TP-028, Nat Adderley's Work Song is now available

Author Topic: What Is This Stubb-U-Sonic(TM) Process Anyway?  (Read 1023 times)

Offline High and Outside

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What Is This Stubb-U-Sonic(TM) Process Anyway?
« on: January 09, 2024, 01:02:23 AM »
You may have seen reference to the Stubb-U-Sonic(TM) principles on our album art. You may have wondered what this means.

First, the name itself is a just a joke. Don't expect any other explanation. But the principle is something we take quite seriously. It is not a magic piece of gear, it is not a signal processing step, and it will never be reduced to a plug-in.

You have undoubtedly heard the phrase "A chain is only as strong as its weakest link," and you have certainly heard that phrase applied to audio. We think it's a reasonable statement regarding chains, like the kind you use to lift the engine block out of your '57 Chevy, but we think it's inaccurate in describing an audio chain. Rather we find that an audio chain is the sum of the weaknesses of all the links. This may sound like the bad news, but actually it's the good news. Because it also implies that any improvement in any link, no matter how small, can improve the final quality of the chain. Improve a link, and you'll hear it. Improve another one and you'll hear it too. Even if you aren't working on the biggest problem. Everything adds up. (Although if you have a bigger problem, please find time to get to it right away.)

This view has guided us as we try to optimise every step of our process. Every piece of equipment through which the audio signal passes has been carefully  chosen. Many have been modified for better performance. A few have been custom built from scratch. And any piece that isn't necessary isn't in the chain at all. We have paid attention to proper interfacing of all the gear.

In our decades-long study of the factors which are responsible for sound quality, we and our colleagues have found a number of key areas which must be addressed. First, it is critical to recover as much information as possible from the original tapes, since detail lost at any stage can never be restored at a later stage. We use only top quality tape transports (highly tweaked Ampex ATR-100's and Studer A80's) matched with Flux Magnetics heads and custom playback electronics from ATR Service or Tim de Paravicini. The playback electronics that came with these decks years ago just don't compare to the audiophile grade electronics we've all gotten accustomed to in our systems. The custom electronics that we use recover much more musically meaningful detail, more spatial cues, and more texture and three-dimensionality than the stock electronics.

The same principle guides the way we handle the signal through the process all the way to the tape we make for you.

Our evaluations of each step use both test equipment and listening. Regular maintenance makes sure that the audio equipment is always operating at its peak.

We are always willing to take a little more time, or work a little harder, if it means the result is better.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2024, 09:35:54 AM by High and Outside »
Paul Stubblebine
Managing Director, The TapeProject