Tape Project Forum

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: ironbut on May 29, 2008, 09:23:16 PM

Title: VSAC report
Post by: ironbut on May 29, 2008, 09:23:16 PM
Sorry to be tardy posting about VSAC but here goes.
There was an unusually large number of R2Rs at the Vacuum State of the Art Conference. Aside from Doc's killer system, I had an exhibit with my Technics playing TP tapes through headphones, the Goto room had a Pioneer deck that I heard was replaced for a bit with Stellavox's Stellavox. Charles also had a room on the 5th floor that was featuring open reel. I hope that he will forgive me for not visiting it even once but I was obligated to keep my post at the Headfi exhibit (I did sneak off for a bit on Sunday to hear Mikey's turntable since I'm thinking of getting one). I still felt like a dope when I saw him bring down boxes and realized that I'd missed a chance to sit down and talk tape with someone who could school me on just about every aspect of R2R I can think of.
There were a number of TP members there. Xcortes is super nice and although he was having some travel problems (bad stuff too) he took it like a trooper and didn't let it get him down. Man,.. you gotta admire that! And even though I only said a few words to Charles King ( I can be a ****ing idiot sometimes) he seem very nice too. I spend some time with Mikey Paschetto and while I can say that he's not cut from the same cloth as your average audio designer/builders, he a great guy that I'd hang with anytime.
Paul Stubblebine and Michael Romanowski were also there and both gave seminars (I was only able to attend one but it was excellent).
Jacqui Naylor and Art Khu gave a concert on Sunday night that tore the place up. I really enjoy TP-001 but seeing them live is a whole 'nother ball game. I know that Doc's shaking his head right now thinking, "When will these guys listen to me!". Ok, Ok, Doc! Go to her website and check to see when she's in you part of the world and GO! You won't forget it!
Speaking of Doc, the Bottlehead/Tape Project room sounded heavenly by Sunday. They had their share of glitches but once things started to burn in, killer!
Here's some links to pictures from VSAC;
video of a friend of mine
6Moons coverage
and pictures
Positive Feedback will have more latter too.
I had a hell of a good time and wish I was still there. The best part was putting faces and personalities to their online selves.
Hey, and everything went great for my exhibit too. Who woulda thunk it!
Title: Re: VSAC report
Post by: stellavox on May 30, 2008, 06:24:04 AM
Nice Report Steve,

Also glad to meet you and I too apologize for not spending more time together.

GO TAPE! - Paul and Doc graciously let me borrow the Arnold Overtures tapes to play in Jeff Jackson's system (Goto Horns).  It was the most moving; exciting; visceral RECORDED music experience I've ever been blessed with. 

Tape elevated the sound in another room - Audio Note. I was in there a few times and found the sound not too involving.  Some friends listening with me to some jazz master dubs over the Stellavox on Sunday PM opined that they heard the "best in show".  Fortunately, I'm not opinionated.


Title: Re: VSAC report
Post by: td160 on June 04, 2008, 09:16:53 PM
Steve Clarke here.  I was at VSAC '08 on Sunday afternoon.  I gather that I had, by then, missed the best action but I was very happy to have been there and see/hear what I did for a couple of reasons.  Probably the number one thing that I took away with me was the preponderance of RTR decks that I saw while there.  And 2) then there was the Audio Note UK room.  I happened to walk in there while Charlie King was playing some demo tapes with his little jewel of a tape machine, the Stellavox.  What great sound!

I think what struck me most about the sound of that little Stellavox, through that Audio Note UK gear, was the presence of it.  It really does create the impression of bringing the recorded event back into the room. 

I've heard some pretty good vinyl playback, but this, I'm sure, is another level beyond/above that.  So thanks Charlie for making the rounds and playing those tapes.  You've managed to alter my agenda for me.  Now I've gone and ordered an Otari MX-5050 BII (to be delivered soon and set for 7-1/2 - 15ips ...they say) and am now on the hunt for the best pre-recorded tapes that I can turn up.  Early research tells me that the hunt for the really good sounding tapes will be more of a challenge than it is to find pristine vinyl of the same age.  There just isn't as much of it out there.


Title: Re: VSAC report - Damn!
Post by: stellavox on June 05, 2008, 08:51:40 AM
Sorry Steve,

Hate to have you have to spend money on my account.

Now you'll just have to become a subscriber to the Tape Project - or if you can't afford it (like me), get your favorite individual titles when they become available.  Paul/Doc - please hurry up fulfilling those subscriptions!

