I meant parts available in AUSTRIA. And after saying that, I got to wondering if there's a secret
stash of Studer parts somewhere ...
I think a more viable model is what a couple of folks do already -- refurb and improve some of the
many Japanese late-era reel decks floating around out there. The last-generation Tascam transports
were pretty darn good (all rolling guides, ceramic large-diameter capstans on some,
somewhat-Studer-like tape path), and the Technics do a good job when properly maintained. I've found
that it's key to have good pinchrollers on a Technics, and most machines you find at a decent price
have the original 1980s pinchrollers, worn out. Terry's Rubber Rollers, recommended by someone here,
did really good work for me. It also helps a Technics deck to have John French refurb the headblock.
John fixes that cheapo play-head switch very well, and also cuts what he calls air channels above
and below the tape path on the play and record heads, which seems to help keep firm contact between
tape and head (John points out that the tension around the heads is low in a Technics machine).
Anyway, there are lots of old decks out there, so I question the viability of starting from scratch.
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Tom Fine" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, January 20, 2016 1:44 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Austrian Audiophile Company Designing New Reel-to-Reel Player
> Not saying it's impossible, but it will be very hard for them to achieve a high-quality modern
> transport without economies of scale. If they want to try for a brute-force vintage design, that
> can be done in smaller batches if they can still source motors. I think of George Adams at United
> Audio in NYC. Back in the 70s and 80s, he was able to build what probably amounted to a couple
> hundred tape machines from scratch. He had a transport design I'd call brute-force with
> refinements. It was dual-capstan (one being slightly smaller diameter than the other to maintain a
> tension over the heads) and motion-sensing via a magnet glued to the bottom of the reel motors and
> "read" by a mono cassette head (each time the circular magnet flipped polarity, the voltage
> changed out of the head, so it was a primative "clocking" mechanism with fewer gradations than the
> light-sensor and spinning striped wheel that Inovonics used for the Tentrol system). So it could
> be done, back then. I think it would be harder to source parts in Australia in 2016.
> -- Tom Fine
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Aaron Coe" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Wednesday, January 20, 2016 1:22 PM
> Subject: [ARSCLIST] Austrian Audiophile Company Designing New Reel-to-Reel Player
> Horch House Press Release:
> Austria-based Horch House is excited to announce the initiation of ‘PROJECT R2R’: the development
> of the world’s only brand new reel-to-reel tape deck.
> Launched in 2012, the Horch House brand has already developed an impressive reputation for
> capturing the magic of original analogue master tapes and delivering faithful (and fully licensed
> and approved) copies on reel-to-reel tape, vinyl records and in various digital formats. Now, the
> company is also turning its attention to bringing the once essential reel-to-reel deck from its
> current vintage status back to centre stage - where it belongs.
> As is typical of Horch House, the company will be working closely with some of the industry’s
> foremost experts in order to deliver the most accomplished outcome possible.
> In developing their much-admired processes for creating astoundingly high quality copies of
> original analogue master tapes, Horch House’s expert team of sound engineers undertook meticulous
> research and development, calling in input from some of the world’s leading specialists (think of
> folks whose client lists include Sir Paul McCartney, Sony and Abbey Road Studios and you get a
> sense of the level of know-how involved).
> This same high level of input will be applied to PROJECT R2R. The aim? “To achieve the best sound
> quality, bar none,” says Horch House’s joint owner and project leader, Volker Lange, whose
> excitement about the project is palpable. “My passion for audiophile tape machines goes way, way
> back,” he explains. “This will be the realisation of a lifelong ambition. And it’s an absolute
> honour and privilege to be working with a team of this calibre”.
> In fact the team is already hard at work and hopes to be in a position to show a prototype of the
> new deck at Munich’s High-End Show this coming May.