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

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Messages - scully280

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Raw Tape / Re: Paper leader anyone?
« on: June 04, 2008, 08:34:19 PM »
When I was in broadcasting and we were making our own syndication tapes via a commercial duplicator paper leader was preferred precisely for the reason you mention, static.  I don't know how mastering engineers feel about paper leader these days, but at one time it was very common.  Also I would agree that one roll should suffice for most tape fiends, unless you're going to add leader and trailer to a very large collection.  Or you might have used a bit more if you made the odd pre-digital recording for a local choral group.  I'm working on the beginning of my third reel of plastic leader (over that last 20 years) but I'd be up for a reel of paper nostalgia.

Suite Espanola / TP-005
« on: May 19, 2008, 09:08:44 PM »

TP-005 is another great tape.  Jaw-dropping cowboy boggie-woogie.


Suite Espanola / Re: Your Spoiling Us!
« on: May 05, 2008, 08:51:29 PM »
TP-005, so that's what that enigmatic UPS email was.  I've been wondering all weekend...  It's gonna be tough to wait for 2 days.


Horenstein-Hindemith / Re: What is Shipping Today?
« on: May 04, 2008, 08:12:29 PM »
Perhaps this may be a case of being careful what you wish for, at least as far as future releases go.  Based on the Speakers Corner LP I thought that it would be really cool to get a Tape Project release that offered the Bruch in the best sound yet.  But based on the delivered tape, it seems that the master wasn't what i really expected, i.e. state-of-the-art for 1962.  It also seems that sometime in the past other engineers have been making releases based on interpretations of this master tape that attempt to hide the less-than-ideal nature of the master's sound.  It seems that the record (or CD) buying public really doesn't know what goes on between the microphones and the product that is finally published. This makes me want to be very careful in the future in asking for albums to be considered for 2008.

As for live music it's been a lot of fun over the last few years listening to concerts by some of the best orchestras in the world on tour, even in the old concert hall.  Some orchestras have noticeably different sounds.  I wouldn't say that one overall sound was much better than the other, but the fact that they are different has been an ear-opener! 

Horenstein-Hindemith / Re: What is Shipping Today?
« on: May 04, 2008, 12:54:33 PM »
I know this is an old thread, but I'm still not completely happy with TP-006A, The Bruch Fantasia.  This feeling was just reinforced by attending the first orchestral concert in the newly restored theatre/concert hall in Santa Barbara. The concert featured the Los Angeles Philharmonic with both a piano soloist and a soprano soloist and we in the audience quickly got to know what we've been missing for all these years. Last night we got to hear what a great orchestra should should sound like in our own local concert hall. 

My reaction to the Bruch, on the other hand is that there might be a great orchestra on this record but I can't tell because it's missing, or at least it seems about 100 yards away from the soloist.  But not during the whole recording as the orchestra appears to be only about 20 yards away during the Introduction.  My Speaker's Corner re-issue of this record, on the other hand, has orchestra and soloist roughly in the same acoustic space through the whole piece, but the recording is more than a bit nasal.  Moreover, whatever the source or the process, the Speaker's LP sound for Oistrakh makes him sound like about a 10th generation copy, so TP-006 smokes the LP as far as the soloist goes.  But what happend to the orchestra?

Strangely, or perhaps not as these appear to be two separate dates, the Hindemith (TP-006B) is a very good 1960's recording.  All the more frustrating as I prize Oistrakh's performance in the Bruch much more than Heifitz's, the great proponent of this work.

Does anybody else have a different experience of this title?

Arnold Overtures / TP-003 - Oh my!
« on: April 07, 2008, 10:43:05 PM »
Well, I finally got my homebrew preamp to a point where it's about listenable and hooked it up to my new Flux Magnetics head in my spare RS-1500 headblock.  TP-003 (Arnold Overtures) has been on hand for a while, but I didn't want to listen until I had the IEC eq working, and that meant getting the preamp up and running.  Wow.... I finally understand what everybody's talking about.  Everything about the recording is just so right.  There's just this orchestra out there in space, well not exactly in space, it's an orchestra in a complete acoustic environment and after a few moments I found myself listening with this big grin on my face, even giggling at parts of the goofy Christmas Overture.  Beautiful, full clearly articulated lows, sweet highs and everything else in between just in the right place.  I've never heard anything else like it in my house.  To docb, romo and Paul you've hit it out the park!  Thanks.

