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Tapes and the Younger Generation

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  • Tapes and the Younger Generation

    Had an interesting experience this morning. I was shipping back a bunch of tapes to a friend using Fedex and the clerk, a young man probably in his late 20's, asked me the contents of the package. I told him they were recording tapes. He replied - you mean VHS tapes. No, I said, audio tapes. He said, Oh, for voice recorders? No, I said. He said cassette tapes, 8 tracks, or something smaller? No, I said, really big tapes, 2 track, used for recording starting in the '50's through the '80's. He said, well I guess I don't know what they are. After all he was probably born when Bill Clinton was president, and Reagan and JFK are just airports.

    Larry
    Analog- VPIClassic3-3DArm,SoundsmithZephyrII+MiyajimaZeroMono, 2xAmpex ATR-102,Doshi3.0 BottleheadPhonoPre,Herron VTPH-2A
    Dig Rip-Pyramix,IzotopeRX3Adv,Mykerinos,PacMicroModel2
    Dig Play-mchNADAC, LampiPac, Roon, HQP, Oppo105
    Electronics-Herron 360Pre,CJ MET1mchPre, Cary2A3monoamps
    Speakers-AvantgardeDuosLR,3SolosC,LR,RR
    Other-512Engineer/Marutani Symmetrical Power, ArtKelmGround1, AudioDiskVinylCleaner,AirTightRecordFlat, Scott Rust Interconnects,
    Music-15KRecs(90%classical),1KR2Rtapes,50TBrips

  • #2
    My son is 20. Several years ago, he started to get interested in vinyl so I got him a decent turntable. Then some obscure music groups he is following are issuing their music on cassette only. My son enquired whether I would have a cassette deck somewhere. I replied that my old Nakamichi RX 202 had been sleeping for several years in his own room’s closet but as he never paid attention to it, I sold it to a friend who was interested acquiring it. To tease him a little bit, I showed him on Youtube the auto reverse mechanism of the RX 202 and I saw a very long face... My reply was simple: « Son, the real thing is reel to reel and not cassette. Stick to vinyl for the time being ». He followed my advice.

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    • #3
      My son, also 20, has purchased some cassettes and has a Walkman connected to his stereo to play them. He is also well aware of what reel-to-reel and vinyl are, because he and I like a lot of the same music and so we listen together and he has seen me loading up reels and putting the needle in the groove 🤘🏻
      TAPE: Studer A807, A810; Revox B77 MkII; Tascam BR-20; Technics RS-1700; Pioneer RT-707, RT-909
      VINYL: Pioneer PL-50LII/Benz LP-S MR/ModWright PH 9.0; Denon DP59-L/Dynavector 20xH
      DIGITAL: Bryston SP-3, Marantz NA6006/Pioneer N-50, Schiit Bifrost
      SPEAKERS: B&W Nautilus 800, Pioneer DSS-9, Velodyne FSR-15
      AMPS: Cary SLP-05/Sunfire Signature 600, Pioneer SX-1980

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      • timztunz
        timztunz commented
        Editing a comment
        That’s SO cool.

    • #4
      Interesting thread.

      What you may be saying is that anyone under the age of 30 has never heard of nor cares about tape. Unless their dad played (with) it at some time in their life.

      And tape certainly doesn't fit in with their technology experience. It's as antiquated as their parents/grandparents.

      Charles

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      • #5
        I generalize, but this seems to be another indication that folks who grew up after the internet became widespread were self-limited in what they read about. This seems paradoxical, since so much more info was available!

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        • #6
          I explain it in "newest age" terms: it is my understanding at 15 ips one second of tape contains about 80 million magnetic particles with either a north or south orientation, so akin to 80 million bits per second; it is also my understanding the highest resolution digital recording is not even close to 10% of that amount (maybe barely over 5%). This gets their attention.

          As Myles says "The original high resolution medium and still the gold standard by which all other mediums are judged."
          Aurender X100L, Esoteric Grandioso K1, The Truth linestage, Mara Machines MCI JH110 Reel to Reel 1/4" 2 track Hi-Fi version, Coincident M300B Frankenstein II amplifiers, 300B Psvane ACME Supreme 1% tubes, Coincident Triumph Extreme II speakers, Coincident Statement interconnects, Coincident Statement speaker cables, Coincident Nordost and Shunyata power cords, Coincident Statement USB, Element subwoofer with Behringer 24/96 crossover, Final Audio Design Sonorous X headphones, EMIA silver autoformer headphone volume control, Nordost Qbase8, Furutech FLUX 50 NCF and GTX-D NCF (R), HRS DPX Damping Plate, Tascam DA-3000/Mutec 3+ USB/SOtM 75 ohm, Mutec REF10, Shunyata Sigma Clock 50, ADD-POWR ElectraClear/Wizard/Sorcer x4.

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          • #7
            My daughter ( 35yo ) was visiting me last year during which time I was mastering an album for a local Grammy nominee. She (and her BF) attended the session and made the comment that they never realized how much work went into producing an album. They do have a new appreciation of what artists have to go through when putting out an album!

