The Reel Deal

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



A change of pace... a DRASTIC change of pace!

I saw this one up on eBay (thanks to your donations... that helped snag this rarity!) and just HAD to bid on it... it came yesterday, and.... boy is it different!

Kangaroo is a band I have NEVER heard of, kind of like Jefferson Airplane meets Country Joe & the Fish. From the address on their fan club, this seems to be a New York City group that had maybe one labum in the 60s and then faded into obscurity. I have NEVER seen any kind of LP or CD, so I assume that this one is safe to post...

The music is psychedelia but not too over-the-top... there are a couple of light-hearted bits in here, and the usual Longhair Love songs... it's an interesting listen!

The tape wasn't in the greatest shape, but I think I got the best I could out of it on the remaster process... it's an Ampex dupe, done at 3.75 ips, and the tape is showing a little bit of stretch wear... but the TEAC handled it nicely enough to get at least a fair remaster of it.

Here are the full size scans of:
The front of the box, and
The back of the box.

Fire up those Moire boxes and Lava Lamps! Here's Kangaroo!


Clebanoff Strings - Moods In Music

More two-track goodness for you this week... This came from an estate sale via eBay (with help from your donations!) and WOW is this GOOD! It's mood music, not even really lounge, but when I mounted it up on the Otari and played it, ooOOoo lush lush lush, and dynamic range that you just can't really get on a 4-track recording. This is your basic Mercury stereo tape from the late 1950s, recorded really well, so well that you can hear chairs scraping in a couple of places!

The music runs almost a full 30 minutes, it's really good, it's great for that romantic dinner, and it sounds, just, utterly FANTASTIC. I'm putting this reel up on eBay and I'll probably not get as much as I should for it... I can't understand why audiophiles aren't falling all over this stuff, really.

Here are the full size scans of:
The front of the box, and
The back of the box.

Enjoy this piece of audiophilia: The Clebanoff Strings - Moods In Music!

My work schedule will be cooling off after Thanksgiving, so I should be able to do some more postings on all four blogs during December... STAY TUNED!


Stereophony Sampler, Vol. 2

Well, I seem to have a thing for Second Volumes of stuff... take for example this stereo demonstration tape from an outfit called Stereophony Incorporated, out of St. Paul, Minnesota. This demo tape, done in wonderous 2-track stereo, dates from around 1957, I believe, and has the usual fluffy pop and light classical things that audiophiles of the day drooled over. And, even though there is a tracklist of sorts on the inner liner notes, all the tracks are still announced, by a Real Announcer Guy! I can never get his name, but he's got one of those Real Announcer Voices...

The music... there is, of course, an assortment here, including a nice cut of gospel singing, and something called a "Voicestra". The explanation is this: a Voicestra is a group of human voices backing up a solo instrument. Novel, I think... very 50s. The remaining cuts do a good job of showing off just how spiffy and keen stereophonic music could be. Remember, a vast majority of the recorded library out there was monophonic, except for those audio geeks that had the stereo tape machines. Also consider that people were paying anywhere from 8 to 15 1950s dollars for tapes that had a run length of 15 to 20 minutes! The norm for the time was a mono tape that you could reverse... to get to the B-side, or 2nd mono track, you had to flip the tape over... 2-track stereo tapes only played ONE DIRECTION!

To give you an idea of what was out there, I have also included scans of the leaflet catalogue that came with this tape. Granted, this isn't the offering of a COlumbia or an RCA, or even a Bel Canto, but they were a quality house, even though they only lasted in the consumer market for a relatively short time.

I dubbed this on the Otari, as it does the best job for 2-track tapes (duh! silly me, thinking I was gonna get a decent dub off of a 4-track machine!)... I switched over to 4-head mode after the dub and boy! What a DIFFERENCE! This makes me want to go back and re-dub the Dixieland In Stereo tape...

So, I give you the full size scans of:
The front of the box,
The back of the box,
One side of the inner liner notes,
The other side of the inner liner notes,
One side of the catalog leaflet, and
The other side of the catalog leaflet.of the reel box.

Sit back, put on your audiophile smoking jacket, and enjoy the Stereophony Sampler Volume 2!


"Your Kind of Music"

Well, when it rains, it pours, I reckon... not 2 weeks go by when I get the Revox A77 running, I get a call on the phone from a friend saying "I have a 2-track reel deck here, you want it?"

After I pick myself up off of the floor, I QUICKLY agree, and we set a date for me to come pick it up. Last Friday night, I took posession of a VERY nice rack-mount Otari MX5050. FINALLY I have something to play the NAB reels on, and it will do 15 ips as well (I have some 15 ips 2-track stuff here that needs to get dubbed off, and you'll hear it when I do get that dubbed off).

The first thing I ran through the Otari was a NAB-hubbed reel of a half-hour radio program called "Your Kind of Music", done as a syndicated thing in the late 80s for an automobile sales outfit in Springfield, MO, on KTXR Radio. The program was produced by Kingsbury Broadcasting Systems, and done on 2-track stereo at 7.5 ips, of course on the big 10.5 inch reels. I tried a pass of this on the Revox, but really wanted to see what it would do on a 2-track machine (the Revox is a 4-track deck)... and HOLY PINCH ROLLERS... I got dynamic range out the WAZOO! I had forgotten jsut how good 2-track stuff sounded on a 2-track deck!

The tape came in a plain white plastic box, so here is the cue sheet for the show, which I'll give you in one mp3 file... Here is the cue sheet...

Sit back and enjoy this, it's neat! THere's a little clipping on some of the tracks but I attest that to sloppy production, as the rest of the material is really really good. Here's Your Kind of Music... right-click to download!