If you’re a collector of vintage commercially-released tapes, here’s something that might interest you. A short while ago I received an email from US-based music lover Kabir Bhatia, who had just discovered the reel-to-reel rambler and who kindly offered to share with readers a listing he’d compiled of the tapes that were released by the … More One for collectors of vintage commercially-released tapes: the Columbia House Record Club
You know that irksome feeling when you really want to hate something but you can’t help loving it? Worse still, have you ever waxed lyrical in the public domain about how terrible something is, and then found yourself being blown away by it? Then you’ll understand how poor Ken Kessler feels, as this self-confessed cassette … More Still reeling: Ken Kessler discovers audiophile cassettes
The Munich High-End Show always seems to go from strength to strength and for me 2019 was the best year yet – not least because of a number of enticing developments in the niche-but-growing world of audiophile tape. I had a brilliant few days catching up with a range of tape movers and shakers. Here’s … More The High-End Show 2019: the rambler reports on some exciting reel-to-reel happenings in Munich
The renowned Swiss analogue hi-fi brand Thorens, known for its excellent turntables, has recently announced that it is working with none other than Ballfinger to launch a brand new reel-to-reel player, designed for home use. The machine is due for launch in summer 2020 with a limited production of 100 units. Its estimated price will … More Another brand new, modern R2R deck is on its way… check out a preview of the Thorens TM 1600 at the Munich High-End Show 2019!
“It began with vinyl, and cassettes closely followed. But now reel-to-reel tape decks have joined the analogue revival and are making a comeback, as musicians reject new technology for the ‘unbelievable’ sound of the classic machines.” So writes journalist Laura FitzPatrick in this weekend’s Sunday Telegraph, a national newspaper with a print run of around … More R2R goes mainstream as the ‘return of reel-to-reel’ is heralded in the UK’s Sunday Telegraph newspaper (hint: the rambler may have given them a tip-off!)
So, I’ve been investigating the subject of tape operating levels. Or, to use the more technical-sounding term, reference fluxivity. I actually started looking into it a few months ago but it’s taken me this long to get my thoughts into enough of a semblance of order to write something vaguely coherent! Why? Well, it turns … More Tape operating level aka ‘reference fluxivity’: what’s it all about (and why should you care)?
About six months ago I penned my first review of a tape from Toronto-based UltraAnalogue Recordings, Shostakovich Cello Sonata & Elgar’s Salut d’Amour. To say that I enjoyed myself would be an understatement (have I mentioned how much I love my job?) and so it was only a matter of time before I went back … More Review: a classical musical masterclass from UltraAnalogue Recordings
In a recent review of Lyn Stanley’s Moonlight Sessions, I mentioned (and was seriously impressed by) the fact that the albums were recorded and mixed by the legendary engineer and producer Al Schmitt. And then, the other day, I recalled that Analogy Records’ owner Roberto Vigo trained under the very same Al Schmitt. In fact … More Al Schmitt interview podcast on AudioStream
Intrepid R2R junkie Ken Kessler didn’t always have a bountiful stock of tapes. Everybody has to start somewhere, after all. Here, Ken casts his mind back to the early days of his open-reel tape habit and recounts how he got started building up a collection of pre-recorded reel-to-reels. When Tim de Paravicini demo’d a mint … More Kicking off the Kessler collection: in which tape junkie Ken Kessler recounts his early forays into the world of pre-recorded reel-to-reels
In 2018, hi-fi journalist Neville Roberts flew to Venice to attend the live recording of audiophile label Chasing the Dragon’s Vivaldi in Venice album. At home in the UK, Dave Denyer listens to the recording on copy master tape. Spoiler alert: “this is one of the most wonderfully captivating examples of the recording art I’ve ever … More Vivaldi in Venice part 2: a post-script from the rambler’s listening room