Tuesday, February 6, 2018
Taking the Reel-to-Reel Dip with Lyn Stanley
I've discussed the comeback of reel-to-reel as a reference analog source for some time now, both here and in my original Vinyl Anachronist column for Perfect Sound Forever. In a nutshell, reel-to-reel recordings can easily surpass the fidelity of vinyl, especially when sourced from the original master tapes--vinyl is pressed from these masters in most cases.
I've had this TEAC X-1000R reel-to-reel deck at my disposal for the last year or so, but I haven't had any quality software to use with it. This machine was restored and serviced by a local guy in Syracuse, and he included a reel of stuff he recorded from other sources. While it's fun to play that reel, the sound quality does not hint at the sonic nirvana that's routinely produced by tape sourced from the masters. The problem is that most of these excellent pre-recorded tapes retail for $250 to $750 or more...PER TITLE. Machines like this TEAC are relatively affordable--I'd sell this TEAC for $1000. That's probably the cost of two tapes.
Fortunately, singer Lyn Stanley came to the rescue! I've recently reviewed both volumes of The Moonlight Sessions--vol. 1 has reviewed here on my blog while Vol. 2 was reviewed at Positive Feedback Online. In both reviews I hinted that I'd love to hear the very rare and very pricey R2R versions of these releases, and she sent me this copy which has been making the rounds. (Lee Scoggins, a fellow scribe at Part-Time Audiophile, had it right before me.)
So I'll be listening to this on a very nice system over the next week or so and will offer my opinions! Thanks, Lyn!