Master tape dubs are awesome. if you can get (good) one(s).
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I have just got in R2R recordings (Revox B77, MK2, 2T, HS) and have just purchased my first tape; Lyn Stanley, Live At Bernies. All I can say is wow! Probably the best recoded and sounding music source I have ever heard. That good, really did sound like being at a live concert. Love the music, but that recording and the sound on my system blew me away. Safe to say I am a convert to R2R recording. Yes, these tapes are ridiculously expensive, as is the production process, but, well worth the money IMHO.
I was so impressed with the Revox B77, I have decided to upgrade to a Revox PR99, MK2. Think it safe to say, R2R is my ultimate source material going forward.
Also, German Audiophile Society.
@inna, you have to be careful. the master tapes can be very addictive. Makes it really difficult go back and listen to your other sources.
If I am playing tapes, I have to end on playing tapes for the night. then power everything down. Skip at least one day, then can come back to other sources.
But the tapes do chew through your wallet at a brisk pace.
No chance. There is so much information on tape, espacially in the top end. The different instruments are so extremely separated. If the recording on tape has a good quality, it is an other world.
But i have to say. If you digitize it with a very good ad-converter, you will hear less to no different. Hard to say. I cannot explain this for me. I think tape has it´s own sound.
I have about 100 albums on 15IPS tape - mostly original production/distribution masters from CBS & Jugoton plus a few from Tape Project.
I archive them onto new RTM tape stock (either SM900 or LPR90) with Dolby SR, as well as a digital archive using a Prism Sound Lyra 2 A2D interface. The digital copy owing the Lyra 2 is pretty much indistinguishable from the original tape.
some of us run all three and can discern the relative strengths and weaknesses. High speed tape is fantastic, so is a world class A2D and DAC, or a great LP system.... music lovers will chase more than one I think, out of necessity and of course rewarding the artist...
have fun, do upgrade those deck electronics and do level match between sources, some people just like the gain juice.....and don’t know why.....
and if you go one step further to tube based outboard playback electronics, the sound is even more mind blowing. I have a pair of MTR-15s and an 812.Originally hot rodded the stock electronics with better parts, made a really nice improvement. Then was over at a friends house who has an MTR-10, and had just added outboard playback electronics.......WOW, I was blown away, so ended up going that route. For those interested, not many options now for tube based playback electronics. Decware offers one, that sounds really good. Other option is to use a really good tube based phono stage and convert the RIAA EQ curve to NAB or IEC. One of decks uses an EAR 834 phono stage with the EQ changed from RIAA to NAB. Makes a great sounding tube playback preamp unit.
When I source a new production master, I duplicate the master onto a) new tape and b) as a digital 192/24 .wav file.
As tomic601 mentioned, it is really important to make sure that you reproduce the music, as it was intended. I’m a firm believer that every tape should have line up tones at the head (or tail), so that you can i) check that your repro head azimuth is correct for that tape and ii) that you can match the level and frequency response of the original recorder machine.
I then do a zero level transfer onto new tape stock (I have several R2R machines) using Dolby SR noise reduction (Dolby 363 with SR/A cards), so that you don’t lose another 2-3 dB S/N with the transfer. The master is then rewound and I do a second zero level transfer (192/24 .wav) via my Prism Sound Lyra 2 A2D onto my Mac Pro hard drive. The original production master is then stored safely.
I can then play the Dolby SR tape copy or the digital file to my heart’s content, knowing that I won’t be degrading the original production master by repeatedly playing it.
I see. Dealing with tape, besides superior sound quality, is such an audiophile endeavor. You really get in touch with things.
With prices so high exchanging tapes seems to be the way to go. But also because of many dubs that you just can't get unless you are or were in the industry. Including concerts that were recorded but never released.
No. The Otari 5050 sound is more focused and modern when compared to Studer A810, Studer sounds bigger and more open but it’s personal preference IMO.
What makes the Studer A810 desirable is it is the best tape handler of all the compact machines. It is extremely gentle on tapes, very well built, sounds great, modular, lots of parts remaining in case something goes wrong, has a professional pedigree, and it’s a Studer.