Getting an Ampex ATR-102, looking for 10 reel titles to start me up!

Apr 26, 2017
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#1
I am getting a pristine condition Ampex ATR-102 in the coming days so I am looking to hear from people about their favourite tapes which can be readily bought. I am open to classical and jazz recommendations mainly, but would love to get good blues or rock as well.

I see some people really loving Mr. Pong's ultra analogue recordings! Which are your favourites? Would Mr. Pong himself be kind enough to give recommendations to start me up from his label, if he reads this maybe?

I also have read people love the international phonograph tapes, again I would very much like to hear which ones are your favourites and why? (sound or content, or both)

The tape project may be the one to get blues or rock, but which ones you think best illustrates the strengths of the 15 ips reel!

I am trying to get first 10 tapes to start me up! So top tens are welcome. I think one of them will surely be from analogue productions, as I have nearly all of the 45rpm releases of their newly released reels. I would like to hear the difference but further than that I would like to hear new and good music. So, I want to invest more in new music, or music that has not yet been released on close enough to master tape quality (45rpm vinyl)
 

Edward Pong

Industry Expert
Jun 24, 2013
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Locust Hill, Ontario
#2
Dear Kodomo,

Congratulations on getting an ATR-102!

You're going to love the sound character of tape... sound purity, density & TRANSPARENCY - unlike any other format...

Thank you for your interest in UltraAnalogue Recordings.. A few tapes I would recommend are:

1) Tatsuki Narita
2) Bach, Busoni Chaconne Transcription (solo piano)
3) Beethoven Violin Sonata No.7 (Xiang Yu & Yun-Yang Lee)
4) Beethoven Violin Sonata No. 8 (Tatsuki Narita & Yun-Yang Lee)
5) Beethoven Ghost Trio
6) Mendelssohn Cello Sonata No.2

All the Best in your audio journey!

Ed Pong
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
5,089
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Beverly Hills, CA
#3
Congratulations, kodomo!
 

c1ferrari

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
May 15, 2010
2,037
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#4
Provenance is paramount...for me.
Recommendations: Opus 3, TP, Metaxas (just received 5 titles, yesterday :D).
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
5,089
41
48
Beverly Hills, CA
#5
Sam, Which are the liveliest of the Metaxas recordings?

I heard a clip on their website of the quartet, which seemed moderately lively.
 

astrotoy

VIP/Donor
May 25, 2010
754
13
18
SF Bay Area
#6
Provenance is paramount...for me.
Recommendations: Opus 3, TP, Metaxas (just received 5 titles, yesterday :D).
Sam, I bought several of the classical Metaxas tapes from MTSL (Todor Dimitrov) and all of them were incomplete. That is, the recording were just partial performances - the tape ran out before the end of the pieces. I was able to return them, so I don't remember all the exact titles - Webber's Requiem and some string quartet were two of them. I contacted Todor and he said they were tapes that Kostas made (all in Australia) of concert performances and some rehearsals, but were not designed to record the whole performance. Please check the tapes you received, particularly if they were classical titles and see whether you have the same issues. I didn't get any of the jazz or other titles. BTW, I thought the sonics were quite good.

Larry
 

c1ferrari

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
May 15, 2010
2,037
3
38
#7
Hi Ron,

So, I collected the reels from USPS, yesterday pm, and loaded the first reel (with tones printed at the head at my request) after dinner
and just...kept...listening! :cool: The quality of the recordings are very high, albeit not perfect, and is consonant with my tastes in live,
acoustic recordings. I've listened to 7/10 reels and am prepared to order more titles. My spouse also provided unsolicited remarks
confirming the nature and quality of the sound.

High praise, indeed! :D

I'll report back after hearing the full five titles. Candidly, the music/recording/sound was/is seductive. Suspension of disbelief...CHECK.
 

astrotoy

VIP/Donor
May 25, 2010
754
13
18
SF Bay Area
#8
Kodomo,
Congrats on getting a 102. (I am very happy with mine!)

