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Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like? (Read 47308 times)
Steve Deckert
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Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
06/01/17 at 04:18:33
 
I am currently working on a couple reel to reel sampler tapes that I will transfer direct to SVHS video tape... hopefully everyone still remembers good old post DVD days where you had to watch movies on tape.  

This might sound odd to some of you, but recording hi-res audio onto a SVHS tape usually gives superior results to cassette, and even slow speed reel to reel machines.

So I though it would be entertaining to see if I can make a $75.00 SVHS machine sound better than most of the DAC's and even some vinyl rigs despite the SEVERE handicap of a $12 solid state output stage in the player itself.  Yes, this is how I amuse myself and thought it would be fun to include some of you...

Even with the handicap, this SVHS tape and player that I will be sending around will be a more than powerful demonstration of what good analog tape sounds like compared to the average DAC.

Just to make it interesting I am remastering some digital recordings with no computer or EQ's onto tape so that people can compare side by side known digital 16/44 CD recordings and hopefully find themselves wondering how I made a bone stock 75.00 SVHS machine sound better than their DAC which cost ten to fifty times more using the same recording.  And the answer is the tape process itself which includes the tape formula, speed, size, tape bias and CCIR or NAB equalization.  This particular tape will let you hear what is possible by combining these variables correctly to express the music being recorded.

Then I plan to take some samples directly from master tapes that I have so people can experience a real copy of a master tape via this inexpensive format.

This is just a heads up so you have time to think about if you have any interest in hearing it.  I'll need a volunteer to be in charge of making a list and overseeing that each person on the list ship it to the next in a timely manner and then report the results.  Of course he or she will be the first one to hear to tape.

Thanks,

Steve
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Core32
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #1 - 06/01/17 at 14:35:12
 
I had an audiophile friend who moved to Elcaset when it was introduced back in the mid 70's.
It was an interesting concept but died quickly due to cost I think.
Did you ever have the chance to experiment with that format?
I was quite taken with the sound quality vs. cassette and even some vinyl at the time.
But it could have just been the "newness" effect on me being a young EE at the time.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #2 - 06/01/17 at 17:39:44
 
I bet someone out there has a museum of audio products that never made the big time. The El Cassette was one of my favorites for this venue. It all made sense to me. The wider tape, and I don't know if the speed was different or not, but could have been a factor too. I also liked the idea of 4 track cassette decks that ran in one direction only for the same reason.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #3 - 06/01/17 at 19:20:22
 
I remember the Amazing audio quality jump from vhs to svhs.  vhs audio just reads audio as linear track, going the speed of the tape.  But The video signal is read by that diagonal spinning head. It is tracing tons of diagonal tracks across the width of the tape. This makes the head to tape speed huge, for video.  The quality jump in svhs happened because the put the audio head on the spinning drum as well. They got video bandwidth tape speeds to record audio. Think about that....like using bluray bandwidth to record a cd.  
From the helical scan page. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helical_scan.

"The difference between the head writing speed and linear tape speed is vast: for example, 13 mph (5,800 mm/s) versus 35 mm/s."
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Jeff of Arabica
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #4 - 06/01/17 at 21:05:44
 
Being one of the few tape heads on this forum, I will volunteer.  It is a fascinating experiment and I would love to hear what you put together, first, before passing on to the others.  :)

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Steve Deckert
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #5 - 06/05/17 at 03:53:30
 
Jeff, that sounds great.  I found out with the PILL tour that I didn't have enough time to stay on top of it.

I will post here as soon as I have things ready to send!

Thanks,

Steve
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Jeff of Arabica
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #6 - 06/06/17 at 06:44:58
 
Wonderful!  I know how it is and you certainly have more than enough on your plate.  Between your commitment to continual improvement, along with your willingness to connect with your customers, I am sure there is no "free" time to take on stuff like this. I am happy to help.  

Selfishly, I want more people to get excited about analog tape.  It is a nano community at best and until it grows enough to motivate manufacturers, the hardware and software options will be scarce.  I would love to see more people interested and excited about tape.  Every time I spin one up,  it is a stark reminder why I subject myself to the effort and cost of acquiring and maintaining a tape rig and library of tapes.  Because I have not heard anything better when the source-to-speaker chain is well tended to.  It is the gold standard when it comes to achieving a live performance in our listening room.  You introduced me to this idea over a year ago and I have taken it to heart, and can honestly substantiate everything you have stated with regards to its "holy grail-ness."  

My ears thank you, but my wallet curses you.  It's ok, because I just keep telling my wallet to shut the **ck up!  
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #7 - 06/07/17 at 14:50:36
 
Very interested and interesting. I made a few SVHS on this exact Player (back in the day):
https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=stereophile+music+recorded+to+svhs&qpvt=ste...

Of course, I had a Mitsubishi! Plus, I considered getting a Reel to Reel a couple years back....their is a thread back there on it..... .

Anyway, I will shut up and read Steve's discoveries as they unfold  (SVHS) and J of A's knowledge .....he lives it too (Reel to Reel) like Steve.

I believe my Ex still has my Mitsubishi (sitting prestine)!  I want in on the tour...J of A to me/2nd dibs sent from J of A to me. Steve will be sending tape and player....perfect.
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Jeff of Arabica
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #8 - 06/08/17 at 17:36:50
 
You got it Stone!  You are next inline to receive Steve's SVHS system.  I will work on designing a Tour Schedule soon and once I do, I will publish the process for those interested to get on the list.  I will also post in the General thread in hopes of attracting the most people possible.  

It will be an interesting compare as I recently obtained a Sonorus custom Revox C270 reel-to-reel deck with a matched Sonorus external tube playback amplifier from the personal inventory ofSonorus creator himself, Arian Jansen.  For those of you unfamiliar with Mr. Jansen, he is a tape machine icon and well-respected recording engineer.  If you are familiar with Yarlung Records, he is their tape recording engineer and creator of the Sonorus Holographic Imaging process. Anyway, super smart guy (and so nice).  I had the pleasure of driving to his house in Paso Robles to pick up the rig at which point he treated me to his listening room for a few hours.  I was able to hear his Sonorus ATR-10, $18,000 tape machine with some of his holographic imaging reels on his electrostats.  It works!  Amazing stuff.  

The tube playback electronics on my new Sonorus consist of a nuvistor tube head preamp stage, which is built into the C270, plus an external playback amp with the EQ settings (IEC & NAB). The head preamp nuvistors are 7586 triodes and the external playback amp is using ECC83/12AX7 triodes, allowing for some tube rolling.  How sweet it is!  Live concert in my listening room Smiley   I was also able to pick up some master dupes from the LA Audio Show last week, which was a nice treat to myself.  

Here is a pic...  
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #9 - 06/08/17 at 17:42:08
 
Awesome! Smiley
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #10 - 06/09/17 at 15:50:55
 
WOW J of A! I'm at a loss for words from what you have obtained and have going on here.

I so look forward to your impressions of Steve's SVHS and then I appreciate being next on the list and will do it justice and report.

......look forward to when you post in the general forum and attract more for the list.
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #11 - 06/12/17 at 05:26:37
 
Spending the evening working on the tapes and evaluating the results.  Purchased another SVHS player tonight so that I can compare with the one I had planned to ship.  Will ship the better sounding of the two.  Should be here in a week.  It's a fascinating challenge I've gotten myself into ; )

Steve

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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #12 - 06/12/17 at 05:46:16
 
Jeff,

Congrats on the new tape rig!  I'd sure like to hear that.  

I'm finding it tricky to get the levels perfect when I make the recordings because the VHS recorders, even my industrial one, are not expecting this much dynamic range so to get it just right so as not to wake up the limiter, or saturate the tape.  So far every tape I've made is perfect except for one or two notes on one or two songs...  naturally it's going to take a few tries.

-Steve

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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #13 - 06/12/17 at 07:40:12
 
Thanks for the update Steve.  This is going to be a real hoot!  I cannot wait for its eventual arrival.  

This is definitely a fascinating venture and your nature to always "tweak" is much appreciated.  We all love and appreciate traditional but it sure is nice to interject some unconventional from time to time - even if for no other reason than pure fun.  

I would love to purchase a copy of the master tape sampler you are putting together to produce this SVHS.  It would be a neat comparison to hear the master (used to make the SVHS tape), the SVHS tape, and the digital version of the tracks.  

The Sonorus has been a real blast to listen to - truly special.  Ive got it feeding directly into my ZMA.  Stunning! If these damn tape machines weren't so fricken heavy and bulky, I would toss this thing in my luggage and bust it out at Decfest 2017.    

-Jeff
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #14 - 06/13/17 at 13:56:24
 
Splendid gentlemen. Splendid indeed. Exactly J of A.....for the fun of it and understanding of how good this will/could sound.

Your encounter with Mr. Jansen, albeit more involved..... . This reminds me of meeting Prof Johnson of Reference Recordings and his time with the Minnesota Orchestra and other recordings as well. I met him when I was part of the MN Audio Society. I use his recordings for pleasure and to remind myself how all recordings should sound with DYNAMIC RANGE!  
https://referencerecordings.com/people/prof-keith-o-johnson/

Anyway, back to the real world and compression.....and a never established volume/recording level(s).....and so on and so on.



I look forward to this!  Keep the info coming gentlemen.

Steve, how about some direct to two track single mike stuff you did to your recording console, from the first house....your garage band and you on Drums man?!  This would be cool too!

Yes, I too, would like to purchase a copy of the master SVHS to compare to the digital.......... .
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Steve Deckert
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #15 - 06/20/17 at 04:37:43
 
UPDATE:

The Panasonic OmniVision SVHS arrived today completely smashed because the individual who sold it thought it would be a good idea to put it inside a box with less than 1/4 inch clearance around the entire unit.  This was a 20 lbs. unit.   Very disappointing.

Solution, I ordered a far worse sounding Sony player that will be here next week.  I can live with the the worse case scenario which is what I'm starting with because the tape is so good it over powers it.  In any case, when the new player gets here next week I at least have two units to choose between so I can figure out what I'm going to send around.

