Opus 3 is a small independent recording company from Sweden. Their LP’s (and now SACD’s and CD’s) are used in high end audio shops, audio exhibitions and by audiophiles the world over because of their outstanding sound and interesting music.
Blumlein recording techniques dominate, as do valve (tube) electronics and microphones, resulting in extremely natural recordings with exemplary imaging and soundstaging.
For tape enthusiasts, the news is even better, as they are now making available copies of their superb analogue recordings on reel to reel tape. The standard is on 10.5 inch 2 track tape at 15ips with IEC EQ, but Jan-Eric, head of the company, has made copies available to me on 7″ reels at 7.5 ips with NAB EQ; he can also do 4 track, but recorded on one direction only to prevent crosstalk. If you email him for the format you want, you will find him very amenable to your needs.
The resulting tapes are a revelation: the musicians appear to be IN THE ROOM, the sound is that realistic. Dynamics are breathtaking and images are even more dimensional than on the other formats. The result is an involvement with the music and musicians on a level which is rarely achieved in recorded music.
If you have read my section on REEL TO REEL you have perhaps read between the lines this: reel to reel, even with 30 to 50 year old tapes gives audiophiles the sound we have all been seeking: dynamic, distortion free and involving. With the OPUS 3 tapes, reel to reel has reached its pinnacle: in my more than 50 years of being an audiophile and music lover, rarely, if ever, have I been so totally enthralled and involved as with these offerings from another enthusiast. If a non-audiophile person saw my set up and said, well just how good does it sound, I would without hesitation play an OPUS 3 tape.
The tapes are not cheap, but they are cheaper (and availabel!) than The Tape Project’s offerings. Moreover, they are worth every dollar if you value truly high end sound and great musicianship.
DISCAIMER: I paid full price for these tapes, I am in no way financially involved with OPUS 3. People who know me know that I call it as I see (hear) it. I admire Jan-Eric’s passion, expertise, talent!
Opus 3 no longer records analogue. J E is now a devotee of DSD. Here he and I differ. I don’t like DSD (and therefore SACD) sound. I find the impact of the music is missing, because the initial transients are softened. I have experimented with copying an analogue Opus 3 tape to digital 24 96k and I find it better than the DSD equivalent available from Opus3. J E does not agree with me. Such is audiophile life!