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In the Forum: Didital Things
In the Thread: Reel-to-Reel Tape vs. Raw Better Digital
Post Subject: As good as any other obsession…Posted by Romy the Cat on: 11/17/2007

Well, I did not mean to express any specific attitude to Bottlehead people - the only experience I had to them was a few years ago visiting their meeting right here in Boston (I did not know what Bottlehead wa all about at that time). The meeting was revoltingly boring and I ran away from there after the first 30 minutes. Beside that Bottlehead people I have seen demonstrated strong attitude that I have seen only among the idiots who devoted to the Amway conventions. Is it a consequence that the Amway- Bottlehead guy – the DocB is so concern how to “get people to pay attention to own opinion”?

I was glad that this Paul Stubbelbine picked my sentiments about “raw digital”. When people say digital then imply 44/16 and it is highly unfortunate format in comparing to tape. However, the 88/24 bit, and particularly if it was not edited, “mastered” or exposed to any following DSP or any kind, no noise redaction, preferably not even resaved, is very far from what people recognize as “digital”.  Not a lot of people know but all first denegation of SACD, before the ~2002 were made from 2x/24bit PCM files, no meter how much they screamed about the “master tape directly to DSD”. (Actually the DSD already did not exist at that time – it was abandoned for the SACD crap.)

 Paul S wrote:
What I wonder is just how the good digital recordings are done

 drdna wrote:
To the point, your musing about digital versus analog, which is better at this particular level of refinement?  I think really the point is moot.

And this is exactly why I brought it up and it is not really digital versus analog but rather high-speed wide-track analog tape vs. properly implemented 24Bit  2x-4x digital with no further processing. People do have idea how tape sound, up to recently the master dubs were available for sale. I heard a few WFMT 15ips “first tapes” and it was extremely good. However, very few are familiar with the quietly of original raw high resolution digital files. Whatever is being sold to public as DVD-Audio or other high resolution formats are just horrible parody on what is possible at 24bit and 2x sampling rate.

When I do my 24bit recordings then the recordings are very transparent to the quality of source.  The live FM sounds different from tape. The all little differences in of tape are perfectly picked by digital. A few days ago I had a guy in my listening room who all his life played tapes and who has a lot of experience in the subject. So, I played him different digital track and then one raw transfer from tape. He immediately said that it was tape. So, where are the boundary of “better digital” and where the superbness of high speed tape stops to be a rational and become self-obsessive mania?

Frankly I am willing to answer this question or at list try to. That tape guy, kind of like what he heard and he is planning to return to my home trying to re-listen his high-speed master dubs on my playback. I am planning to run a loop to my DWA and then along with him to play his tapes right along with their 24/88 raw digital copies. Thanks Guy, his Placette allows to flip the identically sounding channels and truly compare the outcome. Frankly that was my initial aim why I popped up at the Tape Project forum but it looks like the “little industry-raped mind” was too enthusiastic in his ego-trip… Well, he is not the first one across which I have no problems to step over…

 drdna wrote:
I was also surprised that you knocked the Tape Project repertoire:  I always liked David Oistrakh's performance of Scottish Fantasia

Hm… You will see not much you will see. We are all within 50 years of copyright  gap and all “better” performances were in the hands of “big boys” who, perhaps unfortunately, do not give a damn about little Tape Project and alike.  If they have stolen (it was recorded in 1962) the dubs of that tape then it is fine but how much more of it are you think you will be able to see? I do not see any rational for a person to run a reel-to-reel machine unless he has a sizable selection of tapes, otherwise it will be similar to my local Moron that know who has a very good turntable setup and 10 LPs that was hand selected for him by HP. They do generate the “good sounds”, but no more then that…

If those Tape Project people will be willing to rise attention of wider public then few Audio Groupies  to whom they have sold the Bottlehead kits  and who asking for “upgrade” then they would need to run tapes from any  good sources that care good music – master tapes, raw high resolution digital tapes/files, sound-check tapes, of-air  master tapes…If course it would require to sell different definition of “quietly” but  I am sure that the Tape Project people are in the same salve-sheep as many other and they would not be able to handle it. So, far they are trying to ignite the tapy-tapy-tapy obsession. It is as good as any other manias…

Rgs, Romy the Cat

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