Tape Project Machines / Re: Tape format's / Tape Machines's bandwidth
« on: August 29, 2007, 08:44:44 PM »
docb, I appreciate the information.  I'm wondering if the revised tape wrap's main benefit is reducing scrape flutter.  By the way if anybody wants to hear scrape flutter just record a 10KHz sine wave and A/B input to tape output.  The pure tone turns to grungy fuzz.   Scrape flutter is hard to quantify because it's a random frequency modulation of a pure tone that's caused by friction of the tape over the entire tape path.  Some older decks had small rollers in between heads in an attempt to isolate the tape over both the record and play head, and some of these designs were somewhat successful.  I'm guessing that scrape flutter also smears high frequency transients that will tend to dull the sound and reduce image focus.  Doc, have you done any before and after on just pure tones on your path mods?

Prerecorded Tapes / Re: Barclay-Crocker collecting notes
« on: August 29, 2007, 08:12:38 AM »
I was playing some BC tapes this weekend and there's something I've been doing since I started with tapes years ago that I just take for granted.  I've always had a large hub 7 inch plastic reel for a take-up reel.  I've found this very helpful on with the typical  pre-recorded tape that's also on a large hub 7 inch reel because you don't get the large mis-match in back tension.  That shouldn't make a difference with a completely aligned and set up tape deck, but....  It always helps, I think.  They sometimes go out of stock but US Recording generally has these.  Oh, I also have lately been moving tapes on small hub 7 inch reels to 10 inch reels for critical playback for the same reason.  But then maybe I'm just weird.


Tape Project Machines / Re: Tape format's / Tape Machines's bandwidth
« on: August 29, 2007, 08:06:29 AM »
Not very old news, but it is a very convenient site that kind of pulls a number of things together.  The low end has always been a problem, and it's not clear to me whether it's more of a problem on the play side or the record side.  That might not seem like it matters much because it's just there and you can't do much about it, but my guess is that it's really hard on guys who in the mastering business as they get tapes recorded on all kinds of different machines.  That's why I'm glad for the spacing of the frequencies of the low tones on the Tape Project test tape.  With the Tape Project tape and the slightly different tones on the MRL test tape we'll be better able to characterize our tape deck's various low end responses.  This brings to mind a question for docb.  Does the tape path change in the Tape Project's RS-1500's alter the tape to head geometry enough to have an effect on low-frequency response, or is low-end response more strongly correlated to the width of the reproduce head pole pieces?


Prerecorded Tapes / Re: Barclay-Crocker collecting notes
« on: June 03, 2007, 08:43:03 PM »
I've been picking up a few 2-tracks out of curiosity, and that acetate tape, if it was wound correctly has aged quite well.  I remember from my teens when polyester tape came out and was touted as so superior, but the older Scotch 111 class of tape on 2-track releases regardless of the maker has really stood the test of time, again as long as it was wound properly.  A few Living Stereo's in 2-track tape are quite magic.

I don't enjoy Ampex 4-track stuff much 'cause their non-Dolby stuff compensates for the noisy 4-track format with some pretty aggressive high-end equalization that's hard to eq back out.  They even have a bit of hi boost in Dolby tapes, though less, in general.   BC was much closer to flat than any previous tape vendor.

In my self-appointed role as know-it-all here's an odd tidbit.  The BC Mercury Ancient Airs and Dances notes that they used a new mix from the original 3-track master.  And indeed it's a bit different than the Wilma Cozart supervised CD re-mix version.  I don't have an original Mercury LP so I don't know what the baseline is, but the BC, especially in headphones isn't so super-stereo with everything bunched up extreme right or extreme left, and I like it better than the CD re-issue.  Haven't compared it to the any other releases either like the SACD or the Speaker's Corner LP.  Other weird stuff.  Early tapes were dubbed 4:1.  For some reason some sort of 180Hz buzz in the duplicator gets translated down to a noticeable 45Hz.  That's not there in the later 8:1 tapes, well actually it's just pushed an octave lower where my speakers and headphones don't respond much at all.  Sometimes on the European masters the specta show 50Hz at a very low level, but at least I know that's not my equipment.