I have ordered a custom Pelican case for it to make shipping super easy and safe.

Steve
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #16 - 06/20/17 at 05:01:36
 
TAPE ONE is now completed.  

This tape is a never been heard before demonstration of a re-mastering process I have been developing over the years that has the ability to transmute digital back to analog and does so without a computer, solid state parts, nor even a circuit board.  It's a 100% analogue process... organic, non GMO if you will.

Since the only way to hear this process is to have an analog playback system and since I can't press records here at Decware, I am taking this opportunity to let all of you hear it by making the entire first tape using it.  

It's important to understand that the source for this tape was not high resolution digital files, nor even rebook CD, but rather a stream from the internet at 320 kbps, which is how so many of us are now listening to digital with our computers.  I figure if the process actually works, it will work on that.

This gives those of you who get on the list to hear the tapes, an opportunity to do direct side by side comparisons of the tracks on the tape with the original source tracks from the internet.

Some of the tracks on Palomino's original track list were omitted because the process highlights errors in the recording, such as tiny sibilances, and peak distortions that were previously masked just enough to sound OK.  Even many of the tracks on this tape have minor distortions that are notated on the tape as part of the process.  Remember this is a work in process.  Also, the presence that results from this process which is in part the 632 tape I use for digital sources, includes some tape hiss in this demo because I personally prefer it.  It let's me know I'm hearing everything.  Sometimes it's not even tape hiss but just the self noise of the microphones used in the recording.  Nevertheless, when you hear the tape hiss I want you to imagine what it would sound like filtered out so you couldn't hear it... and try to listen to the low level detail that is inside that tape hiss as if it were deleted.   That said, tape hiss is not a byproduct of the process, and can easily be avoided at will.

So here is the Tape One

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Reply #17 - 06/20/17 at 05:01:46
 




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Jeff of Arabica
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #18 - 06/20/17 at 05:34:02
 
Steve,
I am sorry to hear about the casualty - a true bummer.  Some people just don't understand that delivery services, all of them, will wreck your stuff if you give them the chance.  Crappy packaging is that chance once given, will lead to a box full of destruction.  Well, that is why Plan B's exist.  Great call on the Pelican, especially considering this national journey it will embark on.

Exciting news about the tape!  Looking over the tracks, it will be a treat to listen to.  I am very intrigued by your remastering process which is what makes this tour such an great opportunity - being able to actually listen to the difference in the digital steam vs. the SVHS.   And, as I mentioned prior, I would love the chance to borrow (on my dime of course) the 10.5" reel to compare against the SVHS if possible.   I would also be willing to foot the bill for a new blank tape and your time to dub another copy.  

Thanks for the update Steve.  Ive got my list ready.  Let me know how you want to proceed with the post to solicit those interested in hearing it and the "rules" of the tour whenever you are ready.  I will be the tour manager - keeping this baby moving along safely and efficiently.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #19 - 06/20/17 at 15:23:12
 
Yes, unbelievable how some will pack/ship. I shipped/sold numerous audio items in 2015 and packed them...damn near bullet proof...no incidences (and have a 100% rating for my AudiogoN account).


I am excited to hear this.....can't wait.  Shipped in a Pelican case ~ perfect.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #20 - 06/20/17 at 18:46:46
 
Jeff,

I will make you a copy of the Palomino reel as compensation for managing this tour.

Steve
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Reply #21 - 06/21/17 at 00:14:38
 
Well thank you Steve.  That is fine compensation I'd say  :)
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #22 - 06/21/17 at 23:05:19
 
Jeff, put me at the bottom of the List. I realize I won't get the tape and SVHS unit for 2, 3 or 4 months. I want to read others comments first.

This is going to be cool. Maybe the end game could be Steve remastering with his process our music collections for our own private use..... . I have dibs on a SVHS unit.....if needed in the future.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #23 - 06/22/17 at 05:25:57
 
You got it brotha.  Whatever works for you.  I think once we get the list together, you let me know when you are ready to receive the goods.  Since you were technically first in line, I will defer your spot until ready.  Once ready, I will slip you in and ship at that point.  I will keep you at the #1 slot with a "Deferred" notation.  Once ready, I will send it to you next.  

I think this will be best since the list will be active and hopefully will not have a true "end" - at least for a long while.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #24 - 06/23/17 at 05:13:00
 
This weekend I plan to make some additional tapes.  I've been pondering what to make and have decided that probably the best thing is going to be more samplers.  Since these SVHS tapes are my personal backups of my personal reel to reel tapes, I don't see any legality issues since they remain my property and I've only invited each of you to listen to them.  That said, Jeff will have a copy of the reel to reel master tape of tape one.  He can compare the difference in sound quality using his world class tube reel to reel machine to the supplied $100.00 VHS player and accurately assume the large gap in sound quality is the same across the board with all the additional tapes.

So I'll chime in this weekend with the next track list that is to make up Tape Two.

-Steve
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #25 - 06/25/17 at 03:25:17
 
Second player has arrived and appears undamaged.  Will listen to it tonight.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #26 - 06/25/17 at 03:42:10
 
Second player is indeed functioning... a nice commercial Sony unit.  

Probably would have been just perfect if it had more than just a single mono output jack for audio...  [smiley=ahhhhhhh.GIF]


EDIT:  This is how the audio gods that watch over me operate.  See what happens next.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #27 - 06/25/17 at 04:40:22
 
OK, I took apart the damaged Panasonic OmniVision and fixed it.  I am listening to it now. It was worth the effort... sounds wonderful.

I'll be shipping this unit with the tapes. Smiley
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Reply #28 - 06/25/17 at 06:09:02
 
Tape 2 is done.



It came out really great!

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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #29 - 06/25/17 at 06:21:29
 
So the first two tapes were 7.5 IPS reels which means around 40 to 60 minutes of music on each reel.

The next tape (Reel 3) is at 15 IPS and was a full 8 inch reel from Ed Pong that I cherish.  This tape is about 11 minutes long.





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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #30 - 06/25/17 at 06:30:38
 
And the last two reels were 30 IPS which together total less than 20 minutes, so they only fill half of the VHS tape. Rather than add other stuff to fill the tape I have elected not to for the simple fact that if something happens to one of these tapes I want to be able to easily make another one. Once you start mixing tapes and tracks, essentially making a mix tape, you're talking about an all night gig.




Reel 2 = 8:41
 



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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #31 - 06/25/17 at 15:59:58
 
Jeff,  please put me on the list.
Since we're both in so. Cal I wouldn't mind picking up the unit at your place when the time is right. Or, if possible, I'd love to hear your set up and a/b this tape against your r to r? I could bring over a few bottles of my home brew to savor along with the music.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #32 - 06/26/17 at 06:54:04
 
Acetone,
I think some of your home crafted beer is an excellent offering in return for some time with my gear. Honestly, I am dying to share my Decware gear and SonoruS tape rig with anyone interested in listening. And since you are so close it would be a travesty not to have you over.

You will have the SVHS after me. As a matter of fact, I would love to have a second set of ears when evaluating the R2R next to the SVHS for tape #1 so this arrangement works out great all around.

Timing is good.  Now 85% done with room treatments and should be at 100% by time you cruise down.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #33 - 06/26/17 at 07:10:47
 
Steve,
All I can say is..... I am salivating. This is going to be such a bitchen experience/journey/experiment/...

Again, thank you for whatever it is about you that keeps you pushing the envelope and perpetually excited about what you don't already know.  Bravo!!!

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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #34 - 06/26/17 at 15:56:44
 
Thanks Jeff,
Would love to hear another members set up. The LA Audio show proved to me that my Decware gear can run with the big dogs when room, cables, etc are all taken into account. Can't wait to hear this experiment!!
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #35 - 06/28/17 at 20:39:20
 
I still have, a Panasonic Omni Vision player and a JVC SVHS player, laying around... unused in many moons.  This sounds quite interesting.  I have a friend who used to record music, from what source I can't remember, on to SVHS tapes.  And he talked about its superior sound quality all the time.  This was probably mid to late 90's if memory serves.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #36 - 07/01/17 at 15:08:46
 
Jeff,

Please add me to the list. I've been enjoying the Palomino Mix at 320kbps and look forward to comparing that with Steve's experimental recording technique on SVHS.

TIA,
Rob
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #37 - 07/01/17 at 15:53:49
 
SVHS Tape Tour List (Preliminary, Informal):

1) Stone of Tone (Deferred)
2) Acetone
3) Linton
4) Bottlehead

Once announcement is made, I will post a living document on Google Docs to be shared with all on the list.  
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #38 - 07/01/17 at 21:38:32
 
Hey Jeff,

Thanks for the thoughtful PM. Add me up here in the Great Northwest to the list.

Randy
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #39 - 07/07/17 at 02:49:59
 
UPDATE:

As you will recall I fixed the damaged Panasonic that I ordered and listened to it and found it to be better than the Samsung at first glance. However as I continued to test it became inconsistent. I traced this to a tracking problem. I had to manually set the tracking and adjust it during playback periodically. You know when it needs adjusting because it sounds like static and one or both channels will start to drop out.

I'm too old for that crap, so I assume most of you are as well. To satisfy my curiosity I purchased a second unit that looked equally as clean as the first one to see if the tracking was just an issue with the first one.  I offered the seller more than he was asking if he would wrap it in 4 inches of bubble wrap and double box it.  He declined the offer for extra and assured me he was an EXPERT at packing an it would arrive in perfect condition...  it didn't.  One inch of packing peanuts, single box... toast.  

So the good news is we are now going to roll with the first unit, the Samsung which has advanced automatic tracking that always works.  The sound is fine, it's just a modest player that could benefit greatly from a tube stage or tube preamp, so those of you with either of those items may get a denser sound.

I can send the tapes out no later than Monday.

This should be fun!

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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #40 - 07/07/17 at 03:56:59
 
Steve said:
"He declined the offer for extra and assured me he was an EXPERT at packing an it would arrive in perfect condition...  it didn't.  One inch of packing peanuts, single box... toast."


