As work days go, this one was surely right up there in the top ranks. Earlier this week I had the enormous good fortune to spend a day in the studio with Mike Valentine, owner and producer of the audiophile record label Chasing The Dragon.
It’s that time of year again folks… when hi-fi’s greatest hitters from around the globe flock to the world’s largest audio exhibition. Yes music lovers, High End Munich 2018 is almost upon us. So, just before I get packing, here are some of the highlights I’ll be heading for.
You’ve no doubt heard the rumours. You may have read a few teasers. Perhaps you wondered whether it would actually happen. It’s happening. In May 2018, high-end audio brand Metaxas & Sins will launch one of the world’s first modern day open reel tape recorders. If you’re familiar with the unique work of creator Kostas Metaxas, you’ll know to expect something extremely special indeed, where superlatively authentic sound meets breathtaking design.
You know that feeling when you discover a new musician, band, singer or orchestra… or, even better, a long-standing one that’s new to you but since they’re not actually new, there’s already a back-catalogue of treats to look forward to? Oh boy, is that a good feeling!
Here’s what makes it even better: when the recordings in question are on reel-to-reel tape. The ultimate double whammy – brilliant musicians, superlatively captured.
So allow me to introduce you to Italian cellist Enrico Dindo and his chamber orchestra, I Solisti di Pavia. But before we get down to proper introductions, let me just say that this is the second time that the Italian music label Open Reel Records has introduced me to a significant musical talent of which I was previously unaware. Consider my hat tipped and cap doffed in true gratitude.
Do you live, breathe, eat, sleep and dream music and sound? Then, dear reader, I’m delighted to report that I’ve discovered something that can help: The Audiophile’s Clinic. Don’t worry, this isn’t a rehab clinic. Nobody’s going to try to cure you of your addiction. On the contrary, the aim of The Audiophile’s Clinic is to help ensure that you can indulge freely in your obsession (sorry, hobby), delve yet further into your passion for music and feed your need for audio nirvana unimpeded. To put it another way, The Audiophile’s Clinic is here to ensure your musical wellbeing.
Continue reading Got an audio ailment? Need some hi-fi healing or reel-to-reel rehab? Allow me to introduce you to The Audiophile’s Clinic
Here’s a new year brain teaser: what was first attempted in Austria, shortly thereafter taken up in Germany and is now being hotly pursued by a Greek? The answer (of course, given the above title) is the development of a brand new reel-to-reel tape deck. And whoever gets there first will have quite the world exclusive to their credit – even if just briefly, given the others at their heels…
Continue reading Will 2018 be the year of reel-to-reel, as Metaxas & Sins announces the creation of new ‘GQT’ Portable Analogue Tape Recorder, and the Ballfinger M-063 comes to market?
In my previous ramble I introduced you to Mike Valentine. Then again, chances are you knew of him already. To some, he’s a renowned underwater film cameraman credited on an enviable list of A-list movies. To others, he’s the owner of the excellent UK audiophile record label, Chasing the Dragon, with quite a reputation for his stunning quality direct-cut vinyl albums. To me, however, he will always be the man who is to blame. Or, to put it another way, the man to whom I shall be eternally grateful. For what? For my near-religious conversion to open reel tape and the enormous amount of listening pleasure I’ve enjoyed since. Can I tell you the story? Go on, indulge me….
Audiophile record label Chasing the Dragon has been causing quite a stir with its superb quality direct-cut vinyl albums. Earlier this year, the label also began to release master tape versions of those albums, taken from simultaneous recordings of the exact same live studio performances. As a lover of both vinyl and tape, I couldn’t wait to compare them – providing the perfect excuse for another reel-to-reel ramble….
Continue reading Open reel tape versus direct-cut vinyl: two versions of Chasing the Dragon’s superb ‘A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald’ go head to head
In which a die-hard analogue man with a serious open reel tape habit discovers a digital elephant in his listening room… and is forced to dismount from his high horse and listen!
Continue reading Talking tape: Where digital (successfully) meets analogue… meet Analogy Records
Eduard Kunz: Sonatas
Beethoven Piano Sonata in C Major No.21 Op.53 ‘Waldstein’, plus Brahms Piano Sonata No. 3 in F Minor Op.5
Open Reel Records
They don’t call me the ‘rambling reviewer’ for nothing and this, dear reader, will be no exception. But stick with me and you may well be handsomely rewarded, because there is a point to my ramblings and we will, I promise you, get to it. Continue reading “Staggering”. David Denyer is blown away by Open Reel Records’ recording of Eduard Kunz on master tape: “the greatest pianist I’d never heard of”