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
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: http://www.tapeproject.com/catalog/catalog.htm
Also see the main page: http://www.tapeproject.com/
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
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 http://www.tapeproject.com/smf/index.php#1
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
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
www.paulstubblebine.com or call (415) 522-0108 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. www.bottlehead.com
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
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
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.
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".
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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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