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

Vintage hits: Hi-Fi News reviews four ‘new’ open-reel decks (new in 1978, that is!)

Each month, Hi-Fi News magazine raids its vault to bring you an article from its vast archive of features and reviews from yesteryear. The December 2020 issue ran a review from way back in June 1978, in which Martin Colloms put four ‘new’ top-quality open-reel decks to the test. Ah, those were the days eh. … More Vintage hits: Hi-Fi News reviews four ‘new’ open-reel decks (new in 1978, that is!)

Ken Kessler’s surprising support of cassettes (and no-one’s as surprised as Ken himself!)

Hoist on my own petard, I closed a previous column (back in the early days of COVID-19!) with the words, “Next Month: The Surprising Sounds of A Crap Format”. Well, COVID-19 and back problems delayed the column in question, but here’s the essence of it: my own, odd, support of cassettes. Let’s not mince words. … More Ken Kessler’s surprising support of cassettes (and no-one’s as surprised as Ken himself!)

R2R is ‘most wanted’ format for a comeback: Hi-Fi Choice

Which audio format would you most like to see making a comeback, enjoying success again? This was the question Hi-Fi Choice magazine recently put to its readers, and the results are…. R2R comes out on top! 38% of Hi-Fi Choice readers picked R2R as their preferred format  for a comeback. Gotta be happy with that! … More R2R is ‘most wanted’ format for a comeback: Hi-Fi Choice

Neville Roberts reviews ‘Yuko Mabuchi plays Miles Davis’ from Yarlung Records

The audiophile recording label Yarlung Records is all about helping young musicians. Once such musician – Yuko Mabuchi – has just released another album for jazz aficionados; this time, as a homage to Miles Davis.  Yarlung offer their recordings in a variety of formats, including superb quality copy-master tapes. The album ‘Yuko Mabuchi plays Miles … More Neville Roberts reviews ‘Yuko Mabuchi plays Miles Davis’ from Yarlung Records

Discovering Alena Baeva with UltraAnalogue Recordings: part 2 – Beethoven & Mozart

In part 1 of Discovering the amazing Alena Baeva you found me tugging at UltraAnalogue Recordings’ Ed Pong’s coat tails like an over-excited kid, dying to get my hands on five tapes of virtuoso violinist Alena Baeva performing in Toronto. Having seen her perform live in the UK twice, and having had the immense pleasure of meeting … More Discovering Alena Baeva with UltraAnalogue Recordings: part 2 – Beethoven & Mozart