Tape Project Forum

Tape Project Albums => Waltz for Debby => Topic started by: ironbut on October 23, 2008, 07:06:50 PM

Title: Waltz for Debby TP 008
Post by: ironbut on October 23, 2008, 07:06:50 PM
Not that this really needs to be said, but if there ever was a must have, this has got to be it. Of course, my being a huge Bill Evans fan may have a tiny bit to do with this. Being a fan does mean that I have all the reissues (I could never afford the kinds of prices the originals are commanding today) and they don't stand a chance IMHO. Scott LaFarro's bass is so defined and you just know that you're hearing it all for the very first time. And the separation between Evans' piano and the rest of the trio is so spot on that even on headphones, it seems like you could lean over to the left and hear just that little bit more. I think that these tapes have spoiled us to the point that the "being there" thing is almost pass'e. One of the main reasons that this release has always been an audiophile fav is the detailing and the sense of place that it conveys. The clinking of glasses and the low level conversations that would normally be considered a distraction are part of the charm. There's a couple of squeaks on " My Foolish Heart" that I've always wondered about. They sound too high pitched to be from a chair but after hearing the tape, I think that it may be the squeak of a corked bottle being opened. And it sounds like it's coming from the direction of what I now believe to be the bar. I'll let you know if it's Re'my Martin or Johnny Walker after the second listen.
Don't even think about it,.. just buy it!
Title: Re: Waltz for Debby TP 008
Post by: Ben on October 23, 2008, 07:38:38 PM
I'll not think about it, but what bottle of wine do I buy?
I ran out of selections so TP009 is the jazz LP ^H^H^H  tape
for me.I am glad you like it.

Title: Re: Waltz for Debby TP 008
Post by: mikel on October 24, 2008, 10:16:00 PM
TP008 is an unqualified home run!!!

i'm guessing no one is surprised about that. a first class 15ips master dub of argueably the most popular live Jazz trio album of all time should be outstanding; and it is. i agree with all of Ironbut's comments.

what struck me first was the level of realism from a 47 year old recording. from the very start i was there seated in a stage center table; with Evans piano just to my right up on the stage and LaFaro's bass to my left.....and Motian a bit back and left of center. every tiny nuance was there and the subtlety of everything was spooky. like Ironbut; i had the feeling that this was the complete picture of how it was. i have many Bill Evans recordings. i've never heard the nuance and subtlety of his playing like this. the fingering of the keys was magical. really; the same with LaFaro. it was so intimate feeling i was out of my listening comfort zone and i was trying to get my bearings. it seemed to cross over into really real territory. made the hair stand up and all that. looked over my shoulder a few times.

there was nothing between me and them. no mics or recording chain was evident.

the brush work from Motian had this delicate 3-dimentionality to it and such micro-dynamic life. the whole recording has such an alive level of dynamic realism.....unveiled and natural.

everything had such a natural place in space front to back, side to side, and top to bottom. nothing cookie cutter, just real life in real space. i'm assuming that as close to the original event as this is everything is in perfect phase. just music.

and oh, what music. perfect sound meets inspired playing; with historically great synergy and talent. three guys at their individual musical peaks.


i had intended to write mostly about how this compared to the AP 45rpm Lp reissue.....which was my reference for 'Waltz for Debbie'. i have been eagarly anticipating doing the comparison to see how a 45rpm Lp played on a top level tt compared to 'The Tape Project' 15ips 1/4" version played on a top level RTR deck. but after doing the comparison, it's easy to hear how the tape is better in every way and the 45rpm Lp (as good as it is) is not really close to this level of realism. my focus did change more to just talking about what this tape provides the listener in terms of a game-changing personal musical journey.

some specifics on the 15ips tape/45 rpm comparison.

the most significant thing is the level of clarity. you compare the 45 to the 33 or the SACD and the 45 has clearly better clarity, texture and nuance. the 45 has this wonderful fullness and naturalness. it seems very vivid and alive. then you play the 15ips tape and your jaw drops. suddenly the dirty window has openned and reality appears before you.

and the open window has more than just more detail. it also contains better dynamic contrasts, a much better sense of venue and action in space. the air pressure of the room changes as the whole room becomes energized.

all the rich ambient clinking of the glasses and little noises become much more real, each individual clap in the claping after each cut becomes real and distinct. this is a whole new ball game of 'you are there'.

the 45 and the tape share the spot-on tonality. but you are drawn much more into the intimacy of the music with the tape by the degree shading of that tonality.

this recording is so relaxed and easy to listen to in any format.....which is a good part of it's charm. on the tape it becomes a place you have gone and the world falls away.

