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Forgive me Computeraudiophiles, for I have sinned


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6 minutes ago, joelha said:

Hey JC,

 

I've got a Technics RS-1500 reconditioned by J-Corder including upgraded internal electronics. 

 

Joel

Great deck, Joel, one of my all time favorites. Congratulations! I'm sure it cost a pretty penny, but you can't put a price on the enjoyment it is bringing you.

 

JC

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I'll be damned ...

I just wanted to propose to set up a chain myself like I propose you to do. How could the deck influence all that much, right. And no, I never asked what deck you have over there.

 

9 minutes ago, joelha said:

I've got a Technics RS-1500

 

DSC00740a.thumb.JPG.4ff6d79f0229a00d8d6ff538a4462438.JPG

 

ding-dong ...

 

 

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33 minutes ago, PeterSt said:

I just wanted to propose to set up a chain myself like I propose you to do.

 

OK, just overcoming the shock ...

And what I had in mind with that is that I myself would be able to see through what such a chain does (technically) to the sound. I mean, I think I can do that.

 

My promise sort of is that it will be disastrous, unlistenable, killing and what not, but what it is about is the why.

But let me tell you that the initial idea of it came from being intrigued : would it work out for the better for me too ? If so, I'd just leave it in the chain. To be honest though, I can't imagine it to be better. But if it is, I am going to find out why and tweak something in the OS or XXHighEnd or maybe the DAC.

 

PS: I forgot that the thing is heavy:o

 

Lush^3-e      Lush^2      Blaxius^2      Ethernet^2     HDMI^2     XLR^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

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44 minutes ago, PeterSt said:

 

I don't think this is correct. Digital playback - especially the "computer type -  is so much more difficult than analogue that analogue will sound "infinitely" longer term for the better.

Btw, you know it.

 

So sadly it is merely about the implementation.

I kind of guarantee that anyone starting with computer playback has it worse than with his CDP (for a long time). But the potential is there because computer/digital *is*  the better one.

 

 

Peter, you're the one with the computer source experience - so I would accept that most will find it harder using digital files, rather than a CD.

 

One point I would make is that simplicity, yet again, wins ... not from own experience, but the audio friend down the road. When I first met him he was an avid TT man; the CDP was always behind in the game, for him - and he had tweaked a simple vinyl rig to a very fine order - way better than the expensive rigs at the audio shows, say.

 

Then he discovered media players - the Cowon thing. Straight away, it was superior to the CDP - chalk and cheese, as they say. This he has evolved and fiddled with for years, and the limits of this tiny device have still not been fully reached.

 

Can't get much simpler - everything, including the DAC, all in one hand held, midget component; I suspect what he's capable of getting in SQ, for the money, would trounce a huge number of other efforts out there.

Frank

 

http://artofaudioconjuring.blogspot.com/

 

 

Over and out.

.

 

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9 hours ago, PeterSt said:

 

I don't think this is correct. Digital playback - especially the "computer type -  is so much more difficult than analogue that analogue will sound "infinitely" longer term for the better.

Btw, you know it.

 

So sadly it is merely about the implementation.

I kind of guarantee that anyone starting with computer playback has it worse than with his CDP (for a long time). But the potential is there because computer/digital *is*  the better one.

 

Frank, we don't disagree. And to others : it is Frank's story (on a record always jumping back to the same groove, but alas, truth anyway IMHO).

 

@joelha, maybe it isn't all that bad. You just heard "an" aspect in tape that overrules something in digital which disallows you to go back. This is fully understandable. But what aspect is that in its element ?

Try another Operating System. You will be so, so surprised how that does wonders that suddenly you're sure that digital isn't the way to go (because not comprehending the (OS) situation). But that is the beauty too, because it gives you infinite options (some go crazy of that - but it is part of the hobby just the same). Try Windows 10 Build 10074 (I have it for you if needed). It could be the analogue you are seeking.

