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Messages - dwilawyer

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General Discussion / Re: Disscusions
« on: April 29, 2008, 11:36:49 PM »
For the record, the current member count is 207. Paul has expressed that it might be useful if folks who are lurking introduce themselves here, as someone suggested early on in the lifetime of the forum.

Well so much for introducing ourselves, which was a great idea by the way.  The thread has sunk into one of those golden ear arguments that people can tell the difference between a $1,000 CD player and a $10,000 one.  I own a high end Esoteric transport and D/A converter and would venture to say that no one on this forum, even the professionals, could tell the difference between a good $1.000 CD player and a $20,000 one in a blind A/B test.  I am willing to put my player on the line to prove the point.  All you need to play is to put up a Studer or ATR 102 and every piece of tape you own. 


General Discussion / TP's Paul Stubblebine in May Stereophile
« on: April 19, 2008, 03:53:09 PM »
Well it seems TP and it's directors are on a role with Stereophile.  Last month it was Fremer who said that tape (TP's tape to be exact) "blew away" even the best SACD, to bad he did not bother to mention the TP.  This month it is about Paul's incredible taste in loud speakers as it releates to an article about the owner of Magico, Alon Wolf.  In discussing the early days of Magico, the article stated:

"Soon [Wolf] was building speakers for friends.  Eventually, at a demo of speakers made by a different company, he encountered premier mastering engineer Paul Stubblebine, who told him he'd been traveling the world for many years looking for a speaker for his studio.  Wolf said that he was building speakers right down the street, reached for his card, and invited Stubblebine over for a listen.  Two weeks later, Stubblebine called.  He arrived on Saturday morning lugging his mastering tapes and Pacific Microsonics equipment, hooked everything up, and listened to full orchestral recordings for eight hours.  Wolf, sitting right behind him, had no idea if Stubblebine liked what he was hearing.  Eventually, Stubblebine rose and said, Well, I have to leave now.  It's late.  Sorry I took up your day.  I'd like to come again if possible.'  Wolf replied 'sure.'  Stubblebine returned in a couple of weeks and spent four more hours.  Finally, he turned to Wolf and said, 'These are the most amazing loudspeakers I've ever heard. I'd like to buy a pair.  How do we do that?'  Wolf eventually completed building the Walls, the 800 lb speakers that Stubblebine still uses in his mastering studio."

As a big fan of horn speakers I have always wanted to hear a pair of Magico Ultimates, but I am sure those Walls must sound mighty special.


Suggestion Box / Re: Suggestions for Your Catalog
« on: April 19, 2008, 12:30:27 AM »
That is by far one of these most incredible lists I have every seen.  That sure has my vote big time, except Smile.  I love the LP, I have it in every form, seen it preformed live, but it was done in digital.

No you put in that list a true stereo version of Pet Sounds and I think you have the Mother of All Lists in my opinion. 

I wonder what the chances would even be for DSOM. 

KOB would also be too good to be true, but I saw a post from someone in TP Mgmt say they were considering it as some point.  Maybe it is not as tough to license some of this stuff.  I beleive KOB would now be under the ownership of Sony so that is going to be out of New York.  That would blow my mind that they would even be willing to talk, but so cool.

I was blown away that Fantasy titles were coming on line, what a treasure trove there.  I would love to see some CCR out of there.


Tape Tech / Re: Ampex 960/1260 upgrades to transport
« on: April 11, 2008, 01:26:50 AM »
I have one that I am trying to get running as a surprise for my father who worked at ampex from 1960 to 1970.  The 1260 was part of a hi-fi console in our living room that also had a nice Girrard record changer on the other side.  I have got everything going good but the "clutchs" on the take up and rewind tables are worn out so it will not fast forward or rewind.  What ever material that is supposed to allow some slippage has worn out to the  point where there is not enought friction at all.

Don't know if there is a fix for that, and that is the bearing that doc was referring too, or if I need to find a workable model and get the parts. 


Thanks much!   I will try to upgrade the rest of my playback system first, and then buy The Tape Project tapes.  Then try to get an Ampex 350-2 from my local classical radio station.

Your 16?  I hate you.  Just kidding, I hope you get the Ampex, you will have a lot of fun with that.  You have a lot of neat equipment from the glory days. 


Reel to Reel Tape Machines / Re: Revox C-270
« on: February 16, 2008, 02:27:11 PM »

I got a call from a guy who has one he wanted to sell for $450. After doing much research and finding minimum information I decided to not go forward with the purchase.

Apparently the C-270 he wants to sell comes from a recording studio but he does not know or claims he does not know the history of this recorder. Plus there is no manual, NAB hubs or case. Bottom line, I would rather purchase a recorder that has lots of parts availability. Thanks again for your valuable input.

Bob W.

I have a C-270 as well, a great deck.  While most in the US are going to be NAB, they are easy to go back and forth to IEC with a change in the Reproduce Equalizer Board and, if you wish to record in IEC as well, the Record Equalizer Board.  These boards are readily available new from either JMTA or on ebay from Canada.  Currently you can obtain new heads, pinch rollers, and boards for the C-270, in large part because these parts are identical over several models.  I have a spare backup board for each of the 8 main boards, for both NAB and IEC, in all speed combos, along with new spare heads.   