Title: Re: VSAC report
Post by: td160 on June 05, 2008, 10:37:18 AM
Aha..!  (he grins) Well there you go. Promoting the tape as being the superior medium that it is. Yes, it's superior.  That much is clear. Then, on the other side of it, is the problem of getting the tapes, which is one heck of a hunt...... and not cheap.  Not to worry, even though it might be at least partly your fault.  Actually I had purchased a (shabby, doesn't yet play) Revox A77 a month before vsac.  But then what I heard at vsac only confirmed my new ambition...tape.

I've got some 7-1/2 ips commercial tapes coming.  They didn't cost much.  We'll see if any of those live up to the expectation.  The Otari, on the other hand, even if I were never to play it, will just look cool taking up space among the other obsolete components in the system.  But I'll play it in the near term just to draw comparisons between good tape and good vinyl.

RTR is a hobby I never got into but, back in those days (1960's), I knew people who were.  I do recall hearing some fine sounding music from RTR on friends systems.  But what I heard off that little Stellavox, in that AN room was indeed very, very good.  'gotta have more.....


Title: Re: VSAC report
Post by: DRCope on June 05, 2008, 12:15:15 PM
Thanks, Charlie, for bringing the 'Vox down to the Audio Note room. The uninvolving sound earlier in the show was due to the power amps being can-still-smell-the-paint, zero hours playing time new. They progressed steadily throughout the show and were shining by the time you arrived with tapes in hand. They were also the base standard build - IE core transformers, std. resistors and caps. I'm itching to do two thing after this show: (1) get a portable deck for shows 'cause I ain't gonna haul my Otari 5050 around and (2) build a pair of the kit amps with double c-core transformers, tants and Black Gates. Oh yeah, a third thing to do - buy a couple Tape Project tapes for home replay!

Steve Clarke - Great photo of the AN gear. May I "borrow" it, with photo credit, for use on my AN web site?

Too much fun, tooooo much fun . . . .

Dave Cope
Title: Re: VSAC report
Post by: td160 on June 05, 2008, 12:33:21 PM
Hi Dave.
You have my permission to use the photo.  It's a 'bit' noisy because the iso was set for 1600 due to the low light conditions.

btw, excellent sounding gear, that Audio Note UK stuff.  I have a few more notes and photos on it here:
http://www.theanalogdept.com/vsac08.htm (http://www.theanalogdept.com/vsac08.htm)


Title: Re: VSAC report
Post by: ironbut on June 05, 2008, 04:38:48 PM
Actually I had purchased a (shabby, doesn't yet play) Revox A77 a month before vsac.  But then what I heard at vsac only confirmed my new ambition...tape.


Hey Steve, welcome to the forum. There are a number of Revox guys here and it wouldn't hurt to post the problems you're having with yours over on the "Tape Machines" forum.
Title: Re: VSAC report
Post by: td160 on June 05, 2008, 05:09:10 PM
Hi Steve (aka ironbut).  thanks for the welcome.  The more information I gather about RTR, the less enchanted I am with the A77 in the first place. Decent but definitely consumer oriented.  And I'm after the best sound possible (within the budget) in 1/4 inch tape.

I knew the A77 had an issue or two when I bought it and mainly just wanted it to tinker with/study and because there was an open space within my racking.  You know, 10-inch reels, look cool in the overall system context.   And my main source very much is vinyl.  However, now I'm getting more serious about the tape, which explains the Otari MX-5050 BII 1/2 track(with 4th head)  which is coming my way soon (he says). This player is supposed to be ready to go (plug and pray) so I shouldn't have to fix very much with it.

Good to know there is a Studer/Revox contingent within these forums. I will do more lurking and learn.  Already I'm picking up plenty of info here that I had been searching for previously.  This is a great place!


Title: Re: VSAC report
Post by: ironbut on June 05, 2008, 06:38:24 PM
Great,.. make sure and check out the stickies at the top of some of the forums. Tons of info there.
Since you're a new user of this forum, I'd like to hear your opinion on the ' user friendlyness' of finding the info you need. I hope that it isn't daunting for someone new to reel to reel. If nothing else, I'd like to think that an audio enthusiast could come here and with the minimum of time and effort, would feel comfortable enough with the technical aspects of tape that it wouldn't be a factor in deciding whether to subscribe to the Tape Project.
So, if you (or any other members for that matter) see something lacking that would make learning about this format easier, don't keep it to yourselves. Post it!
BTW that goes double for members with backgrounds in journalism Myles!