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Tape Head Playback Amplifiers? (Read 4173 times)
Steve Deckert
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Tape Head Playback Amplifiers?
04/05/16 at 23:17:09
 
We now have the option available when ordering our ZP3 phono stage to have it set up for analogue tape.




This means that you can have a tape machine modified with a pair of RCA jacks wired directly to the playback head and use it with our ZP3. The ZP3 becomes your all tube playback amplifier, replacing the electronics in your tape machine.  The sound is far beyond the best solid state machines no matter how well tweaked they might be.  

Please check the ZP3 page for more details:  http://www.decware.com/newsite/ZP3.htm

Thanks,

Steve
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Brian
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Re: Tape Head Playback Amplifiers?
Reply #1 - 04/08/16 at 22:31:50
 
Thank you, Steve.
This is just what I think was needed for best playback; i.e., the logic controlled transport machine, with a proper tube circuit for amplification.
I am glad you made this adaptation to your phono amp.  :)
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Tape Head Playback Amplifiers?
Reply #2 - 04/10/16 at 05:20:26
 
That IS really the key... a logic controlled transport and a tube playback amplifier is going to be better than the most expensive turntables on earth.  It's really a no brainer for people who are chasing the holy grail.  

I should imagine when you get to the very top of the price ladder, you'll want to spend some money on upgraded heads (that's basically your phono cartridge) and a precision alignment to go along with it.

I knew an audiophile once who came up slowly through the ranks of buy, learn and sell to a point where had spent tens of thousands of dollars on recordings and his source.  It wasn't a waste of money by any means, but when his friends came over there was only time for the 5 best LP's he owned.  For about twenty cents on the dollar, he could have put together a logic transport with a ZP3 and purchased 5 $250 master tapes which would have left such a memorable impression on his friends that it would have been hard to forget. And isn't that really the goal?  Not to impress your friends, but to make the most convincing impression you can! The actual master tapes and 1st & 2nd generation copies of those master tapes are so dense, so deep, so layered, that you seriously will have no issues listening to the same tape 20 or 30 times in the first year without tiring of it. That is assuming you are somewhat of a technologist who muses on how your stereo can fool you into believing it's real...

As an example, I had an opportunity to purchase probably a 3rd generation copy of a Madona 30 ips master tape that was duped at 15ips IEC... and after setting up the right combination of speakers and amplification to render it properly, the result is burned into my brain for all eternity.  The density and dynamics and black noiseless backgrounds were surreal.  Talk about pounding your duck in the dirt.... holy cow.  Talk about a high production standard...


Steve
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Steve Deckert
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If the 1st watt
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Posts: 3534
Re: Tape Head Playback Amplifiers?
Reply #3 - 04/10/16 at 06:39:22
 
As a follow up to the above post I would like to say this; It would be easy to pair a tape machine with an amplifier or preamp/amp with the wrong gain structure and end up with a dry somewhat diseased sound and then compare that to a CD player with the right output stage feeding the correct tube preamp stage and so on and find out that the CD  sounds better. That's the bitch about this hobby. It's like RC airplanes, some fly great and some don't. Point is, IF all is equal, the tape's incredible dynamic range and natural ability to saturate rather than clip puts it well above all else, which is what got us hear. Many of the best LP's were mastered from Tape and then compressed to keep the needle from jumping out of the groove and getting lost in the carpet.  So when you listen to a tape, it is like listening to an uncompressed version of an LP with blacker backgrounds.  

I wouldn't sulk if all I had to listen to is LP's because they actually have a strength in the midrange that even exceeds tape by embellishment but it's that very enthusiasm for analog LP's that fuels my love for tape. I realize that this doesn't make any sense which proves it comes from an audiophile.




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Brian
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Re: Tape Head Playback Amplifiers?
Reply #4 - 04/12/16 at 01:17:26
 
Steve, I always like reading what you write.
As they said when I was young: Groovy!
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hdrider
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Re: Tape Head Playback Amplifiers?
Reply #5 - 04/13/16 at 21:35:42
 
Brian - you are so right about Steve's writting. I spent a few years pouring over every article, post and blurb that the Zen Master wrote before I purchased our Rachael amp, ZP3. Amazing dude this Steve Deckert, amazing products. Happy listening, Chris.
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ecx123
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Re: Tape Head Playback Amplifiers?
Reply #6 - 01/14/17 at 19:42:01
 
Is it possible to put XLR inputs on the ZP3 tape modded pre?
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