Sonorous ATR10 MMK II

Argonaut

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Jul 30, 2013
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well....er......what would you suppose a Studer A-820 or Ampex ATR-102 might retail for today as a clean sheet of paper, brand new product? when you look at the level of engineering and quality of transport?

$175k.....maybe $250k. and that's only if they did a run of 500 to 1000. otherwise much more.

these brand new $10k--$50k machines of today compare to the $750---$3000 machines of 40-50 years ago. they did not do 30ips either. not saying that the 30ips engineering problem is not doable, but at what cost, and at what level of reliability, how that might raise the resultant retail price, and how many would you then sell?

not my area of expertise at all, much more yours. but actual execution of a more robust product changes the math.
Bingo !
 
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Ampexed

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I don't think you can take a PR99 and make it run at 30ips the way its big brothers do. It is a budget machine, with all the implications.

But that is not the main issue. Any deviation from the standard process can be costly. As I mentioned earlier, I don't see any possible financial reward from such an endeavor due to the small market size. Considering all the hidden costs I would expect the product price to double, which would kill any meaningful sales.

I don't disagree regarding the sound quality benefits.
I made a Pioneer RT-707 run *well* at 15ips (also made it 4 channel with a head replacement and two extra preamps). One of the machines in my profile was originally a 7 1/2 / 15 machine and I converted it to 15/30 and it works wonderfully with very, very low wow/flutter. So yes, it can be done. Maybe not to all machines, true, but it can be done and if I were offering uber expensive/high performance tape machines today like in this thread, I would leave off the useless 7 1/2 ips speed (only good for 4 track pre-recorded tapes, and these machines are 2 track).

Really, ALL high end audio is niche and limited production. That hasn't stopped manufacturers from making $100,000 power amps.
 

Foxbat

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Jun 11, 2020
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Tape users are already a small niche within a high end niche, and you are suggesting adding a yet smaller one to these.

But this is a pointless argument... if you are right then we are going to see some 30ips tapes on the market.
 

Ampexed

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if you are right then we are going to see some 30ips tapes on the market.
I hope so. But really, I'm just advocating for making these machines capable of 30ips, regardless of the availability of tapes at present. Makes more sense than including 7 1/2 ips. The speed capability won't change the size of the niche.
 

Carlos269

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Mar 21, 2012
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I hope so. But really, I'm just advocating for making these machines capable of 30ips, regardless of the availability of tapes at present. Makes more sense than including 7 1/2 ips. The speed capability won't change the size of the niche.

On my 2-buss Remastering chain, 15ips and 30ips are available at a push of a button:

IMG_3630.jpeg

IMG_3631.jpeg
 

Carlos269

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15ips and 30ips can also be available with a twist of a knob:

IMG_3633.jpeg
 
Jan 18, 2012
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I personally cannot fathom what is done to a simple Tascam B32 to ramp up the price to USD 32K
I´d take a Studer A80 or an ATR102 or a Telefunken M15 any day...maybe unserviced machine today is reaching USD 10K
still a LOT of cash left to raise it to celestial levels compared to any prosumer deck
 

Carlos269

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15ips and 30ips are also available maintenance free through plug-ins and digital emulators:

IMG_3634.jpeg
 

microstrip

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I personally cannot fathom what is done to a simple Tascam B32 to ramp up the price to USD 32K
I´d take a Studer A80 or an ATR102 or a Telefunken M15 any day...maybe unserviced machine today is reaching USD 10K
still a LOT of cash left to raise it to celestial levels compared to any prosumer deck

As I am moving soon I will put my still unserviced reserve pair of A80's - after I got them I found better specimen - for sale at a much lower price than that!
 

adrianywu

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Nov 15, 2021
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If you use 1.5mil tape on a 10.5" reel and record at 30ips, you will only get 16 min of recording time. That would not be enough to fit many classical music movements, which arguably would benefit most from the increase in speed. Therefore, you need to use 12" or even 14" reels. Most of these prosumer machines cannot use any reel larger than 10.5". Even if they will fit, I don't think their transport mechanisms are robust enough to cope with the increased weight of the reels.
 

