Could this be the best tape deck money can buy? The all new ‘SuperDeck’ from United Home Audio

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

“Among the mechanically best I’ve ever seen”: Ken Kessler gives RX Reels a spin

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

Hugh Masekela’s ‘Hope’ from Analogue Productions: how much better can it sound on tape than the already superb vinyl?

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?

A ramble around the tape catalogue of Analogue Productions

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

“Through the past, darkly”: Ken Kessler ponders the condition of pre-owned tapes and what it can tell us about their history

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

Neville Roberts reviews RX Reels’ carbon fibre tape reels

When I was first asked to review a 10½ inch NAB spool that offered to combine high performance with good looks, I was a little sceptical.  Yes, I can imagine that a well-designed spool can improve the look of a tape deck, but I couldn’t see how it could improve performance.  However, I like to … More Neville Roberts reviews RX Reels’ carbon fibre tape reels

Another tape label to add to the listings: Smart Audio Recording Lab

It’s always a treat to discover a new (to me) recording label that’s issuing music on open reel tape, so I was pleased to hear from Mikhail Mamonov, the founder of Smart Audio Recording Lab. Based in Kirov city, Russia, Smart Audio is a custom-designed recording studio that also operates as a tape label, releasing its … More Another tape label to add to the listings: Smart Audio Recording Lab

The George Fludas Organ Quartet from International Phonograph: behind the scenes (part 2 of 2)

In part 1 of of this piece I introduced and reviewed The George Fludas Organ Quartet on copy master tape from Chicago-based International Phonograph Inc. Here, we venture behind the scenes at IPI to discover more about how the tape was made. I’m grateful to IPI’s Jonathan Horwich for sending me some notes and photographs … More The George Fludas Organ Quartet from International Phonograph: behind the scenes (part 2 of 2)

“One of the greatest drummers to come out of Chicago”: The George Fludas Organ Quartet from International Phonograph (part 1 of 2)

According to jazz critic John Corbett, “George Fludas is one of the greatest drummers ever to come out of Chicago, an impeccable swinger with imagination, class, moxie, and a clear sense of the full span of jazz tradition.” So, while there are several titles in International Phonograph Inc’s (IPI) collection that I’d been coveting, this … More “One of the greatest drummers to come out of Chicago”: The George Fludas Organ Quartet from International Phonograph (part 1 of 2)

Scientists unwind the mysteries of ‘sticky shed syndrome’ and why baking damaged tapes renders them playable again

One of the most commonly reported effects of pandemic lockdown is a day-to-day struggle with maintaining focused attention. And so, when researching some piece of hi-fi news, I sometimes finding myself meandering around the internet hopping from one link to the next like Alice bouncing down the rabbit hole to Wonderland. Sometimes the net result … More Scientists unwind the mysteries of ‘sticky shed syndrome’ and why baking damaged tapes renders them playable again