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OMG it's just insane! (Read 787 times)
Steve Deckert
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OMG it's just insane!
06/19/19 at 05:04:42
 

I'm setting here tonight listening to a new open-baffle-speaker array on our 25th Anniversary Zen Triode amplifier driven by the soon to be released matching Anniversary preamp and I literally recreated the identical sound pressure level and dynamic impact of a grand piano and bass cello in probably a 40 x 60 space if I had to guess all with two magic watts. I have to say it has never been done before in my lifetime, nor have I heard it happen anywhere else without either strain, compression or clipping. The reason I have just had this breakthrough tonight is directly linked to an UltraAnalogue Recordings 15 IPS master tape of Narek Hakhnazaryan playing the chill and Benjamin Smith on the grand piano.

The dynamics of these tapes are insane, as is the transparency. I was actually able to recreate the live event perfectly which is so haunting because you don't recreate the event in your listening room, you are transported across distance and time to the live event, the experience so damn real that if not for the euphoria of the music it would be disturbing.

Absolutely no-one who came into my room right now blind-folded would ever believe in a million years this was a recording. The imaging and the way it lays out in the room is the best I have heard so far to date in this room, or really any room. The naturalness and time bending attack blended into a completely 3D IMMERSIVE SOUND STAGE well over 4 times the dimensions of the actual listening space.

This is again, the best imaging of a grand piano and cello (as well as a live audience of what sounded like maybe 50 people) that I have ever heard. The room was perfectly rendered as was everything in it.  

These are live two-track recordings done directly to tape and then painstaking copied and monitored in a 1 to 1 process with set-up test tones in the beginning of each reel. Considering a blank reel of studio grade high bias tape costs around $80 and then any packaging, labeling, and you have $100 in materials before you even begin. These aint cassette tapes kids.

Anyway I believe at $275 a tape it's actually a privilege to own especially for the hard-core audiophiles. I say that because these tapes are a world reference for fidelity. There is no better. Big studio recordings offered everywhere else are not as good, I know because I own many. That makes a tape like this one I'm listening to tonight an INVALUABLE tool for evaluation of any hi-fi playback system. For example, listening to digital which also sounds nice but never this real, I thought I had the speakers adjusted the best they could be, however after only a few minutes of the tape it was easy to hear more adjustments were needed and even easier to hear when you got it in the right place. Literally within 5 minutes it can be done, what otherwise takes on average weeks.

It really saddens me that people put reel-to-reel tape in the not practical category because the music they like is unavailable and what is around it too expensive. You spend 50 bucks on a couple records and God knows what on a cartridge and tonearm, yet you think trading 4 audiophile LP's for one reel-to-reel tape is cheating yourself out of listening time but you are so wrong. (You think you can get nearly as good a sound from your vinyl rig at 1/4 the cost but again the reality is there are 14 ways to miss-adjust a turntable and if even 1 is not perfect, the sound is compromised. If all are perfect, and you have 30,000 cartridge, it will still be not as good as tape. There is no way to miss-adjust a tape. You put it on the machine, you press play. A drunken monkey could do it.)

If we set up your room like this is tonight and listened to a record it might be the best you ever heard... so why piss with tape? Well, after the record, imagine if we played a tape and suddenly you were transported right through the friking listening-room wall to a wooden stool 2000 miles away setting just behind the microphones at a live event that actually happened in the past!  If a record could do that, how much would you be willing to pay for it I ask?

UltraAnaloge Recordings Master Tapes can do that, and did that, and continue to do it. You will listen to these tapes over and over without ever getting tired of it, because like a movie each time you watch it you get something completely different out of it. This is what happens in live events as well. Guaranteed, the 4 fancy sounding records you give up will see only a fraction of the play time of just one tape. This is what people don't get. Go buy yourself a damn tape machine for one of your next purchases and then once a week or whenever the urge strikes for something special (REAL SPECIAL) go ahead an blow your own mind. And if you think that's fun, try blowing your friends minds because that greatly magnifies it.

Happy listening, and for reference, the tape I played tonight that inspired this post is called:

Albeniz Asturias ~ Shchedrin Imitating Albeniz which is part one, and Tchaikovsky Nocturne & Pezzo Cappriccioso from UltraAnalogue Recordings.


-Steve
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Steve Deckert
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If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 4101
Re: OMG it's just insane!
Reply #1 - 06/19/19 at 05:39:26
 

And when I get past the shear amazement of how real it sounded as demonstrated in the above post, please accept my apology for not mentioning the simply over-the-top talent of these two musicians on this tape is! It's what I was referring to when I said it's just insane and I completely forgot to come back to it. These two are beyond belief. If you are not into classical music, this message is for you... the second part of this tape is like a Jeff beck guitar solo with 8 times the resolution and complexity. It rocks, trust me. The trailing notes at the end of each bar cascade through your belly like energy beams. Again, folks, this is the best of the best of the best.  You really got to hear it.  And you will at the 2019 DECFEST this October!

-Steve
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Steve Deckert
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If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 4101
Re: OMG it's just insane!
Reply #2 - 06/19/19 at 06:07:33
 

The live audience and clapping and cheering at the end was the most clean dynamic live present ULTRA REAL I've ever heard, as an ending to an incredible performance, my forehead now hurts from the face palms.  Just insane!  Holy Crap!  

And, to illustrate my point in the earlier posts about listening milage... It's 12:03, I've just listening to this particular tape twice, and I have to rewind it and hit it one more time, simply have to keep hearing it.  Coming back to earth aka stop listening, is like stepping out of a hot shower into the cold snow naked... so no matter when you quit listening it's going to be rude.
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Ed Pong
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Re: OMG it's just insane!
Reply #3 - 06/19/19 at 12:52:20
 
Wow Steve, congratulations on bringing the repro into the realm of the LIVE!!

I'm very happy to hear my tapes were there with you!  :)

You have an open invitation to come to Toronto for a concert to hear the LIVE & then the actual master tape after...

Honestly, I hear much more on the tape after, since there is no visual...
The live concert is just visual & aureal overload !

Narek & Noreen were beyond amazing in this last concert - in very refined ways... I look forward to hear your take on these last 2 new tapes!
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Steve Deckert
Administrator
*****


If the 1st watt
sucks why continue?

Posts: 4101
Re: OMG it's just insane!
Reply #4 - 06/22/19 at 03:08:29
 

Certainly not the first time I've got it convincingly real... this last round with these new speakers just made it more so.  These were the last two tapes,  the second I listened to which caused me to write this long winded post was:

Albeniz Asturias ~ Shchedrin Imitating Albeniz, and Tchaikovsky Nocturne & Pezzo Cappriccioso.

Steve : )
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