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Kessler weighs in on the R2R revival

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  • Kessler weighs in on the R2R revival

    Tongue-in-cheek acknowledgement of the sonic delights of R2R combined with a generous dose of skepticism about prospects . IMO , comparing the ease of use of $300 turntables vs a Tape Deck is disingenuous since the buyer of one is hardly likely to own the other. Tape decks will always be for serious audiophiles....the kind of people who own complex table-tonearm-cartridge-phono stage combinations with endless tweaking of various parameters , SRA, VTF, VTA , Azimuth , loading, capacitance, the list goes on. Demagnetizing and cleaning tape heads hardly qualifies to be in the same ballpark . Still, a positive sign for increasing awareness.

    http://www.soundstagehifi.com/index....to-reel-return

  • #2
    Wow it makes such a change to hear him talk about something else than the "Vinyl revival which is not a Vinyl Revival"

    Comment


    • #3
      I find it mildly amusing that everyone who dissed me when I started writing about reel-to-reel tape eight years ago is now suddenly rediscovering tape.

      Sadly the prosumer machines Ken refers to will hardly get you to anywhere near the sound reel to reel is capable of. But rumors of a Horch House deck? Me thinks it is more than a rumor.

      And how conveniently the monstrous effort Greg Beron has made toward promoting reel-to-reel and putting his money where his mouth is,omitted from the piece. Literally every audio show and why didn't Ken mention Greg's presence at Munich this year-Greg schleps a couple of decks and has listening sessions for anyone who wants to come into the wee hours of the morning. That might I add are packed to the gills. At Axpona, people were turned away because there wasn't another inch left to fit another body into? In fact, no one budges from their seats until the Greg turns the lights off. Why doesn't that get mentioned?

      And when he and others stop spreading the myth of tape hiss??? Certainly early on with early tape but hardly an issue today with modern tape and electronics. Take any of the Yarlung, etc. tapes and tell me hisss is an issue. In fact, that was one of the things commented upon by attendees at my tape seminar at Larry Marcus' store Paragon Sight and Sound last November. There was no tape hiss. I will see if I can pull up the post.

      No I find this piece still sarcastic and sadly out of touch with reality.
      Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
      Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
      ________________________________________

      -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
      -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
      -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
      -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
      -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
      -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
      -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
      -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
      -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
      -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

      Comment


      • #4
        See post #15 here:

        http://www.audioshark.org/manufactur...480-page2.html
        Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
        Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
        ________________________________________

        -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
        -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
        -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
        -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
        -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
        -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
        -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
        -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
        -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
        -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

        Comment


        • #5
          I personally did not find Ken's article sarcastic or out of touch with reality, but I agree that not discussing Greg Beron's excellent UHA machine or Greg's significant efforts to promote tape are very material omissions.

          Comment


          • Rob
            Rob commented
            Editing a comment
            agreed.

          • Bruce B
            Bruce B commented
            Editing a comment
            +1

        • #6
          Greg Beron is on the road heading out to the Newport Show and doesn't have his computer but asked me to post this note from him!


          You are right I do remember quite well back when people saying Myles is nuts writing about some pipe dream R2R revival. Ha on them!

          Also I have been doing so many shows for so many years with the UHA tape decks that everyone laughed at me in the beginning too. They would ask what's next 8 track tapes?
          But it goes deeper than insults and being accused of a folly.
          There is and was some real money spent in this game.
          Hundreds of thousands of dollars, countless dollars and hours of R&D, not to mention manual labor till 5 am setting up or packing up at shows.

          But as you said there is the fact that I put tape out there for the audiophiles to experience.
          I took it on the chin sometimes on forums from nay sayers who had never even heard a UHA deck but had very vocal opinions on them. Patric Senegal who made the Reeltronix take up reels was lambasted on forums till he quit making the damn things!
          So much time and money, so much work to be rewarded with this lambasting...
          But now thanks to some great folks like you Myles and others, we finally see SOME light at the end of the tunnel.

