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ATR-102 X-formerless Penthouses - Portland Pro Audio vs. Waltzing Bear Recorders, Players & Tape Machines
Old 4 weeks ago
ATR-102 X-formerless Penthouses - Portland Pro Audio vs. Waltzing Bear

Would love to know your thoughts on these two x-formerless penthouse designs for the ATR-102. These recordings were made with the following signal chain (coming from analog source material on 2").

Otari MTR-90III > Console > ATR-102 1/2"


0:19 - Portland Pro Audio (30 IPS)
1:57 - Portland Pro Audio (15 IPS)
3:48 - Waltzing Bear Audio (30 IPS)
5:36 - Waltzing Bear Audio (15 IPS)

Playback was from a DI harness (thus the very low level.)

Conversion is PM HDCD M2 > Tascam DA-3000 CF card at 24/96.

Last edited by burns46824; 4 weeks ago at 12:16 AM..
Old 4 weeks ago
Lives for gear
IanBSC's Avatar
Man, I'm liking the 30ips versions a lot. I wouldn't bother with the 15ips.

It is surprising how much difference these penthouses make. I think that the Waltzing Bear one is "better" with more clarity and separation, and much more defined stereo imaging. However, the Portland Pro Audio seems more cohesive and musical, even if there is less separation and width.
Old 4 weeks ago
Thanks so much for your reply, Ian. We are going to have an in-depth listen today so I will get back to you with my thoughts.

One thing I will mention about 15 IPS...

Paul Stubblebine once told me that engineers often choose 30 IPS over 15 IPS simply because their playback electronics are not sufficiently detailed. We are using ATR electronics for playback, but keep in mind that a lot of the big dogs use ARIA or EAR electronics, which both have the ability to bring out a lot more detail in 15 IPS recordings...
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