The extent to which people are swine is beginning to make me tired.  

Brian
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #41 - 07/07/17 at 04:27:47
 
Steve, I am lost for words.  Should we laugh?  I feel that this has been so uncanny, it borderlines ridiculous.  Pay for an item, it ships, you receive, all good.  It is the lifecycle of 99+% of packages shipped, yet despite your best efforts (and then some), you cannot seem to get a break.  

What this says to me, is you are on to something.  It is the "Digital Gods" that are testing you and trying to sabotage your efforts.  But you have prevailed and the Samsung is the chosen one.  

It will do.  And I have a ZStage at my disposal so I will run it "au natural" without and "sur testosterone" with.  

This WILL be great - a truly unique opportunity.  I hope many will take advantage.  

-Jeff
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #42 - 07/07/17 at 14:23:25
 
Yes! Excited to read about and hear this (put me after bottlehead).
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #43 - 07/07/17 at 14:55:42
 
SVHS Tape Tour List (Preliminary, Informal):

1) Acetone
2) Linton
3) Bottlehead
4) Stone of Tone
5) Maddog07
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #44 - 07/07/17 at 15:07:50
 
Jeff,  Let me know when your ready to have me over for tape and ? listening session...My home brew is in the fridge cooling.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #45 - 07/07/17 at 15:41:40
 
I certainly will Acetone!  Looking forward to those fresh, cold brews   Cheesy

Just picked up a new tonearm, Dynavector DV-507 MKII.  Be sure to bring some vinyl to spin!  

I am waiting for my new IC to go from my tape preamp to ZMA.  I relocated it so my prior cable was too short.  Should arrive in a week or so.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #46 - 07/07/17 at 23:09:39
 
Sign me up.  I still haven't quite gotten over the experience of hearing the Hendrix masters at Zenfest last fall - I gotta hear what this is all about !!
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #47 - 07/08/17 at 06:06:43
 
Maddog.. Done!
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #48 - 07/10/17 at 02:54:46
 
I made a dupe of the Palomino Master Tape today, so that completes everything and the package will ship tomorrow as planned : )

Steve
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #49 - 07/14/17 at 15:41:47
 
Jeff, you ought to have the package.....probably today?
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #50 - 07/14/17 at 16:12:35
 
Has not landed yet, but today would be the 5 day mark which sounds about right.  Ill post back when in hand.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #51 - 07/19/17 at 02:04:52
 
Steve, et al.,
The tape machine and my Palomino reel arrived today!  Thank Steve for the reel Smiley  

I just posted in the general forum to garner interest.  In the meantime I will create a very simple live Google sheet to keep track of the tour.  I will also do a post in this forum with basic guidelines and logistics of the tour, so stay tuned.  

However, this is our tour and I want to ask about time allocation.  How much time should each take with the machine before passing it on?  It is a balance, as we want people to have ample time to fully experience it, but also want to get the machine in as many people's hands as possible.   My gut says 2 weeks?  I could even see doing 3 weeks but probably nothing beyond that.  

Thought?
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #52 - 07/19/17 at 08:54:44
 
Hey Jeff, I think that 2 weeks is a good amount of time for people to experience/evaluate the sound. I personally don't plan on keeping it longer than that.

Randy
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #53 - 07/19/17 at 21:28:17
 
Thanks Randy (and Stone).  2 weeks it is.  As mentioned on General forum, out of town until 31st, so will get to my listening at that point.  Sorry for the delay, just bad timing on my part with the machines arrival.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #54 - 07/19/17 at 21:45:21
 
Not a problem...going to dodger game Jul 29...so, Sunday might be first day I'm avail...I'm retired so anytime after the 29th is fine!
Ace
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #55 - 07/20/17 at 14:14:45
 
No worries.....out of the Cities and up in Door County for me.

Reading the impressions (starting in August with Jeff & Ace) the next couple of months and having it sometime in October, will be perfect for me.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #56 - 07/20/17 at 14:53:54
 
UPDATED: SVHS Tape Tour List (Preliminary, Informal):

1) JofA/Acetone
2) Linton
3) Bottlehead
4) Stone of Tone
5) Maddog07
6) DB2
7) Lonely Raven
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #57 - 07/20/17 at 15:57:33
 

This sounds fun - add me to the list. I may even have my own Mitsubishi SVHS around here somewhere.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #58 - 07/20/17 at 16:09:15
 
Done LR! #7
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #59 - 08/09/17 at 05:51:44
 
As Farther Murphy would have it, Jeff's ZMA amplifier developed a problem with one of the bias meters which makes it impossible for him to faithfully balance the output tubes of one channel. While this wouldn't render the amp useless by any means, it does inject a variable that he's not comfortable with.  For that reason he is sending the amp back to the mothership for a meter upgrade to ensure 100% performance from the amp during the evaluation.  It will take at least a week or two longer for the amp to arrive here and get sent back ready to rock!  

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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #60 - 08/11/17 at 20:09:26
 
Palomino would like to be added to the list for the Palomino tape.

I don't really need the machine.  I have two SVHS decks (maybe three).  One is prosumer and the other is pro grade.    I used to be into video.  Weddings and such plus my wife used to edit research focus group tapes.

I could bring one to the Fest if anyone is interested.  Raven, I smell a CDApS brewing.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #61 - 08/17/17 at 00:09:34
 
Interesting topic. I've been an analog tape fan since the early 70's. Have two R2R machines and several cassette machines, including one 3 3/4 speed model. I use the R2R mostly for live recording of my folk band and of me solo and in a duet. The sound is excellent.
I'm going to follow this with interest...

Dave
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #62 - 08/20/17 at 07:11:59
 
So, I have had my Torii MKIV in place for a bit now and am getting really comfortable with this amplifier and confident enough with its sound to embark on this Tape Tour journey, despite my ZMA being in for some work.  My intent is to actually listen to this SVHS tape rig with BOTH the Torii MKIV and the ZMA before passing it on to the next recipient.  

That being said, Acetone, how is your schedule looking like this coming week and next?  Definitely want to have you join this party!

And Beowulf... your in San Diego.  You are welcome to join as well.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #63 - 08/21/17 at 22:42:39
 
Hey Jeff,  My next two weekends are going to be hectic?...My youngest moving from S. Diego this coming weekend. I am helping with that move thru Saturday. My eldest just bought a house in San Pedro and I might be helping Her and her Husband move the following weekend (pending escrow closing). If anything changes I will let you know. Would love to hear your system and all it delivers!!
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #64 - 08/22/17 at 05:06:04
 
No worries at all Ace.  It is life.  And balancing such is a what we do.  

Quick question, are weekdays off limits?  Not sure of your work/retirement status but I have full flexibility during the week as well.

Off topic, but are you planning on going to T.H.E. Show in Anaheim?
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #65 - 08/22/17 at 06:31:26
 
Weekends normally OK. But, weekdays are also no prob. Next week on a weekday will work. I'm retired.
Thanks for asking! Ace
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #66 - 08/22/17 at 13:42:32
 
Cool J of A & Ace. Jeff, thanks in advance for being the lead on this from Steve. No hurry, your impressions with your IV and ZMA will be interesting. Ace should/will hear it in your System and then in his to report both impressions.

I look forward to receiving the machine & tape down the line in approx. November......as planned.

Best thing was my ZMA going in for a 3 year checkup, the beefier resistor's, volume pot adjustment and now backlit. She is better than ever/sound + beautiful!  You should be getting yours back soon.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #67 - 08/23/17 at 06:29:50
 
Thanks Stone!  And I'm happy to take point on this Tour.  It really is a pretty cool and fun little experiment.  Now to actually get the dang show on the road!!   Undecided    

I am looking forward to getting my ZMA back with the new and improved parts, but am enjoying the MKIV in its absence.  I really should have done this sooner for crying out loud!  Better late than never I guess.  With an amp like the ZMA in place, uprooting it listen to another amp, even temporarily, is not an easy self-sell.

Anyway, I'm definitely looking forward to posting my impressions, and it will be awesome to have Ace here along the journey.   <hoping he still has some of his homebrew to bring to the party> Smiley

Got you on the list, spot secured and will get this baby heading your way in due time.  

Ace, I got your PM's and will reach back out to you regarding a day to plan on having you down.  Great to hear weekdays are in play.  Shouldn't be too tough settling on a day here soon.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #68 - 08/23/17 at 13:21:36
 
You bet Jeff. This will be fun!
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #69 - 08/24/17 at 06:01:11
 
I have an idea.  I think it is a good one.  But then again....

It is about 6 weeks until Decfest.  I plan to take the next 2-3 weeks to really get to know this SVHS machine and what it can do.  Critical listening.  Taking my time.  Comparing to other sources on hand - including of course my SonoruS R2R system.  I am curious as to how it stands alone.  I am equally curious as to how it stacks up against hi-res digital, my vinyl rig, and my analog tape (using the reel Steve made for me).  

And I won't be going at this alone.  Acetone will be here and all will benefit from two perspectives listening to the same output, comparing the variables.

So, here is my idea.  The whole point of this tour is to share this experience.  I can't think of any better event than the one, and only... Decfest.  

With six weeks before the event, Acetone and I can do our thing.  I can send it off to the next one in line, which I believe is Bottlehead (I should have looked at the list   Undecided   That leaves plenty of time for listening before it is then sent to Decware in time for Decfest for all those attending to have a chance to listen.  Captive audience in numbers.  I will create a shipping label to slap on the Pelican myself that weekend for Steve & Co. to have their FedEx guy pickup next time he swings by to deliver to #3 in line.  And of course if second in line finishes in time to send it on to #3 before Decfest, then all the better.  

This all being said, of those currently on the Tape Tour list, who will be attending Decfest this year?
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #70 - 08/26/17 at 02:18:37
 
Hey Jeff,

I won't be making it to Decfest this year, but if it helps with the scheduling/timing/shipping, I'm perfectly fine with waiting until after the fest to begin my evaluation.