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            • #8
              6 weeks ago the approx 40 year old designer of my digital music server was visiting my room (from the Netherlands), and he had his 20 year old assistant with him. we were mostly listening to digital, and a little vinyl, everything was sounding really great. finally i did play 3 tapes for him. they were stunned at what they heard. they could not believe the dynamic range of the tape.....even over the vinyl.

              later as he investigated how to get digital to compete, he shared with me some feedback from a not to be named High End techie icon on how far digital has to go to be able to compete. in essence this 'icon' said that digital has to stay far away from it's theoretical limits whereas tape can go much farther past theirs, there is more to great vintage recordings that that part, but it's a big issue. we live in an age of easy process to record and distribute, but with some exceptions, have lost the quality part.

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              • #9
                I often say, when asked 'what I do?' that I have an audio business. That stops the conversation for a larger percentage of folks than I would have thought. A few venture on ' oh, like movie theaters right?'. I usually say ' well I do a bit of it all but my specialty is vinyl replay'. On it goes. What strikes me is that most people have no idea that a quality metric applies; in other words for many folks you get a turntable or you don't. You have an album or you don't. When I mention the sorts of efforts, the costs, the design requirements to achieve good playback (or a good recording etc.) it's like speaking an alien language. This post is about tape, but to me it is also about the indoctrination of the digital era that says its either a 1 or a zero, either works or doesn't, sort of thinking...
                Regards,

                Erik
                http://solypsa.com
                North American distributor for:
                Sensitive Sound MC Cartridges
                STST Turntables + Tonearms


                Available for in home setup and calibration of fine turntable systems

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                • #10
                  Plus, if there isn’t an associated app which can control things most of the newer generation doesn’t understand or isn’t interested, or both.
                  Speakers: Vandersteen Model 7s, 4 M&K ST-150Ts, 1 VCC-5; Amplification: 2 Vandersteen M7-HPAs, CI Audio D200 MKII, Ayre V-6xe; Preamp: Doshi Audio Line Stage v3.0; Phono Pre: Doshi Audio V3 Phono Pre; Analog: Wave Kinetics NVS; Durand Telos and SME 3012R Tonearms, Clearaudio Goldfinger Statement v2; Miyajima Madake, Miyajima Zero, Benz Micro LPS; Reel to Reel: Technics RS-1500; Doshi Tape Pre-Amp; Studer A810; Studer A812; Tascam BR-20; Multi-channel: Bryston SP-3; Digital: Custom PC> Lampizator Big 7 DAC

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                  • #11
                    To all of us, I say...

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                    • lance002
                      lance002 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Nice

                  • #12
                    I grew up on radio then vinyl and tape
                    then went digital when CD players came out. The CD player beat out my vinyl and tape. It’s fine I was clueless of how things back then should be setup. Now I’m trying to make my digital sound like analog.
                    analog stuff.
                    otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 made new by soren
                    otari mtr 10 2 track 1/4 1/2 combo made new by soren
                    sota sapphire used eminent tech ver 2 arm
                    new sota nova table has magnetic levitation platter and full speed control and latest motor same arm as above
                    thorens td124 sme ver 2 arm
                    thorens td125 sme ver 2 arm
                    kenwood direct drive sme ver 2 arm
                    phono preamp Ml no 25 all re capped
                    speakers cust infinity IRS V , new caps and LPS , magnets etc.
                    mark levivson pre no 26 amps no 33
                    digital three cust servers , win ser 2016 , AO
                    Dacs lampi various

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                    • #13
                      Tape for me since the 70's. Never stopped using it. Digital was adopted in the 80's with my first CD Player: Revox B 225. Mainly for convenience. By that time the Masters still arriving to my Mastering business on 1/2", at 30 ips. Few years later in the 90's, this was rapidly changing to CDR's and DAT's. Only the big guys still sending tape masters...but not for long. Anyway, all the Grammy's I got as Mastering Engineer were using Digital masters. Only one using analog were nominated...but we lost! Ha! At commercial levels people could care less about how much effort, time and money were invested doing a project. All they care is if they like the track or not. Unfortunately...
                      Sketsoteric Audio: "Analog Sound, Digital Flexibility"
                      http://mortechpr.wixsite.com/cassetteadventures
                      http://mortechpr.wixsite.com/cgmasteringservices

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                      • #14
                        Happy New Year to all.
                        Last night, I had a bunch of folks here- friends of my daughter and son-in-law. They marveled at the system, and some had never even seen a turntable close-up! There was no way I was going to play it for the inebriants, but I started to play some good digital and they did all they could to not laugh at those big "ugly" tubes on the Lampizator while staring at the big Wilsons which they thought was basically obscene. (They surely thought I should use my disposable income to prevent the polar ice caps from melting). Then, I gave them the iPad and showed them how to use Roon. Like water settling seeking its own level, they soon found their tragic constellation of music that had them partying and dancing as my ears started to bleed from the selections they played that not even a Lampizator could rescue. I had to leave the room and lament that what I saw was hardly encouraging for the future of high end audio. Don't get me wrong. I'm happy they loved their music and it may have been the first time some have heard music on something other than their iPhones. But it was not a good night on the audio game board.

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                        • Kingrex
                          Kingrex commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I get the same feel from many young people. Anything out of the ordinary is not an aspiration to attain. It's an excess that wastes resources and creates pollution. Technically they are not wrong.

                      • #15
                        I had a small portable reel to reel in my lap when I was a kid, sitting in front of the TV recording American Bandstand. Later it was Sooooooooooooul Train!

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