          At Munich I encountered some surprising interest in tape and decks. People actually knew me and brought me 12 tapes, not only to play but to keep, wow!
          Big distributors are trying to figure out how to get a piece of the UHA sales and promote the decks.
          There are requests for reviews all over Europe and Asia.
          But still I am just a small guy trying to recoup some of the money I put into this.
          So I can't offer discounts distributors expect and can't afford to build and ship decks all over the world for every reviewer.
          But I'll do what sales of the decks will allow me to do...
          Fact be known in all these years I have reinvested all profits back into UHA, the number one goal has always been bringing R2R to a show near you so that you can hear for yourself what R2R is all about!
          My marketing plan was always, if you play it they will listen and they will hear the difference.
          Thanks for all your help Myles you have never wavered from the R2R bandwagon
          Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
          Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
          ________________________________________

          -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
          -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
          -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
          -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
          -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
          -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
          -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
          -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
          -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
          -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

          Comment


          • #7
            Great discussion. I did not find Ken's article sarcastic. I do think he was cautious to throw some distance in there between him and the subject to show he wasn't a rabid R2R nut of some kind as he implies some of us are or at least someone could imply we are. So I think Myles picked up this defensive stand where Ken is distancing himself from the subject. But he obviously loves R2R as is clear from his listening experiences. By the way I saw nothing in his article about tape hiss. I may have missed it. All in all it is positive. It would interest someone reading it who does not have an R2R deck. I just wish as Myles mentioned it wasn't quite so distanced in it's stance.
            JLH

            Comment


            • #8
              I agree with Jonathan's take away from the article as it almost perfectly mirrors mine.
              Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

              Comment


              • #9
                I think the biggest disservice from not just Ken but many who write about the renaissance in reel-to-reel tape is comparing it to what we had in the '60s and '70s to today's equipment. Comparing yesterday's tape machines and especially software sources to what we now have is like comparing a model T to a Ferrari! Yes, they both have four wheels, an engine and even a windscreen but all similarities end there.

                And the closer to the source, the better the sound and the better the sound, the happier we become because our systems sound like a million dollars. It is amazing that the better the source, the better speakers sound. Even crappy JBL studio monitors can sound like a million dollars when you are playing a master tape through them.

                What's curious is so many couldn't jump on the digital bandwagon fast enough (and we know how that turned out with early digital) and R2R tape that brings us as close to the original source as we are going to get as audiophiles gets a lukewarm resonse from people in the industry. MQA is now the best thing since sliced bread. Yet anyone who hears tape at any of the shows is blown away. I have never heard anyone walk out of one of Greg's, Philip's, The Tape Project's, Charlie's or anyone else's demo at a show and stick their finger down their throat. So,what is up the industry professionals? Why aren't they hearing and talking about the same thing that their audience? After all, shouldn't they be backing the best sounding sources? And it's not so much the standoffishness as it is the back handed compliment that gets me worked up.

                Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                ________________________________________

                -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
                -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
                -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
                -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

                Comment


                • #10
                  Myles-I think the main issue with tape acceptance apart from the expense is that it is a very small niche within a very small niche called high end audio. Most of us have heard some digital couch potatoes bitching about having to pay $30.00 for a hi-rez download. For the here and now, buying well-made 15 ips/2 track tapes dubs from a master tape or safety backup is very pricey. Yes, we can justify the price based on the cost of the materials to make the tape, license fees, labor, and overhead, but it doesn't change the fact that you have to get out your wallet and pay the big money if you want to play in the big leagues. Another problem is deck availability at decent prices and decent condition which is another sticky point with those choosing to take the plunge. We all know that Greg sells an elegant turnkey solution for buying a new deck that comes with a warranty, but the price is not for those with shallow pockets and bad hearts. The new Revox deck could potentially be a game changer, but time will tell.