Randy
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #71 - 08/31/17 at 03:02:03
 
Jeff,

ZMA is done.  Call me Thursday.

Steve

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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #72 - 08/31/17 at 03:23:19
 
Great news Steve!  I'll give you a call tomorrow.

Thanks,
Jeff
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #73 - 09/01/17 at 15:50:49
 
Hi Jeff,

I won't be attending Decfest. Looking forward to your and Acetone's first impressions. My schedule is flexible, feel free to move me around on the list as needed to fit your plans.

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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #74 - 09/01/17 at 18:50:36
 
Jeff, I look forward to the impressions from you & Acetone first and then the Fest attendee's. No hurry, to get it to me.

It needs to be at the Fest, after you and Acetone. People can witness, from that particular VHS machine....from that tape(s)....we will be hearing or have heard in your case and Acetone.
....and of course, Fest goer's, get to hear from the master tapes and Steve's machine, as well.

and how can I forget..........you're getting your ZMA back!
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #75 - 09/02/17 at 06:37:56
 
Yeah, I think it is a good game plan Stone.  I'm going to do some preliminary listening on the Torii this coming week just to acclimate to the SVHS hardware.  Then Acetone and I will immerse ourselves before sending the SVHS to Peoria for many to experience.  Things should get rolling here rather quickly.  

And yes!!!... the ZMA is on its way back to me, better than ever with backlit, supercharged gauges.  And since it was back in Peoria, I had Steve install some upgrade parts I purchased.  Most notable was the Jupiter Copper Foil HT (aka "Type II") capacitors in the signal path (0.022uF) and a custom built (by Steve) shielded, all silver wire network from input sockets to output binding posts.  Oh, and a high-end Gold Point 47 position stepped attenuator.  A few other minor parts were upgraded, such as WBT RCA input sockets and speaker binding posts which may or may not have an audible impact, but I figured it at least maintains the integrity of the silver connection patch into and out of my ZMA.  

Anyway, they are some nice feature additions without changing the voicing of the amp and everything I love about it.  I really can't wait to get my ZMA back at the helm.  Steve made an interesting comment about how that failing gauge could have hamstrung my amp from the day I received it (from the original owner).  I may never have really heard my ZMA which gives me goosebumps, in a good way!  Getting butterflies in anticipation of what could be a re-do of my first date with Ms. ZMA.  

As usual, Steve and Sarah took great care of me.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #76 - 09/02/17 at 18:29:30
 
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #77 - 09/02/17 at 18:45:16
 
There she is and looking good.....SVHS!

Great game plan Jeff on SVHS.

Yes! My ZMA came back to me, I think....even better. I remember Archie asking me about it. Mine seems more powerful and transparent with its off the charts musicality. I don't think it is in my head. Tube rolling input tubes is shear joy with the ZMA! ....YES, Sarah & Steve were great with mine.

Okay, look forward to when you're ready to comment on the SVHS Recordings....preliminary thoughts with your Torii.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #78 - 09/02/17 at 19:08:16
 

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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #79 - 09/02/17 at 20:20:16
 
Awesome Jeff! Going to be an adventure when it returns!
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #80 - 09/02/17 at 20:26:46
 
The Tour kit includes the Samsung VR8460 player and (4) SVHS tapes - Tape One being the "Palamino Mix."  Between the four tapes, a really good mix of music genres is represented.  

With the Torii MKIV in place, before the return of my ZMA, it is hooked up direct to the Torii via my ZSB.  After some decent hours of listening, I will them move it to my Zen Ultra pre-amp where it will feed into the Torii.  

Unboxing:
The unit and tapes came nicely packed in the Pelican case, so removing the contents was a breeze - and so will be the case when time to pack it up and send it off.  No joke, you all will be able to get this thing repackaged safely in less than 60 seconds.  

Having been awhile since I handled a VHS player, the first thought that came to mind when I picked it up was, "wow, this thing is a real piece of $&*t - weighing no more than a couple pounds and full of 80's era flimsy plastic buttons.  But that is what makes this whole experience pretty bitchin.  

I am on Tape 3 now, and just taking some first passes, but I am certain at this point that I could fool 100% of the people, 100% of the time, if I stuffed this somewhere out of sight during playback.  The look on everyone's faces would be   Shocked  without a shred of doubt.  

Yep, this thing has got to come back to Peoria for all to listen to at the Fest.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #81 - 09/02/17 at 22:32:28
 
Just posted the Tour schedule here:  http://www.decware.com/cgi-bin/yabb22/YaBB.pl?num=1500425029
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #82 - 09/07/17 at 02:20:23
 
OK... I went to the link - I don't see a schedule - what am I missing?
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #83 - 09/07/17 at 02:23:35
 
OK... I did find it here:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1eEf_cv1hs_6WnMIe98hLOPd9I14JYrKrw-vHHPt0...
jHs/edit#gid=0

but only through 9/30....????

nevermind... my widescreen monitor wasn't showing the month tabs at the bottom..... I see now when I scroll!   Smiley
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #84 - 09/07/17 at 05:28:40
 
Here is an easier/shorter link to access the Tour Schedule:  https://tinyurl.com/y87fmkv8
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #85 - 09/26/17 at 21:32:54
 
Hi, all.

Jeff informed me that the rig is scheduled to arrive Thursday.

I'm specifically interested in Steve's work on the 'Palomino' tape:

"It's important to understand that the source for this tape was not high-resolution digital files, nor even rebook CD, but rather a stream from the internet at 320 kbps, which is how so many of us are now listening to digital with our computers.  I figure if the process actually works, it will work on that."

I've been listening to the Palomino tracks via:

Tidal -> 16-bit NOS DAC -> TORII JR -> Sierra RAAL Towers

Looking forward to comparing that with SVHS as source

Report back soon,

Rob
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #86 - 09/28/17 at 22:09:17
 
Update:

Notification from FedEx says the deck is now planned arrive Saturday -- will let you all know when it arrives.

Rob
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #87 - 09/29/17 at 06:26:24
 
Bummer Rob.  Fedex is usually really good with delivering as stated.  As a matter of fact, I get more early deliveries from them than late ones.  Well, at least they are coming on Saturday so you can still play with it this weekend if you so choose.  Keep us posted!
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #88 - 09/30/17 at 16:21:29
 
Cool/exciting. Look forward to my run after Bottlehead.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #89 - 10/12/17 at 19:01:33
 
Linton and/or Bottlehead............anything to say about this? Realizing, you're busy too....and you will get to saying something. I just wanted to take temperature check... .
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #90 - 10/12/17 at 19:10:29
 
s_o_t,

FedEx had a problem finding Montana...the gear finally arrived Tuesday but I'm out of town through the early part of next week. My plan is to have it set up and listen Wed. through Sun. next week. I'll report back soon.

Rob
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #91 - 10/12/17 at 19:39:08
 
Yep, Fedex was a smidge off on their delivery estimate.  I shipped on 9/25, with an arrival date of 9/29.  After aimlessly touring the west coast a bit, Fedex finally decided it was probably a good time to get this thing delivered. They dropped it at Rob's doorstep on 10/10!   Angry

Once Rob has had sufficient time with the kit and is ready to send it along, I will update the Tour schedule accordingly.  I'll make an announcement so all can take a look at the changes and let me know if there are any conflicts with their calendar.  

Enjoy Rob!
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #92 - 10/13/17 at 01:29:45
 
Wow, FedEx dropped that way bad.

No hurry here, enjoy Rob.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #93 - 10/13/17 at 08:31:13
 
Same here, Rob, no hurry. I'm up to my...uh...elbows in alligators right now, anyway.

Randy
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #94 - 10/13/17 at 19:56:55
 
I'm looking forward to this! Looks like I'm early December, if we're still on Schedule. That works out for me as I can hand it off to Palomino and I'll be out of town the week before Xmas.

Is there room in the box for me to add one more tape?  If I can find an S-VHS tape, maybe I'll put my "Demo Tunes" on a tape and add it to the collection/tour.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #95 - 10/20/17 at 03:31:52
 
Hi All,

Enjoying The Tubes...got the deck set-up tonight; levels set and alls ready to A/B the Palomino tape with Spotify streaming this weekend. Keep you all posted.

Thanks Steve and Jeff,
Rob


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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #96 - 10/20/17 at 12:07:03
 
The Tubes, .....that brings back some memories. of 1978 - 1983!

Enjoy Rob. Having a nice Pre into Decware is sweet right?! I'm enjoying an older classic ARC LS-2B MkII into my ZMA.....she is sticking around for awhile.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #97 - 10/24/17 at 18:22:55
 
Hi All,

Spent some quality time with the SVHS rig this weekend. I'm planning to write-up and post my experience later tonight or tomorrow.

<stone_of_tone>
I agree, I'll keep my Pre around for a while as well -- the C220 adds nothing but convenience and volume to the mix; a quiet phono front-end and source switch for my beloved TORII Jr.

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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #98 - 10/27/17 at 15:24:36
 
Tape Tour Update

Stone of Tone is next in line to receive the SVHS tape rig, after Linton.

With the Fedex shipping debacle that delayed Linton receiving the gear in a timely manner, I had to update the Tape Tour schedule.  You can see where you stand on the current schedule HERE:  https://tinyurl.com/y87fmkv8

Contact me to get added to the list.  Next available slot is in March.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #99 - 10/28/17 at 14:29:35
 
Look forward to your write up Rob/linton.

Rob, will you get a chance to ship it out today or Monday and PM me a tracking number? FedEx or UPS is fine. FedEx preferred for my area; however, I know you had a debacle with them.

J of A, thanks for shepherding this Tour.  -Stone/Larry
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #100 - 10/28/17 at 15:14:50
 
PS-Linton.....yes, my LS-2B MkII adds convenience of volume for my beloved ZMA... . Most importantly, the transparency and definition density of this unit with a single Mullard in her class A Hybrid/FET......driving through my ZMA.

