Reel-to-reel tape is the new vinyl

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Brian Gupton, Oct 8, 2015.

  1. BIGGER Dave

    BIGGER Dave Forum Resident

    Okay, that sums it up. Because in the end, that's all that matters. Just ask my Avatar! ;)
     
    Catcher10 likes this.
  2. Catcher10

    Catcher10 Well-Known Member

    ^ She has reel to reels.........
    :)
     
  3. hvbias

    hvbias Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northeast
    Many are already archiving to hi-res. Decca, Blue Note are just two off the top of my head. I'll gladly take the hi-res, or heck even well mastered CD with the sound quality I'm getting with my DAC (~ Merging NADAC). I had a Tape Project setup and sold it. Even directly compared Saxophone Colossus tape, 45 rpm vinyl, HDTracks 24/96 and DCC gold CD. All excellent, the last one is the one I stuck with.

    Of course just my opinion after doing the comparison and within my budget. $8k is the max I am willing to spend on a front end which is what my DAC retails at. I am sure a TechDAS Airforce 1 or Studer A820 is better.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2016
    MrRom92 likes this.
  4. MrRom92

    MrRom92 Forum Supermodel

    Location:
    Long Island, NY

    My point was that if the digital archives were as good as the tapes they are making them from they would have dumped their tape libraries long ago. Glad to hear you were able to do a comparison like that though, I wish I was able to do that with a recording I was intimately familiar with! I've been able to compare 1st gen master tape to digitized transfers, lacquers, and pressed records, and I can say that I heard the losses inherent to each. But I can't say that I was well acquainted with the recording beforehand.
     
    McLover likes this.
  5. hvbias

    hvbias Forum Resident

    Location:
    Northeast
    I have no doubt the first gen tape is superior. Everything we get as consumers (including these tape reissues) are all lossy in comparison to the first gen master. In the case of Tape Project the consumer is getting a third generation tape. At least to my ears the losses with digital on a good DAC are less than master tape -> production copy -> consumer copy. All IMHO what me and some friends hear. I'm not claiming this as a fact!

    I don't think Blue Note and Decca would bother doing it if they weren't very close approximations. It is understood that going forward these will be the sources used for reissues instead of going back to the priceless masters (Esoteric in Japan have already been using Decca's PCM archives for their SACDs). They could just make tape copies of the masters and use those as the new master, but going to hi-res digital route is pretty telling to me.
     
    MrRom92 likes this.
  6. Dr. Mudd

    Dr. Mudd Forum Resident

    So, you know nothing of my listening habits. I have no idea if you have hearing loss, so we're even.
     
  7. head_unit

    head_unit Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles CA USA
    They should bring back those TV game shows where contestants get to run through a store with a shopping cart for one minute grabbing whatever they can, except now they get to help the record companies empty their vaults and reduce those pesky storage bills:
    "Forget those King Crimson rehearsals, Mildred!!! Help me grab these Justin Bieber outtakes!!!"
     
    MrRom92 likes this.
  8. Om

    Om Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Ever since getting into the hobby of restoring these machines just a few years back I can say I won't even bother with the mass produced 7 1/2 ips copies that as stated way earlier in the thread are fourth gen and up, my vinyl rig does sound vastly better and the former closer to a fancy 8-Track; of course always an exception to the rule. Unless the vinyl mastering is terrible, in that case it's sometimes worth looking into if it's an alternative mix.

    I have found a vast joy in scowering the internet for those 10inch 15ips dubbed master promotional copies handed out by the labels to the various radio stations during that time period, that is when these machines really shine and I must say they are hard to come by. You also have to be careful as you run into a majority of fakes.

    I also got into collecting master safety copies of sbd concert bootlegs that have never made it into the digital realm, and that can be a hit or miss again as there will be those trying to fake them out from a cassette copy; tread carefully. You can also find neat radio interviews every now and then, I just came across an '85 Floyd interview master of the full band and after searching out for some time does not seem to exist. There will also be unreleased garage band masters that make there way to yard sales you can come across.

    You also have to look out for tapes in bad condition, you have no idea how they were stored so it's one big gamble, that's a good thing to find out.

    If you know the right questions to ask and you score on a great find it can be a real rewarding experience in knowing you saved something that would have otherwise been thrown in the trash. The medium I find is not really for musical enjoyment, I very rarely play a reel more than once or twice after digitizing them to my computer; I keep going back to my vinyl rig that sounds great and is a lot simpler to use. Be warned, this hobby is a money pit and will become addicting.
     