TP008 begs to be played on the very best possible RTR player.

congrats to Doc, Paul and Romo for the wonderful job they have done here. WOW and double WOW!

if anyone is even thinking about getting into RTR tapes this would be a great place to start. the best music meets the all time best consumer format.

Title: Re: Waltz for Debby TP 008
Post by: jcmusic on October 24, 2008, 10:55:52 PM
I sure wish mine would get here soon, as I am a huge B.E. fan myself and have many of his recordings; even some on tape. Debbie is one of my all time favorites I am so lookin forward to it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Please guys ship mine soon.

Title: Re: Waltz for Debby TP 008
Post by: astrotoy on October 25, 2008, 12:50:44 AM
Just completed my first listen. What a wonderful experience, even for a non jazz person. Not just a "you are there" feeling, but a mellow "in the moment" feelling, transported back almost 50 years to 1961. I'm not a jazz person, but this was great. I'll be more analytic later with comparisons with the Analogue Acoustics reissue and the SACD. BTW, I heard side B first, then with a nice glass of Remy Martin VSOP from Costco, side A.   More later.   Larry
Title: Re: Waltz for Debby TP 008
Post by: docb on October 25, 2008, 10:35:01 AM
Thanks to everyone for the kind words, and thanks for the great photos, Mike. I am stoked to get over and listen to your Studer.

I have say say I really enjoy the tape/LP comparison comments here. I get a lot of phone calls asking me if tape is really better than a good LP or high res digital. The thing I try to point out is that Paul, Michael and I could have started a label putting out music in any of those formats. The guys make digital masters every day with Pacific Microsonics Model 2s, and a lot of those are high res masters. Paul has his Scully lathe up and running, sharing the duping room with the Ampexes. So the equipment and the experience are there. With all those choices sitting in the same building, we chose tape - not because it was any easier or cheaper to produce, not because there were more titles available to license than other formats, and certainly not because it was a dominant format in terms of user base. So if you think about it, about the only the reason left for doing it this way would have to be that it rewards you with a pretty compelling listening experience.
Title: Re: Waltz for Debby TP 008
Post by: Ben on October 25, 2008, 10:42:47 AM
Don't say almost 50 years to 1961 . I was born in 1960.
The real shame is seeing the quality of music drop since then.
BTW mikel was is on the wall behind the the TT and R2R?
You are the only person so far I seen with room treatment.
Title: Re: Waltz for Debby TP 008
Post by: mikel on October 25, 2008, 11:29:58 AM
Don't say almost 50 years to 1961 . I was born in 1960.
The real shame is seeing the quality of music drop since then.
BTW mikel was is on the wall behind the the TT and R2R?
You are the only person so far I seen with room treatment.

hi Ben,

here is a link to pictures of my room.


the pictures are now out of date as they don't show my RTR decks or my other tt's. if you scroll to the bottom there is a link to an article i wrote about my room construction and the acoustic treatments.

the treatments behind my tt and RTR decks are the built-in side diffusers. i have my three tt's on the left side of my room and the three RTR decks on the right side of my room.

all the room treatment in my room was designed into it.

Doc, you are most welcome anytime. i know you are pretty busy but when it works let me know.


Title: Re: Waltz for Debby TP 008
Post by: Ben on October 25, 2008, 05:47:00 PM
Very nice set up, the only thing I think I that could be improved is normal
room lighting. Since you seem to have the right fixtures, try here for real daylight
bulbs. http://www.solux.net/cgi-bin/tlistore/infopages/index.html
Title: Re: Waltz for Debby TP 008
Post by: JoeG on November 19, 2008, 03:13:16 PM
This tape is the real deal boys and girls! I spent last evening going back and forth between the tape and then the 45 rpm and the 33 rpm LPs played back on my Walker TT. There is something very special about the decay, sustain and timbre of the piano as reproduced on TP008. It is not there on the 180g 33 1/3 LP, but I am not quite ready to say that the 45 is better than the tape or the tape is better than the 45.

