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Unboxing Open Reel Records' Thelonius Monk - Live in Milan.

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  • Unboxing Open Reel Records' Thelonius Monk - Live in Milan.

    It's been a busy few weeks, so busy in fact that I've not yet had the opportunity to check out my recent tape purchases.
    However, I took a slightly extended lunch break today and began to rectify this disagreeable situation.

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    First up, following my recent experience with the Open Reel Records Demo Reel top of my shopping list was the complete Thelonius Monk concert recording. This is the only title in Open Reel Records' range that comes on two tapes, and so it's packing is simply the most sumptuous of all. A double width polished black acrylic case holds two individual black art-board wallets, each sealed with quality control labels.

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    Open these you are greeted by a wonderful selection of printed materials. As well as instructions on use, a flyer for other Open Reel Records tapes, there are two wonderful booklets. The first, packaged in with reel #1, contains details of the musicians, the concert performance and the recording. The production value is first class, the paper, the print quality and photography are exceptional. In with the second reel, by contrast, printed on high quality heavyweight matte paper is a replica of the original concert programme. How cool is that?

    Finally, there's one other document of particular note, a lifetime warranty!

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    Listening to this brilliant performance, flicking through the concert programme, and being completely captivated by a sound quality far, far ahead of anything you'll EVER hear from vinyl, CD, SACD, DSD, or from 24/192 PCM, you realise that you've bought something really special. There would be only one way to get closer to the experience of a live jazz concert in Milan, in the mid sixties, but you can't buy a TARDIS, and if you could it would cost a lot more than this.

    Attached Files
    Last edited by Dave Denyer; 11-24-2016, 05:20 AM.

  • #2
    I have thought about this for a long time, even when I was considering putting out tape.
    Labels can save a hell of a lot of money and probably sell a lot more tapes if they didn't spend so much on packaging!
    You can have a 2 tier system. The deluxe set with the premium box and all the goodies inside, or the standard set with just the RMGI/Pyral box it come in!
    The packaging does not change the sound of the tape!

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Bruce B View Post
      I have thought about this for a long time, even when I was considering putting out tape. Labels can save a hell of a lot of money and probably sell a lot more tapes if they didn't spend so much on packaging! You can have a 2 tier system. The deluxe set with the premium box and all the goodies inside, or the standard set with just the RMGI/Pyral box it come in! The packaging does not change the sound of the tape!
      The packaging is not really a great cost on the production total.

      Perhaps the most significant savings would occur by eliminating the metal flanges and use plastic reel in Trident version; we already have a version like this called "Trident Edition".

      We use it to journalists and our dealers who are obviously interested only in one tape, the same high-quality SM900!

      If you write privately to [email protected] we can give you information and prices, we are also very happy to evaluate the possibility of selling to market in this format which for now has few requests.

      Comment


      • Dave Denyer
        Dave Denyer commented
        Editing a comment
        I love all the inserts, they certainly add to the experience however I'd be interested in standard RtM / Pyral boxes in place of the acrylic case with black card inner, but really do prefer NAB hubs over trident.

    • #4
      plus, who wants to pay good money for a tape and have it come in very basic chintzy packaging?
      Magnepan 1.6 QR Loudspeakers, Amherst A-2000 MOSFET 150 WPC Amp, Conrad Johnson PV-10A Modded Tube Line & Phono Stage, Electrocompaniet MC II Class A Head Amp, Audio Technica AT-OC9XML Cart (Stereo) , Graham Engineering 2.2 Tonearm (Stereo) , VPI Aries-1 Turntable (Stereo) , VPI Clamp, Denon DL-102 Cart, (Mono) , Luxman Tonearm (Mono) , Kenwood KD-500 Turntable (Mpmp) , Michell Clamp, Marantz 20B Analog FM Tuner, Pioneer SACD, Onkyo DX-6800 CD Transport, DIY 24B/192K DAC, Sennheiser HD-650 Headphones, Headroom Max Balanced Headphone Amp, DIY Silver Interconnects

      Comment


      • #5
        The packaging may not be the greatest cost, but the initial design, graphics and start up is where the largest portion of funds are spent. I went through this with Winston when he was using a printer/designer in Vancouver, B.C. We all know about the elaborate packaging that FIM uses.
        Metal reels plus standard boxes are only $21, so the savings going with plastic reels is minimal. SM900 on pancakes is only $30. When you are looking at $300-$600 per title, design, printing and manufacturer of packaging/shipping becomes a large expense. I go through about 3-5 cases of tape a month, so I know the cost of tape machine upkeep, and labor costs. We only charge $100/reel for tape transfer, so I know where to save money!!

        Comment


        • #6
          Metal reels plus boxes for $21 seems like a very good deal Bruce.

          Comment


          • OpenReelRecords
            OpenReelRecords commented
            Editing a comment
            Really ... our next "hig-end" metal reels will cost € 45 plus shipping to us ... just in this days we are starting the new 2017 production ... very very high-end reel with full alluminium cnc-machined core ... a renewed laser cutting layout and printed graphics ...

          • Bruce B
            Bruce B commented
            Editing a comment
            See, there's lots of money to be saved then by using standard reels. I was even quoted $5-$8 more for custom flanges.

        • #7
          It's perhaps worth remembering that at €399 for this two-reel set, and €299 for single reel tapes, as open reel tape sellers, Open Reel Records are competitively priced, even with their fancy packaging. Add to that the exceptionally good sound quality I will be buying a few more, maybe in 'Trident' edition...