 

But

 

It wouldn't be the correct approach (because it needs too much luck). I would hunt down that element doing it to you. And for that the monitor and noise and 3 head etc. proposition is the better one. So not to forget, depending on the outcome there should be (intermittent) conclusions. Btw, the listening to the 3-head monitor and 100x the same reel is only a solution. It is not part of finding the "cause". Just saying ...

 

Thanks, as always, for your comments and suggestions, Peter.

 

I've tried multiple operating systems including tweaking and removing components.

 

I'm very early into my tape journey and so need to understand it better.

 

And I still need to try your suggestion of playing digital through the tape machine in monitor-mode.

 

All the best.

 

Joel

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9 hours ago, Daverz said:

It should be possible to capture the impulse response of the tape system with, for example, REW.  The impulse response can be used as a filter with a convolution engine.

 

I don't begin to know how to do that.

 

If anyone else can do it and has a good result, I'm interested.

 

Thanks.

 

Joel

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9 hours ago, TubeLover said:

Great deck, Joel, one of my all time favorites. Congratulations! I'm sure it cost a pretty penny, but you can't put a price on the enjoyment it is bringing you.

 

JC

 

Thanks a lot, TubeLover.

 

You're right on both counts.

 

It's even fun just to look at.

 

Joel

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8 hours ago, PeterSt said:

 

OK, just overcoming the shock ...

And what I had in mind with that is that I myself would be able to see through what such a chain does (technically) to the sound. I mean, I think I can do that.

 

My promise sort of is that it will be disastrous, unlistenable, killing and what not, but what it is about is the why.

But let me tell you that the initial idea of it came from being intrigued : would it work out for the better for me too ? If so, I'd just leave it in the chain. To be honest though, I can't imagine it to be better. But if it is, I am going to find out why and tweak something in the OS or XXHighEnd or maybe the DAC.

 

PS: I forgot that the thing is heavy:o

 

 

Looking forward to what you determine, Peter.

 

And yes, the unit is heavy. Please be careful.

 

Joel

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Joel, have you tried any tape transfers that you know were made with the Plangent Process(es)?  https://www.plangentprocesses.com/

 

Interested in whether these still retain the "magic" for you.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> wi-fi to router -> EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> USPCB -> ISO Regen (powered by LPS-1) -> USPCB -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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16 minutes ago, GUTB said:

So what features are a must-have in a tape deck? I understand that 15 IPS and auto-reverse are needed, but what else?

 

Auto-reverse is not required. I'm sure there are people on this forum far more knowledgeable than me who can explain the reason why better than I can.

 

15ips is a feature I would highly recommend.

 

Joel

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3 minutes ago, Jud said:

Joel, have you tried any tape transfers that you know were made with the Plangent Process(es)?  https://www.plangentprocesses.com/

 

Interested in whether these still retain the "magic" for you.

 

Hey Jud,

 

Nice to hear from you. I haven't tried the product(s) you mention although it seems that it's a tape recording correction process, is that right?

 

My holy grail is a plugin which would duplicate the sound of tape.

 

I know there are products out there which claim to do this, but I've read that they tend to not quite reach the mark.

 

Joel

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24 minutes ago, Jud said:

- Let's say the "magic" for you is contained in a small enough amount of flutter that you consciously notice it not as flutter, but at a subconscious level as something like very subtle vibrato, making the music feel richer and warmer.

My guess is, the "magic" has to do with the guts that feed those tape heads, not the imperfections of the actual physical medium.

BTW guys, I drool at those reel to reel machines.
Only thing is, when I tried tape going that fast, there ended up being more noise from the physical reels spinning at that speed than there was sound improvement.    ?   ? 

The important image in audio is the one you hear.
                                 Forget the others.
 

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5 minutes ago, JDRodrigues said:

My guess is, the "magic" has to do with the guts that feed those tape heads, not the imperfections of the actual physical medium.

BTW guys, I drool at those reel to reel machines.
Only thing is, when I tried tape going that fast, there ended up being more noise from the physical reels spinning at that speed than there was sound improvement.    ?   ? 

 

Are there really any machines out there worth drooling for?

