Ken Kessler

Ken Kessler  |  Jan 12, 2021  |  0 comments
Ken Kessler brings you his guide to the best secondhand buys...

While it's true I am obsessed with open-reel tape, I am constantly reminded – not least via our postbag – that 'getting back into tape' is costly for both hardware and software. There are no current decks being produced besides the Ballfinger at £15,000+, brand new pre-recorded tapes start at £200, blanks ain't cheap for those who want to record their own music, and buying vintage pre-recorded tapes requires a sort of fortitude akin to driving in the London-to-Brighton veteran automobile rally.

Ken Kessler  |  Dec 29, 2020  |  0 comments
This month we review: Dr John, The Night Tripper, Joan Armatrading, Bob Dylan and Psychedelic Sex Kicks!
Ken Kessler  |  Dec 29, 2020  |  0 comments
This month, we review: Don Grusin, The Feminine Complex, Helen Reddy and STS 40th Anniversary In Sound Excellence.
Ken Kessler  |  Dec 22, 2020  |  Published: Nov 01, 1993  |  0 comments
hfnvintageCited as the best Mac ever built, the MC275 returns. Ken Kessler listens

Reissue, reincarnation, replica – call it what you will but just thank the audio gods that someone at McIntosh has a sense of history. Unlike other manufacturers who have either squandered their heritage or merely milked it as it suited them, McIntosh has – with the Gordon J Gow Commemorative MC275 power amplifier – performed an act of such 'correctness', such aptness, that it brings a tear to this anachrophile's eye.

Ken Kessler  |  Nov 30, 2020  |  0 comments
This month we review: Aretha Franklin, Count Basie, The Doll Squad and Whitesnake.
Ken Kessler  |  Nov 30, 2020  |  0 comments
This month, we review: The Guess Who, Grateful Dead, Joe Jackson and Keith Relf.
Ken Kessler  |  Nov 17, 2020  |  Published: Apr 01, 1990  |  0 comments
Koetsu enters the 1990s with a new standard-bearer in the shape of the hand-made Urushi moving-coil cartridge. Ken Kessler is smitten...

As I sat back and listened I thought, maybe it's the particular recording, perhaps it's my frame of mind but no – it can only be the cartridge. All I know is that my smooth and steady progress in coming to terms with CD has been set back to its 1985 level. Why? Because I was in peril of missing an important fact of hi-fi life, which is that just as CD hardware and software has been getting better and better, so has analogue.

Ken Kessler  |  Oct 29, 2020  |  0 comments
This month we review: B B King & Eric Clapton, Dire Straits, Idris Muhammad and Carly Simon.
Ken Kessler  |  Oct 29, 2020  |  0 comments
This month, we review: Shoes, Earth Wind & Fire, The Idle Race and The Love Revolution.
Ken Kessler  |  Oct 02, 2020  |  0 comments
Ken Kessler brings you his definitive guide to buying reel-to-reel tapes, new and secondhand

For any format, whether new or revived, it is the availability of pre-recorded music that determines its health. That's why the LP came back like gangbusters, and the otherwise-hugely-impressive Elcaset withered away. When it comes to the growing interest in reel-to-reel tapes, three routes exist for feeding the machines, and each has its adherents, while many users will adopt all three when building up a library.

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