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Experience with Master Tape Sound Lab Reel to Reel tapes

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  • Experience with Master Tape Sound Lab Reel to Reel tapes

    I recently obtained three of the MTSL reel to reel albums (two were two reel albums). They were all classical. They were advertised as copies of the master tapes which had been recorded at live concerts (in Australia) in the early 2000's. Sonically they varied from really fine (the second tape of the Andrew Lloyd Webber Requiem is spectacular) to OK. However, all of them had an issue that I have never encountered before. In all three albums, the original tapes used were not long enough to fully record the pieces. So they cut off a few minutes before the pieces ended. In the case of the Webber Requiem it was in the middle of the Pie Jesu the most beautiful part of the Requiem. The other tapes were a Dvorak Piano Trio which stopped somewhere in the 4th movement, and a string quartet 2 reel album, where the second string quartet (the Janacek SQ2) was cut off perhaps half way through the piece. The other two pieces, a Haydn SQ and a Dvorak String Quintet are complete. I contacted MTSL and got an almost immediate reply. Yes the tapes do cut off - they were done live and the concerts were longer than the tapes allowed. However nowhere is this mentioned on their website. Anyway, if you have seen their listing on Myles' list of reel to reel companies, please note that at least for these tapes, you will not be getting complete pieces. They do sell mostly jazz recordings, again live, so there may be the same issues. However, with shorter pieces it may not be such a problem.

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    Other-2x512Engineer/Marutani Symmetrical Power, AudioDiskVinylCleaner, Scott Rust Interconnects,

  • #2

    I picked up eight of Kostas' master tapes a few years ago when he was dumping them on ePay. Got them home and they were nothing to write home about musically or sonically. I really didn't like the recording perspective and the tapes all had a weird kinda hollow sound to them. I even tried them a couple of weeks ago once again and I couldn't get through a whole reel. And these were recordings Kostas recommended to me.

    Interestingly, after I bought them, Kostas wrote and asked me if I'd be willing to share the tapes with the fellow from MTSL so he could make copies. I of course said yes but never heard back.

    What kinda irked me is all the tape arrived and none had been stored or at least sent tails out.

    I'd save my money as there are so many better tapes to be had today!
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor,

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    • audioblazer
      audioblazer commented
      Editing a comment
      Not sure abt MTSL tapes but I wouldn't trust the Kostas guy . Bought 1 tape thru eBay & enquirer & bought 5/6 tapes from him . I felt cheated when I was sold practice tapes. Useless. Not honest