Q: OK...but open reel tape in 2007? This is a truly insane idea. What made you decide to do it?
Dan: I had been putting on this show (Vacuum State of the Art Conference) for several years, and my distraction with show administration meant that I always had an ill prepared demo room for my own Bottlehead products. So I decided for VSAC 2003 that we needed a really good sounding, dialed in display. I was talking with Paul and we wound up deciding on tape playback. Paul made a few master copies just for the show. My bud Dave Dintenfass of Full Track Productions put together an Ampex 350-2 for us. Paul and his cohort “Geets” Romo came up from San Francisco, and we played tapes, in addition to LP and hot-rodded digital front ends.
Paul: I expected the tapes to sound good of course, and I expected they would sound better than the LP and digital sources. But I was shocked at just how much better they did sound. And I shouldn’t have been surprised; I’ve been working with tape masters for 30 plus years.
Dan: Best Sound of Show from three reviewers at that show, and a Best Sound Of Show at the first RMAF (with headphones only, no less!) with tape playback, and now best sound of show at CES 2007 from many of the reviewers at TAS seems to support our approach.
So why are we doing this?
To share that experience with our subscribers.