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Jim Feeley

New audiophile (?) portable reel-to-reel recorder coming?

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Not aimed at us (as far as I can tell), but rather at the "kinetic art object" market:

 

Limited edition portable reel-to-reel recorder to make Munich debut

[snip]

Metaxas says that the best source for reproduced music is analog tape recorded on 10-inch reels at 15 inches-per-second (IPS), and of that there is no doubt. He further states that the same reel-to-reel hardware is the best way to capture live music.

"This is a fact not open for discussion and is responsible for the incredible resurgence in interest in Open Reel Analog Tape Recorders," says the audio engineer and hi-fi component designer. "The High End Audio industry has embraced and acknowledged this over the past 10 years."

[snip]

The GQT is based on the Stellavox SM8 recorder, and has been "designed for ultimate location recording and playback duties." It's likened to a large Swiss mechanical watch mechanism, with no computer or logic control hardware in sight. Its circuits are made up of discrete transistors and components similar to those found in 1960s to early 70s devices.

 

Rest of the article and some more images here:

https://newatlas.com/metaxas-gqt-portable-reel-analog-recorder/52808/

 

Company website:

http://metaxas.com

 

metaxas-gqt-portable-reel-analog-recorder-4.jpg

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1 hour ago, Jim Feeley said:

Its circuits are made up of discrete transistors and components similar to those found in 1960s to early 70s devices.

 

 

Wow! 2N508s... just like a Scully 280!

 

 

I won't go into the analog v digital topic, which is what I believe the 'expert' says is off limits.

 

But besides that, what  magic made that decade's 1/4" tape the ultimate? 35mm perf has much better wow and flutter. Half-inch stereo, with double the track width, has better s/n. And AFAIK predistortion didn't make it into open reel recorders until the mid 1970s.

 

Yes, you can -prefer- a particular recording method's distortion to the distortion of other methods. But that's a matter of taste, not an objective analysis.

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Lotsa golden ears classical folks still record stereo to Nagras @ 15ips w/Nagramaster when time and budget allow.  I guess my question about this machine is whether they'll ever make enough of them to get the bugs worked out.  R2R Nagras were handmade, but they made thousands of them....

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Oh Lordy. Its so beautiful I don't think I would care whether it was better or worse than whatever.

 

Mind you I am probably still back in the 80's...

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If you can afford the recorder I think you might be able to afford some tape , no price I could find but their integrated amplifier is 27,000 EUR !!!.

 

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If you wanted to do a double blind listening test compared to a modern digital recorder, you'd have to add some artifacts. Otherwise the "golden ears" would be able to spot the digital recording. Some shaped white noise, a little hum, lots of intermod (4% to 5% on peaks) distortion and some peak rounding added to the digital recorder would make them sound the same. A little cross talk and touch of flutter would help fake them out too. 

Best Regards,

Lead Ears Fisher

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Looks like they have yet to build a final recorder... Just renderings in that article, and a "prototype" will be shown in May.

 

And if you need some tunes to play on your RTR, Analogy Records has you covered:

 

"Analogy Records is the world’s first record label to produce contemporary artists at its recording studio, distributing ORIGINAL MASTER TAPES.

Instead of producing copies from any pre-existing master, for each order Analogy Records produces an original master directly from the multi-track recording system, thus removing an additional stage. No first generation copies but only original Master Tapes, in order to ensure the best listening experience ever."

 

Prices from  € 105,00 to € 1.800,00 or so:

http://www.analogyrecords.org

 

I actually think all this stuff is cool. Not for me, but there are more-harmful hobbies.

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What do they do about deterioration of the narrow tracks on the multitrack master? Each time you play it, analog or digital tapes lose a little bit of oxide to friction. That's why you clean the heads. There may also be deterioration if the playback deck isn't perfectly demagnetized. 

 

Granted, a fresh analog mixdown (assuming decks are cleaned and aligned, and automation system works properly) will be better quality than a second generation from an analog 2-track master. 

 

That € 1.800,00 copy the audiophile bought is also going to deteriorate from friction and any residual magnetism in their deck. Unless, of course, they make a digital clone as soon as they receive it...  ; )  

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Shhhhhh, Jay. Don't bring reason and experience into this discussion. Or since we're talking about tape, perhaps I should write, "Ssssssss, Jay."

 

 

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1 hour ago, Jay Rose said:

What do they do about deterioration of the narrow tracks on the multitrack master?

 

They talk some more bollocks about it ... And suddenly what would be a problem to the rest of us is an opportunity!

 

It got me thinking ( or "thinking" ) too when I read it about a similar problem: why bother with internegs ... or negatives at all for that reason? So many levels! Is it necessary? And what I LOVE about analogue vs digital is the unlimited number of copies ... oh no, I'm confused ... I bet if I think about it again for a few minutes I'll come up with a REALLY good idea ...