Cool part is....I have five Amps:

LS-2B/Mullard 7308/E188CC (Cryo'd) to Tungsram PCC88/7DJ8 ...inputs ZMA
LS-2B/Mullard 7308/E188CC (   "   ) to Tungsram 6922/E88CC ...inputs ZMA

ZMA direct from ZDSD with Ediswan (Cryo'd) CV2492/6922 ....as inputs
ZMA direct from ZDSD with  Mullard (Cryo'd) 7308/E188CC ....as inputs
ZMA direct from ZDSD with Russian 6N23N/P-EB ....as inputs

......constant inverter/ZMA, is.....Telefunken /6922/E88CC ~ 1 pair (painfully expensive/worth it)
......all input tubes and inverter's.....NOS Platinum
......RCA NOS 0A3's
......new production Tung-Sol KT66's (replaced on average/22 months)
......input and inverter 6922 tube variants....good for 7500 to 10,000 hours...worth every penny!

https://www.upscaleaudio.com/collections/vacuum-tubes/6922-6dj8-7308-pcc88

PS-do not get the Matsushita National PCC88/7DJ8 = not good in ZMA/Decware. Now, the Tungsram PCC88/7DJ8....incredible pair of tubes. .....and what my single Mullard from the LS-2B, puts forth to the Tung' 7DJ8 or Tung' 6922....matches made in heaven, when running my ARC to ZMA. ZMA alone, thrives on my Mull's and Edi's alone as inputs...Not driven into by my LS-2B. .....you can say I've found my tube combinations for my 5 ZMA's in one!
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Sony T-Port
Illuminati D-60
Shunyata Zitron Alpha DigPcord/ZDSD
Decware ZDSD DAC/Recorder
Kimber Select KS1030
Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier/25th Mods
Kimber Select KS6063
Acoustic Zen Adagio/Modified
PS Audio P3
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #101 - 10/28/17 at 16:08:33
 
Thank you and it's my pleasure Stone!  The experience with the SVHS is worth it and I hope more people jump on the list!  That player run through my Ultra pre-amp to my ZMA was astonishing!  

Decware peeps... you gotta give this thing a listen.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #102 - 10/31/17 at 03:53:54
 
The gear is on its way to Stone.

I agree with Jeff; The experience with the SVHS gear is worth it...I'll post my impressions asap


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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #103 - 10/31/17 at 22:40:35
 
Thanks Rob! I so look forward to this........ .  
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Sony T-Port
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Shunyata Zitron Alpha DigPcord/ZDSD
Decware ZDSD DAC/Recorder
Kimber Select KS1030
Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier/25th Mods
Kimber Select KS6063
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #104 - 11/03/17 at 22:26:42
 
The Eagle has landed.

Look forward to hooking her up tomorrow morning with coffee. I wish I had J of A's Joe.....but mine will have to do.
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Sony T-Port
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Shunyata Zitron Alpha DigPcord/ZDSD
Decware ZDSD DAC/Recorder
Kimber Select KS1030
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #105 - 11/06/17 at 05:22:03
 
Hey Stone,
Happy to hear the goods are in hand!  Not expecting any reviews as you've only had it for a New York minute, but so far so good?

If there was any room in that kit, I would have inserted a stash of beans for subsequent tape tour participants.  If Steve makes room in these tour cases in the future, I will provide the beans.  ;)
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #106 - 11/06/17 at 05:26:41
 
And Linton...  where you been?  Been waiting to read about your impressions.   Wink
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ZMA//Zen Ultra//Rachel//Super Zen//Taboo MKIII//PS Audio DirectStream DAC + Memory Player + P10//Muse Phono Stage//London Decca Reference//Dynavector DV-507 MKII//Zen Head//SonoruS Reel-to-Reel w/ tube playback pre-amp//Omega SAHOs//DM946//Oppo UDP-205
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #107 - 11/09/17 at 17:38:10
 
me too.... Stone I can't believe you've been mum on this so far.
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Decware Torii MK3, Wyred4Sound DAC2, Theta Digital Miles, Emotiva XMC-1, Emotiva XPA-5, Aesthetix Calypso, Wyred STP-SE, Martin Logan Vista, Audio Nirvana 12" Alnico's, PS Audio PW P5, Goertz, Kimber, Nordost and DIY wires, PSA pwr cords, Cary SLI-80, DM945's.....
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #108 - 11/10/17 at 20:56:14
 
System used for evaluation:  
Sources:  Samsung SVHS, DAC (16-bit, R2R, battery powered)
Pre Amp:  McIntosh C220
Amp: Decware Torii Jr.
Speakers:  Ascend Acoustics Sierra Tower w/Raal

Hi All,

I finally found time to jot down my experiences with the SVHS rig – thanks for including me on the tour!

As I’ve mentioned before, my primary goal was to A/B the Palomino tape with my 320kbps steaming playlist and compare Steve’s recording technique with the digital stream.  Unfortunately, that tape seems to be balanced about 3-5db louder on the left channel: This caused the soundstage to jump to the left and then back to the middle while doing a dynamic A/B switch between the two sources (the other 3 tapes were spot-on with regard to balance). Not sure if Jeff and Stone have experienced this with the Palomino tape or not – I’m curious to find out.

My C220 doesn’t provide a feature to configure balance per source, so I decided to adjust the balance for the tape, sit back and enjoy.  When comparing that tape with my digital source, the sound -- to me --was very similar – there are the added (enjoyable) tape artifacts that I like, but I wasn’t really blown away by this tape compared with my streaming set-up. But then I loaded the Dick’s Hat Band tape…

I was blown away by that tape! Dick’s Hat Band. Great music, analog tape lusciousness. I was really drawn-in to that recording. Surprisingly good sound quality from the SVHS rig. For me, there’s no fair comparison between streaming and that analog sound.

The Ed Pong tape – Amazing talent, the recording made me feel like I was right there in the room with them. I think this was the best example from the set of how good tape can sound – truly realistic audio. I wish there were a few more tracks on this one.

The Toronto Mix – I enjoyed the live venue, with the interesting show introduction and subtle crowd noises – very realistic, great music, enjoyable tape.

My conclusions from this exercise:
1.      Steve has done an amazing job, sharing his experiments with the SVHS format and encouraging those who are interested to try new things with old gear. Thanks for all you do for the Decware community.

2.      SVHS sounds very good to me. However, I have a small room and listen near field; I could hear the relatively noisy deck during quiet passages and between tracks – that bugs me and tends to take me out of the flow.

3.      I’m going to buy a Reel-Reel deck ASAP and begin the journey. I thoroughly enjoyed the analog tape experience and kept saying to myself, “I’ve got to hear more of this” – I love analog, phono being my source of choice. I prefer to sit down and listen to albums, not individual songs. Like the phono, the tape will continue to facilitate the full-album, analog paradigm that I crave and enjoy.

Jeff – Your reviews are detailed, impressive and fun to read, I look forward to hearing from the others on the tour.

Headed off to eBay,
Rob
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #109 - 11/11/17 at 00:23:44
 
I was talking to Steve at the fest and it wasn't until then that I realized the Palomino tape was one of my mixes.  Duh...

Looking forward to hearing this in my rig.
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i7 Mac Mini with LPSU/SSD running Audirvana 3, Uptone Audio Regen on LPSU, TEAC UD503, DIY Belden ICs, Torii MKIII, SE34I.32, PS Audio P5 Power Supply, PS Audio Power Cords, Vintage Western Electric 16g Speaker wires, DIY OB Speakers w/Tang Band/Augies
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #110 - 11/11/17 at 15:02:25
 
maddog & J of A....I have been mum...till linton had a chance to respond and ....getting my 3rd session in this weekend.

Maddog....I will get it out to you on Monday and get you the tracking # in PM.

linton! ....same here, the Palomino tape drove me nuts with the left channel skew....but, the Dick Hat's ....was fun too.  I'll say more later..... .

System for Listening:


Room Treatment by Mike Green and my home brew

Samsung VCR HI-FI

WBT RCA Kimber KS1030 ~.5 meter


Audio Research Stereo Line Stage Amplifier w/remote volume & mute LS-2B MkII
NOS Platinum/Mullard 7308/E188CC / Cryogenic


WBT-0102Ag RCA Kimber Select KS1030 ~.75 meter


currently.....NOS Platinum Tungsram PCC88/7DJ8 ~ 1 pair....in for Inputs/ZMA

Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier
~BIASED at *56* mA~
NOS/Platinum/Mullard E188CC/7308's in my A12 an B12 Input positions Cryogenic~NOS/Platinum/Telefunken E88CC for Inverter Tubes~NOS RCA 0A3's & matched Quad/Tung-Sol KT66's

ZMA adjusted at  70-90% Gain ~ w/ARC Line Stage, running via Remote Control



***************************************************
Kimber Select KS6063 Speaker Cable 8ft WBT-0681-Ag Spades
***************************************************
Kimber 8TC new/white & clear jacket/to remind me of how fluid/timbre correct and good the KS6063 are
Also Read.....the lowest noise floor you will ever witness....that a $5180 pair of speaker cables should have....and they do.....(I was fortunate to get them for $2680/Demo pair/mint, from the CableCo....worth every penny/extraordinary realism.....)



Acoustic Zen Adagio - Black Pearl (Modified)
.....enjoying from 8 ohm ZMA Taps


Caintuck Audio Eminence Alpha 15" OB BASS Unit
at 53Hz, with my Velodyne CHT 130 watt plate amp and 0 degree phase.....at 1/6 volume on plate
Plate Amp....regen'd clean ~ plugged into P3


Acoustic Zen Adagio's x-over's Modified/Full Range with Mundorf MCap Supremes-single Cap to each Tweeter/4.5k cross
(Gutted: 3kHz/18dB/Octave, Linkwitz/Riley Crossovers....with all crappy parts = gone)


XLO Pro Power Cord to ZMA
PS Audio P3 Power Plant / Pangea AC-9SE from wall to P3
(Transport, ARC Pre, and ZDSD, Regenerated/*120*~ Multiwave off...ZMA on High Current Output).

