Monday, September 19, 2016
Reel to reel galore - Tandberg 3500X and David Crosby's "If I could only remember my name" on tape
Compared to the mighty Telefunken M15A it seems a boy, but sure it's not a toy!
Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce the humble Tandberg 3500X Cross Field 4 tracks, three speeds open reel.
Thanking this little, unassuming Made in Norway machine, once an expensive personal fave and a dream to own in my youth, now (sometimes) cheaply available - I decided to undust the 200+ original reel-to-reels I collected over the years giving them all a spin...
... and surprise-surprise...
These 4-tracks 7" humble plastic reels - 99% Ampex tapes fortunately not needing baking/oven rescue like the more recently produced Ampex' - sounds really, truly amazing!
It's not a matter of 15 IPS vs. 7,5 IPS or the most extended frequency response wins... also if the latter sure is lesser on paper, most of these tapes sound marvellously!
I already owned the 7,5 IPS 4 tracks tape, plus a promo, white label first pressing and a four discs, single sided 45 RPM edition, and all sound great, I dare among the ten best records ever made, sonically and musically... are the above an obsessive redundancy? Nope! They're just knowledge, trying to reach the untamed power contained in these recordings is the goal.
The Steve Barncard's engineered 30 IPS 2 inches master-tapes were lovingly and cleverly transferred to vinyl, so why searching for a 7,5 inches 4 tracks pre-recorded tapes?
Because the RIAA - maybe, who knows? - compressed the untamed 22 khz +/- 1 db of the 2" master-tape?
Just curious... the master tape is a tape, just to say, like the pre-recorded tape, doesn't it?
It's so good I simply had to acquire another copy, actually a sealed copy of David Crosby's first seminal album on Atlantic... and...
When I gave a listen to the Atlantic/Ampex' Crosby tape I simply smiled.
I knew it... it already happened with The Weavers at Carnegie Hall or with The Doors' Strange Days: reel to reel is the new vinyl, folks.
Apparently, all the far too common audiophile lingo and hypes get trashed in few moments... with a reel to reel tape, with the best ones, of course, you loose that sense of reproduced music and you happen to begin to sing along with the music.
Sound is full bodied and soundstage is sooooo wide, dynamics are just the best you ever listened to, period!
Vocals are a tape plus: sibilants, breathing, everything is natural and life-like.
I really cannot think in terms of detailing, imaging, etc. but you can only enjoy th music as a whole, an experience.
Like it should be as per artist, producer, sound engineer and label's truest, deepest, sincere wishes...
Listening to these old tapes makes the word "audiophile" to sound weird and empty: someway idiotic.
Talking for me, myself and I, folks... I'm not, absolutely not judging the world;-)
... yet: I so much enjoy being a plain, straight music lover!
HEAVY stuff, indeed: Music is Love;-)
Posted by twogoodears at 9/19/2016 10:09:00 PM