TP-027, Jerry Garcia / David Grisman wins a Writer's Choice Award from Myles Astor of Positive Feedback Online

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Topics - mikel

Pages: [1] 2
1
The Sermon / just got delivery notice for a tape...."The Sermon"?
« on: October 05, 2011, 05:35:18 pm »
looks like another one is here....i assume TP-020 "The Sermon" will arrive tomorrow. and then Series 3 starts.

i'm looking forward to it. thanks.

Mike

2
Nojima Plays Liszt / got shipping notice an hour or so ago.......
« on: June 28, 2011, 06:18:39 pm »
.....for TP-019, Nojima Plays Liszt. i could have it tomorrow, or Thursday at the latest.

i heard a couple of cuts off this at our local audio club meeting a month ago and was very impressed. this might be a new 'best' based on that listen.

i've been 'jones'ing' for this title ever since it was announced last year. i love the CD, and the Lp.....if you don't have it, is outstanding and essential. great performance, and great recording.

and there is nothing like a full tilt boggie concert grand to challenge a system.

i cannot wait!

3
Church Windows/Appalachian Spring Suite / 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.

4
Rock With Me Baby / first impressions of TP-017, 'Rock With Me Baby'
« on: August 13, 2010, 12:57:12 am »
it's late and i'm tired. i had 25 people in my room tonight for an audio club meeting, and a few stayed till after 11pm.

we played about 40% RTR tape. the 2 tracks we played from 'Rock With Me Baby' stand out as the best of the best of the tapes we played. holographic, vivid, alive, compelling. i like the music. alot. but even if you only 'sorta' like the music this one will grab you.

is this the best tape yet? it might be.

when i recover from my 'event' i will listen all the way thru and expand on these comments.

5
our local audio club is having this month's meeting in my room and any tape heads are welcome. there will likely be 15-25 attendees, it will go from 6pm to 9:30pm. we'll likely play tapes at least one third of the time or more depending on the flow. i will have the new 'Little Hatch' tape for the meeting (scheduled delivery today).

i live in North Bend (exit 31 on I-90). e-mail me for directions; mplav@comcast.net

i'll be playing the tapes on my Studer A-820 feeding a King-Cello repro....and i have 3 tt's.

i have room for 20+ in my room and my room does have air conditioning.

6
i was a fan of 'The Band' back in the day and still am, but i was never that familiar with this album or had listened to it that much. i had a couple of pressings, a recent Capitol reissue and a very clean original pressing with 'RL' (Robert Ludwig) in the deadwax. listening to both recently, the Original is not surprisingly much better.....more clarity, better smoother top end, and more body and decay. before i listened to the tape today i again listened to the original pressing.

On the surface this album is an enjoyable listen, if a bit dark and brooding compared to most Rock.....or even the Band's earlier Lps. But after listening to it a few times recently i have come to really enjoy it and get into it. it is quite well recorded and muscianship is top notch. each cut has it's own vibe. it's not cookie-cutter rock'n roll.....more cerebral in a way....but more rewarding after savoring too.

the original pressing (on the Rockport with Lyra Olympos) is good; but in this case the tape is many levels better. in fact; it's really a whole different experience on tape. the Tape has maybe double the soundstage size, as well as dramatically more clearly rendering each instrument. dynamics and clarity are similarly better. i recall hearing a cut of this at RMAF and for whatever reason i did not have nearly this good an impression then.

this will be a demo tape for me for sure and will be played often. great job guys!


7
Kenny Burrell & John Coltrane / 1st impressions of TP-015
« on: February 25, 2010, 10:52:33 pm »
this is a tasty jazz session however you look at it. i'm no Jazz historian, but it seems that this is Coltrane at his most accessable, and Kenny Burrell is a perfect compliment to him. simply beautiful flowing melody with great energy and yet relaxing and smooth. Burrell's guitar is pitch perfect with a a big beautiful tone throughout.