    Rick Bartlett likes this.
  9. The FRiNgE

    The FRiNgE Forum Resident

    Right on about the fake back up master copies... On the pre-recorded tapes, you did touch upon exceptions to the norm, but I have found the norm to be far better than your experience. I own many early 4 track stereo easy listening tapes that are resplendent with richness and fidelity. The 2 track inline stereo tapes are also very well mastered, I have found.

    I do agree on the later 4 track reels from about 1968 through the 70''s, that were mass produced in higher numbers, and high speed duped. The transition to 3.75 ips wasn't a good move, the only motivation was economics in saving manufacturing cost. I will try just after Christmas, make a few drop box samples from Jeff Beck: Truth, and maybe a few others.
     
  10. xmas111

    xmas111 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Plymouth MA
    All I know is I'm listening to my reel to reel at the moment......A Charlie Brown Christmas... and it sounds wonderful.

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. DrZhivago

    DrZhivago Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Adelaide Australia
    Amazing setup, but what's with those speakers against the wall?
     
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  12. xmas111

    xmas111 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Plymouth MA
    Thanks.

    Acoustic Research AR9 speakers where actually designed to close to the back wall. Per the manual 2" from the wall.
     
    DrZhivago likes this.
  13. Solitaire1

    Solitaire1 Forum Resident

    Reminds me of my Bose 301 speakers, which have to be placed in corners for proper sound.
     
  14. Om

    Om Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    More so by fourth generation they won't drastically exceed the capabilities of vinyl as the article implies, where as the vinyl standard in the studio was to cut directly from the lacquer master; and some tapes produced may be a lot closer to the source. Tape does however have the ability to exceed the fidelity of vinyl, nothing like hearing a master at 15ips.
     
  15. Om

    Om Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Boston, MA
    Has anyone ever gave a listen to a 30ips master? I can't say I have, you need a workhorse of a machine to run that.
     
  16. MrRom92

    MrRom92 Forum Supermodel

    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I own some 30 ips masters and I've been able to hear said 30 ips masters, some of which are 1/2", but I don't personally own a deck that will handle 1/2" or 30ips… yet?
     
    Om likes this.
  17. They're probly almost as good as redbook digital. :)
     
    Sal1950 likes this.
  18. jenkovix

    jenkovix Active Member

    Recorded Melody Gardot-Worrisome hearth 45rpm LP to R2R before Xmas. Sounds fabulous... People simply forgot what these machines capable of... I just only wish cheaper blank tapes...
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2017
    The FRiNgE likes this.
  19. coopmv

    coopmv Newton 1/30/2001 - 8/31/2011

    Location:
    CT, USA
    As dynamic but sounds much warmer ...
     
  20. 8tracks

    8tracks Forum Addict

    Location:
    San Diego, CA USA
    My dad bought an Allied TD-1070 (bottom model) from Radio Shack in 1970 for $249. It was an auto reverse model capable of recording in either direction. There were almost no lag when it changed directions unlike other models that would come to full stop for at least a second. It could also be set up to play in repeat mode.
    [​IMG]

    By the late 70s he had moved on to cassettes and gave me the deck and a box of crappy sounding Columbia House tapes plus another box of Allied 265 1875 ft (50 min/side) tapes:
    [​IMG]

    I had a blast with that deck from the time I was 9 until about the time I was 12. Cool to watch (reels and VU meters) and recording/playback at different speeds plus recording Left & Right channels separately or Sound On Sound could be really fun. By 1982 the tape heads were shot and then I too moved on to cassettes.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2017
    The FRiNgE likes this.
  21. Sal1950

    Sal1950 Member

    Location:
    Central FL
    Early 1960s I owed first a Allied Knight KN4035 and then later upgraded to stereo with a KN4310A :)
    Great fun and great times to be into music and HiFi, long before the luxury goods crazies took over. :mad:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  22. coopmv

    coopmv Newton 1/30/2001 - 8/31/2011

    Location:
    CT, USA
    These were made before the "Realistic" era. I believe the Realistic brand of open-reel decks were made by Teac ...
     
    8tracks likes this.
  23. Guitarded

    Guitarded Forum Resident

    Location:
    Montana
    If I knew how to post a picture I would throw up a shot of the Akai that is in my secondary system.
     
  24. The FRiNgE

    The FRiNgE Forum Resident

    Fun stuff, I too enjoyed the impressive size of reel to reel. Mine was a very modest Sony TC-255 deck. It was fun to record sound on sound, and because it was a two head deck I could do sound with sound (record L ch rhythm guitar track, then record Rt ch Guitar solo in sync.) I still have my old band tapes recorded on that deck.
     
  25. The FRiNgE

    The FRiNgE Forum Resident

    The Allied models shown appear to be made by Panasonic.
     
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