 

IlY0.gif

"Science draws the wave, poetry fills it with water" Teixeira de Pascoaes

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1 hour ago, Jud said:

 

My thinking is running along these lines:

 

- Plangent is a process to correct tape wow and flutter.

 

- Let's say the "magic" for you is contained in a small enough amount of flutter that you consciously notice it not as flutter, but at a subconscious level as something like very subtle vibrato, making the music feel richer and warmer.

 

- Would a transfer from master to other tape generations using Plangent (this is done as I understand it by mastering studios - I don't know about its availability to the public) have less flutter and therefore less of this "magic" than other tape transfers?

 

It's essentially just a thought about one possibility of many that could be contained in @PeterSt's suggestion to listen for what it is with tape that works for you.  Maybe another way to get at it, if it is flutter-as-vibrato, is to monitor a digital file from a tape recording you are making of it, and then just run the same thing through the tape machine electronics without the tape.  The first one would give you flutter-as-vibrato, the second wouldn't.

 

If this is the "magic," all you need is a reverb filter.  ? 

 

 

Thanks Jud.

 

I do have more research to do.

 

I'd love to isolate what it is about reel to reel playback that I (and others) love so much.

 

If I can, there'll be one very enthusiastic post everyone will be reading from me.

 

Joel

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Just now, joelha said:

 

Thanks Jud.

 

I do have more research to do.

 

I'd love to isolate what it is about reel to reel playback that I (and others) love so much.

 

If I can, there'll be one very enthusiastic post everyone will be reading from me.

 

Joel

 

I hope more than one. ?

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> wi-fi to router -> EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> USPCB -> ISO Regen (powered by LPS-1) -> USPCB -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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Back in the seventies I had a lower end Ampex R2R deck which I later replaced with a Revox. I primarily used it for needle drops(and, very occasionally, for live music recordings including bouncing tracks). It was great fun but I no longer own those machines (or the tapes).

 

My understanding is that the owner of J-Corder recommends that his machines be used specifically for the purpose of making and playing back copies of CDs. But then you already know that. You can, of course, spend even more on the pricey R2R hobby by purchasing more expensive decks(e.g., United Home Audio's refurbished Tascams, Sonorus, Metaxas, etc.) and Doshi tube preamps, not to mention "lesser" expenditures such as finely crafted 10 inch reels and also reel locks.

 

Someday some commercial entity will perfect the euphonic tape plug in and make it available to listeners of music in digital formats. That, at least, is my hope and expectation.

 

In the meantime, enjoy your new audiophile niche. I'm truly happy for you.

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6 minutes ago, tmtomh said:

 

 

Joel, I'll join the chorus of folks who have zero problem with what you've done and said, and like others I'm very glad you've found a sound that you love so much!

 

Like esldude, though, I have to take issue with the bolded portion of your statement. This is the #1 confusion that sustains a huge proportion of all audiophile arguments: The notion that digital is deficient (has a long way to go) because it is not colored, is a deeply contradictory idea that obscures far more than it reveals in our understanding and pursuit of musical enjoyment.


If we acknowledge that the sound we like has less fidelity - and while 15ips tapes can be scary good, they do indeed have less fidelity to the source than a digital copy does - then the problem by definition cannot be a problem with digital.

 

Rather, the problem is that there's something about the recording, production, and/or mastering of the original source of most music that is not ideally to our liking - and the reduced fidelity (aka the coloration) imparted by tape (or vinyl for some) reduces or compensates for that negative "something" we don't like.

 

The only way to make digital "come a long way" in your words, to the tape experience you like so much, would be to do what Peter and esldude say - run your digital music through the tape recorder's electronics, or use a DSP plugin that would simulate that.

 

The core issue, which GUTB does not appear to grasp and as usual displays an arrogant refusal to acknowledge, is that we cannot equate high fidelity with high enjoyment/musicality.

 

Now, many audiophiles will read that statement and say, "This is what's wrong with objectivists - you guys are heartless anti-humanists who would rather listen to measurements than music." But no, the problem is that not everyone likes coloration, and the type and degree of coloration that people like is incredibly variable. 