"Why Was I Born", a brief duet at the start on reel 2, is just magnificent. maybe perfect music. ahhhhhhhhh.....like a perfect sip of scotch......only it's over too soon....you want it to go on and on.

this is one of those recordings that just flows and is over before you know it.

i have the redbook XRCD and the AP 45 rpm reissue  2 disc pressing; both of which i enjoy and have listened to quite a bit. this recording has such a big fat sound that it would likely sound pretty damn good on an i-pod. the XRCD is very nice, the 45 rpm is very, very good. i listened to that first tonight and thought, maybe it will be as good as the tape. the tape is quite a bit better. more vivid, much more microdynamic, it makes the Lp sound slightly veiled. listen to the Paul Chambers solo on 'Freight Trane'......compared to the tape Chambers bass sounds muffled on the 45. it's missing the growl that jumps off the tape.

great music, great recording, wonderful job on the tape guys, thanks.
 

8
Heart Like a Wheel / First Impressions "Heart Like A Wheel" TP-011
« on: January 26, 2010, 11:13:11 pm »
this is fun music. simple and honest. Linda Ronstadt is really in great voice. 1974 was a great year. i was 23 when this came out and it's the year i was married.

there is not a filler cut on this album, at least listening to the tape. it's fiinely crafted and recorded power pop.

as far as an Lp of 'Heart Like A Wheel', my only Lp of it is the recent Cisco reissue. i just listened to it all the way thru. it's a nice Lp and i'm a Linda Ronstadt fan. great voice, no; wonderful magical voice. the music has a nice warmth and flow. fairly dynamic. but it gets a bit congested here and there. there is a closed in feeling to the vocals. on the Lp you listen at a meduim volume level.

i'm not familiar with other pressings of this Lp so i cannot generalize; but considering this Lp you have not really heard this album until you hear this tape.

on the Tape Linda's voice is clear and strong, the various musical threads are much more clearly delineated. the bass is more distinct and articulate. you turn it up, and then turn it more up. it hangs together. you hear into that voice and it soars on many cuts.

i enjoyed the tape, and will be in frequent rotation here for awhile. it's a privilidge to have a master dub of an album like this. great job guys, i'm glad this tape did happen!

9
Brilliant Corners / Brilliant Corners is a gem!
« on: November 13, 2009, 11:50:21 pm »
Quote
JoeG wrote; "Brilliant Corners" is indeed brilliant!! Mine arrived about 1 hour ago, and it's spinning as I write this. Dead true to the LP, with so much more body and weight, especially in the drums. Another home run guys! Right away, I can tell this one is going to spend a lot of time mounted on the deck."

as JoeG said on the 'ready to launch' thread; 'Brilliant Corners' is Brilliant.....and i agree with the rest of his comments too.

i'll add that in comparing TP-013 to the AP-45rpm Lp reissue (which i've always enjoyed) the tape is more vivid and immediate. i love the celeste that Monk plays on 'Pannonica' on the Lp; but the tape just adds that extra energy and vivid liveness. this is one of those moments where the line blurs between recording and reality.

i love that cut.

the horns and piano have more texture and more subtle action on the tape and those drums really rock as Joe mentions.

this recording does demand your attention; it's all over the place and there is just so much going on in so many interesting ways (i'm not so good at articulating my meaning here, sorry) that with every listen it seems you are going down a new path of understanding. yet; it is easy to listen casually too.....but why would you want to?

this tape further blows away my previous reservations about mono recordings. this sounds real. check out Desmond's bass toward the end of 'Bemsha Swing'....really realy good on the Lp, magnificent on the tape.

i've listened to this two times all the way thru tonight already.....now it's 'turn down the lights' time......a wee bit of single malt Lagavulin.....and away we go again.

as Joe says, another home run!