A few recommendations:

Tape Project
Arnold Overtures
Exotic Dances
Rock with me Baby
Saxophone Colossus (mono)

Acoustic Sounds
Rhapsodies
Scheherazade
Violin Sonatas

All of the above are double reels

Ed Pong's tapes (his selections are a great start)

Jonathan Horwich IPI
Mark Zeltzer Piano Recital (Classical)

Bob Attiyeh Yarlung/Sonorus
Music from Argentina
If You Love for Beauty

Warning: Tapes are addictive and can be hazardous to your pocketbook.

Larry
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
5,089
41
48
Beverly Hills, CA
#9
Has anyone heard this MTSL: Adam Simmons – Jazz Quartet at BMW EDGE, Melbourne?
 

Ron Resnick

Site Co-Owner, Administrator
Jan 25, 2015
5,089
41
48
Beverly Hills, CA
#10
Hi Ron,

So, I collected the reels from USPS, yesterday pm, and loaded the first reel (with tones printed at the head at my request) after dinner
and just...kept...listening! :cool: The quality of the recordings are very high, albeit not perfect, and is consonant with my tastes in live,
acoustic recordings. I've listened to 7/10 reels and am prepared to order more titles. My spouse also provided unsolicited remarks
confirming the nature and quality of the sound.

High praise, indeed! :D

I'll report back after hearing the full five titles. Candidly, the music/recording/sound was/is seductive. Suspension of disbelief...CHECK.

Thank you, Sam! Inquiring minds want to know!
 

c1ferrari

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
May 15, 2010
2,037
3
38
#11
Hi Larry,

There was a title which exhibited a couple/few very coarse, well...crude, fades and I detected some clicks...recorder being paused/started/stopped, perhaps.
I'll report in with the titles by this weekend after I've finished listening to all of them. I did not select the titles. I furnished a budget to Todor and requested
that he select titles which best reflected the analogue tape medium from Kostas.
:)
 
Apr 26, 2017
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#12
great!

Thank you everyone for the recommendations.

The Arnold Overtures from Tape project I guess, the reference recordings one is actually a digital recording. I would like to get his recording of Respighi, I guess tape project had it too.

I believe I will get;

Astor Piazzolla (Kazantsev)

Tatsuki Narita, Mendelssohn Cello sonata no2, Beethoven Violin sonata no.7 (Ultraanaloguerecordings)

Prokofiev: Lieutenant Kije/ Stravinsky: Song of the Nightingale and Hope by Hugh Masekela (these ones are to hear/experience the difference from two of my favourite 45rpm releases) (Analogue Productions)

Opus 3 "One" open reel selection (opus 3)

John Wojciechowski Quartet - direct master, Jazz Sampler 1 (international phonograph inc)

Respighi - Church Windows (tape project)
I though I saw some very good blues tapes from Tape Project but I can not see some of them on their site now (Otis Rush - Right Place, Wrong Time).

I would also like to know if anyone has any favourites from open reel records?
 

Mike Lavigne

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
Apr 25, 2010
7,095
25
48
#13
The Arnold Overtures from Tape project I guess, the reference recordings one is actually a digital recording. I would like to get his recording of Respighi, I guess tape project had it too.
true, the Arnold Overtures is a digital recording, but it's also an analog recording.

the Arnold Overtures has both an analog tape and 176/24 digital source as it used twin mic feeds as was typical for Reference Recordings for years. so the Tape Project tape of the Arnold Overtures is pure analog. it's one of the few cases where you can truly compare a CD and 176/24 both from the 176/24 master file, directly to the vinyl and tape both from the analog tape master. done it a few times.
 
Feb 16, 2015
33
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Norway
#14
All 3 Dindo tapes from Open Reel Records are very good, both sound and performance.

I will also strongly recommend the Janaki Trio, Dialoghi and Lysy Broad music... from Yarlung Records. They are very very close to the best tapes out there.

Lt.Kije is a very good choice, prepare to find out more about your system.:)

Good luck in your search for great tapes, you will be hooked.....
 