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Room Treats-M.Green & mine
Sony T-Port
Illuminati D-60
Shunyata Zitron Alpha DigPcord/ZDSD
Decware ZDSD DAC/Recorder
Kimber Select KS1030
Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier/25th Mods
Kimber Select KS6063
Acoustic Zen Adagio/Modified
PS Audio P3
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #111 - 11/12/17 at 03:11:59
 
I have just completed a new SVHS Palomino tape to replace the one with the skewed channels. I'll need a shipping address to send it to. I'll include a return shipping label for the damaged tape.  

I traced the problem to a drifting tube. The new tape I calibrated both machines with a MBL calibration tape at every frequency from 20~20kHz with both channels +/- 1dB anywhere in that spectrum. My guess is that this tape will sound better because there is not a hint of distortion or saturation anywhere on the tape, which I don't think was the case on the first one.

Everything I thought sounded very good this time around, with the only issue being 3 seconds of static in the left channel on track 2, and an exaggerated echo on track 8.

I monitored everything during the recording with the ZMF Eikons plugged directly into the SVHS mastering deck.  Now I'm getting ready to play the tape using both the headphones and an SE84UFO2 on speakers to see how close it is to what I heard during the recording.



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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #112 - 11/12/17 at 03:50:50
 
Well, it didn't go well.  There are lots of little micro pops for lack of a better term, little holes where there is no music.  I used an old tape that I thought would be good... Lesson learned.  Will try again tomorrow with a fresh tape.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #113 - 11/12/17 at 13:32:10
 
Steve, ship the fresh tape to maddog. I'm shipping the unit & tapes out to him tomorrow.
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Room Treats-M.Green & mine
Sony T-Port
Illuminati D-60
Shunyata Zitron Alpha DigPcord/ZDSD
Decware ZDSD DAC/Recorder
Kimber Select KS1030
Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier/25th Mods
Kimber Select KS6063
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #114 - 11/13/17 at 00:16:00
 
Tape is ready.  I'll need someone to email me (steve@zenamps.com) mad dogs address.

Thanks,

Steve
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #115 - 11/14/17 at 01:19:34
 
Linton,
Thanks for your review comments!  I was out camping this weekend, so I was "off the grid" and didn't see your post until today.  And as far as the output imbalance, I noted the same observations in my review.  And it looks like Steve confirmed what you, me, and Stone were in fact experiencing with the faulty tubes.  

I chuckled after reading your comment about the near field noisy deck.  I could see how that would annoy.  At the distance I was listening, it was undetectable.  I can however imagine hearing that pitch of the motors spinning at close distance and can't blame you for being distracted by that ambient noise.  

As far as the Dicks Hat Band, and the others (especially the UltraAnalogue sampler), they are in a different league and are a more direct representation of the overarching benefit of analog tape - simply because the source was great.  But, I really enjoyed the Palomino Tape for what it was.  

Rob, your experience is what this whole tape tour is all about!  I am so happy to hear that you were moved/intrigued/interested enough in what you heard to want to explore this whole tape thing further by grabbing yourself a R2R machine.  Let me know what you find and if you want to bounce anything off me. I did a great deal of research prior to my initial purchase.  If you love analog, it is the best playback type.  

That being said, do you have a ZP3?  If so, I may have something for you.  

Thanks for the sharing your experience Rob!

Cheers,
Jeff


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ZMA//Zen Ultra//Rachel//Super Zen//Taboo MKIII//PS Audio DirectStream DAC + Memory Player + P10//Muse Phono Stage//London Decca Reference//Dynavector DV-507 MKII//Zen Head//SonoruS Reel-to-Reel w/ tube playback pre-amp//Omega SAHOs//DM946//Oppo UDP-205
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #116 - 11/14/17 at 11:54:57
 
On its way to Maddog.
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Shunyata Zitron Alpha DigPcord/ZDSD
Decware ZDSD DAC/Recorder
Kimber Select KS1030
Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier/25th Mods
Kimber Select KS6063
Acoustic Zen Adagio/Modified
PS Audio P3
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #117 - 11/14/17 at 21:33:28
 
sent you an email Steve....
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Decware Torii MK3, Wyred4Sound DAC2, Theta Digital Miles, Emotiva XMC-1, Emotiva XPA-5, Aesthetix Calypso, Wyred STP-SE, Martin Logan Vista, Audio Nirvana 12" Alnico's, PS Audio PW P5, Goertz, Kimber, Nordost and DIY wires, PSA pwr cords, Cary SLI-80, DM945's.....
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #118 - 11/15/17 at 03:30:32
 
Got the address and the package will ship tomorrow on 11/15 Smiley

Thanks!

Steve
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #119 - 11/15/17 at 05:51:49
 
Decware Tape Tour Schedule:  https://tinyurl.com/decwaretapetour
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ZMA//Zen Ultra//Rachel//Super Zen//Taboo MKIII//PS Audio DirectStream DAC + Memory Player + P10//Muse Phono Stage//London Decca Reference//Dynavector DV-507 MKII//Zen Head//SonoruS Reel-to-Reel w/ tube playback pre-amp//Omega SAHOs//DM946//Oppo UDP-205
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #120 - 11/15/17 at 18:28:26
 
the spousal unit just pinged me and told me that a package arrived this morning from Stone.

I won't have a chance to fire it all up till the weekend... will post more after I give it a listen....

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Decware Torii MK3, Wyred4Sound DAC2, Theta Digital Miles, Emotiva XMC-1, Emotiva XPA-5, Aesthetix Calypso, Wyred STP-SE, Martin Logan Vista, Audio Nirvana 12" Alnico's, PS Audio PW P5, Goertz, Kimber, Nordost and DIY wires, PSA pwr cords, Cary SLI-80, DM945's.....
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #121 - 11/27/17 at 06:23:20
 
Hey Stone,
Would love to hear your take on the Tape Tour gear.  Have you had a chance to put into words your experience listening to the VHS tapes?
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #122 - 11/28/17 at 02:03:37
 
I enjoyed these tapes very much. I could hear where you guys are coming from and your passion for the format. I hope to hear Steve's masters someday by appt. and gear.
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Room Treats-M.Green & mine
Sony T-Port
Illuminati D-60
Shunyata Zitron Alpha DigPcord/ZDSD
Decware ZDSD DAC/Recorder
Kimber Select KS1030
Decware Zen Mystery Amplifier/25th Mods
Kimber Select KS6063
Acoustic Zen Adagio/Modified
PS Audio P3
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #123 - 11/28/17 at 15:38:59
 
the tapes have been auditioned on my system, and Sunday at another audio bud's house, along with four other folks and over several different combinations of equipment.

Steve also sent a new & improved version of the Palamino tape... which will be passed along to the next person on the list.

not sure where Steve is going with this.  I don't know of a way to make tape copies in a high-quality, rapid fashion.  But I personally would pay $$ to get a copy (on SVHS) of some of the masters Steve has for sure.

these tapes definitely illustrate the SQ potential of the medium.  On the right system... the first thing I seemed to notice about these tapes was the "naturalness" of the sound and how well the speakers disappeared as a sound source.  I think this may be at least partially due to the analog tape medium and not necessarily "just" the quality of the recording.
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Decware Torii MK3, Wyred4Sound DAC2, Theta Digital Miles, Emotiva XMC-1, Emotiva XPA-5, Aesthetix Calypso, Wyred STP-SE, Martin Logan Vista, Audio Nirvana 12" Alnico's, PS Audio PW P5, Goertz, Kimber, Nordost and DIY wires, PSA pwr cords, Cary SLI-80, DM945's.....
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #124 - 11/29/17 at 02:14:34
 
Haha... Rapid fashion... that's a good one.  

It makes for a great opportunity though to point out that the trick with hi-end tapes is that there is always a one-to-one transfer rate. It's real time. So if the tape is 50 minutes, the copy will take 50 minutes plus the setup and take down time, so 100 minutes to make the tape. The price of a real of high bias master tape is around $80 a reel and it takes two reels to do an album... so it it makes sense to see prices of up to $250 a reel if the person's equipment is worthy of the dupe, and his time is worth anything it's actually a deal. You have to realize that noone has a music library that is all tape in todays world. And master tapes are rare jewels that if you own a few you can have some real fun amazing yourself and friends with your stereo gear.

On a different note, there are those who heard the defective Palomino tape, that if they had a HI-FI VHS player and wanted to hear a non-defective one I'm sure I could probably make another one and send it out if you wanted to report on the tape.  Otherwise wait until I do another one, from better source files and we can do another tape tour.

If people purchased their own HI-FI VHS or SVHS players, we could make the tape tour a regular and ongoing thing, the only requirement would be a full report posted here in the forum on each tape you hear.

-Steve

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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #125 - 11/30/17 at 11:05:50
 
DB2, you are up!  I sent a PM to get your address as Maddog is ready to ship the gear to you.  Let me know either way so I can ship to you or the next in line.  I want to keep things moving.
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ZMA//Zen Ultra//Rachel//Super Zen//Taboo MKIII//PS Audio DirectStream DAC + Memory Player + P10//Muse Phono Stage//London Decca Reference//Dynavector DV-507 MKII//Zen Head//SonoruS Reel-to-Reel w/ tube playback pre-amp//Omega SAHOs//DM946//Oppo UDP-205
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #126 - 11/30/17 at 22:28:49
 
I have two SVHS players laying around.  One Panasonic and one JVC.  So bring on the tapes..!!!  

Since DB2 is not responding... and I still have the tour player and tapes - I think I shall give the new Palimino tape "another" listen on the rig I currently(I swap components in/out quite a bit) have in my listening room. Which is a set of Randy's Betsy Baffles (baffle enhanced/braced from the stock Betsy baffle) driven by my beloved Torii III.
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Decware Torii MK3, Wyred4Sound DAC2, Theta Digital Miles, Emotiva XMC-1, Emotiva XPA-5, Aesthetix Calypso, Wyred STP-SE, Martin Logan Vista, Audio Nirvana 12" Alnico's, PS Audio PW P5, Goertz, Kimber, Nordost and DIY wires, PSA pwr cords, Cary SLI-80, DM945's.....
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #127 - 12/08/17 at 06:15:04
 
The Tape Tour gear is headed toward Lonely Raven, next up to bat!  

