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For the latest news, information and pricing on "the Tape Project" reference quality recordings presented on 2 Track 15 IPS Reel to Reel tapes please click the above link. 

The Tape Project has begun shipping its first title today: 'The Number White' by jazz singer Jacqui Naylor. The Tape Project  offers a series of analog releases on REEL-TO-REEL TAPE that gives the discerning audiophile an analog listening experience almost like hearing the original master tape...

This is the beginning of a completely new era in music listening...see below -Paul dB

'The Tape Project' Launches Audiophile  Music Series
Paul Stubblebine Mastering & Valve Experts Bottlehead Corp Bring the Sound of Master Tapes Home

San Francisco, CA -November 14, 2007 - Paul Stubblebine Mastering (PSM) and valve electronics experts Bottlehead Corp. have introduced "The Tape Project," a new music-delivery format and 'record label.' The Tape Project is presenting a series of analog releases on reel-to-reel tape that offer the discerning audiophile an analog listening experience that comes as close as possible to that of hearing the original master tape. Slated for ten releases per year and sold primarily on a subscription basis, the 15ips (inches per second) half-track stereo, reel-to-reel recordings encompass a wide range of musical styles, the first of which include Classical, Jazz, Blues, Americana and Roots music. The company is recommending tape machines and specifications for playback, as well as offering its own specially modified tape decks with custom valve components from Bottlehead Corp.

"The only two requirements for the music that we release are that the master must exist on analog tape and that the music be great. That it be music that moves the listener. That it be music that can stand the test of time, and continue to bring satisfaction for years," stated Paul Stubblebine, one of the founders of the company along with mastering engineer Michael Romanowski, and Bottlehead Corp owner, Dan Schmalle.

The company has already secured the rights to release a variety of extraordinary recordings. The first ten titles are:  

1) 'The Number White' by jazz singer Jacqui Naylor
2) Dave Alvin's 'Blackjack David'
3) 'Arnold Overtures' original music by Malcolm Arnold with the London Philharmonic Orchestra recorded by Grammy-Winning engineer and audiophile equipment designer Keith Johnson
4) The album that established Robert Cray as a strong new voice in the blues 'False Accusations'
5) Raphael Fruhbeck de Burgos with the New Philharmonia Orchestra performing Albeniz - Suite Espanola
6) David Oistrakh and the London Symphony Orchestra with music by Bruch and Hindemith
7) Eiji Oue and the Minnesota Orchestra performing Exotic Dances from the Opera (Saint-SaŽns, Strauss, Rabaud)
8) Bill Evans 'Waltz for Debby' live at the Village Vanguard in 1961
9) Mose Allison in 1959's 'Creek Bank' engineered by Rudy Van Gelder
10) The incomparable Sonny Rollins in 'Saxophone Colossus.'

Full descriptions of each music selection is available  at The Tape Project website:

Also see the main page:

There are two tiers of subscription costs for The Tape Project: $1200 US for a selection of six of the ten releases a year, or charter subscriptions of $2000 US a year to get all ten releases. Each album will be also sold individually for $329 US to non-subscribers. Each tape release comes in a custom designed box with full-size color artwork and custom tape flanges inscribed with serial numbers for charter subscribers.

Michael Romanowski, revealing the tech behind the analog said, "We have assembled the highest quality duplicating system that has ever been attempted. The result, for those with ears to hear, is the most involving and satisfying experience that has ever come from reproduced music. I work with master tapes everyday, and these releases are sonically everything that a master tape has to offer. And now listeners get to have this experience in their own home."

Noting specifics about the playback systems, Dan Schmalle added, "In order to play these tapes correctly, a machine must meet the following requirements: It must play15 IPS half track stereo, and must be set to the IEC curve -formerly known as the CCIR curve. There are many machines that meet these specs, but many that don't. We have looked at the various machines made for home use and decided to adapt the Technics RS1500 family." The company offers an on-line database of tape machines that meet the requirements.

The tape machines offered by The Tape Project, approximately $7500 US each, are supplied with a custom playback head designed for us by Flux Magnetics, acknowledged as the highest quality tape head manufacturer in the world. Generally, reproduce heads are designed as some sort of compromise according to the speeds at which they will be expected to operate. Schmalle asked Flux Magnetics to design a head for The Tape Project strictly optimized for 15 IPS, with no compromise for other speeds. The resulting head has response extended well beyond that of the stock heads on both ends of the audio spectrum.

The playback head is mated with the latest generation playback electronics, developed by Paul Joppa and Dan Schmalle of Bottlehead Corp. exclusively for The Tape Project. The combination of superior transport, optimal head and advanced electronics yield a truly gourmet level of performance. There is even an optional wireless remote control for the Technics RS1500 offered by The Tape Project.

The company has started an online forum for customers to request albums that they would love to have releases of in the future

About Paul Stubblebine Mastering
PSM mastering engineers include owner Paul Stubblebine and Michael Romanowski. As a 30-year veteran sound engineer , Paul has mastered a wide variety of music including classic sounds of San Francisco: The Grateful Dead, The New Riders of the Purple Sage, Sly Stone, Santana,  Joan Baez,  Bill Evans and practically every release for David Grisman's Acoustic Disc label to name just a select few of his projects.

Michael Romanowski has been mastering music in the Bay Area since his move here from Nashville in 1994. Michael has mastered releases ranging from rock and jazz to punk and folk. Some of the artists he has worked with include Badfinger, Pete Ham, Norton Buffalo, Joe Craven, Too Short, E-40, Jacqui Naylor, Mimi Fox, The Samples, Jim Campilongo, Dallas Wayne, Houston Jones, Big Brother and the Holding Company, The Trichromes, Lydia Lunch, The Radiators, Runaways UK, The Wilted, and Free Peoples.

