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Author Topic: the 2 track era  (Read 17200 times)

Offline ironbut

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Re: the 2 track era
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2011, 04:50:12 PM »
Hi Steve,

The Computer History Museum sound cool. I'll have to make a visit there myself.
I remember when they used to do exhibits about silicon valley at some of the local malls (Vallco IIRC). I loved seeing those huge hard drives etc.

I think I watched that KOB auction (or one of them). The 2 track tape doesn't even have all the tracks the lp does. There's just no making sense of the prices collectors are willing to pay. I think I paid around $60 for my original mono KOB lp a few years back. It's about a B+ but who knows what condition that tape is in!
steve koto
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Offline Gkar

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Re: the 2 track era
« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2011, 02:46:19 PM »
So I visited our wonderful Computer History museum here in the Silicon Valley recently and noticed that they had in their display showing the evolution of memory devices an example of consumer magnetic reel to reel pre-recorded tape. Not just any reel mind you, but a 2 track copy of  Brubeck's "Time Out"  just stuck there on the wall near the much bigger reels of early computer data tape.
So, when I got home I decided to see if any examples existed on eBay. One was there so I decided to watch it.
I thought my prediction of a couple of hundred dollars was outlandish.
It ultimately sold for -  $$$ SIX HUNDRED AND SEVENTY SIX DOLLARS !!!
I knew that some 2 tracks had been going out of sight, but that is the most ridiculous thing I ever heard of !
There must be crazy amounts of money out there somewhere chasing the small supply of these sorts of things.

And why would that be surprising?  Really?  There is a major concentration of wealth that is looking for something to do with that money, those who have become audiophiles are driving the tape market waay up!  And not only tapes, but other collectibles, I see the market for the best of the vintage comic books jumping up in large amounts each month, with new records each month.  Whether that/this is money that is looking for investment opportunities, or just people with more money than they can spend, this money is realling driving the high-end collectibles out of sight!

P.S. ! Just looked under completed items and a  2 track copy of Miles Davis - Kind of Blue  from the same seller went for - wait for it -  $770.00 !
"Music possesses far richer means of expression, and it is a more subtle medium in which to translate the thousand shifting moments in the mood of a soul." - Tchaikovsky

Offline steveidosound

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Re: the 2 track era
« Reply #17 on: December 30, 2011, 05:26:03 PM »
Hi,
Does anyone know about all the eBay 2 tracks that are say "Cal-Western Stereo" on the boxes? All listings seem to be from the "Reel Lady" Are they copies from other tapes or vinyl perhaps? I had mentioned that some early 4 track car tapes were duplicated from vinyl by independent shops and distributed back in the day.
Steve Williams

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Offline ironbut

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Re: the 2 track era
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2011, 01:19:37 PM »
She has some interesting stuff for sure.
I don't know anything about those tapes either but as I've asked before regarding some of these "master/safety masters" offered for sale on eBay, I'd love to know more.
Luckily, most of these tapes seem to have been recorded before the "sticky shed" era so they could be in really good shape and playable.
Unfortunately, most of these kinds of auctions end with prices that are close to or sometimes much more than the Tape Project tapes so it's just not within my financial scope to find out (those dice are just too heavy for little old me to roll!)
steve koto
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Offline steveidosound

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Re: the 2 track era
« Reply #19 on: December 31, 2011, 06:50:07 PM »
I did notice that all boxes with that label on the front also show a spine shot with the original label and their number and the artist and title. Nobody can say who these Cal-Western Stereo folks were? If they are actually the original  2 track tapes with someone's generic label pasted over the artwork, they are worth it for sure. If copies of one sort or another, probably not so much so.
Steve Williams

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Offline stellavox

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Re: the 2 track era
« Reply #20 on: January 01, 2012, 07:52:54 AM »
Regarding Cal Western - I checked my two-track stereo pre-record list residing in the files section of the Yahoogroups Reel_Tape thread
 http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/Reel_Tapes/files/
And do include maybe a dozen titles from Cal Western, which was supposedly out of San Jose.  Maybe some of you'se "locals" can do some more digging.  They apparently issued a few of their own titles plus copies/reissues of certain RCA, Columbia and other labels.  Don't think I've ever heard a tape so I can't comment on their "quality.

Reel lady is the current go-to-girl for 2 tracks and "master dubs".

BTW Steve if you'd like to host the list here I'll send it to you (or whomever would like to do it).  Don't have a website to link it to (Yet)

Happy New Year

Charles 




Offline X-Factor

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Re: the 2 track era
« Reply #21 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.
Leslie
Leslie

Offline steveidosound

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Re: the 2 track era
« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2012, 09:09:14 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.
Leslie

Hi, Thanks for that! One of my points in starting this thread was to try and determine past what point in album release dates should I not reasonably expect to find a 2 track release version. Don't know if labels stopped production earlier, but it sounds as if '61 is a reasonable cut off date. I have some stuff I'm interested in that was issued more like '63-'64 era and it would seem that those would be too late to ever find in that format.