I agree that Dolby units are a problem, even the pro units.  The most common pro-unit on e-bay is the Dolby Labs model 330 which as aimed at cassettes and has a very steep low-pass filter at about 17KHz.  One of these days I'll get around to taking one of these apart and trying to bypass the filter and tinker with the amps and capacitors, but until then I use it as-is.  I don't think you can really get the true sense of the tapes without listening to some of them in Dolby B because of the dynamic filter effect.  The dynamic range just seems to much more natural with the inverse dynamics of Dolby-B playback.

And as far as BC being better than LP's or other tape, I dunno.  It really depended on what kind of equipment you had, TT and cartridge or tape deck.  By and large LP's, especially since I now have much better playback equipment, often have an edge.  But like all things, tapes are a product of the times.  LP's were mass-produced, and as the 70's began, mostly by large corporations, run by bean-counters.  That meant lots of pops and ticks, and basically lot's of lousy sounding disks.  Sure you could find imports or special issues, but tapes solved a lot of the manufacturing problems that were inherent in LP's.  Classic Recordings or Speaker's Corner LP's are made essentially by hand in small batches with a religious approach to quality, cottage industry stuff, so they sound great.  Barclay Crocker was ahead of them making tapes, not LP's by hand in small batches with the same religious zeal, so they were just a little ahead of the LP renaissance, but doing it with tape.

Prerecorded Tapes / Re: Barclay-Crocker collecting notes
« on: May 29, 2007, 10:44:31 PM »
In addition to the above worthy titles how 'bout Vanguard Morton Gould Latin American Symphonette? (B-side Gottschalk OK, but not at all as dynamic).  I've always been partial to the Unicorn Horenstein Mahler 3rd, but some of my enthusiasm is for the sound.  It was one of the first 8-track mastered classical recordings, and the BC tape sounds way better than the discs, either imported, Nonesuch or HNH.

I like the Teldec Concentus Musicus Bach Brandenburgs for natural stereo, I like the DG Abbado Prokoviev Alexander Nevsky for being big, and  then there's the Philips Debussy Images with Haitink, again natural.  The Philips Dukas disc with Zinman isn't bad either.  There's plenty to like in that catalog.

Suggestion Box / Re: Test tones on ALL tape releases??
« on: April 23, 2007, 10:37:53 PM »
What's going to be on the dub test tapes?  If there's still time to make a suggestion I'd like to see a bunch (plenty, some, enough) tones from 30 to 100Hz to try to tease out the LF bump response.

Rich Lane

Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Re: ATR 102's?
« on: April 21, 2007, 06:32:41 PM »
1/2 inch dubs?  That was my own daydream all last year, me being unaware that you were planning this whole Tape Project thing.  Dang, now I just may have to figure a way of getting an ATR-102 into my place, and it's a small place.  If you do offer some 1/2 in. dubs you will really complicate my life, but I mean that in a good way! 

But maybe it's a good excuse to get and old Scully 280 and convert it.  I always wanted to make an upgrade reproduce amp card.  Anybody know where I can get one, maybe an MS (Motion Sense) model?

Rich Lane

Tape Project Machines / Re: RS1500 rework developments
« on: March 27, 2007, 09:32:09 PM »
Will the VU meters be buffered?  Old school VU meters have a lousy sound and I had a pet peeve in past days to buffer them where they were put across outputs.  Also I like the power cord re-work, I think I'll start brushing the fur on my spare cord for correct magnetic orientation.

General Discussion / Re: Time to say thank you once again
« on: March 25, 2007, 02:51:49 PM »
Doc, that is one nice piece of studio equipment with all the little touches.  Not having been around studio gear for a while where does one look for those cool Daven attenuators?

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