Foxbat

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[/QUOTE]
If you use 1.5mil tape on a 10.5" reel and record at 30ips, you will only get 16 min of recording time. That would not be enough to fit many classical music movements, which arguably would benefit most from the increase in speed. Therefore, you need to use 12" or even 14" reels. Most of these prosumer machines cannot use any reel larger than 10.5". Even if they will fit, I don't think their transport mechanisms are robust enough to cope with the increased weight of the reels.
Exactly right, I recently played one piece - three movements, almost 9 minutes each - try to handle that one with 10.5" reels at 30ips. So leave the big game for big boys.

OTOH... the diminutive Stellavox with its 5" reels has 30ips speed. :) Almost long enough for one song. :)

But practically speaking, 30ips is a huge nuisance for a typical home music lover.
 

Pacha

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As much as I agree with the sound benefit of 30 IPS, it's all a bit too rich for my budget. I will continue to enjoy my machines at 7.5 and 15.
 

Foxbat

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I think you represent a typical customer. I have some 30ips tapes, for which I paid virtually nothing and I suspect it is going to stay that way. :)
 

microstrip

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As much as I agree with the sound benefit of 30 IPS, it's all a bit too rich for my budget. I will continue to enjoy my machines at 7.5 and 15.

30 ips is not only benefits - in fact the choice of 15 ips or 30 ips is a balance of compromises and benefits. 30 ips has a faster bass roll off than 15 ips. We debated it in WBF some years ago - see https://www.endino.com/graphs/ the blue line represents what came back at 15 IPS, the red line at 30 IPS - or https://www.tangible-technology.com/media/media_2.html.


a1.gif
 

Foxbat

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Unfortunately, frequency response plots tell you close to nothing about the system's sound quality. People simply talk about them because they are so easy to obtain - like looking for your lost keys under the street light, not where you lost them. Plus I would never consider the red line in your example bad. The most important attributes of sound quality are not describable by numbers or plots.
 

Ampexed

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May 2, 2023
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If you use 1.5mil tape on a 10.5" reel and record at 30ips, you will only get 16 min of recording time. That would not be enough to fit many classical music movements, which arguably would benefit most from the increase in speed. Therefore, you need to use 12" or even 14" reels. Most of these prosumer machines cannot use any reel larger than 10.5". Even if they will fit, I don't think their transport mechanisms are robust enough to cope with the increased weight of the reels.
1 mil tape like LPR-35 would give 22 minutes at 30 ips - about the same as vinyl. 45RPM vinyl sets deal with the time limitation so it's not as if it can't be done. To me, the increase in sound quality is obvious and compelling. And there's always the sight of reels spinning at twice the speed which adds it's own element. I just don't understand the resistance to it in the context of high end audio striving for the absolute best, regardless of cost and 'impracticality'. Next to some of the monster turntable setups I see, a 30 ips tape machine is child's play. High end audio is all about the impractical!
 
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adrianywu

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1 mil tape like LPR-35 would give 22 minutes at 30 ips - about the same as vinyl. 45RPM vinyl sets deal with the time limitation so it's not as if it can't be done. To me, the increase in sound quality is obvious and compelling. And there's always the sight of reels spinning at twice the speed which adds it's own element. I just don't understand the resistance to it in the context of high end audio striving for the absolute best, regardless of cost and 'impracticality'. Next to some of the monster turntable setups I see, a 30 ips tape machine is child's play. High end audio is all about the impractical!
i don't use 1mil tape so I don't know how well this will work. Will there be any problem with stretch if 1 mil tape is use at 30 ips ? I doubt many professionals, the prime users of 30ips, would use 1 mil tape for their work.
 

Ampexed

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i don't use 1mil tape so I don't know how well this will work. Will there be any problem with stretch if 1 mil tape is use at 30 ips ? I doubt many professionals, the prime users of 30ips, would use 1 mil tape for their work.
30 ips has no real physical demands on the tape beyond other speeds. With LPR 35, the coating is the same thickness as the 1.5 mil version, but the backing is 1 mil instead. Because of the thinner backing, print through can be more of an issue, but I've never found that in actual listening the print through is any worse than with 1.5 mil tape. With either tape, storing it in the tails-out state minimizes print through.

Professional studios doing popular music don't necessarily rely on 'long' playing time. Most of the time, 16 minutes is enough to record several takes of a song. The famous Sun Studios used 7" reels for this reason. Professionals recording longer works will likely be using machines which can accommodate 14" reels. In all my years as a recording engineer, I used many 30ips machines which used 10 1/2" reels and never felt there was any problem. Besides, have you ever lifted a 14" reel of 2" tape? :eek:

1 mil tape is a popular archive medium.
 

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