The 33 1/3 has gone back to the shelf and I will focus on the other two. My guess is that at the end of the day, one is not going to be better, just different than the other. Surface noise is non-existent on the tape, giving an other-worldly creepiness to the crowd noise. Forks dropping, snippets of conversation, and the applause at the end of each piece are rendered better on the tape.

I was prepared to say the bass went down deeper on the LP, but after adjusting the VTA on my tonearm, bass on both is deep and articulate.

Another homerun from the TP boys!!
Title: If LP vs. tape comparisons must be made...
Post by: docb on November 19, 2008, 06:20:05 PM
when you think about it, putting a Plan B Technics tape deck up against a $50K turntable rig and not being able to declare a clear winner must say something about the quality of the software. I wish you could hear that tape on my Nagra T with a Tube Repro, which would certainly be a more level playing field from a standpoint of hardware.  I don't think there would be as much difficulty choosing a favorite. ;^)>
Title: Re: Waltz for Debby TP 008
Post by: astrotoy on November 22, 2008, 02:27:07 AM
Another comparison of Waltz with the R2R vs. SACD and 33rpm both from Analogue Productions. First, I have upgraded my front end, so now the TT, cartridge and phono pre are almost exactly 3 times the cost of the Bottlehead Technics 1506/Repro. Not ten times like Mike, but not a shabby system. I also can change polarity remotely with my new Herron VTSP3 and with my system, all of the sources - SACD, LP and R2R require reversed absolute polarity. The easiest way to hear this is in any of the Scott LaFaro bass solos (as in the middle of Waltz for Debby) where without the correct polarity the bass plucks are much more lifeless and flat in perspective. Also you can feel the impact of Evan's hammer strokes on the piano with the correct polarity. The SACD is the clear loser, although quite nice in its own way. The B side of the LP is pretty close to the R2R, very realistic, not quite the depth of the tape. But side A is where the R2R shines - I agree with Mike's assessment of the utter ease of the playing and the lifelike you are there feeling of the R2R. You can hear the difference immediately in the beginning of the first cut - "My Foolish Heart".  Again the LP is quite spectacular on its own - I don't have the 45 to compare, though I have always found the 45 versions of the Classic Records pressings superior to their 33 rpm. I don't have any of Chad's 45 pressings. Another winner. BTW, lights off when playing this album makes it even more real.  One point that Dan may have a comment on. Several times in the album, the tape has a little drop out (most notably at the beginning of the B side - the first few seconds of "My Romance" and right at the end of "My Foolish Heart"). It is there in the SACD, so it must be in the master. However, in the LP it isn't there. Not sure how Chad was able to remove the problem. AP did both the LP and the SACD and only the LP has the drop out problem removed. Mike may want to comment on whether the 45 has this issue.  Larry
Finally, does anyone know about the album "Bill Evans Trio Sunday at the Village Vanguard." I got the SACD in the same bunch of SACD's where I got Waltz for Debbie. It sounds very much like it came from the same sessions - the liner notes indicate that also. The three performers are in the same acoustic and in the same positions in both albums. 
Title: Re: Waltz for Debby TP 008
Post by: ironbut on November 22, 2008, 10:32:11 AM
Hi Larry, glad you've taken a liking to one of my all time favorite jazz musicians. Yes, "Sunday Night,.." is from the same gig and completes the playlist from that engagement (save one performance of "All of You"). I've always thought of Evans as the American Debussy or maybe Monet with his subtle shadings and the way he implies a theme rather than playing it outright.
BTW that was the last engagement of Scott LaFarro who 10 days latter, died in a car accident. Tragic!
Title: Re: Waltz for Debby TP 008
Post by: dwilawyer on December 31, 2008, 03:10:10 PM
I was hoping to get Steve Hoffman's thoughts on TP-008 as compared to the master tape since he is so familar that recording.  I had thought he was going to take me up on my offer to send him the tape for a listen, however, I just got this response (in blue):


Don't send it to me (although I appreciate the idea), YOU tell us what you're hearing. Don't forget to use the proper playback curve (I was told it's the European IEC/CCIR curve)..