 

So there has to be an objective standard, and that is fidelity - trying to make the disc, tape, or file we play as close as possible to the original master source. With that faithful, hopefully identical copy in-hand, then of course, go nuts - use tone controls or EQ; buy speakers voiced the way you like; go for tube amplification; do tube-rolling; try different digital filters on your DAC; compare PCM to DSD; dub everything onto 15ips tape; buy vinyl - whatever. That is where the enjoyment comes in.

 

But it's just silly in my view to take one's own coloration preferences and use that as an objective standard by which digital is judged wanting.


Digital is far from perfect and is bedeviled (though not as much as people claim) by certain variables and tradeoffs, to be sure. But it's the highest-fidelity medium we have, and so in my view there's nothing to be gained by trying to alter digital recording/encoding itself in pursuit of lower fidelity.

 

Thanks for your message, tmtomh, and the reasonable way you've phrased it.

 

First, just for the record, I did condition my statement with the phrase "For this audiophile . . ." So it can't be an objective statement. I'm stating this as my opinion. I also didn't say "this proves how far digital has to go."

 

But let's say I didn't offer those conditions. Back in 1982, when the Sony CDP-101 (the first CD player) came out, would you have held the same position? Granted, you can't listen to it so easily now. But word was that it's sound is nowhere near as good as today's CD players. Yet, it was still digital.

 

The issue to me is not so much a matter of technology as of implementation. Given then that all digital is not the same (Compare a $49 Chinese CD player to a DCS Vivaldi stack for example), I don't think one can talk in terms of "digital" as if all products meet that standard.

 

And you've injected your own objective standard by saying "fidelity" should be the standard. I'm not even 100% what that term means. But if it means accuracy, I'll say that I'm not sure we know everything to measure when it comes to musical enjoyment. And maybe digital doesn't record everything that entails musical enjoyment. I'm theorizing here. Nothing more. I've spent a lot of money and time trying to assemble the most accurate system I could. And yet here comes tape to up-end my expectations.


That's why I said, "For this audiophile, it’s smoother richer and highlights how far digital still has to go."

 

When I've tried my best to get the best digital sound I can (and I've listened a lot of equipment) and tape blows me away, what else could I say?

 

Joel

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10 minutes ago, esimms86 said:

Back in the seventies I had a lower end Ampex R2R deck which I later replaced with a Revox. I primarily used it for needle drops(and, very occasionally, for live music recordings including bouncing tracks). It was great fun but I no longer own those machines (or the tapes).

 

My understanding is that the owner of J-Corder recommends that his machines be used specifically for the purpose of making and playing back copies of CDs. But then you already know that. You can, of course, spend even more on the pricey R2R hobby by purchasing more expensive decks(e.g., United Home Audio's refurbished Tascams, Sonorus, Metaxas, etc.) and Doshi tube preamps, not to mention "lesser" expenditures such as finely crafted 10 inch reels and also reel locks.

 

Someday some commercial entity will perfect the euphonic tape plug in and make it available to listeners of music in digital formats. That, at least, is my hope and expectation.

 

In the meantime, enjoy your new audiophile niche. I'm truly happy for you.

 

That's really nice of you, esimms86.

 

I appreciate it. And I'm holding out hope for that magical plugin myself.

 

Joel

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2 hours ago, JDRodrigues said:

Only thing is, when I tried tape going that fast, there ended up being more noise from the physical reels spinning at that speed than there was sound improvement. 

 

It is true that during rewinding, the heads would read the tape and play the chipmunks (not a wise thing btw). But recording at that speed ?

Maybe with a tweak ?

but expensive. :ph34r:

Lush^3-e      Lush^2      Blaxius^2      Ethernet^2     HDMI^2     XLR^2

XXHighEnd (developer)

Phasure NOS1 24/768 Async USB DAC (manufacturer)

Phasure Mach III Audio PC with Linear PSU (manufacturer)

Orelino & Orelo MKII Speakers (designer/supplier)

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