Analogue Reel to Reel editions from Base2 Music


New Member
Jul 6, 2019
My record label is pleased to be selling a genuine analogue recording made in 2017 of organ works by César Franck performed by celebrated organist Jean-Paul Imbert of Paris. This recording was made in the Abbey of St Etienne in Caen, France, on an original 1886 Cavaillé-Coll organ. The recording is also available in multichannel surround sound on SACD, but the analogue is an independent mic set and feed going through Dolby A converters and into a modified Studer recorder by Tim de Paravacini, and silver interconnects by Gekko cables. The tapes are made to order direct from the master (2nd gen ) on RTM 911 tape and are available here: No digits were used in the making of this recording, just continously varying waves.
There are two more titles that are coming on stream shortly.
Jun 17, 2015
Here is a review:
Base2 Music is a new record label based in the UK for the audiophile. Dedicated to capturing the sound of pipe organs in top quality. Their first album is by Jean-Paul Imbert with a Franck program on the Cavaille-Coll Organ (1884) of the St. Etienne in Caen. Imbert has made some great albums in Toulouse but also in Caen. Jean-Paul Imbert puts down an impressive, driven Franck. With his musical playing, he transcends all kinds of discussions about tempi and registrations. Imbert does allow himself some freedoms, without falling into the frills as Guillou and Pincemaille have done. With the Chorals, he chooses the order II - III- I, but as a listener, you can, of course, manipulate that. The organ of the St. Etienne in Caen is among the top five of what the Cavaille-Coll genius has left us. What an instrument! Marie-Claire Alain also recorded for Erato Franck here in 1996 (almost complete). This instrument is one of those organs that you will never have enough recordings at home. And then the recording, because that is what it all started with this issue. Is it indeed something special? Yes, it is an experience. Even without using the equipment recommended for this recording, it is really enjoyable. To hear a Cavaille Coll that is as pure as if you were in St. Etienne. I can imagine that some people will find the sound a bit too direct. But the creamy sound of this Cavaille-Coll, wow! If you want to hear a fresh Franck on an organ from Cavaille-Coll and that has been recorded so well. That listener will want to buy this album and this support the very laudable initiative of Base2 Music - recording beautiful organs in exceptional quality. Keep up the good work!
Arjen Van Kralingen . (full review in dutch -
May 25, 2010
SF Bay Area
I received my copy a few days ago. Caesar Franck was a deeply religious man and composed some wonderful church organ music. This was before he became infatuated with a young music student who also cast a spell on several other of senior music faculty. You can hear the change in his music with his great violin piano sonata in A. BTW, Mrs. Franck also noticed the change.

Before then Franck wrote some of the most powerful church organ music (since Bach). As the review above describes, Cavaille-Coll was the premiere organ maker of his day and there are many of his instruments scattered around Europe and South America. Jake Purches, the engineer and producer of this album, has been able to capture the sound of this wonderful instrument, down to the deep bass pedals. The church, located in Caen, is just across the English Channel from Jake's home, south of London, and very near both the site of the famed Bayeux tapestry celebrating the invasion of Britain by William the Conqueror from this area of Normandy in 1066, and the site of the reverse invasion of the Allied Forces to the beaches of Normandy in June of 1944.

The tape captures the sound of the organ, without overwhelming the listener with layers of reverberation found in many organ recordings. It also captures the very deep bass (I think into the 20'sHz range - enough to give my big Velodyne DD-18 sub a workout), without shaking the furniture. I also very much enjoyed the performance of the organist Jean-Paul Imbert. The reviewer above is more knowledgeable about him than I. A great first recording for Jake Purches. Well worth the quite reasonable cost of the two reel albums. Artwork on the two tape cases is quite stunning also. Looking forward to the next release.

If you don't have R2R, Jake has also issued this on SACD, including multichannel. The tape, however, is completely analogue.

Likes: Jake Purches
Jun 17, 2015
One of the joys of labouring on these recordings (and its a labour believe me, but of love) is when people write back and say they enjoyed the tape. This makes the work most gratifying, and I feel encouraged to go on to the next project, for which I have three in the works at the moment. Another spectacular sound from Jean-Paul Imbert at the Seifert organ of Kevelaer (10,000 pipes!) on a project based on the 'Pasacaglia' and Wayne Marshall at the 2 year old Mascioni organ of Fátima Basilica in Portugal performing a mixed programme - and in a 13 second reverberation environment, which naturally had its challenges. But so far I am delighted with the sound, on stereo AND the multi channel digital version. Thank you very much for your support and interest. Jake Purches - Producer and audio engineer.

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