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

New carbon fibre tape reels from RX Reels combine high performance with good looks

Produced using upcycled aviation grade carbon fibre for superior strength, durability and weight, RX Reels’ new tape reels won’t warp or bend – and they make your tape deck look about as good as it sounds. Kevin Root started saving for his first reel-to-reel tape player at age 13, but in fact it was another … More New carbon fibre tape reels from RX Reels combine high performance with good looks

Discovering Alena Baeva with UltraAnalogue Recordings: part 3 – Schumann’s Violin Sonata No. 2 in D minor, Op 121

Alena Baeva is fast emerging as one of the finest violinists of her generation. A protégée of the late, great Russian cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich, and of multi-award wininng Japanese conductor Seiji Ozawa, she’s been described as a ‘magnetic presence’ and a ‘constantly fascinating sound technician’. I’ve been hooked ever since I first saw … More Discovering Alena Baeva with UltraAnalogue Recordings: part 3 – Schumann’s Violin Sonata No. 2 in D minor, Op 121