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Messages - X-Factor

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Suggestion Box / Vee Jay now owned by Concord.
« on: August 12, 2014, 10:26:15 PM »
Hmmm! Let's see. John Lee Hooker has some titles on this label. I know I submitted him before but if persistence helps, so be it. Another suggestion from this label is a jazz singer named Bill Henderson. His self titled album or "Sing", a compilation would be a wonderful addition. My last suggestion from this label would be "Introducing The Beatles" however the new owners of their catalogue may not be too helpful in getting this released. The last suggestion should be in mono!

Prerecorded Tapes / Re: Beatles pre-records
« on: February 26, 2014, 03:18:21 PM »
Steve, your memory is pretty good. I have a number of Capitol produced first issues from the sixties and most of the Ampex issues from 1970 and find that there is nothing exceptional about the audio quality. Abbey Road from what I recall may be the best Beatles reel for sound quality with ample bass. I last compared two copies of Hey Jude and found each bass shy, however I was listening with a set of speakers that may have been to close together so there could have been some bass cancelation but this was not apparent with other tapes or sources at the time.
There are Canadian issues of the Capitol tapes (all of mine are from the U.S.A.) that I have no experience with.

Prerecorded Tapes / Re: the 2 track era
« on: February 26, 2014, 03:05:07 PM »
The last two track might have been the two track of "Meet The Beatles". Looking at some old Capitol tape catalog inserts the title may have been available until 1964.

I have owned a used copy of this album on tape for some time now and I am wondering if the reel tape made by Stereotape was issued with the booklet insert that was issued with the vinyl album?

Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Re: Technics RS 1520 Complete RECAP and Mod
« on: November 01, 2013, 07:41:59 PM »
Hello Paul!
If you are looking for someone to replace components on the boards perhaps you should seek a highly regarded tech who has experience in modifications and upgrades. You may have to supply them with a schematic of your deck. I had my Technics RS1500 output path modified by a local (to me) place here in Canada. Blackgate caps, silver wire and other high quality were installed as well as silver WBT output jacks. Even without a break-in period the deck sounded astoundingly better. A local reel tech said he never heard bass like that from the part upgraded RS1500. I strongly recommend getting at least one pair of premium jacks for playback at the minimum and replace one pair of input jacks if you are recording.
If you require servicing on the mechanical components or the heads then do a search on this site.
Regards, Leslie

Willy and the Poor Boys / Re: Listening Impressions
« on: June 11, 2013, 01:32:40 AM »
Just completed a comparison between this TP issue and my 3 3/4 ips Fantasy release. Anyone want to guess which one is going up on eBay?

Has the sale of EMI and it's other labels (Blue Note, Capitol) become a factor in licences for further reel tape releases? I was wondering if this is the cause for the announcement for the last pair of issues of the third series of tapes?

General Discussion / Re: The Miles Davis Story
« on: June 11, 2013, 01:12:26 AM »
This thread caused me to watch my DVD copy for only the second time since 2001. I had forgotten the section in which Miles Dvais first wife says she was only allowed in the studio once during recording. If I am not mistaken she is on the front cover of the "Miles Davis; In Person Friday/ Saturday Night At The Blackhawk". The liner notes don't indicate if she was in the audience though.

General Discussion / Re: Tape Coverage in The Absolute Sound
« on: June 11, 2013, 12:54:41 AM »
It was a welcome surprise to see Mr. Valin review a second UHA reel deck in less than three years. Back then he stated that the better Tape Project reels were superior to vinyl counterparts. I'm guessing that the coverage of the two track tapes currently available indicates greater enthusiasm by Valin/ The Absolute Sound for the format and it's support. I hope he won't change his mind his mind too quickly on this like his frequent rotation of best loud speaker.

Saxophone Colossus / Now this is colossus!
« on: August 28, 2012, 11:28:47 PM »
I hope this isn't their backup copy. An original Colossus LP sold for (winning bid) on eBay for US $2,483.00! The highest bidder must have been ;-). I wonder if he got a break on shipping?
A subscription for the first series of ten albums was less than this. Think the winner will want to do a shoot out against the TP reel?

Prerecorded Tapes / Re: the 2 track era
« on: January 03, 2012, 02:01:58 PM »
Hi steveidosound!
According to my records (no pun intended) the last commercial release of a two track reel with inline heads in my collection is by Louis Prima and Keely Smith titled, "Together" from 1961. I have no  specific calendar date, ie. June 12.
The Dot label reel tapes had the quarter and half track reels song lists both on the back cover and may mention an Ampex recorder. A sticker was used to mark the two reel versions from one another. There is no mention of a two track version on the back of a 1962 Keely Smith solo quarter track tape. The Dot reel tapes in my collection run from 1959-1961 and were duplicated by Bel Canto at 71/2 IPS.

