IEC EQ update posted earlier, you will be sitting pretty. Hope this helps. Craig

Suggestion Box / Hopefully, a slam dunk suggestion
« on: February 06, 2008, 11:24:17 PM »
I have suggested titles here before, but this artist should come with no disagreements from anyone who loves music. Frank Sinatra, and the album I would like is Sings for Only the Lonely, Capitol ST-1053. A devastating album, if ever there was one. I mean "devastating" in the best possible sense, that it is one so chock full of emotions. It always makes me sad to listen to it, since so few records can touch people on this deep a level, both musically and sonically. "Blues in the Night" has some serious subterranean low end to it that you feel more than hear, totally missing on the crappy CD reissues. When I hear "One for my Baby...", which closes the album, I cannot help but think about the times of the 1950's when life was a whole lot simpler, and more still. Truly a record for both it's own time, and all-time, too. It would be indescribably beautiful to hear this album given the TP treatment. To be played only when you are alone, and in the dark.

Tape Tech / Bottlehead Seduction question
« on: January 16, 2008, 03:51:13 PM »
This is directed at Doc, mostly. With the above, is it possible to modify in such a way to have both NAB or IEC tape EQ switchable? From what I see, it appears it is assembled as one or the other EQ. Some clarification would help. Can this be done? I can't afford your more expensive preamp that already has this feature built in. Thanks!

Suggestion Box / A crazy idea, but...
« on: December 05, 2007, 09:08:56 PM »
I have a crazy idea for a title that, at first blush, makes no real sense. But then as you think about it, it makes more sense than most others to really generate interest in this thing. My suggestion is Jingle Bell Jazz on Columbia Records from 1962, CS-8693 (LP). This is truly an all-star affair that sounds warm and wonderful, IF you are lucky enough to find it in it's original form. It has been re-released several times over the years, on both LP and CD, with ever-changing song titles along the way. The last version of this album, on CD from 1985, is truly horrific. Here's why: in the early 1980's, Columbia wanted to record their current roster of Jazz stars digitally. People like Dexter Gordon, Wynton Marsalis, etc. were asked to do Christmas numbers. These songs were then "blended" with many of the numbers done back in the 1962 release to make an all new version of Jingle Bell Jazz. What you find out when you listen is that the numbers done digitally sound so bad, it's scary. Those cover the first half of the last version of the CD. Then, all of a sudden, Duke Ellington comes on from 1962 doing "Jingle Bells", and these earlier 1962 tracks sound remarkably good! Columbia wanted to show off their latest technology, and ended up, instead, showing off the fact that they used to do it right, once upon a time! The original version of this LP has the red bag filled with Christmas gifts on the front cover, and is in Stereo 360 Sound. Why this title makes so much sense is this: People have many guests over to their homes for Christmas parties and such at holiday time. Imagine the look on peoples faces when they hear Duke Ellington, Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis, Carmen McRae, Lionel Hampton, etc. sounding so lovely on tape! Like many early 1960's Columbia's, it was well recorded in New York at the 30th Street studios (probably by Fred Plaut) and produced by Teo Macero. It's both a nice way to introduce people to the Tape Project, and hear great Christmas music at the same time! Everyone wins. What do you think?

Reel to Reel Tape Machines / To Doc
« on: December 01, 2007, 12:25:32 PM »
Hey Doc. I saw this morning on the Audio Asylum page a post from you regarding Keith Johnson and his fabulous analog tape machine. It says that you will be meeting with him at CES time next year. I just wanted to tell you that I have thought much about his recorder these past few months, and how it would be a shame that, when he passes away, all the thinking and engineering that went into it would go with him. This makes me profoundly sad. I consider his focused gap analog recorder to be the singularly finest audio recorder ever conceived and built. Matter of fact, a few years back, I contacted Reference Recordings to see if he might modify my ReVox to his machine's standard. I was told he has been approached many times over the years to do just this, and has turned away all comers. Further, I feel his current digital recordings, while technically perfect, have lost something his analog recorder had in spades-an almost human quality, if you will. I'm not sure exactly how to put it, but somehow, in being slighty less than they could have been, they are definitely better sonically. This is the very beauty of analog in a nutshell, I guess. Perhaps, he can take you under his wing, so to speak, and teach you all he knows about this magnificent device. Then, you can spread the wealth that is his focused gap recorder (with tubes once again, of course!) for the rest of us to try to aspire to. On December 31, 2007, it will be exactly 50 years ago that he recorded The Forward Look by Red Norvo on his (then) tube-based analog recorder. I shall honor his achievement by playing that LP on New Years Eve this year. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. Merry Christmas everyone. Craig

