International Phonograph Inc. (IPI) was formed over 25 years ago with one thing in mind: to create the highest sound quality possible in the service of creative musicians.
The owner of IPI, Jonathan Horwich, has been recording, producing and mastering jazz and classical music since the mid 1960s. He has worked with such musicians as Stan Getz, Benny Goodman, Ravi Shankar, Chick Corea, Lee Konitz, Warne Marsh, Gary Peacock, Clare Fischer, Carmell Jones, Tony Williams, Richie Beirach, and many others.
Drawing on his extensive experience with high quality analog equipment, Jonathan conducted his own research and testing, uninfluenced by other opinions, to locate the finest equipment available. He has incorporated this superior equipment into the construction of IPI Studios, an analog and digital state-of-the-art facility that is second to none.
The focus at IPI has always been and will always be the music and the artist. We believe that a studio and its equipment exist only to serve the musician and help him or her achieve a musical concept or goal. Hence, when a master is created for manufacturing at IPI studios, it is to the highest industry standards, preserving the artist’s vision, concept, and yes, even the joy and enthusiasm that he or she invested in the music. (From their website)
When we inquired about their tape recording reproduction, this is what they have to say:
There are two categories of tape I produce for International Phonograph, Inc. The first is jazz newly recorded specifically on tape for this tape program. These performances are recorded using analog tape recorders. Normally, I record about 30 minutes of music so that it fits on one reel of tape. These recordings can be created with two microphones or multi microphones. The second category of tapes produced for IPI is master tapes from my library of jazz recorded over the years by me or those I associated with. These are more for the jazz aficionado who loves jazz as a priority and enjoys hearing jazz on the best media, analog tape. In some cases (almost a third, sub-category of the second) there are technical faults in the recording and I don’t post those for sale on the website. For instance, I have a master tape of Warne Marsh which is a brilliant performance but which has technical glitches. I find it stunning and exciting but some tape people do not as their priority is not the performance. Please email me about any of these unlisted recordings if you are a jazz buff. I will let you know what is available and what the technical bugs are in each case. I find the ones with the technical glitches as exciting as anything available today in jazz.
All tapes are ¼” two track, 15ips, IEC (CCIR), on 10.5 inch reels, at 250 nanowebers.
Jonathan Horwich is a music passionist and knows a lot about recording. He lives, breath and predicates audio, music and tape! I asked him for a sampler to evaluate and without hesitation he send me a nice aluminum 10.5″ reel inside an archival box with all the information needed.
My main listening room, which is 30′ long x 25′ wide and 10′ high, has professional acoustics installed where it were required and the actual room proof to be very flat and neutral. Early reflections has been properly controlled without resulting in a dull environment. My reference speakers are the Tannoy System 15, DMT II that I used in my Mastering business years ago. Many Gold, Platinum and Grammy awards were done with this pair. At this moment, I’m using a Crown Reference Amplifier, the Audiophile edition, full of power and dynamics. In this room, I have a Crown SX-822 custom made for me by Chuck Ziska, the Crowndoc himself, in a 1/2″ format with 7.5 and 15 ips speeds. I also have a Studer deck and 3 Nakamichi cassette decks.
Following the recommendations of the well known reviewer and audiophile Myles B. Astor concerning IPI tapes, I began my audio journey listening to Jonathan’s tape. As expected, the sound is superb, the miking technique is excellent and the “being there” sensation has been effortlessly obtained. Immediately, the selections played by Roebke, Konitz and Colby respectively, attracted my musician instincts. I felt the music, not just the sound, but the whole music experience which only an exceptional group of musicians together with a very experienced audio engineer could get.
Usually, with these kind of tapes, the levels are either very low and noisy or on the other extreme, way too high. In this case the levels were right where they’re supposed to be. A very dynamic, wide and natural ambience. Nice performance and nice recording. Who could ask for more?
Now I understand why the IPI recordings has a high group of followers among the audiophile circle and the reason why some of their tapes occupies a privileged position on the “best of the best” audiophile tape copies list. Besides this, you can usually get a nice material from IPI for just $150.00, hardly covering their cost, and from time to time special offers are available for those tape lovers in their emailing list.
I highly recommend these tapes for any Jazz lover and for those looking for the “best of the best” meal to feed their precious and vintage decks all around the world. Magnificent work, Jonathan. Kudos to you and your musicians. Your years of experience has paid off!
You can get more information about International Phonograph, Inc. at:
Tell Jonathan I send you…he may give you a discount!
Carlos J Guzmán-Senior Contributing Editor
Mono & Stereo High End Magazine