It's not fair for me to compare a third gen. tape dub to the memory of the master tape that is in my mind. To much bias there (no pun intended).

You tell us how it compares to the 45 RPM version we cut, etc. and the CD versions or OJC LP. Better yet, have someone who didn't pay $400.00 (or however much the tape cost) do the test. Much More Better. Don't forget to do it blind! 

In response I just pasted a copy of Mike's excellent review and a link to this thread. 

I sure hope I get my copy soon, I am really looking forward to being able to do the comparison myself.

Title: Re: Waltz for Debby TP 008
Post by: jcmusic on January 02, 2009, 11:07:54 PM
I am with you on this one Travis, can't wait to get mine.

Title: Re: Waltz for Debby TP 008
Post by: AZ_Gary on January 08, 2009, 06:37:52 PM
Has anyone actually received a TP008? I'm a selective subscriber and haven't received it. Some of the chatter here would lead me to believe some of you have received the tape. What's the scoop?

Title: Re: Waltz for Debby TP 008
Post by: ironbut on January 08, 2009, 06:56:26 PM
Hi Gary. Yes, I received mine a while ago. You should contact Doc or Romo to see what's up. You have to figure with the number of tapes that have gone out, one shipment could've been lost by UPS. They deliver my stuff to the wrong address about 1 out of 20 times. Either way, you should check with the guys.
Title: Re: Waltz for Debby TP 008
Post by: JoeG on January 08, 2009, 07:15:04 PM
Check with Romo on your status. The guys have been busting their humps getting tapes out to Charter Subscribers and doing catch-up runs for the Selective Subscribers. At one point, they had depleted their supplier's tape stock, UPS had some shipping issues in the Pac Northwest around the holidays because of weather.

My serial number is at about the mid-point of the available numbers (61), and I received "Waltz for Debbie" in early November. Trust me, the tape is well worth the wait. I have a Plan B Tape Project playback set-up (J-corder/Bottlehead RS1500 and Bottlehead Seduction) and the tape gives the 45 rpm vinyl played back on my Walker Proscenium Gold Signature TT/Bluelectric Magic Diamond cart a real run for the money. That is saying something about the quality of the software
that Doc, Mike and Paul are putting out. I think Mike L. can back me up on that...
Title: Re: Waltz for Debby TP 008
Post by: steveidosound on January 08, 2009, 07:16:46 PM
I get the impression from other threads that selective subscribers like me are taken care of after charter subscribers, then perhaps individuals that only order 1 or 2 tapes after that.
There are tapes, for example, that I chose and do not have yet that came out well after I joined TP, as well as before I joined.
I happened to not choose any of the last 3 jazz titles, but I went back and looked and there are plenty of others who have received tapes which came out since I joined last March, which I am still waiting on, like TP-007 for example.
I think despite the best efforts over the holidays they are nowhere near caught up yet.
Title: Re: Waltz for Debby TP 008
Post by: Ben on January 08, 2009, 07:34:07 PM
What I would like to know is when production has stopped or started.
Living in Canada, UPS if I am lucky shows up twice a week and also they tend
to give delivery notices after it shows up. Still I suspect with them getting the
art work in for the next tape, most of the tapes are finished, save for the last one to come out for many people.
Title: Re: Waltz for Debby TP 008
Post by: AZ_Gary on January 10, 2009, 12:16:34 AM
I spoke with Eileen this noon and she said the studio was doing a major effort over the weekend to produce copies of TP008. HOORAY!!!!

Title: Re: Waltz for Debby TP 008
Post by: jcmusic on January 10, 2009, 08:48:12 AM
I haven't gotten my TP #8 as well, still waiting to hear from someone.  Let me correct this post as I have gotten this tape.
Also my findings on this TP tape, Simply Amazing!!!