T.H.E. Show Newport
Beach 2015 Report
High-end audio has many interesting sub-sections. Doc Bottlehead specializes in this with their DIY tube amplifiers and kits, plus of course their Tape Project. Doc Bottlehead is seen here with his new Neothoriator 845-based triode tube amp that produces 4wpc ($10,00 alone or $12,509 with AKG K1000 headphones).
As for The Tape Project, while millions are streaming audio and enjoying computer audio, there is a small yet highly enthusiastic group who still love the decades old reel-to-reel tape. As such, The Tape Project caters to this avid group of music lovers.
Their website says, " Most people have not had the experience of hearing studio master tapes. Many formats have been introduced with the promise of bringing master tape sound into the home listening room. Yeah, right. We don’t expect that this tape project will replace any of your other favorite formats, so we see no need to dwell on the drawbacks of any other format. Suffice it to say that we don’t offer an “analog-like” listening experience. We are offering a chance to have in your own listening room an actual analog listening experience as close to the original master tape as practical."
As for the source of their tapes, "Our duplication process begins with the actual analog master tape. From that we make analog running masters on one inch two-track format. The one inch tape format transfer results in a extremely low loss of information, which we consider more like 1/2 generation than one full generation. These running masters are copied in real time to a bank of finely tweaked Ampex ATR-100 decks, yielding a '1-1/2 generation' copy. You just aren't going to get any closer to the original master, short of buying a record label or two." Just remember that these tapes are very rare, and thus cost around $450 per album.