                  I personally love the sound of great tape and wish I owned more tapes than I do. I don't tell non-audiophiles how much buying an album on tape costs because there is no way that they aren't going to walk away without thinking you are stone-cold crazy. The good news for tape is that it is starting to grow some legs and more companies are coming on line to sell tape. With Chad's ability to get his hands on master tapes of albums that people have actually heard of and want to own, that will chisel away at some of the excuses people had of not being able to buy music they know and love on tape. Maybe if the legs get long enough we could possibly see competition in blank tape prices.
                  Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

                  Comment


                  • #11
                    this was brought up at least twice, IMHO it boils down to the software cost the other points are just an excuse to support the former. Many (most?) well heeled 'philes cheap out on the software. torrent sites have spoiled everyone with free downloads for the taking, you can see why people bitch about paying $30 for music but they'll spend $30k for their DAC! (duh). Analog people have always succumbed to paying for it and dearly, $50 pressings are a dime a dozen and if it the vinyl is desirable and OOP its starts at $100.

                    No doubt R2R will be the de facto high def format for those that want to get closest to the recording and by extension "the real thing." Its the mental block (pocket book shock?) people get when they're told that the better tape tiles start around $500.
                    TechDAS | Graham Eng | ZYX | B.M.C. | Boulder | Magico

                    "Listening to Analogue music is an act of rebellion in a digital gulag" - Simon Yorke

                    Comment


                    • #12
                      Rob-Good tapes start at less than $500.
                      Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

                      Comment


                      • Rob
                        Rob commented
                        Editing a comment
                        yes, but it seems like the ones I really want are 450+. I'm judicious about what i buy and hesitant to collect lower cost titles of obscure artist because its filler, like the few hundred LPs that I never play more than once...or twice.

                    • #13
                      Originally posted by mep View Post
                      Rob-Good tapes start at less than $500.
                      Someone should tell Groove Note that!
                      Kronos Sparta -> Trinity Phono -> Trinity Pre -> CH Precision A1 -> Magico S7s

                      Comment


                      • Rob
                        Rob commented
                        Editing a comment
                        thank you!

                    • #14
                      I didn't say all good tapes.
                      Micro Seiki SX-8000 table with flywheel, SME 3012R arm, SME 312S arm, Lyra Etna SL and Dynavector XV-1S cartridges, ARC Ref 3 phono stage, Otari MX-55 tape deck, Ampex 350 repros, Roon Nucleus Plus server, PS Audio DSJ DAC, ARC Ref 6 pre, ARC Ref 75 amp, JBL 4345 speakers, and Def Tech Ref subs.

                      Comment


                      • #15
                        For instance Jonathan's and Yarlung's tapes are $200 or under. Opus 3 samplers are $275 and packed with music. But as I have pointed out, when you factor in CPI, today's tapes don't cost all that more than they did in 1960.
                        Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                        Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                        ________________________________________

                        -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
                        -Goldmund Telos 300 stereo amp
                        -Goldmund Mimesis 37S Nextgen preamplifier
                        -Doshi EVO and Goldmund PH3.8 phonostage
                        -VPI Vanquish direct-drive turntable
                        -VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy dual pivot tonearm, VPI 12-inch 3D Fat Boy gimballed and SAT LM-12 arm
                        -Lyra Atlas SL Lambda, Fuuga Mk. 2, vdh Colibri Master Signature, MutechHayabusa, MOFI Master Tracker, Sumiko Songbird cartridges
                        -Technics RS1506 with Flux Magnetic heads, Doshi V3.0 tape stage (balanced)
                        -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
                        -Accessories including Stillpoint Aperture panels, Cathedral Sound panels, Furutech NCF Nano AC receptacles; Silver Circle Tchaik 6 PLC, Symposium ISIS and SRA Craz 3 racks, Audiodharma Cable Cooker, Symposium Ultra and assorted SRA OHIO Class 2.1+ platforms.

                        Comment

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