Noting some controversy on the web over the sound quality of the dCS Bartok here is a reminder of the HIFICRITIC findings.
by Martin Colloms, First Published HiFi News, June 1978
The last year or so has seen the emergence of a new generation of high-quality open-reel tape decks, of which four are investigated here. As the price span ranges from £500-£600 for the Sony and Revox models to £850 for the Technics and £950 for the basic Pioneer assembly, these units are not strictly comparable, although their relative performances are nonetheless interesting.
All four recorders subscribe to the 'professional' format, namely a 26.5cm diameter maximum reel capacity with at least two high speeds (19 and 38cm/sec), and a two-channel half-track format on 6.25mm (¼in) tape. However, strictly speaking they should be called 'semi-professional', as although they are essentially capable of master quality recordings, they do differ from true studio machines in several respects. For example, the input and output connections of professional machines are generally balanced-line with Cannon or similar type sockets. In contrast, the review models are all unbalanced, with phono and DIN-type inputs and outputs, plus lower line levels.
Dick Weindling and Marianne Colloms for HIFICRITIC
It was sad to hear that Chris Barber, the jazz trombonist and band leader, died aged 90, on 2 March 2021. He was very influential in developing a version of New Orleans jazz in the 1950s which led the way to skiffle, British blues, the Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
A few years ago I had lunch with the late Harold Pendleton and his wife Barbara. Harold was a chartered accountant with a love of jazz, and he told me when he arrived from Southport in 1948 to work in London, the first thing he did was to go to Dobells Record Shop at 77 Charing Cross Road. Harold was thumbing through the jazz racks and got talking to another customer. He was Chris Barber. They became acquainted and Harold became the manager of Chris’ band and a lifelong friend. Harold went on to open the famed Marquee Club in 1958, and with his wife Barbara organised the National Jazz and Blues festivals held in Windsor and later Reading.
HIFICRITIC Volume 14 Number 3 July-August-September 2020
Preview: HIFICRITIC Vol 14 No2 April-June 2020 issue
I have almost lost count of the 100 or so listening tests recently conducted on network cables and net switches, scrutinised with the aid of an exacting audio system founded on a Naim ND555 streamer with dual PS555DR supplies. With such a task you have to be prepared for a proportion of null results, i.e. no change or no discernible difference, and even these results need repeating just to be sure – as sure as you can be, in that set up, with that state of acuity, with that system, and those chosen track(s).
Historical Review: Martin Colloms April 1993
Tannoy has made steady progress on the studio monitor market over decades. Medium sized monitors are required to have a performance envelope which reaches beyond the capability of most domestic speaker designs. Low coloration, subtlety and transparency may be the provenance of high quality domestic speakers; the professional monitor must be capable of very high standards in terms of dynamics, 'speed', power handling and loudness as well as outright sound quality. Furthermore it must be highly analytical. It does not have to sound 'nice'; rather it must faithfully reveal both flaws and qualities in the monitored signal source.
Martin Colloms has a passion for audio and music and has written for many of the key hi-fi magazines worldwide.