Last edited:

astrotoy

VIP/Donor
May 25, 2010
754
13
18
SF Bay Area
#15
true, the Arnold Overtures is a digital recording, but it's also an analog recording.

the Arnold Overtures has both an analog tape and 176/24 digital source as it used twin mic feeds as was typical for Reference Recordings for years. so the Tape Project tape of the Arnold Overtures is pure analog. it's one of the few cases where you can truly compare a CD and 176/24 both from the 176/24 master file, directly to the vinyl and tape both from the analog tape master. done it a few times.
Also true for the Tape Project Exotic Dances, and the Mozart Piano Concerti with Eugene Istomin. Arnold Dances was originally issued on vinyl from the analogue tape. The Exotic Dances and Mozart were never issued on vinyl in the original releases, only their digital versions.

Larry
 
Apr 26, 2017
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#16
Thanks Mike and Astro Toy! Good to know, so they recorded both to tape and digital, like bluecoast does sometimes.

I add Dialoghi from Yarlung to my list. (thanks jim.i.)

I have to choose one from Open Reel Records now to finish my initial list :)
 

jdcolombo

New Member
Oct 29, 2017
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#17
The John Wojciekowski tape from IPI is terrific. So are the Mark Colby and Matt Ulery trio recordings (in fact, ALL of Jonathan's jazz recordings are excellent, both musically and sound-wise).

On the classical side, the Analogue Productions release of Reiner/CSO's classic RCA recording of Respighi's Pines and Fountains is simply . . . unbelievable. I have this recording in several versions on CD, and it's really hard to believe the tape is so much better - but it is. I suspect part of it is the care taken by Sterling Sound in doing the remastering, but whatever - you really have to hear this to believe it. I have probably 20 different versions of Pines/Fountains in my music collection, and none of them come close to the Reiner/CSO recording. Still the gold standard 60 years later. The Scheherazade recording is also exceptional, but not quite the stunner of the Respighi, IMHO. For chamber music, basically everything done by Ed Pong (Ultra Analogue) is stunning. These are as close to "being there" live as I've ever encountered with recorded music.

John C.
 

c1ferrari

Member Sponsor & WBF Founding Member
May 15, 2010
2,037
3
38
#18
I've listened to the following, thus far, and very pleased with the sonics:

MTSL 65-66: Il Giardino Armonico (this title doesn't appear on the Master Tape Sound Lab pdf)
MTSL 23-24: J. Oehlers, S. Keevers, M. Breeze - jazz
MTSL 2-3: Andrea Keller Jazz Ensemble - jazz
MTSL 27: Fritz Hauser (Coarse fades.) - jazz

As of yet, haven't listened to:

MTSL 28: Fritz Hauser - jazz
MTSL 40-41: Alison Wedding/Sam Keevers - the vocalists
 
May 25, 2010
754
13
18
SF Bay Area
#19
I've listened to the following, thus far, and very pleased with the sonics:

MTSL 65-66: Il Giardino Armonico (this title doesn't appear on the Master Tape Sound Lab pdf)
MTSL 23-24: J. Oehlers, S. Keevers, M. Breeze - jazz
MTSL 2-3: Andrea Keller Jazz Ensemble - jazz
MTSL 27: Fritz Hauser (Coarse fades.) - jazz

As of yet, haven't listened to:

MTSL 28: Fritz Hauser - jazz
MTSL 40-41: Alison Wedding/Sam Keevers - the vocalists
Sam, thanks for the update. Glad they are working out for you. I didn't get any of the jazz or pop albums, just classical. Larry
 
Apr 26, 2017
126
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#20
Just ordered Muddy Waters - Folk Singer from Analogue Productions as it is a favourite album of mine! So Masekela and Prokofiev tapes will be waiting till I get my preffered tapes from each company.

Next, when I turn back from my trip in a week, I will be ordering Nikolai Kazantsev's Astor Piazzolla tape.

I am waiting for Ed Pong now, he will let me know when his tapes are ready, and those will be the next ones after Nikolai's tape.

After that, I will give a shot for international phonographic tapes.

This master tape stuff will ruin me for sure...
 

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