          Comment


          • #8
            I agree with Bruce. Packaging of a high aesthetic nature is expensive. I think that some tape people do high quality packaging is great and desirable and if they can sell at that price that is great for all. For instance, I do ridiculously high quality packing for my special CD reissues in jazz and it costs more than the manufacturing of CDs. One needs a serious designer and printer. I have to have them done in Tokyo further adding shipping cost as no one in the U.S. can do this special CD packaging. My CD reissues are expensive as a result and yes they are "competitive" in price with others but were it not for the packaging they would be far less expensive. For tapes I'm with Bruce and I sell my tapes in very sturdy protective black boxes but aesthetically they are okay only. Serviceable. Useful. But not knockout like my CDs. But my tapes are $150.00 each and that is why. I spend the money on reels (which are unfortunately not well made these days), boxes, and blank tapes. The consumer has to decide if paying less for a tape ($150.00 each) is worth the loss of killer aesthetic packaging. For me, it is, as I think the music and audio quality in many of the tapes makes up for it. I am trying to spread good jazz to more people using tape quality as a medium to do so as many might buy these tapes because of the audio quality and then be necessarily exposed to jazz they would never hear. As a final note, most jazz CDs I own (1500 or more) are aesthetically a joke but that doesn't stop me from enjoying the music.
            JLH

            Comment


            • #9
              I for one Jonathan have appreciated that you do not use fancy packaging and that your tape prices are so reasonable. That's one reason why I have a bunch of your tapes. The great music also helps
              TAPE: Studer A807, A810; Revox B77 MkII; Technics RS-1700; Pioneer RT-707, RT-909
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              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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              • #10
                Thanks and that is very kind of you. I just try to make buying the tapes more doable and since my jazz isn't already well known like the Blue Note issues, etc. I think it is appropriate.
                JLH

                Comment


                • #11
                  I can see both sides of the argument but sometimes trying to do both can actually lead to more costs. It comes down to wanting to own something that really fits into the decor like a UHA tape deck vs. a standard run of the mill deck with wiring and outboard electronics, etc.

                  To be specific, there are four companies that go the extra mile and do extraordinary packaging nowadays for their tapes: TTP, Acoustic Sounds, Hemiolia Records and Open Reel Records. Open Reel Records are the only ones who make a practically indestructible case for their tapes. I for one, really appreciate it; who wants to dig through their records, if they do, for more information (or even better) on the recording? I love looking through pictures of the recording sessions.

                  But could they sell more tapes by dropping the price? Would dropping the price say for the sake of argument from $400 to $300 actually increase sales? (remember Jonathan's excellent tapes are just one reel for $150 so one needs to multiply by two.) Any way you shake it, the tapes are expensive and people are still going to grouse they're too expensive without knowing what goes into the production, etc. I think what sells more is that it's a single reel and that's what brings down "perceived" costs. Jonathan and Yarlung sell single reels for $150-200 that makes it relatively more affordable for customers. Or you can buy sampler tapes like from Opus 3.

                  But I often pine for another reel of music after hearing the quality of the first reel.
                  Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
                  Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
                  ________________________________________

                  -Zellaton Plural Evo speakers
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                  -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
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                  -Assorted cables including Transparent XL Gen. 6, Skogrand, Viero, Kubala-Sosna, Audience Au24SX, Genesis Advanced Technologies and Ensemble Power Cords
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                  Comment


                  • #12
                    Thanks Myles. I think Myles has asked the question I can't answer. Would reducing price or increasing it hurt sales or help sale? I can't say. But I can say tape sales are not highish like vinyl and I don't know how a company could survive on tape sales alone. And I do find price bothers a lot of my customers and they appreciate the low (ish) price. But for all I know they don't take to my brand of jazz which isn't as blues/gospel/funky as they are used to with say Blue Note releases. Maybe it isn't price. In short I don't know the answer but I am almost sure there is no tape company out there that is surviving by tape sales alone. It would be very very hard. My sales are okay sometimes and other times not. What determines that I don't know. But I do know tape is a small market but hopefully growing. Add to that the brand of jazz I put out which is not exactly a household audiophile winner, and it becomes a very niche market. But one that I love doing so I keep it up.
                    JLH

                    Comment


                    • #13
                      At this price level, you better present a good package as well. By the way: $5 to $8 custom flanges? Really? Wow! Please share with me that source as I just paid twice per flange custom made red color with the studio logo on it. I ordered it from the people who used to make the BASF and AMPEX reels. The reels by Open Reel Records are made by Darklab. A high precision reel with machined hub. Their price per aluminum reel is not cheap.

                      By the way; I really liked Jonathan's tape quality and the sound is amazing, but I wouldn't be offended by fancy packages either. Anyway, that's the beauty of all this: you have the luxury to choose what you like the most.

                      Regards!
                      Sketsoteric Audio: "Analog Sound, Digital Flexibility"
                      http://mortechpr.wixsite.com/cassetteadventures
                      http://mortechpr.wixsite.com/cgmasteringservices

                      Comment


                      • Bruce B
                        Bruce B commented
                        Editing a comment
                        The $5-$8 per flange is the difference between a stock flange and a custom flange. This is the price I was quoted last year from the US dist.

                    • #14
                      I see...well I paid $15.00 per flange, no hub and no screws, but it came out beautiful and I'm happy with it!
                      Sketsoteric Audio: "Analog Sound, Digital Flexibility"
                      http://mortechpr.wixsite.com/cassetteadventures
                      http://mortechpr.wixsite.com/cgmasteringservices

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