Redefining Analog Tape Performance through new NextGen Outboard Tape Electronics. This unit uses the exceptional NextGen A80R/C Repro, Record, and newly-developed Bias/Erase Oscillator Card (seen on top of chassis in the picture).
The photo doesn't do the actual appearance justice, because the high-brightness 30-segment Green/Yellow/Red extended LED display, with the panel and RGB indicating push-button switches exposed properly, exceeds the dynamic range of the CCD image sensors on my 27MP Cannon camera.
SAFE (Green)/RECORD (Red), and INPUT(Blue)/REPRO (Green) indicating sealed pushbutton switches.
Extended range (-27 to +7dB) average-responding (VU-) metering with peak hold/decay, commensurate with the exceptional record/repro dynamic range of the NextGen record/repro electronics, achieving as much as 82 dB A-WTD SNR with less than 1% midband THD using SM900 tape (14 dB above 350nWb/m, 15 ips, CCIR).
To be available in 2-channel Repro Only, or Full 2-channel Tape Record and Repro configurations, and with several control interfaces available (High/LOW Speed Selection, and Record), for interface to a number of professional grade tape transports (decks); among these Studer A80VU, Ampex ATR-102, and Nagra-T are available/planned.
"I received my outboard cards/frame from Jeff a couple weeks ago for use with my Ampex ATR-102. Since Jeff lives not too far from me, he came up to do the install and measurements and we did quite a lot of listening. The outboard frame is really nice- the cards just plug in, and there are very high quality (low noise) LED VU meters as well as switches for tape speed (I have 15/30 ips) and to turn the VU Meters off. I do not do any recording, at least right now, but the chassis has slots for Record cards if I want them in the future. We experimented with the rear panel "Standard" balanced outputs as well as the actual front of card outputs in balanced or single ended mode (depending on which cable adaptor we plugged it). As others have found here, the front panel outputs provided noticeable greater transparency as there is less buffering. Jeff did a little tweaking to match my Ampex metal heads and the measured frequency response was ruler flat up to 20K! (+ or - less than 0.5db in most cases; all well less than 1 db except at head bump which was only slightly higher). Most importantly, the sonics knocked my socks off! Mind blowing low level detail revealed never before heard spatial cues and hall/venue information. The cards are extremely low noise which aids of course in revealing the low level and micro-detail. Exceptional, true "studio recorder" dynamic range- wow! Above all, very "musical", non sterile. I am very happy! Jeff is a pleasure to work with and brilliant in what he does."
Tom C - xtremefidelity.net