Adolph Thal Audio Engineering

audiotape playback perfected

ATAE designs and builds hardware for the optimum
playback of legacy analog music master tapes.

 

 

SHRO headblocks

We pioneered single-head read-only (SHRO) tape path architecture and headblocks over 20 years ago and today we are internationally recognized for our expertise in this specialized area. ATAE SHRO headblocks for our Model One and Model Two reproducers are available in a wide variety of formats to meet the exacting requirements of professionals working in legacy analog master tape preservation and transfer.

 

 

With ATAE SHRO tape path architecture, the moving tape comes into contact with only a single stationary object: the replay head. Our early generation SHRO headblocks like that pictured here were built from remaining stocks of genuine Studer parts. Today we are building them from entirely new components manufactured by us in California.

With ATAE SHRO tape path architecture, the moving tape comes into contact with only a single stationary object: the replay head. Our early generation SHRO headblocks like that pictured here were built from remaining stocks of genuine Studer parts. Today we are building them from entirely new components manufactured by us in California.

“Some assume that we developed the SHRO headblock designs in order to experience what tape playback without scrape flutter would sound like. But the original reason we first experimented with SHRO was because of sticky-shed syndrome. It was in early 1987 that we first realized that the strange new chemical instabilities we were seeing in magnetic tape binder formulations was a phenomenon not limited to any one tape manufacturer. It was actually appearing industry wide! I remember that many of the people then still working on tape machine design viewed the unexplained new sticky-shed problem as the final nail in the coffin for analog tape. But it spurred me to start re-thinking how we were playing back the hundreds of thousands of existing priceless master tapes. It made me see that these tapes were indeed quite fragile and requiring special care.”

A. F. (Fred) Thal

 

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