 

As Jim said ...

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1 hour ago, LarryF said:

If you wanted to do a double blind listening test compared to a modern digital recorder, you'd have to add some artifacts. Otherwise the "golden ears" would be able to spot the digital recording. Some shaped white noise, a little hum, lots of intermod (4% to 5% on peaks) distortion and some peak rounding added to the digital recorder would make them sound the same. A little cross talk and touch of flutter would help fake them out too. 

Best Regards,

Lead Ears Fisher

 

Yes... Add tape hiss, system noise, harmonic distortion, and wow and flutter to a modern digital recorder, and make the response curve uneven by +/- a couple of dB, and it would be hard to tell the difference.

 

I love the old analog Nagra recorders as much as anyone, and have thousands of hours with them in production, and Trew Audio still services them often. But when it comes to accurate reproduction of a microphone, there is no reason to use them over a modern 48K/24bit digital recorder. The only exception would be when it's necessary to over drive the track with gun shots or door slams, in which case analog tape wins every time.

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23 hours ago, LarryF said:

If you wanted to do a double blind listening test compared to a modern digital recorder, you'd have to add some artifacts. Otherwise the "golden ears" would be able to spot the digital recording. Some shaped white noise, a little hum, lots of intermod (4% to 5% on peaks) distortion and some peak rounding added to the digital recorder would make them sound the same. A little cross talk and touch of flutter would help fake them out too. 

Best Regards,

Lead Ears Fisher

Good Lord Larry!  You crack me up.

 

D.

Built in 10" reel adapters though.  No need to invite Rube Goldberg to the party.

 

A friend of mine just bought a nice Nagra IVS with a 10" reel adapter which he plans to use to record music (mics>pristine preamps/mixer>recorder) for exactly that market.  He thinks there is money to be made.  The only other recordings will be a simultaneous DSD recording to Merging gear and Pyramix for the same reason.  He believes that a couple of "hi-end" recording methods aimed at the audiophile market will reap enough financial rewards to pay for the costs of the projects.  I disagree but he might be right.  He has a smart business head.

 

D.

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I hope your friend works out of NYC or some hi-end market with a lot of audiophile music people, and is extremely good at marketing to that super-de-luxe crowd.  Having cred as a classical player (ie education and vita) and personal connections to the directors and conductors of important (and well-funded) music organizations would be vital.

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I do love my two Nagra decks, use them a fair bit for music mix tapes.

But my Sound Devices MixPre 3 is certainly better suited for my field recording activities, much easier to upload recordings onto the web, and the sound quality is fantastic. 

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21 hours ago, Glen Trew said:

The only exception would be when it's necessary to over drive the track with gun shots or door slams, in which case analog tape wins every time.

 

The original Neverclip!? Yummy saturation. I used a Nagra III on my first student film and I still remember how nice it sounded when someone or something got loud unexpectedly. That's where even today most systems have their weak spot (yes, I'm looking at my Lectros), so progress is a two-sided sword. To me the Nagra sounded better than any recorder I used after (and I do love how my Nomad sounds).

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11 hours ago, Christian Spaeth said:

 

 To me the Nagra sounded better than any recorder I used after (and I do love how my Nomad sounds).

 

Of course your ears were that much younger back then ;-) sb

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19 hours ago, tourtelot said:

Good Lord Larry!  You crack me up.

 

D.

Built in 10" reel adapters though.  No need to invite Rube Goldberg to the party.

 

A friend of mine just bought a nice Nagra IVS with a 10" reel adapter which he plans to use to record music (mics>pristine preamps/mixer>recorder) for exactly that market.  He thinks there is money to be made.  The only other recordings will be a simultaneous DSD recording to Merging gear and Pyramix for the same reason.  He believes that a couple of "hi-end" recording methods aimed at the audiophile market will reap enough financial rewards to pay for the costs of the projects.  I disagree but he might be right.  He has a smart business head.

 

D.

I think if this forum did 'likes' LF's number would need a power function.

Thanks for the Rube Goldberg ref. I hadn't heard of him, in UK we had Heath Robinson and Norman Hunter with Professor Branestawm. I think all 3 were born within a few years of each other.

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On 1/4/2018 at 10:41 AM, Jim Feeley said:

"The High End Audio industry has embraced and acknowledged this over the past 10 years."


I admire the extra added value this company has brought to the world. 

In terms of the many hilarious posts that have been spawned and jokes made in forums! 

Thank you again Metaxas from the bottom of my heart, I got an excellent series of chuckles out of this. 

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I think their designer is a bit too into H.R. Giger with a little nod to The Terminator thrown in but I could be imaging things.  The look of their stuff scares me a little. Ok, a lot. The price even more so I'm sure.

 

 

jockey2.png

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