Suggestion Box / Some stuff with lots of great music and great sound.
« on: October 04, 2009, 03:14:56 PM »
Van Morrison - Astral Weeks
Maria Muldaur - Jazzabelle
Maria Muldaur - Richland Woman Blues
(Maria may be a closet audiophile! She was quite happy to sign my vinyl copy.)
Joni Mitchell- Night Ride Home
Phoebe Snow - Phoebe Snow
Vangelis - Oceanic
Bob Seger - Against The Wind
Marvin Gaye - What's Goin' On?
Marianne Faithfull - Blazing Away
John Lee Hooker - The Healer
Bruce Cockburn  - Humans
Chris Isaak - Heart Shaped World
K. D. Lang - Shadowland


Prerecorded Tapes / Re: Would a modern day Barclay-Crocker succeed?
« on: February 22, 2009, 05:45:21 AM »
It doesn't seem right that that the subject question should be answered by another question, but isn't the Tape project a modern day Barclay-Crocker? They seem to have much in common, both being small owner operated outfits trying to establish a niche market (a different format) against the entrenched dominance and status quo of the the compact disc by producing a superior sounding product.
The idea behind both companies was to produce the best commercial tape recordings using the best source material with regard to performance and quality master tapes utilizing current state of the art hardware and low speed duplication. Both companies have issued their releases in library style packaging to reduce overhead to keep their product marketable. Both companies have to face the digital juggernaut. Barclay-Crocker attempted to stay current with the times and confronted the rise of "the dreaded CDs" (or did Dr. Ruth say "the dreaded disease"?) by releasing uni-directional tapes and an alternate technology "dbx" to stay in business. The alternate technology in the Tape Project's case is the use of tube technology to create a better sounding product.
Both companies face almost universal indifference from the masses who support digital media (the CD and it's derivatives and MP3s) and the audio publications/ media who have given token space in their space because they know that there is a very small market for pre-recorded tapes and the pre-recorded tape and reel to reel manufactures will not be taking out four colour full page ads in the majors. The editors pursue a course that they feel best represents "it's" interest and will give space in their publications to where they believe the market/consumer has an interest. They have that right and have duties to shareholders and subscribers. In the hundreds of audio magazines I have bought since I was in my mid teens I don't think I could collect fifty pages together on articles on pre recorded reel to reel tapes and tape decks.
In general, the consumer analog reel to reel market is not growing rapidly now and did not when B-C was in business. I'm guessing that now just as in the early '80s when B-C was struggling that more reel decks are being scraped than are being made or refurbished.
Can the Tape Project succeed? I believe that there is hope. The side effect of the Tape Project's initial success for recognition at the CES's has led to other manufactures of competing (for market's dollars- there is only so much to go around) products using analog pre-recorded reel to reel tape to show their product's potential. A ripple effect has reached eBay where the price and availability of all those rare Technics machines multiplied. I have been buying reel tapes on eBay for @ 10 years and firmly believe that the abundance of two track tapes and "audiophile" RCA and Mercury classical issues increase in the last year or two on the site was the result of interest generated by the Tape Project's reel tapes and tape decks and most importantly that there is acknowledgment by the public that there is a superior format to the LP and it's not the dreaded CDs.
It seems to me that the audiophile market is being saturated by the rapid introduction of 180 gram, 200 gram re-issues as well as the 45 RPM versions of the same recording by different re-issue labels. This most likely has to with the resurgence of vinyl, but will this bubble burst? When we buy everything on 78 RPM half speed mastered LPs will we finally admit we just should have bough the reel tape version in the first place?
The common problem will always be the ultimate financial cost to the individual. As stated elsewhere on this forum it's a lot cheaper to buy 45 RPM LP releases than the TP reels.
Barclay-Crocker and the Tape Project both have had the hurdle of getting across the message that superior sound quality leads to a superior listening experience. The experience is cerebral and emotional, when the mind and heart connect it always leads to a more satisfied individual. Both companies do not have tons of money to throw into promotion. The references to the TP tapes in the audio media is encouraging however the reel to reel tape format needs more support. Michael Fremer's Stereophile review regarding the VPI Scoutmaster turntable mentioned 15 IPS second generation half track tapes. Mmmm.
Influential support is always a plus however I feel that a modern Barclay-Crocker will only survive by grassroots support. Tell your friends about the TP issues, or better still make them listen!


General Discussion / Re: ANYONE MADE 15 ips 2 TRACK COPIES OF LPs?
« on: February 22, 2009, 03:30:37 AM »
Staying with the original subject topic, yes.
The purpose was to use the Technics 1500 reel deck as an analytical tool in comparisons involving various "factors" recorded on two track 15 IPS for the best audio quality in the pursuit of obtaining better sound quality using LPs and 12" singles as source material. The factors varied from software; for example, the recording of original LPs vs remastered or imported pressings, and going as far as different LP stampers A1, A2 etc; and hardware components in the recording chain. Hardware being amplification components and transducers (phono cartridge), cables and tweaks. Cartridge and tone arm adjustments were checked through recording to tape and playback as well as being done in real (no pun intended) time.
It seemed wiser to record to two track to examine the recordings since over a longer term through repeated listening. If the same disc or LP track was used, it was recorded only once within a twenty hour period to help minimize groove wear on the discs and still benefit from maximum fidelity.
My first tries at two track recording @1983 (I first started this process with a quarter track Technics 1700 in 1979) involved a solid state pre-amp which had variable capacitance on one of it's two phono inputs. The testing of varying capacitance with various cartridges was an eye (and ear) opener!
The sources and components varied over the years of course. Going from solid state to tube electronics and vastly improved the audio quality of the recordings though the reel electronics were still solid state.
One thing I learned over time and a growing vinyl collection was that it was redundant to make archival tape copies of my own vinyl recordings. If your turntable, meaning your cartridge/ tone arm as well are properly set up there should be little concern to wear due repeated playing. (So spend your money on TP tapes!) It was tedious to re-record vinyl to tape after every upgrade.
A suggestion; Make a compilation tape of the tracks you play the most often. Saves time, $, and resources.


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