10
i like the Lp (played on the Rockport/Lyra Olympos/Allnic H3000). i am gaga over the tape. this is compelling music. maybe 'funk' is not everyone's cup of tea....it's not my favorite genre. but this particular music and recording with 'The Tape Project's' magic added is unresistable. i've played the tape all the way thru twice. i want to play it again. the music propells you along and you just hang on.

this tape is alive! it literally bursts with energy. the bass lines are big, bold, and bloomy with seemingly unlimited dynamic range. reminds me of some of Bob Marley's best reggae bass tracks. if you have a full range system (or headphones) you will thank the lord.

the Lp is very good, and until you hear the tape it's hard to imagine it getting much better. but the tape takes things to another level in most every way. the bass is much more dynamically alive, quicker, more textured, and decays more fully. the vocals on the Lp seem a slight bit veiled compared to the tape. it's much easier to hear each background singer individually on the tape, each voice is more distinctive. the Lp has a good sense of space. with the tape they are in my room playing and the tape energizes every molecule of air in the room.

this is an example where you have a perfectly good Lp of really fun music; then the tape comes along and shows you what is possible in reproduced music.

i played 'Respect Yourself' and 'I'll Take You There' on the Lp. very nice; i've heard them a thousand times. then the tape. like normal TV (not HD) to Blue Ray. no easy way to explain it; ya gotta see it for yourself to appreciate the difference. (i played the start of 'I'll Take You There' 5 times it was sooo tasty!!!).

and play this loud.....the louder the better. this recording holds together at warp 9.

congrats to the crew for this choice, and for such a wonderful job on this tape! you have set the bar very, very high for the rest of Series 2.



11
This is great music and one of the true classics of Jazz.....i had not listened to Saxophone Collossus in quite awhile until tonight, and for the life of me i don't know why. This should and will be in my frequent rotation.

the interplay of the group is simply wonderful, the pace is perfect, and each cut delights. it's not so mellow, but never over the top either.....very listenable, tuneful and easy for a non jazz freak to get into.

Mono? who cares? this recording is alive and once the music starts you really don't even think about the fact it's not a stereo recording. (maybe the fact that it's mono has caused me to overlook this for so long.....if so my bad).

i love each cut; but my favorites are 'You don't know what loves is' and 'Blue 7'.....'Blue 7' might be as perfect a cut as i know of.....and it's 11 minutes 15 seconds long......WOW! a real musical journey.

with music this fine, it seems crass to speak about recording quality......but i know that is one part of our enjoyment. Sonny's tenor sax is wonderful on the tape; very immediate, very dynamic, smooth as butta one moment, ruff and gruff the next. the tape captures every nuance and shade without stress or strain. it's all there. the tape also captures the cymbles perfectly; which are prominent throughout the recording.....as perfect as i've ever heard them recorded. overall; the tape has great flow, is very dynamic and detailed.

TP-010 is a great sounding recording of wonderful music and i highly recommend it.....great job and congrats to Doc, Paul and Romo (and crew) for another winner! I feel very lucky to be able to own and play a fully licensed 1/4" 15ips 1.5 generation master dub of Saxophone Collossus.

i will be playing it often.

btw; one tiny nit-pic.....both tapes were 'tails-in' instead of 'tails-out'.

12
Waltz for Debby / 'Waltz' revisited, 6 months later.
« on: April 19, 2009, 10:31:41 pm »
back in October i did my initial listen to TP-008 'Waltz for Debbie' and also a direct comparison to the AP 45rpm pressing on the Rockport tt. it was clear that the tape was better across the board.....but as the recording and performance are on the polite side of things some of the differences were more of a subtle nature......or at least that is what i thought at the time. other listeners even posted that there was not that big an obvious difference between the tape and the 45rpm Lp.....or obvious winner.

since then 2 things have changed in my system. i recently got the new Allnic H3000 phono stage, and in November i decided to leave the Studer turned on 24/7....i had been turning the Studer on and off for each use. the Studer has been 'on' for 6 months now.

so the vinyl is better......and tapes are now waay better.

so today a friend was visiting and we decided to do the 'Waltz for Debbie' 45rpm Lp--Tape Project tape comparison....again.

there is really no comparison at this point; TP-008 wipes the floor with the 45rpm Lp. the Lp only hints at many musical lines which are fully realized on the tape. on the tape Evans' piano has presence, air and decay. it occupies space. it blooms. on the vinyl it is much reduced in size and definition. the Lp has the action but not the body. and the Lp now has tubes in the signal path and the tape is all solid state....even so the tape is much more natural and has a richer tonallity.

