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Advantages of Reel-to-Reel Tape Over LPs

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  • Advantages of Reel-to-Reel Tape Over LPs

    Albert Porter and I were having a discussion last night about the advantages of reel-to-reel tape over LPs. (all things being equal of course.) Some of these include:

    1. No change in sound from the beginning to the end of a reel like an LP.
    2. Not having to deal with acoustic feedback. (just record an album to tape without the speakers on -- and allowing for some loss -- compare the results.) One might be really surprised that no matter how good the turntable, there's susceptibility to feedback. In fact, that might be a good test to perform when comparing different forms of turntable isolation.
    3. (Albert brought this up) True stereo bass.
    4. No mistracking, no matter how good the cartridge. Face it, vibes, triangles and other instruments present a real challenge, no matter how good the cartridge.
    5. Can be closer to the master tape or original tape. (look at the number of particles running over the heads at 15 or 30 ips!)
    Myles B. Astor, PhD, Administrator
    Senior Editor, Positive-Feedback.com
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  • #2
    On my Studer 810, speed accuracy sounds superior and I consider it more "pitch perfect".
    Speakers/Amps: Genesis G2.2 Jr with Powered Servo-Sub Bass, Genesis GR1440 Mono Amps, 5,000 watts total power
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    Analog 3: Studer A810 R2R tape w/ Bridge Console. Using built-in tape preamp
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    • #3
      Originally posted by Joe Pittman View Post
      On my Studer 810, speed accuracy sounds superior and I consider it more "pitch perfect".
      Agreed, on my Ampex ATR102. Also channel separation is superior. Related to 5, the very low level resolution is not obscured by the low level noise in vinyl, even the quietest pressings. The only noise is hiss, which is miniscule with a properly recorded 15ips 2 track (especially with 1/2") and that is constant, so the brain ignores it and can hear music well below the level of the hiss.

      Larry
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      • Joe Pittman
        Joe Pittman commented
        Editing a comment
        Yes, agreed about separation. I'd also call it separation/cross-talk. It's like true dual-mono yielding reference level 3D imaging.
        Yes, agreed about low level noise. However, I think the gap is closing with SOTA vinyl playback equipment and LP's...

    • #4
      The advantage of LP is selection and variety which the tape lacks but in absolute terms a high quality recording on tape played back on a high-end R2R sounds more "natural" to me.

      david
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      • Beaur
        Beaur commented
        Editing a comment
        Besides selection, a major point for the LP is the convenience.

    • #5
      It's just a shame that the vast majority of audiophiles can't afford to play the game at that level. For those that can I understand the reasons you do or did so. Nice! Enjoy!
      Dynavector DV20x2L MC cartridge - Genesis G7.1f speakers - Marantz Reference PM-KI-Pearl Int. Amp. - Oracle Audio Paris MkV turntable - Various Morrow & Valab/King cables

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      • #6
        vinyl clearly adds something on top of the sound heard directly from master tape, call it a gauze, veil or whatever. the starkest comparison I've heard to date was Ying's 30 ips master of Vanessa Fernandez vis a vis the 45rpm vinyl. as much as I'd like to think the vinyl is close it definitely deviates from tape, the effect is like adding add'l even order harmonics or 'vibrato' albeit sympathetic to the music. tape is clearly more transparent and captures the hallo effect that illuminates the performers and maintains body and depth that's very addictive, only hinted at on vinyl.

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        • #7
          Originally posted by Johnny Vinyl View Post
          It's just a shame that the vast majority of audiophiles can't afford to play the game at that level. For those that can I understand the reasons you do or did so. Nice! Enjoy!
          Johnny-I think everyone wishes tapes could be more affordable, but the economics just don't add up for that to happen. Sometimes I have to ask myself whether I want one new album on tape or buy 10 brand new LPs. While I agree that tape does sound better than LPs (depending on the tape of course because I have had some stinkers), LPs can and do sound real damn good.
          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.

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          • #8
            Originally posted by Rob View Post
            vinyl clearly adds something on top of the sound heard directly from master tape, call it a gauze, veil or whatever. the starkest comparison I've heard to date was Ying's 30 ips master of Vanessa Fernandez vis a vis the 45rpm vinyl. as much as I'd like to think the vinyl is close it definitely deviates from tape, the effect is like adding add'l even order harmonics or 'vibrato' albeit sympathetic to the music. tape is clearly more transparent and captures the hallo effect that illuminates the performers and maintains body and depth that's very addictive, only hinted at on vinyl.
            Oh, which one? Is it the copy of "When the Levee Breaks?" Audio show exhibitors love nothing more than simple audio porn to play that was well-recorded so it never taxes a system. Throw in a drum kit, acoustic bass, maybe a piano and a female singer and Jed's a millionaire. "When the Levee Breaks" is a slightly different take on this theme. Does anyone really listen to this LP and think it's great and they can't wait to hear her sing another Zep song? Thankfully I never once heard this LP play at RMAF 2016. I think even the exhibitors can't take it anymore.
            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
              it happened to be VF, it could just have well been Ella Fitzgerald making farting sounds, there's no question the tape smoked the vinyl copy! and I'll insert the kind of hype (x3) others reserve for describing the difference they hear between an $80 cartridge and one thats $8000!

            • MylesBAstor
              MylesBAstor commented
              Editing a comment
              I was unimpressed with the performance and sound quality of the LP quite frankly. And then I put on the real LZ and well.... Robert Plant she ain't... and well there's only one Jimmy Page... Frankly, LZII sounds pretty good.

          • #9
            You also have the flexibility to record a mix tape with your preferred tracks instead of been bond to just one artist.
            Sketsoteric Audio: "Analog Sound, Digital Flexibility"
            http://mortechpr.wixsite.com/cassetteadventures
            http://mortechpr.wixsite.com/cgmasteringservices

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