To ensure the highest quality and to produce the best sounding masters, PSM offers carefully selected audio technology such as the Pacific Microsonics analog and digital converters, Esoteric Audio Research,  Z-Systems, Weiss and TC Electronic signal processors, and mastering workstations from Sonic Studio, along with Alon Wolf designed "Magico" speakers.  For more information visit the PSM website at or call (415) 522-0108 or email

About Bottlehead Corp
Bottlehead Corp. has been on the high-end tube audio scene for 12 years, designing and selling a line of single ended vacuum tube audio amplifier and preamplifier kits and now manufacturing custom tube based equipment for both audiophiles and the recording industry. Innovations that Bottlehead has brought attention to in the tube audio scene include parallel feed, active loaded shunt regulation and extensive use of exotic materials in transformers. President Dan Schmalle combines his physics degree with 25 years of manufacturing production experience. Head of R&D Paul Joppa is an acoustical engineer and AES member with over 30 years of experience. Ed Fallon, who manages the assembled components division, is a senior engineer with 20 years of experience in the medical electronic field.

Otari MX-5050BIII 2 track 10.5 inch Reel to Reel
NAB/IEC Selectable Equalization
High Speed Version: 15 ips/7.5 ips
Low Speed Version: 7.5 ips/3.75 ips

2 Track 15 IPS pre-recorded Reel to Reel tapes have made a comeback!

At CES January 10, 2007

We have our tape machines and demo tapes in the TAD room, Venetian Tower 34-208, and the Magico room, Venetian Tower 29-231, and our tapes are also being demoed in Dan Meinwald's E.A.R. USA room on a machine modified by Tim de Paravicini. If you're here, stop by, say hi - and as Paul says - buy us a drink for bringing tape back!  Doc B.

2 Track Reel to Reel Tape Project update December 14, 2006

"I've been getting a lot of e-mail asking how things are going with the Tape Project. We've made some great progress over the past few weeks.

Today Paul Stubblebine made 1" running masters of one of our first four releases, Arnold Overtures by the London Philharmonic with Malcolm Arnold conducting. This was originally recorded by Keith Johnson for Reference Recordings. This was also Keith's first recording to be nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Engineered classical recording. The masters were made right off of Keith's session tape, played back on Keith's super custom tape machine, onto Paul's ATR Services 1" ATR with Tim de Paravicini electronics. A master of understatement, Paul's only comment was "sounded awesome".

We will be doing the final mix of the Jacqui Naylor album we have been working on next week. We have two other recordings chosen for our first wave of releases, and three more titles in the wings.

Meantime I have been working up a new tube tape head preamp design. The picture below is of the prototype I will be taking down to the studio to play with next week. It is designed to work with the custom Flux Magnetics heads we will be putting in our RS1500s, which have been optimized for 15-ips playback speed. EQ will be switchable from NAB to IEC. There will be consumer level (-10dB) RCA outputs and pro level (+4dB) balanced outputs. Level meters are for alignment purposes and may be switched out to reduce their influence on the output load. There are individual trimpots for each channel." Doc B.

2 Track Reel to Reel Tape Project update September 1, 2006

"The work is going well. I'm building five Seduction tape head pre-amps over the next couple weeks in response to the demand that has already started up before we even have any tapes ready. PJ and I have also been working up a new tape head pre-amp circuit for our custom machines that is showing great promise so far.

Looks like our first release will be an album based closely on, but with some different takes, of Jacqui Naylor's new album (just hit the streets this week) the Color 5. I'll be heading down to San Francisco mid-month to sit in and generally be a nuisance at the all-analog recording session. We also have a classical reissue planned, and we're working toward folk and blues albums as well. There's some big band jazz being discussed and some really marvelous classical piano. Sorry to say I can't discuss the particular titles just yet.

We have been sending several Technics RS1500s to our tech for analysis of where we might add some improvements to the tape path mechanicals, and we have an order in for a prototype custom head designed to match our electronics. We're also immersed in details like packaging and reel manufacture right now.

Our timeline says we should have a website up and be ready to take deposits for subscriptions by October 1. I'm trying to stick as close to that schedule as possible. We'll see how it goes... " Doc B.

Their first four 2 Track 15 IPS RTRs should be available by the beginning of 2007

2 Track 15 IPS premium quality pre-recorded Reel to Reel tapes will be making a comeback!

Stereo Reel to Reel premiered as a 2 Track format, 4 Track was invented in an effort to bring down the selling price of pre-recorded Reel to Reels. 2 Track is the superior format for many reasons, including wider track width per channel and no reverse crosstalk from the other side as 2 Track tapes are one sided.

Preparations have begun and things are moving along nicely. They have pulled together a core group of participants and a few supportive associates. Working out the division of responsibilities, equipment, facility, tape source and marketing details. They are also been putting together a wish list of titles with which to make some inquiries into licensing from various labels.

"The coolest things to happen in the technical end of the project are that Mike Spitz has agreed to make his new tape formulations available to us in pancakes once he's got production running, and that we have managed to pull together that major components of what may be the most righteous duplicating setup ever done. After discussing a lot of different equipment possibilities Paul and I have decided to pool some of our best machines for the project. Paul's Ampex MM1200 with MR70 electronics will play the 1" running masters, and we have come up with three ATR100s to use as 1/4" slaves, duping at 1:1. We also have a facility to get started in.

We've given ourselves a date by which to get this all together for an initial release, but I think it's a little premature to name it yet. The group involved just gets more and more enthusiastic as the project builds momentum, and I think we will end up with a pretty interesting catalog. " Doc B.

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