LaFaro's Bass and Motian's drum kit are similarly more present and defined and the noise floor of the tape is much lower than the Lp....

i know that comparisons are not valuable to everyone; but for many this is what causes people to make the plunge into tape.....when Icon recordings like 'Waltz for Debbie' can come alive in your room like no other format. i feel damn lucky to be able to enjoy this tape.

mikel


13
On April 9th, this coming Thursday night at 7:30pm, our local Seattle audio club, the Pacific Northwest Audio Society will have the April monthly meeting at my home. The focus will be how reel to reel tape, including some 'Tape Project' tapes, compare to other formats including redbook, SACD and vinyl.

I will be using mostly a stock Studer A-820 master recorder, and possibly a deParavicini modified Technics RS-1700. Turntables will include a Rockport Sirius III, a modified Garrard 301/Triplaner, and possibly a modified Technics SP-10 Mk3. Digital will be played on a Playback Designs MPS-5. Steve Dobbins, who built the plinths and tweaked both the Garrard and Technics tt's, will be here to make sure the tt's are at their very best.

The actual meeting will go from 7:30pm to 9:30pm but we will be playing music and 'such' prior and post. There is plenty of room. Any tapeheads are most welcome to attend.

My home is in North Bend, about 30 miles east of Seattle. E-mail me for directions.... mplav@comcast.net

Hopefully it won't snow.....as we have had lots of the stuff recently. If it does people can park down near the Interstate and i can pick them up. At this point the weather looks to be just fine.

14
The Number White / Number White Revisited
« on: February 21, 2009, 03:31:38 pm »
i had originally listened to 'The Number White' last year when i first recieved it on the Ampex ATR-102 and my stock RS-1506. then last fall i briefly listened to it on the Studer A820. i liked it but had not yet 'got' it.

this morning i listened to it on my deParavicini modified RS-1700.

maybe it was my mood, or whatever, but this morning i really enjoyed this music. the recording is wonderful; it is honest and straightforward with lots of energy, very relaxed and easy to be enveloped by. i loved the sound of the Art Khu's piano...that is how a piano really sounds. Jacqui does sound different on almost every cut. i like her voice and the different gears she shifts to. She has great 'presense and power' in her sultry voice and these cuts compliment her. the mixes are different and fun. it's easy with the level of detail on this recording to switch from focusing on one musical line to another without effort. neat, and just good music!

i will be listening to The Number White frequently and showing it off to visitors. 'belated' great job guys!

i'm thinking that maybe the dPv Technics has a level of smoothness those other RTR decks don't yet have (they need some more refined output electronics) and on this particular recording that issue made all the difference.

15
Reel to Reel Tape Machines / update on Studer A-820
« on: January 24, 2008, 12:23:03 am »
Hello All,

i had purchased a Studer A-820 back in November but could not find a proper crate to safely ship it or someone to 'get it right'. Paul Stubblebine suggested i contact Fred Thal (who runs the Studer list) and so far i have been very satisfied that Fred is the right guy for Studer help. for the last three weeks i've been reading posts on the Studer list......very entertaining and educational.

Fred constructed a purpose built crate, shipped it to the seller in Austin, Texas, and the A-820 safely and securely arrived at Fred's shop in Ukiah, California yesterday. Tonight Fred e-mailed his initial inspection report to me and it is obvious Fred is 'da man' on Studer's. He has removed and inspected 28 of the circut boards so far.

Fred says my A-820 is remarkably clean and original (not hacked up and abused.....'dead stock' is how he put it) but also is a bit dirty inside (normal for a 21 year old machine that has mostly sat idle) and in need of updating as it has been hardly used. i do not yet know what the tariff will be for the work but i am confident i will soon have a top condition A-820.

Fred's list of essential fixes and optional fixes is not yet complete......so i'm not yet out of the woods....but i'm on my way. I do enjoy Fred's very thorough way of communicating the details of his inspection and do recommend Fred as a 'go-to' guy for Studer work.

stay tuned.

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