Thanks Maddog and please post your impressions/commentary when you are able.  

Passing the gear around is great, but its the impressions and discussion here on the forum that provides the greatest insight, so all involved - please spew at will!

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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #128 - 12/09/17 at 21:11:42
 
Raven....

I am having trouble contacting you.  Please check email and PM's.

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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #129 - 12/12/17 at 15:51:46
 
the VCR and tapes should be in LR's hands tomorrow/Wednesday.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #130 - 12/12/17 at 18:21:24
 
We will be tag teaming on this one as I think I am next on the list.  Maybe we will have it for the upcoming CDApS meeting.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #131 - 12/13/17 at 01:47:42
 
That sounds like a damn good plan.  Have fun gents!  Can't wait to hear your commentary.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #132 - 12/16/17 at 17:25:50
 
Hey Maddog,
Any comments and opinions you can share regrading the tape rig and the tapes that were included in the tour?

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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #133 - 12/21/17 at 01:03:45
 
Got the deck from Raven's place today.  Pretty basic deck. Plugged it in and put in the Palomino tape.  Wonderful mix.  The author is to be complimented Roll Eyes

Seriously though, it took me about 5 seconds in to the first song to hear the density and fullness.  I also was expecting more hiss.  I listened to only 4 songs but enjoyed them all.

I also put in my pro level Sony exiting deck and did not hear a noticeable difference.  Also the pro deck has a full time fan running so it's a no go. I also tried an old prosumer editing deck but it was DOA.

I did hear some distortion in at least one song but overall I was impressed with the SQ.  I was not expecting it to be this good.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #134 - 01/03/18 at 03:25:19
 
Geese guys, I've been sick with the flu for 11 days and have still managed to listen to quite a few tapes.  I realize it's the holidays but lets try to focus here !

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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #135 - 01/03/18 at 14:05:37
 
Sorry Steve,

Lots going on here with health situations and my wife being out of town.  I was barely able to pull off the last CDApS meeting.  Raven was also out of town till the 28th or so as well.

We had planned to dedicate some time to tape during the CDApS but ran into technical issues.  Something going on with the deck.  It worked fine when I had it last plugged in but now it is producing static.  I tried to adjust the tracking, but didn't get anywhere.

So I plugged in my consumer deck and also had issues with it taking in the tape and ejecting it.  So we didn't want to get into an eaten tape situation so I switched to my pro deck and listened.  We all agreed that he Dick Hat Band tape gave us the most reel to reel type sound.  Definitely toe tapping music and great density.

I'll send you an email to discuss where to go next with the deck.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #136 - 01/05/18 at 22:09:07
 
Wednesday night I got the deck to play out of both channels, but only very softly.  

I will keep messing with it as well as seeing if I can get my own deck to reliably eject the tape.  If so, I may replace the deck with my own and send it on to the next listener.  

I'll either ship the original deck back to Steve or send it with Raven on his next trip to Peoria.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #137 - 01/05/18 at 23:47:39
 
Pal,
Thanks for helping to troubleshoot this.  Sorry for the issues with the deck.  Bummer it interfered with being able to listen.  Just keep me updated and I will coordinate the best course of action to get it back to Steve for repair or to shipment to the next tour member.  
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #138 - 01/08/18 at 22:32:57
 
Jeff,

I'll send you a PM.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #139 - 01/08/18 at 23:22:37
 
I’m not one to pen “novels” about a topic as “subjective” as human hearing perception.  I did allude to my opinion of the tapes in post#123.
I will reiterate here, that the first thing I noticed was how “natural” the sound from the tapes was and how well the few pairs of speakers I listened to the tapes on, disappeared.  I also observed no tape hiss, at my listening position, on very, very sensitive speakers (approx. 99db).  I also summed up my “opinion” by stating that I would be willing to spend my own $$ to get some of Steve’s music on SVHS tape – what more positive thing could I say than that I am willing to spend money on the format...!! Smiley


I own probably half or more of the music that was on the Palamino Mix tape (the new corrected one).  So I was familiar with how it sounds on my system, of which the source (most of the time) is from a hard disk that a CD was ripped to.  It did not take long to notice a “difference” in the sound.  Again I would describe this as an “analog ease” to the music on the tape.  When we consider the source was a low bit rate internet stream, this only makes it more remarkable.  I am anxiously awaiting Steve’s new proprietary ADC process too.  The Ed Pong tape, though not the type of music I regularly listen to, was superb – approaching about as “real” as it gets in home music reproduction IME.  The Women’s Music Club of Toronto was not far behind the Ed Pong to my ears.  The Dicks Hat Band tape also exhibited similar naturalness, flow and density, though not to the same extent as the others.

I would encourage anyone who can, to take an opportunity to listen to these tapes…. You’re likely to have an “a-ha” moment and get the notion that you now know what everybody’s talking about, when they talk about analog superiority.  It just sounds "right".....
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #140 - 01/09/18 at 02:14:53
 
Palomino

Send the unit and tapes back to me directly.  If the player has tanked I'll throw it in the trash and see what is available as a replacement.

Steve
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #141 - 01/09/18 at 07:26:14
 
Thanks Maddog for taking the time to post your comments on the Tape Tour experience.  I'm very much an advocate of this format, as you know.  But it is helpful, no, NEEDED, to have people who are not biased or predisposed to wax poetically about tape, to actually experience it and share with others how they feel about it.  

That's really the spirit and motivation behind this Tape Tour.  It's not for guys like me - who already buy into the format - to merely spew on about how amazing it is.  It's too easy for those cautious or skeptical to write this banter off as self-serving rhetoric or ego stroking.  Getting into tape is not easy, convenient or cheap.  There are more reasons not to get into tape, than reasons to get into tape.  But the only reason that matters relates to the sound.  There simply is nothing else like it.  Vinyl can come close, but whenever I spin up some of my "prize possession" tapes on my SonoruS rig, I realize it simply can't compete.  Don't get me wrong.  I love vinyl and have invested heavily into my vinyl system.  But the magic of tape is undeniable when certain conditions are met.  This Tape Tour is a sliver of what tape greatness can bring, especially with the investment into a quality tape deck, tube playback system, and master tapes.  I do very much agree with Steve when he describes tape as "ear candy."  It's not something I spin up everyday for a couple of reasons.  Though when I do, man, it is my idea of aural heaven.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #142 - 02/17/18 at 19:51:47
 

For those five people who are still on the list please accept my apologies as we are still waiting to get the tape tour kit back so that I can see what is going on with the VHS machine and repair or replace it.

Palomino and Lonely Raven were the last to receive the kit and it's been over 30 days since I expected to see it so not too sure what's happening here.

Steve
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #143 - 02/18/18 at 13:15:04
 
I hung onto it for a few days after CDApS to see if I couldn't get the deck to work. Fiddled with the tracking and such.  

Then I gave it to LR thinking he would drop it off the following Monday.  I'll ping him again.  He hasn't been on the forums much lately.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #144 - 02/18/18 at 16:46:11
 
Hey Pal,
Not sure how close you are to LR, but if he is inundated and unable to get the tape machine back enroute to Steve, is there anyway to swing by, grab it, and slap a shipping label on it?  

Cheers,
Jeff
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #145 - 02/20/18 at 22:39:53
 
Jeff,

LR swung by Steve's today and dropped off the deck.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #146 - 02/21/18 at 05:54:07
 
Excellent!  Thanks for the update Pal.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #147 - 02/23/18 at 03:14:05
 
The tape kit arrived and I will look into it this weekend and see what's what. Smiley

-Steve
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #148 - 02/23/18 at 03:18:45
 
Excellent!  I'm excited to get this tour back on track.  

Keep me posted Steve and I will adjust the schedule accordingly.  

-Jeff
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #149 - 03/01/18 at 03:23:11
 

Good news!

I have an exact replacement machine on the way to me after confirming that the original one has gone bad. So we shouldn't be too far away from restarting this tour. Since these machines only set you back around $40 on ebay, it's not worth the bench time to fix it.  

The reason I choose this machine is because it is auto tracking. Having to adjust the tracking all the time would crash the tape tour since you would not have a TV hooked up to see the picture fuzz out and therefor just think the tape is distorting or quieter or one channel etc., etc.

It also sounds respectable and for the price is expendable if it breaks.  (Samsung VR8460)  The only thing it really needs to sound beyond respectable is a tube preamp following it.

There are dozens of better machines out there for sure, but many don't auto track, or are too heavy to ship around like this without certain death being the result.

Thinking to the future if people wanted to buy their own machines for an ongoing tape tour...

If you're going to spend three or four hundred dollars on a great VHS player you may as well go for a Teac or Tascam reel to reel machine and then do the tape tour on 7.5 IPS 7" reels. You can get these machines on ebay on almost any given day for less than $400.

These machines have far better audio sections than many of the VHS player's and sound very good bone stock so long as they are kept clean. The Teac X-7R and X-10R sound especially good bone stock. Tascam also makes the same machines with 1/2 track heads instead of 1/4 track heads.  I could see either being used with great success.

Steve

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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #150 - 03/01/18 at 05:32:57
 
This is fantastic news Steve!!   I'll reach out to the next in line to get this back going again.

Palomino, you were the current holder of the machine when it went belly up and I know you never got to give it a proper test drive.  Would you be interested in giving it another shot?  Ill be getting back to a 2 week rotation so if you have time over the next couple weeks to run it again, and post some commentary, then the machine will be back in your hands.  No biggie either way.  If not, I will go ahead and reach out to the next tour member.  

Quote:
The only thing it really needs to sound beyond respectable is a tube preamp following it.