Tape Tech / A stupid question I guess, but...
« on: November 01, 2007, 09:20:00 PM »
Hi all. I took the plunge recently and ordered a short MRL tape to align my ReVox B-77. It had lost much of it's sonic luster lately, and I wanted to verify all was OK. Aligning the playback head (physically) revealed no major problems. However, I was very surprised and shocked to discover that the record head was off quite a bit in terms of physical alignment. What I did was this-I put together a test tone CD to feed the machine 12k, 16k and 20kHz signals-I used this since I do not have a frequency generator at my disposal. Anyway, turning the azimuth screw of the record head slightly clockwise, I discovered that the VU meters literally took off! I played the 20kHz tone repeatedly (at -10 or so) until I found I could do no better in terms of signal strength, and checked record vs. play results each time. Last night, I recorded some big band music at a local dance on the lake, and the tape sounded fine this morning. What a relief! My question is, does any one know what to use to hold the physical alignment in place at the set screws for the heads themselves? I have what appears to be (broken) LocTite on the screws now. It is red in color. I believe that simply transporting my machine to and from rehearsal each week over a 2 1/2 year period is responsible for the physical alignment being thrown out of whack. I want to lock these down good so this does not happen again. When I did the last machine alignment at ATR Services in 2005, LocTite was not used to hold the heads in place. Nothing was. I learned my lesson! Anyone know which specific LocTite I should use, and where I can get it? Thanks in advance.

Tape Project Albums - general / Pandora's Box?
« on: October 02, 2007, 03:10:50 PM »
That is what I'm hoping NOT to open here! I have some rather specific questions to ask for the principles, if I may. I was lying in bed this morning thinking about the Tape Project tapes, and had some random thoughts. First, on the tapes that were played in NYC back in May at the hi-fi show. I am assuming these were each 1:1 copies of the actual masters, which means the copies to be sold to customers are another generation removed from the master since a sub-master is being used for them, correct? Second, on the main website the following is stated: Master tapes are created in the Camellia mastering studio at the 1340 Mission studio complex.. Did you mean instead to say master duplicates? Why should another master tape need to be created, since there is, and can only be, one actual master? Forgive my confusion, but I also realize that this statement could mean you are taking actual session tapes and recreating a new master from them specifically for Tape Project use? The reason for all of these questions is the result of thinking about how audiophile LP's are created. Ideally, the actual master is used, and a lacquer is cut from it. It then goes through a minimum of negatives, mothers, and stampers to make the final product. I guess I really need to know which process (audiophile tape or LP) is the closest to having the actual master in my grubby hands? I'm not trying to be difficult or overly picky, but if any business wants me to shell out $300.00 for one album of music, I have the right to ask. Everything else aside, each format does have advantages and disadvantages, this much I know. I believe some clarity would really help me here, since the potential investment would be rather large if I wish to do this. Doc, Paul, Michael: the floor is yours. Craig

General Discussion / Stereophile Show report #2b
« on: May 13, 2007, 10:42:54 PM »
Continuing my Stereophile show report, for Saturday. Both rooms now have Technics machines which are operating as they should. I never got to hear the one in the Magico room as whenever I stopped by, they were listening to CD's but always busy. Once again, I spent a disproportionate amount of time in the TAD room. It's very hard to get tired of hearing 100K worth of audio gear, no? Anyway, early on in the day I asked Andrew if I could hear another tape. I was told again to stop by later in the day. So, I went down to Ballroom E to buy some software. The big fiasco on this day was having the hotel close the Ballroom at 4PM. Apparently, some yahoo scheduled a reception for this area and the hotel had to clear out all the music vendors by 4:30PM! This would include Music Direct, Acoustic Sounds, Reference Recordings (back after several years' absense) and many others. Marcia Martin of Reference was not at all happy about this, she told me. I'm sure Stereophile will be hearing the music (sic) about this for a long time too! Back to our story. I stopped back in the TAD room at 5:40PM. The show closes at 6PM, yet people just kept gathering and music kept being requested and played. It was kind of funny in a way. The inmates had finally taken over! A little after 6PM, Andrew says he's going to the restroom and motions for me to load up my tape, while yet another CD is playing. This tape is the one I wanted to hear most of all, yet did not want to hear. You see, this recording is one I recorded myself. This is of a group here in Rochester, NY called the Rochester Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra. It's a big band with 20+ pieces and a vocalist. I asked the group to come to my Church in November 2005 so I could try out a microphone system I built myself. My design is based on Ray Kimber's IsoMike. I ended up playing "Come Rain or Come Shine" from those sessions. I was petrified of what people would think, and once again, I apologized before the music started. Bottom line-When it was over, people said it sounded very nice. I was very happy to say the least, and relieved! Tape Project's machinery had a large role in both of my tapes sounding so good, and for that I am very grateful. The only critisism I have is that the rewind and fast forward were sloooow. That's it! My 2 days in New York went by too fast, but I had a nice time. I also left with new (more) respect for what Doc, Paul and the whole Tape Project crew are trying to do. I felt that the various CD's, SACD's and the like all sounded good. But, whenever any tape was cued up and played, whether my own or not, I felt like I could relax and let the music do it's thing-replenish my soul. I feel this is a winning team we are seeing. Yes, these tapes are expensive. But, they will always be in style and be able to be played at anytime in the future, no matter how far out that may be. Try that with anything digital! When I can, my first purchase will be Doc's Seduction preamp modified for both NAB and CCIR. Then, I'll pick some tapes. My congratulations to all for their hard work. Nice job! See you next year.

