A bit of a side-ramble here, triggered by an article in The New Scientist magazine that caught my attention. The headline was ‘Large Hadron Collider sticks with reels of tape for vast storage needs’ and I thought, woah, hang on a minute, are they seriously suggesting that the immense volumes of data generated by one … More Magnetic tape: the format of choice for world-leading scientists!
Just released (30th July) is an exciting limited deluxe edition double tape recording from Canadian label 2xHD: legendary jazz pianist Bill Evans’ Some Other Time: The Lost Session From The Black Forest. Fans of jazz will no doubt know Evans through his association with Miles Davis, notably on the iconic album Kind of Blue (me … More New limited deluxe edition double tape from 2xHD: Bill Evans’ ‘Some Other Time: The Lost Session From The Black Forest’
Count Basie is one of hundreds of artists thought to have lost much of his archive material in the 2008 Universal Studios fire. A 2019 New York Times Magazine exposé (‘The Day the Music Burned’) asserted that the fire destroyed between 118,000 and 175,000 audio master tapes belonging to Universal Music Group. Fortunately, his 1970 album High Voltage was released on MPS, the German … More High times with the Count Basie Orchestra’s ‘High Voltage’ from Horch House
Back in the pre-pandemic days (remember those?) it was mooted in various places (e.g. Stereonet, What’s Best Forum) that French company Analog Audio Design was working on a design for a new tape deck. Such announcements are always hugely exciting news – but then the world went a bit AWOL and, I’ll be honest, my … More Analog Audio Design launches a brand new tape deck
Back in January 2020 (that’s BC – before Covid) I discovered the Hungarian band Djabe and was hugely excited to learn that they were (a) working with ex-Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett, and (b) releasing albums on tape (if you missed that blog, it’s here: Discovering Djabe). Since then I’ve become a confirmed fan so here … More Djabe & Steve Hackett: The Journey Continues Tour on tape
Greg Beron at United Home Audio has launched “an all out assault on tape playback” with his brand new UHA SuperDeck. “This is the ‘ne plus ultra’ of high-fidelity playback, built from the very best of every single piece and part, cost no object,” he says. Selected highlights from the list of ingredients include: An outboard … More Could this be the best tape deck money can buy? The all new ‘SuperDeck’ from United Home Audio
Back in March we discovered US-based Kevin Root’s RX Reels, high quality tape reels made from upcycled aviation grade carbon fibre that look great and easily out-perform the usual plastic types. Ken Kessler recently checked them out for soundstagehifi.com. “When you remove them from the box, you sense the flatness, the precision, and—lo and behold!—in … More “Among the mechanically best I’ve ever seen”: Ken Kessler gives RX Reels a spin
Of the five tapes I recently bought from Analogue Productions (see A ramble around the tape catalogue of Analogue Productions), I figured the best place to start review-wise would be Hugh Masekela’s Hope, since I already had the phenomenal Analogue Productions 45rpm vinyl version as a basis for comparison. So, before we get going, let’s … More Hugh Masekela’s ‘Hope’ from Analogue Productions: how much better can it sound on tape than the already superb vinyl?
Many of you, whether you’re a tape head or a general audiophile, will already be familiar with Analogue Productions. Formed in 1992 by Chad Kassem, Analogue Productions is the record label division of Acoustic Sounds, the mail-order hifi and music retail business Kassem founded in 1986. It has since become one of the industry’s major … More A ramble around the tape catalogue of Analogue Productions
If you read Ken Kessler’s ‘Off the leash’ column in the May issue of Hi-Fi News, you’ll know that he recently added another 200 open-reel tapes to his collection, along with a dozen used LPs. Sorting through his haul to separate the gems from the dross, the near-pristine from the unplayable, he noticed something interesting … More “Through the past, darkly”: Ken Kessler ponders the condition of pre-owned tapes and what it can tell us about their history