Steve's Reference System

The Reference System
Whenever Steve gets "lost" in worrying about what something should really sound like on a particular tape or album that he's remastering, he refers back to his reference - real acoustic instruments! Many people are not aware that Steve is a trained musician, and has played drums, guitar and keyboards. Here's his vintage drum kit, which he keeps set up in an ancillary room near the monitoring studio. While we were visiting him, a question arose as to what kind of tube was more correct in a particular amplifier application- a KT-88 or a 6550 - each of which has a characteristic "sound" of its own. A quick trip to the Ludwig "Reference System" soon told us that, in this particular application, the 6550 was rendering a truer depiction of the sound of real cymbals!

Also note the two Symposium Ultra Ampstands (on the floor at left) which Peter Bizlewicz is about to place under Steve's vintage 1959 Ampex 351-2 vacuum tube tape machine.