I have an email in to a couple of friends active in Hi Fi in San Jose as far back as the late 50s to see if they can remember anything about Cal-Western 2 track duplicated tapes.
Steve Williams

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Offline michael22

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Early RCA
« Reply #23 on: April 18, 2012, 04:19:10 PM »
I have a High Fidelity magazine ad from July 1954 showing RCA's first stereo release ECS-1 Strauss/Reiner priced at $14.95. Sixteen monaural tapes were also offered, including the budget Bluebird Series, priced at $12.95.

The ad doesn't mention the format, but I suspect ECS-1 was available only in the staggered/offset/displaced format, as the stacked/inline format had not yet been commercialized in 1954. By 1956, however, nine classical tapes were offered (through ECS-9) in both staggered and stacked formats. The 'displaced' version had a "D" following the three letter code, e.g. ECSD-9. These early duplication tapes were on unmarked reels, had labeled leader tapes attached, and were in generic (non-picture) boxes.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2012, 04:22:22 PM by michael22 »
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Offline docb

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Re: the 2 track era
« Reply #24 on: April 18, 2012, 05:08:23 PM »
$14.95 in 1954 dollars - that's $125.42 in 2012 dollars according to one web inflation calculator. Interestingly one sold four years ago on the Bay for $133. Is this album on a single a 7" plastic reel? Looks to be in the photo. If so, consider that TP albums use four times the tape, double the number of reels, they are 10" metal ones and the packaging is a heckuva lot more expensive than a single 7" standup box.  Maybe we aren't too far off the original RCA pricing model.

« Last Edit: April 18, 2012, 05:11:40 PM by docb »
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Offline michael22

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Re: the 2 track era
« Reply #25 on: April 18, 2012, 07:37:44 PM »
ECS-1 contains about 36 minutes of music. I think there would be a small but dedicated market for high quality 2-track 7-1/2 ips tapes in the $125 range today. Has The Tape Project ever run tests in this format? Considering the vast improvements in tape oxide formulation, tape head design, and transport mechanisms, I'd think a 1:1 duplication from a TP master might sound exceptionally good.
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Offline steveidosound

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Re: the 2 track era
« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2012, 11:44:28 PM »
That is also roughly the same price point as the new 1/4 track tape released recently by the Shins and duplicated who knows how.
Thread here-
http://www.tapeproject.com/smf/index.php/topic,2308.0.html
Steve Williams

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Offline Tim Leggett

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Re: the 2 track era
« Reply #27 on: April 23, 2012, 07:36:03 PM »
ECS-1 contains about 36 minutes of music. I think there would be a small but dedicated market for high quality 2-track 7-1/2 ips tapes in the $125 range today. Has The Tape Project ever run tests in this format? Considering the vast improvements in tape oxide formulation, tape head design, and transport mechanisms, I'd think a 1:1 duplication from a TP master might sound exceptionally good.

I have been picking up some Capitol 2 Tracks from the late 1950's and early 1960's. I have run across two that are pretty long. One is ZF-41 - The Music Man which is 43 minutes. The other is ZF-27 Gliere: Ilya Mourometz which is about 36 minutes. These are thinner tape than the regular Capitol 2 Tracks, but don't sound too bad.
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Offline michael22

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Re: the 2 track era
« Reply #28 on: April 24, 2012, 08:55:40 PM »
Both tapes mentioned above were duplicated on Scotch 190. The Music Man is, IMHO, the best sounding Broadway original cast album ever recorded. It was extraordinary to hear back in 1957 when it was first released, and has held up very well by today's standards. If I am not mistaken, it was Capitol's first original cast album recorded in stereo. (There are, of course, the two early stereo soundtracks - Carousel and The King and I - which sound flat by comparison.) The Gliere/Stokowski is also one of Capitol's better sounding tapes from that era.
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Offline astrotoy

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Re: the 2 track era
« Reply #29 on: May 03, 2012, 10:05:34 AM »
Interestingly, the first stereo LP issued by RCA was the Reiner Also Sprach LSC-1806 and the second was Fiedler conducting the Boston Pops in Offenbach's Gaite Pariesienne, LSC-1817. They came out a few years (1958?) after the actual recordings made in 1954 IIRC. Today in excellent condition they cost in the low mid 3 figures - I paid that much for my copies. They were also chosen for the Classic Records reissues a few years ago. The reissued Also Sprach has particularly bad high freq emphasis that is not in the original. I have the two track in line issue of the Fiedler, but I am currently 8 time zones away from it.
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