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Author Topic: Quick Review of Opus3 Tapes that I just received  (Read 3717 times)

Offline astrotoy

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Quick Review of Opus3 Tapes that I just received
« on: November 04, 2012, 02:09:54 pm »
Hi folks, here are my first impressions of the Opus3 tapes that I received this past week. To remind everyone, Opus3 is now offering master dubs (copies of the original 1/4" two track 15ips CCIR master tapes) of about 50 of its releases. They are all analogue recordings, mostly done with a Telefunken Magnetophon M-28C tape recorder. Many were originally released on vinyl starting in the late 1970's and the rest were issued on SACD through the late 1990's.  They are about 50% more expensive than the Tape Project releases ($450 for each 2 tape album). Since these are dubs directly from the master tapes, Kevin told me that they plan to do no more than 50 copies each. I think I am fairly early in the process. They are copied on SM468 tape - now manufactured in France by Pyral.  The packaging is barebones - nothing like quality package of the TP issues.  Each title has two tapes, in the original SM468 box, with a small sticker on the front with the title and catalogue number. The inside of the first tape of each title has a copy of the SACD printed materials and the reel is the original 468 metal reel with an additional sticker for Opus3.  Most of the releases are jazz or folk or pop. I ordered 11 titles, 10 of them classical, which is almost all of the classical offerings.

I originally ordered the Sample tape which I was quite impressed with and then ordered the others. It took about 6 weeks for my order to be filled, from emailing the order (to Kevin Berg in Georgia) to receiving the duplicated tapes (which I think are done to order in Sweden).

Steve Koto was over to the house on Friday and we listened to one of the tapes. What was very clear is that there is realism - including a real sense of the hall in which the recording was done, that is much greater than the vinyl. We were both very impressed (Steve may want to have a comment). The recording was of Bach transcribed for a guitar quartet. Steve mentioned he could clearly hear the differences in tonality of the four different instruments. I could hear the sense of the recording venue and the guitars in the space. The programs are very fine, most of them are close to 60 minutes (a few longer than that), since they were recorded for SACD release. The early issues done for vinyl are shorter. 

All of the tapes that I heard are worth getting if you have the money. What you will not get in the classical or other releases are the star performers that are featured in the TP releases.  They gave me a small discount for ordering 11 titles at the same time.

Larry



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Offline ironbut

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Re: Quick Review of Opus3 Tapes that I just received
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2012, 03:50:21 pm »
Hi Larry,

Yes, I plan to buy the guitar quartet tapes when the funds are available.
Excellent sounding recordings without the whacky multi mic perspective that seems to be the order of the day with many small classical ensemble recordings today.
The instrument tone was spot on. Having played classical guitar, it just kills me when I can't tell a Hauser from a Kohno on a recording (both wonderful guitar builders). They sound so different and the players of fine instruments take a great deal of pride in bringing out the best of his/her instrument.
I could really hear these differences (which is helped by the different tuning of each instrument) and they each held a natural sounding spot in the soundstage.
I would guess that the SACD would be pretty nice if you can't foot the bill for the two tapes.
steve koto
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