$450 may have been a good deal, or as you say, a real bummer depending on the condition of the thing.  With no history I don't think I would have jumped on it without bringing my Studer tech with me, but that is going to cost money just to see if it is worth it.  The last C270 I saw on ebay, about a month or two ago went for over 1K and was in so so shape, no extras, no manuals, etc. 

I was interested in the comment about getting something that had parts that were more available.  I am not aware of anything being more available parts-wise then Studer/Revox other then Otari, which are still available new for 5K.  If there is something out there that has plenty of parts available I would like to know because that would sure be the way to go at this point. 


General Discussion / Great Article: The Death of High Fidelity
« on: December 29, 2007, 12:53:15 PM »
Someone posted this article in the Ampex forum and I thought it was quite good.  It discusses compression in recording today, as well as interesting tidbits such as this:

In 2004, Jeff Buckley's mom, Mary Guibert, listened to the original three-quarter-inch tape of her son's recordings as she was preparing the tenth-anniversary reissue of Grace. "We were hearing instruments you've never heard on that album, like finger cymbals and the sound of viola strings being plucked," she remembers. "It blew me away because it was exactly what he heard in the studio."

Here is the link:


General Discussion / Re: Removing tape from 10inch reels.
« on: December 15, 2007, 09:16:41 PM »
I have never heard of not being able to seperate the flanges (metal part) from the hub (plastic/resin part that the tape actually loads onto).  I have had so flange screws that were almost impossible to unscrew, or actually broke withn unscrewing, but once the screws are off the flange should easily lift off.

You mentioned 3 screws, some Scotch are 5 and 6 screw but that would be very obvious that you did not remove those screws.  I cannot think of a reason why the flanges would be stuck to the hub unless someone thought it would be a good idea to glue them, or that someting from the tape has leached out over time and gotten between the flange and the hub that then turned into cement.  Never heard of that eather.

If you have a long thin screwdriver I would try and see if you can get in wedged in between the flange and the hub and give a gentle twist.

Of course the razor blade trick will work, but it is still going to take you a bit of time to cut through 10" of tape, and some Scotch flanges had smaller windage holes which will not allow you to cut through all of the tape.

Commerical decks have a waste basket function which allowed you to wind the tape off the side into a waste basket, essentially bypassing the takeup tension arm shut-off sensor.  You can do the same thing by lifting up the takeup tenstion arm and pressing play.  Once you get the tape started into the waste basket it will continue to flow right in.  Of course you are going to be standing there for quite awhile.  If you have a flange that will come apart you would be better of winding the tape to that reel, taking in apart and then popping the tape off of the hub and repeating the process until you had all of the tape off the reels.


Prerecorded Tapes / Re: Decca Tapes?
« on: November 25, 2007, 04:57:49 PM »
Thanks, I will stop looking. The surmise that since they were all made in the US, they had to use the London label seems very reasonable.

If you ever want to do a search for a tape, including by label, go to this site, they have over 5000 tapes listed so far:

A search for Decca lists over 70 tapes, and they have no rock tapes listed.  I am trying to get all of my rock entered into this site because they are a little lacking in this regard.  They do not have the Decca Who tapes listed, but I will get those in soon.  As you can see Decca has plenty out there.


Prerecorded Tapes / Re: Decca Tapes?
« on: November 25, 2007, 03:31:04 PM »
There are no Decca tapes. Ampex did the duplication from the 50s through the 70s. Stereotape might have made some Dolby tapes of London titles. Interestingly, EMI/Columbia did produce 1/2 track stereo tapes, while they were sold as Angels in the US.

I have a ton of Decca tapes.  Just for starters, The Who, Tommy, The Who, A Quick One.


General Discussion / Re: Anyone know or use LAST Tape Head Treatment
« on: November 17, 2007, 12:36:33 AM »
This brings up a good topic.

What products are people using for cleaning heads and rollers?


Use Xylene for tape heads.  Do not use alcohol on your heads unless you know for sure that the manufacturer has approved it.  Alcohol can cause the deterioation of the cement/binder in the head causing permanent damage. 

For pinch rollers I like the Caig rubber cleaner, I believe it is CaliClean.  Works great, and will not dry out some rubber compounds.


Prerecorded Tapes / Re: Kind of Blue 4 track on Ebay
« on: August 29, 2007, 04:15:28 PM »
I agree that it depends upon an individual's taste what something is worth. We have spent a lot of time over the past year and a half discussing a rational approach to picking titles that will a) have a broad enough appeal without being hackneyed (KOB might even fit the hackneyed description simply from the standpoint that it has been reissued so many times - I've just spoken a travesty, huh!) b) be music that moves us (we have to like what we are doing in order to do it well) and c) be available (I wish I could share a couple of awesome titles we pursued and found we couldn't license for this year, but I will keep them under wraps in case we get another crack at them in the future).

I suggested KOB early on in our discussion of titles. That won't be in this year's catalog, but hopefully the three jazz titles we will be winding the year up with might fulfill your expectations.

