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Author Topic: 1st Impressions for TP-014  (Read 7291 times)

Offline mikel

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1st Impressions for TP-014
« on: March 06, 2011, 12:35:36 am »
i attended a Headphone Meet (my first, i'm a headphone newbie) at the new Tape Project/Doc B Bottlehead World Headquarters in Bainbridge Island today; so i asked Doc 'is my Chruch Windows/Appalachian Spring tape ready?' 'what number are you?' he says. '34' i says. he walked over to the stack, found it and handed it to me.

i'm listening now to 'Church Windows'....reel one. about half way thru. i have the CD and a couple pressings of the 45rpm Lp for Church Windows....and the 33rpm Lp of the Appalachian Spring. all of which later i'll play.

Church Windows is demo tape quality in sonics. etherial, atmospheric and moody, ending in some spectacular dynamics that bloom and decay in waves and waves. as good as i remember the 45rpm Lp pressing being; it cannot match these dynamics, vividness and explosivness. this is alive!

my system has a pair of powered 15" subwoofers per speaker, decends below 20hz pretty handily, and really gets a workout here.

catchy tune? no. but it got under my skin in a good way and really filled my big room with flowing music. huge soundstage.

just listened to reel one for the second time. i enjoyed it much more the second time thru. maybe i heard it for what it is and not what it isn't.

very nice job on the transfer guys; thanks.

added note; the art work says TP-003, not TP-014?? no big deal, and nothing to worry about, just FYI. the box says TP-014.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2011, 12:54:51 am by mikel »
Mike Lavigne

Offline mikel

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Re: 1st Impressions for TP-014
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2011, 09:29:43 am »
Reel 2, Copeland's Appalachian Spring. Original version for 13 instruments.

i planned on posting about it last night, but feel asleep about 5 minutes into reel 2......it had been a long day.....and Appalachian Spring is about as soothing as music gets.

this is a diifferent type of recording than Church Windows. this is a small (13 instruments) group and mic'd more intimately. the hall feels more intimate and there is less pin-point imaging but more rich tonality and emotion. live music does not have the pin-point imaging that some recordings have (and we audiophiles enjoy) and this is more like that. your brain does not care about trying to count the strings on the violins so you relax and let it wash over you. you are transported.

the piece reminds me more of 'Rhapsody in Blue' than classical. the liner notes call it American Populist classical. i love the piece. and listened to the reel three times this morning. better 'Sunday morning music' has not been written.

great playing, full rich recording, great transfer, a winner. thanks. i'll listen to this often for the pleasure of it. Church Windows is more the system demo piece.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2011, 09:34:17 am by mikel »
Mike Lavigne

Offline docb

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Re: 1st Impressions for TP-014
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2011, 10:52:09 am »

added note; the art work says TP-003, not TP-014?? no big deal, and nothing to worry about, just FYI. the box says TP-014.

Oh that graphics guy is impossible to deal with. I will talk to him.

Great to see you at the meet yesterday! 
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project

Offline mikel

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Re: 1st Impressions for TP-014
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2011, 11:17:25 am »

added note; the art work says TP-003, not TP-014?? no big deal, and nothing to worry about, just FYI. the box says TP-014.

Quote
Oh that graphics guy is impossible to deal with. I will talk to him.

the Artwork was first class all the way, don't be too hard on 'that guy' (yourself).

Quote
Great to see you at the meet yesterday! 

likewise. your facility is really really nice. only outdone by your hospitality.
Mike Lavigne

Offline astrotoy

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Re: 1st Impressions for TP-014
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2011, 07:22:45 pm »
Great to hear about the tapes. I have both records and they are demo quality, as are Keith Johnson's records are typically.  Can't wait to get mine.  Larry
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Offline astrotoy

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Re: 1st Impressions for TP-014
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2011, 12:47:26 pm »
Got my copy yesterday. I've listened to it as well as the original vinyl releases of both albums. The Church Windows was originally released as a 45RPM vinyl taking up the whole record, while the Copland is 33RPM and one side of the record (the other side is a song cycle by Copland). Here are my first impressions. For both the sonics are typically great - like the two earlier RR releases (Arnold Overtures and Exotic Dances). The Church Windows has the most explosive and spectacular dynamics of all the TP releases so far. The Tam Tam at the end of the second movement is startling in its impact and the vibrations last a long, long time.  The fourth movement, particularly the bass drum whacks at the end also shake the room - with both dynamics and deep, deep bass. Having big full range speakers with a sub helps a lot. Steve W with his pair of Gotham subs will shake the neighborhood. The Copland is a real contrast - a small chamber group, where the music never gets very loud. There is great clarity of sound and hearing the whole piece as originally written gives a sense of the composition beyond the familiar "Simple Gifts" theme at the end.  In both cases, compared to the vinyl, the vinyl sounds more veiled and in the Respighi, less dynamic.  I am using very similar electronics for both tape and vinyl - the Bottlehead Prepro for the tape and the brand new (mine was the first) Bottlehead Phono Pre (with adjustable EQ - though the RR is RIAA). BTW, I was able to check the polarity of both tape and vinyl through my Pacific Microsonics Model Two and Merging Technologies Pyramix software and they are both positive. 

Happy listening - this is definitely not background music.
Larry
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Offline ironbut

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Re: 1st Impressions for TP-014
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2011, 05:48:17 pm »
I got a little preview of the Copland a few weeks back. I've always loved this piece and I've seen it performed many times as a full orchestra with it's myriad of percussion instruments. I wasn't too sure I was going to enjoy this original version as much. Also, the pace seemed a bit foreign in some passages.
After listening to the tape, those doubts have been dashed.
 
To me, this piece is all about the joys of everyday life in rural America. It could be that the full orchestration that I was used to will seem out of scale now and more suited to the dynamics of city life. And with listening to the entire performance, the pace makes perfect sense now and I have to wonder what I was thinking before.

Maybe it's the way that the instruments are presented on this tape. Each one of them seem to slide in and out of being solo and ensemble. And whether it's the weight of the piano or the richness of the strings that brings them forward, the result is akin to guests at a gathering introducing themselves then slipping back into the group.
There's an amazing detail to the texture of the woodwinds (particularly the clarinet). I can't recall ever being able to listen as deeply into what creates an instrument's timbre as I can with this release. And, I'm sure it'll take a number of listens before I find the bottom of this well.

I've always considered the understated to be the more engaging. And while there are other classical TP tapes that will knock the socks off of a listener during a demo, this is the one that moves me the most.
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Offline xcortes

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Re: 1st Impressions for TP-014
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2011, 04:56:52 pm »
Got mine today. This one took only 12 days to get here. That's a world record! Can't wait to get home (and, of course, put the kids to sleep!).
Xavier Cortes

Offline JoeG

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Re: 1st Impressions for TP-014
« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2011, 12:07:17 pm »
Received my copy the other day, and finally had a chance to listen to Reel A. I have a question: was this cut at a lower level than the LP? It seems as though the volume level is lower on the tape than the LP forcing my gain control way up in order to attain the same impactful dynamics as on the LP.

The decay time on the Tam Tam is truly impressive, as are the deep bass notes of the drum whacks at the end.
Joe Galbraith
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Offline MylesAstor

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Re: 1st Impressions for TP-014
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2011, 06:15:50 pm »
Got my tape this weekend. Hope to spool it up this weekend and give it a listen! Now just wish had some K-S cable in to listen with this weekend :(
Myles B. Astor
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