The Reel Deal

Sharing stuff found on magnetic tape in the reel-to-reel format.


No Squares Allowed!

Here's a little something to tide you over while I start my full-time work schedule... this is something I got on eBay a while back, a nice little set of 2 mono tapes that Command did for Voice of Music. Yes, Command. That means Enoch Light, Dick Hyman, Doc Severinsen, and even a Tony Mottola cut. There's even a little scary piece for All Hallows' Eve (I'll let you discover THAT scary bit on your own!). This is a nice set from the early 60s (I think 1965, because of the Mottola tune), but I am still wondering why this wasn't released in stereo...

Still, a very nice little set of tunes, these, on a pair of 5-inch reels... and something to keep you going while I work my buns off with a 60-mile each way commute.

Oh, did I tell you that the Jeep got broken into and the stereo stolen? I guess it's walkman-and-headset time until the paychecks start coming in...

Here is The outer cover, the cover of box 1, and the cover of box 2of the box set.

...and, thanks to the Voice of Music people, here's No Squares Allowed!

* * * LINK IS FIXED!! * * *


Bel Canto 2-track test - REVISITED!

Here's the first of the lot of 2-track tapes I got (pics of the MESS will be forthcoming), and also the first tape to be played back on the Revox A77 that I dug out of the shed. It is a MkII 4-track machine with the dual 8-watt audio amps inside, and a nice machine, even if the hub brakes are non-existent. Yes, it makes rewinding tapes on 10-inch NAB reels an ADVENTURE! If I don't stop the reels by hand, I have a nice pile of shredded tape to deal with. I have a service manual around here somewhere... plus I think the heads are in need of alignment, but I have a couple more test reels to run through it first.

So, my dilema is this: what deck to I do transfers with, the Revox or the Teac 4300? Well, I will let YOU decide! I have taken this tape, made a recording in WAV format from BOTH decks, set both to 85% peak levels, and put them up here for you to download. The file names should be self-explanatory.

I'll have these up in proper hi-bitrate MP3s after your decision!

The tape is an old Bel Canto 2-track stereo recording of the Warsaw Concerto and Rhapsody in Blue, as performed by the "Hamburg Philharmonia Orchestra". No solo credits for piano as far as I can see, but I have, as usual, included full size scans of the box for you. The front, and the back of the box, and also a scan off the reel label, such as it is.

You be the judge, let me know what deck does the better job, and I'll post the MP3 files based on that recording!

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Well, by now you know that I picked up an Otari 2-track deck, and, now, of course, I HAVE to make the ultimate comparison. I ran this tape through the Otari, and did the same setting to 85% peak levels as the other two files, and posted it in the DID folder. Now, see what you think comparing this file to the Teac and the Revox. Granted, it may be a stacked comparison, a true 2-track deck against a pair of (very quality) 4-track decks, but it is still interesting to see (and hear) just what a true 2-track deck can do with 2-track tapes.

I have a bunch more 2-track tapes, and I think I'll use the Otari to share them with you, it'll be worth it!

A note on some of the feedback I got... yes, there is a little 'wandering' of the piano and the orchestra on the Warsaw Concerto, I suspect that was something during the recording process... there seems to be a place in there where 2 takes were spliced together in the master. I'm not sure, but suddenly, the piano moved from full-left to somewhere near center, then moved back... maybe an 'oopsie' on the recording engineer's part, I don't know. That's what makes these things so much fun :)


Julie Is Her Name, vol. 2

OK, kids, I have not gone dissaperiang on you, I got a ramped-up work schedule, which pretty much takes almost all of my spare time (that plus getting tapes prepped and sold on eBay)... so, not to worry, I'll have postings, but not as frequently as they used to be.

I do have a bunch of stories to tell, like the piker that sold me an American Airlines reel with Dick Hyman & Enoch Light on it (the label was Project 3) that was absolute utter CRAP... and the Elton John tape that got into a bidding war and sold for $75... and other fun things too. I am awaiting getting a box of about 180 reels (35 of them are 2-track stereo things), so there's no lack of upcoming content, to be sure...

As a way of apologizing, and to fill both the needs of the reel AND the lounge community, I hereby present, from the original Liberty Stereo reel, Julie London's follow-up to the GREAT LP, "Julie Is Her Name" (which I only have in mono, dammit). This is her, Howards Roberts on guitar (and all the arrangements are his, too!), and Red Mitchell on bass. Her husband, Bobby Troup produced it, and, let me tell ya, it's a WINNER. Just as sultry and playful as the first LP was, so this one is also. Only the cover has been changed to remove the little pout she had on the first LP cover.

I think this was released in the early 60s, the catalog number is LST7100, and it's a 4-track stereo tape... plus the dubbing house's address on the back has a ZIP code, so that would put THIS release at right around 1963 or 64... but I have a feeling that the LP may have been released earlier... I dunno, if anyone has that info....

So, without further ado, I give to you Miss Julie London.

Here is The front and The backof the reel box.

Julie Is Her Name, what more needs be said!