No, I think you have hit the nail on the head.  In terms of the quality of what you are trying to do, it would be harder for me to imagine it being any better (and be feasable economically).  So that leaves the selection/catalog side.  You do have to hit things that have a broad appeal.  I for one don't have any interest in classical, I am about 80% rock from (mostly 60's and 70's), 10% blues and 10% jazz.  I was born in 1960 and the percentage of jazz tends to creep up some.  I was raised on It's A Beautiful Day, Santana, Big Brother, Hot Tuna, Dooby Bros., The Tubes . . . every Bay Area band you can name.  However, the blend of the medium, having the best quality reproduction, combined with the selection is what garnered my interest.  In other words, if this were a "Vinyl Project" akin to MOFI or some others I may not be nearly as interested because there are plenty of alternatives in that medium.  If it was an all classical Vinyl Project I would have no interest.  The prospect of having the highest quality classical music has no appeal to me.  However, the prospect of having the highest quality music, of ASSORTED types, does have a very big interest to me.  Obviously, the highest interest TO ME would be an assortment that was 80% rock, 10% blues, etc.  I understand that you would not be able to stay in business if you catered only to my tastes and you will need to see what has, as you say, the broadest appeal. 

I look at this way, if having one or two classical tapes per year is going to gather more people then that helps insure the Tape Project is arround for a long time, which is what I am really hoping for.  Mark Levinson's attempt at this was so high priced and so short lived it was of no use.  I figure that eventually there will be a mix settles in that will keep everyone fairly happy.

As for KOB, Columbia, like everyone else, trys to sell the same thing 50 different ways and folks get turned off by it, I believe.  However, I cannot see anyone saying that about a Tape Project version of KOB. 


PS:  Another KOB just popped up on Ebay:

General Discussion / Re: Tape Project tapes
« on: August 29, 2007, 03:51:53 PM »
High bias. Here's a menu of data sheets for RMGI tapes; US recording media is also a great place to buy other tape related supplies and tools. I keep mentioning these guys but there may be cheaper places to buy RMGI tape. It's just that it's kind of a 1 stop for all kinds of tape stuff.


I agree, I have been doing business with them for 10 years.  They are a nice handy 1 stop shop for everything and they are very nice to deal with.  I try to buy local when I can here in Austin, there is a place that supplys all of the studios here in town, but when I need to buy misc. stuff they are a great go to place.  Their head cleaner is top notch and the stuff folks should use instead of alcohol.


Prerecorded Tapes / Re: Liquidating Small Tape Collection
« on: August 28, 2007, 05:54:11 PM »

So, if you are interested, send me an e-mail, or post on-line here, the most compelling reason you should get this pile of tapes (I?m reluctant to split them up, and I may keep the King Biscuit stuff).  Of course, thing like cash can be very compelling, but a good story can be compelling too. Recipient to pay for shipping.  I am not sure if you are selling these or having an essay contest to give them away for shipping?   

As an aside, if you have any additional information about the King Biscuit tapes I?d love to learn more.  You are correct, the King Biscuit Flower Hour was a weekly syndicated radio prodution that started in the early 70's.  These tapes were sent out to all of the subscribing stations to be played over the air.  They are typically 10.5" 7.5 IPS, 2 track.  They were somewhat rare, however, kingbiscuit is selling all of these concerts as downloads on their website so the rairety has gone away.  There are some great live shows on tape, however.  These appear on ebay all the time, and the price varys depending on the artist.

Let me know if you are interested in acquiring this treasure.

[email protected]

Prerecorded Tapes / Re: Kind of Blue 4 track on Ebay
« on: August 28, 2007, 05:36:48 PM »
I guess that gives me ammo for the next guy who complains that a licensed master dub at 15 ips half track for $200 is expensive, huh.

To me it is apples and oranges.  I don't think it gives you ammo for anything, unless you were selling a 15 IPS Half-track master of KOB. 

There was an article in the last year in either Stereophile or TAS about the 3 track masters of KOB, and (I cannot remember which) . . . the mono is still good, but the stereo cannot be found, etc (I cannot recall which, or the specifics).  The author was talking about how incredible hearing the 3 track play was.  Now you license that and I would pay $500, $750, probably even a $1,000 for it.

Now if you license, lets say, Captain and Tennile, Love Will Keep Us Together, I wouldn't give you $10.00 for it (I take that back, I would give you $50 for it because your cools looking flanges are worth that alone).  On the other hand, Robert Cray for example, is a great talent, great music, great recording, that it fits within the price point. 

You don't need anyone to tell you this, but with music, it is all going to depend on who it is, and what it is, as to whether it is worth the price.  There is no queston the quality of the actual product is there, both the physical product and the process in making the tapes from the masters. 

You look at what the cost of a Columbia House (1R1) prerecorded reel to reel goes for compared to the original and you quickly see folks who are into reel to reel will pay a big premium for 7.5 IPS original issue tapes over mass-produced high speed dubbing record club issues.  But Percy Faith, is still Percy Faith, and he is going to go for less then 3 bucks (if you are lucky) whether it is 3.75, 7.5 or half-track 15IPS.


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