UK-based Super Audio Mastering is the first studio in Europe to takedelivery of an ATR analog mastering deck with Aria Reference SeriesClass-A discrete electronics by David Hill. Equipped for playback inboth 1/2-inch and 1/4-inch stereo and full track mono formats, theATR/Aria machine was custom-modified and remanufactured by MichaelSpitz of ATR Services in York, Pa.
Pictured: Super Audio Mastering’s owner/chief engineer SimonHeyworth and his new ATR/Aria
Heyworth confesses that he invested in the ATR/Aria deck withoutever having heard a live, in-person demonstration of its capabilities.“I knew of Mike Spitz’s history with Ampex, and I wasfamiliar with Dave Hill’s electronics design,” he says.“Also, I had heard the Rolling Stones SACD reissues, which camefrom Aria transfers, so I expected it would be absolutely spot-on. AndI was right.”
Super Audio Mastering is housed in a round stonebuilding—originally built as part of a farmhouse complex in the1860s—located near the village of Chagford in Devon.“Thestone walls are two feet thick and mounted on bedrock, so nothingreally moves,” Heyworth notes, “except themusic!”