I concur.  Tried it both ways and with the tube pre-amp, it was across the board better.  
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #151 - 03/01/18 at 11:52:54
 
Thanks Jeff, but I think it best that the tape machine not re-enter the CDApS vortex.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #152 - 03/01/18 at 15:57:28
 
Grin  Understood!  I'll check to see who's next up.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #153 - 03/05/18 at 19:35:55
 
It's ready to ship, I just need the next name and address.  send to steve @ zenamps.com
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #154 - 03/06/18 at 15:37:44
 
Just waiting to hear back from Bottlehead if he is ready and willing to take the tape rig at this point in time.  As soon as I confirm who it is that will be receiving the gear, I’ll fire off an email with the shipping details.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #155 - 03/07/18 at 05:34:58
 
Hey Jeff,

PM sent, thanks for the heads up.

Randy
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #156 - 03/20/18 at 02:53:27
 
To all on the tour. I received player and vhs tapes safely today!
Gonna do some listening after dinner.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #157 - 04/03/18 at 06:40:37
 
Hey Acetone/Neighbor,
How’s the listening going?  Sorry for not checking in sooner, but I was out of town the last week.  

It takes awhile to absorb everything and to gather your thoughts.  I played all of the tapes 3 times straight before even attempting to form any opinions.  I then played each tape, one-by-one, while taking my observation notes before compiling them at the end.   I tend to be systematic so as to not become overwhelmed and discouraged/demotivated.  There is a LOT to listen to and while enjoyable no doubt, it can become a bit much when critically listening.  

Most importantly, have fun!  This should be an enjoyable and hopefully enlightening experience.  

Cheers,
Jeff
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #158 - 04/28/18 at 02:11:08
 
bump
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #159 - 04/28/18 at 16:51:34
 
Hey Jeff,  

I've listened to the Palamino and hat band tapes mostly. Both are very, very nice. A warmth that I believe can only be had with spinning vinyl in my system. I have the Eva Cassidy - live at blues alley CD and can say that the tape stomped it....absolutely!! The player is just a bit noisy which is the only issue I had during softer passages of music. Unfortunately I have no LP's or Streaming to compare to the tape. But, other reviews have covered those format comparisons well.
I have the player packed and ready to go (did you get my notice?). Seems a few on the list have, for various reasons, backed off leaving me with the player for some time now.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #160 - 04/28/18 at 17:03:09
 
Hi Ace,
Thanks for the update and no, the last message I received was when the equipment first landed at your place.  

I will reach out to next in line and see where it goes next.  Once I get confirmation, I will send you over the shipping info.

Thanks!
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #161 - 05/02/18 at 18:41:25
 
Boxertwin is next up!  Equipment will be on the way via Acetone.  The tour lives on!

For any of you on the list who deferred due to bad timing, let me know if when you are ready to be re-activated on the list.  At this point we are all caught up so whoever gets added/re-added will get the gear after Boxertwin.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #162 - 05/08/18 at 17:11:27
 
Tape tour-Pelican case is on it's way to Boxertwin.
Departed Monday! Enjoy!
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Jeff of Arabica
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #163 - 05/09/18 at 03:41:01
 
Great to hear Ace!  Thanks for getting that shipped off and hopefully it was a fun journey.  At some point, you will hear the real deal with my SonoruS tape rig.   Smiley
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #164 - 05/09/18 at 15:02:02
 
Jeff,  I look forward to hearing your new speakers, the RtR and the enhanced ZMA2! Let me know your next free day and I will try to make it happen!
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #165 - 05/20/18 at 16:51:35
 
I received the Pelican case with tape machine in good apparent shape a few days ago and have tried many things to get it to play to no avail. After trying different tapes and every possible combination of buttons, can't get it to rewind or fast forward more than a couple of seconds. PLAY will light up on the display and some hiss starts but no matter, it will only engage for a second or two before shutting down (as if at end of tape). Very frustrating..........  Any input or advise is welcome from anyone that knows this machine. Samsung VR8460.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #166 - 05/22/18 at 06:32:24
 

I now understand that Father Murphy (of Murphy's Laws) was a dissgruntaled wannabe audiophile who was both intellecually and finically challanged and couldn't afford a tape machine so his scortch-the-earth campaign to make audiophiles miserable just because his stereo sucked and he couldn't admit it...  what an ass.  I'm sure UPS isn't helping matters any but that just suggest he probably worked for UPS after getting fired from a stereo store.

The only thing I can suggest at this point is if you have access to another VHS try it.  Even I can't overcome the super natural while I'm living, but this little ass better have an exit strategy after I die.

Steve
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #167 - 05/25/18 at 16:12:25
 
OK, I have purchased a replacement VCR identical to the one on tour and I should get it in a few days.
I had received the original machine packed nicely in its Pelican case but it refuses to work. This was actually the second machine sent onto the tour. Evidently shipping these things takes a toll on them. Anyway, I have a new machine on the way to replace it and after listening to it a couple of weeks, I will send it on to the next person on the list. I really want to hear those tapes!
Randy
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #168 - 05/30/18 at 04:28:56
 

YES!  

I just had a vision!  Keep in mind I have dressed as a service man and went to the UPS hub to watch and see for myself what happens to packages.  Most of it is employee abuse.  Kicking packages into the back of trucks.  The rule at UPS or any shipper is a package can be trown as far as you can throw it or dropped as high as you can drop it and if it breaks it's our fault.

Anyway back to the vision, it's the handle.  The case is too small and the damn thing has a handle.  They are taking it by the handle and trowing it 5 times farther than is possible with any box that has no handle.  Picture winding up and whipping it as hard as you can into the wall of the truck at every stop and you begin to see why it is breaking.  They are cracking the circuit board.  Another reason why I hate circuit big circuit boards.

Cut the damn handle off the case and it will go back to just being kicked and thrown, which it can handle.  I appologise for not seeing it sooner.

Steve

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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #169 - 05/30/18 at 12:39:26
 
That would be funny if it weren't so true! So you really dressed as an employee and went undercover....................... wish you had pictures! I will cut the handle off of the Pelican case before it goes out again......... makes sense. I should get the new unit tomorrow, according to UPS. I just hope it was packed decently, and doesnt have a handle.
Randy
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #170 - 05/31/18 at 02:53:07
 
The new VHS machine was on my doorstep when I got home this evening. It was loosely packed in a single cardboard box, partially taped shut. It was packed with a little crumpled paper around it. How it survived shipping I don't know but it plays beautifully.
I didn't have too much time but I played parts of Dick's Hat Band and a fair amount of Palamino's tape and I was blown away by the quality of sound. My room is not the best and it is usually hard to discern much difference in hardware. Also my ears are not nearly as good as many of yours. I mean, there is probably no way I could detect differences in power cords or speaker cables. But the difference in sound quality was amazing. I did a little A/B ing between Tidal and the tape and there is a huge difference. I was listening to the VHS with a CSP2+ and a Torii Mk 4.  The speakers were MG 944's and I listened a bit through my DNA's. I will elaborate more after some more listening.
Randy
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #171 - 06/01/18 at 02:22:55
 

Quote:
The new VHS machine was on my doorstep when I got home this evening. It was loosely packed in a single cardboard box, partially taped shut. It was packed with a little crumpled paper around it. How it survived shipping I don't know but it plays beautifully.


That pretty well proves my handle theory.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #172 - 06/01/18 at 02:35:48
 

Yes, I dressed like an outside service man because I had my blue uniforms and tool belts from the days when I did refrigeration and food equipment repair. One of the things I didn't expect to see was a giant conveyor belt on the second floor, some 20 feet above the concrete loading docks. It was the length of the building and at least 6 feet wide or more. At the end was an opening where the packages fall into a black abyss. Brillently the designers of this opening made it narrower than the belt. When I first got out there it was just in time to see a package jam at the end of the line where the packages wouldn't go through the opening. All of the packages on the belt at the end and about 8 feet back were being slowly smashed as the belt continued to go and the weight of 1800 packages continue to come. Suddendly one package couldn't stand the force and shot out of the pileup like a water melon seed and careened through the air, over the hand rail and down to the concrete some 20 feet below.

We stopped having shipping damage after that day because I changed how we pack things.  
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #173 - 06/01/18 at 05:13:57
 
Hi Randy,
It is great to hear that the new machine arrived and despite the shoddy packaging, it survived the trip.  Thanks for doing that by the way!

Your reaction to the tape sound characteristic is the intent behind this tour.  Analog tape sound is unique and once you hear it, regardless of your ability to wax poetically about all of its greatness, you know it is special.  

Now, can you imagine a true master reel-to-reel on a tube-based tape playback system?  When I get a second I am going to post some pictures and write about my experience at Ed Pong’s UltraAnalogue Recordings this past week while in Toronto.  

I am looking forward to reading more about your impressions.
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #174 - 06/14/18 at 02:43:12
 

Very much looking forward to your story!

Steve
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #175 - 06/14/18 at 03:59:51
 
Hey JoA,

I have been wondering about your experience on your trip to Ed Pong's. Hoping that you get some time soon to "take us along" for the ride.

Randy
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #176 - 06/14/18 at 04:25:15
 
Your posts are timely. I am literally listening to the first of three tapes I purchased from Ed of the recordings of the entire Narek concert that I was present at.  I was sitting 15 feet from Narek and Pianist Benjamin Smith and I am literally stunned right now. I am so giddy and excited inside I am not even sure how to gather my thoughts.  I am going to share with you this entire experience from my visit with Ed Pong at his place the Friday before the concert, the concert itself, and my impressions of these three tapes of the concert I just received yesterday.  Holy bejesus!  I don’t think I was quite prepared for this evening’s listening of my first set of UltraAnalogue tapes.   More to follow.....
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #177 - 06/23/18 at 02:35:24
 

I think I speak for everyone when I say the suspense is killing us.  See if you can find some coffee and write while you listen. : )

Steve
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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #178 - 08/05/18 at 03:46:44
 

Earth to Jeff... come in Jeff...

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Re: Wanna hear what TAPE sounds like?
Reply #179 - 08/14/18 at 07:47:37
 
Ha!  Sorry, I was "abducted" by forces far stronger than me.  Here is Part 2!   Smiley
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