General Discussion / Stereophile Show report #2a
« on: May 13, 2007, 09:51:11 PM »
I'd like to give my (relatively) brief synopsis of the show. I am the other guy that Charles referred to as bringing my own tapes to the show to hear. First on Friday-disappointed that the Magico room reel machine was down. It had several problems as noted by the exhibitors. Paul Stubblebine stopped by about 7PM or so to swap it out for a different one, so everyone was asked to leave. I spent most of my time this day in the TAD/Pioneer room. It was always crowded and HOT. Andrew Jones (TAD) did a nice job demoing music and gear. I asked him earlier in the day if I could hear one of the 3 tapes I brought. He said to stop by near the end of the day and he would try to fit me in. I went back about 7:30PM and got to hear tape #1, a 15ips NAB sampler put together by the late Dean Roumanis. It was the final selection played for that day. We played an excerpt of the Rheinberger Organ Concerto No. 2. I apologized to the gathered crowd before playing the selection, stating that it may not sound especially good since it had been baked a few times before (including 2 days before this show!). Early 80's Ampex 456-Yuck! What I heard floored me. The room literally and actually shook when the lowest notes were played. In fact, several people from the corridor outside came into the room to see what the problem was! They thought it was an earthquake! Simply put, it was majestical and visceral in it's power. When the piece finished, I received the only standing ovation of the day from the crowd.  I must say, of all the demo's I have ever requested over the years, this one stands out as the finest of all. I had to fight back tears of joy when it was over, I was that moved. My next report will talk about Saturday.

Tape Project Machines / A BIG thank you
« on: April 13, 2007, 07:29:29 PM »
I just read the thread on the RS-1500 rework mods and doings. I have followed The Tape Project's progress since late last year, and I am very impressed by the dedication your team has shown to analog recording and playback. I know this venture is not cheap or easy to come by, but I sincerely wanted to say thanks all the same. I always knew, and have always known in my own heart, that analog is the way to go for recording music. This is why all my current recordings are done this way. I know 50 years from now they will play back, too. There is no digital system, now or ever made, that can lay that claim as well. I may not be able to afford any of your gear or tapes, but I wish you the very best. Hopefully, your team will all be at the Stereophile show so I can meet and shake hands and say thanks in person. Craig

General Discussion / Stereophile Show Update
« on: April 09, 2007, 11:10:08 AM »
Hello gang. We are now about 4.5 weeks out from the show. I'm wondering if there are any new and/or further details about which rooms you will be in? Will any of your machines be able to play back NAB 15 IPS reels? I would like to bring along some jazz masters and hear them on your gear. Craig

PS: I have my Tape Project Polo shirt. Looks nice!

General Discussion / Tape Project tapes
« on: February 18, 2007, 05:40:54 PM »
Forgive me if this has already been addressed, but can you tell me what tape stock is to be used for your releases? Can a customer specify what stock is to be used for a release? I'm assuming you use RMGI, but just asking to be sure. Craig

Suggestion Box / Suggestions
« on: February 16, 2007, 12:35:25 PM »
I have no hope of it ever coming to pass, so I'll ask anyway. One of the finest albums I've ever heard from both a musical and sonic point of view is "Stephen Stills 2". It would be a hoot to see that released, since Classic Records obviously dropped the ball on that title. Another group that I know would show the format off very well is, don't laugh, The New Christy Minstrels. I've been listening to alot of them lately, and the sonics are uniformly wonderful. Very early 60's Columbia made with care, before the multitracking screwed it all up later on. The album "Tall Tales, Legends and Nonsense" is their best IMHO. Craig

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