Review of new Alena Baeva & Vadym Kholodenko tapes.

I’ve been listening to both Alena and Vadym on one of Ed’s 15 IPS tapes and it’s head-shaking on more than a few levels.  The sound quality is reference grade that most have never heard.

You have to understand something about UltraAnalogue Recordings… there are no studios with an audiophile signal path like this. In fact most of them are all going through a large console, or on rare occasions directly to the tape machine with two microphones like UltraAnalogue, but the electronics and cables are not even on the same planet.  No-one else has anywhere near this type of signal path, at least none that I’m aware of on this side of the globe. You could buy a copy of master tape from any number of big name studios, and yes they will sound good, but none will have this kind of transparency or dynamics– they are a purists dream.  

As a side note, if you’re someone who has never gotten into classical music I have to say simply this… once sound quality and dynamics become this lucid you become entranced, energized, uplifted because you’ve never heard anything anywhere near that real sounding before.  The presence and the emotion is so tangible that the music becomes conscious and vaporizes categories.  It is what it is, music.  After the tape is over, your friend or wife walks in and say’s gee Bob, I can’t believe you’re listening to classical music!  Bob pauses and with a somewhat puzzled look on his face says “I was?”…  Holy crap!  Rewind the tape! 

I’ve gone on about their signal path in detail here many times… look it up and see what you’re really listening to and you will  have no choice but to buy one of his tapes, if for no other reason than the knowledge that this is a world reference audiophile standard for live two-track recordings made directly to the mastering deck through an insanely pure silver all tube signal path with large batteries and no cable connectors, everything is directly soldered!!!!!! Harvey Rosenburg always said you can tell the 1 in a million real audiophiles from the rest because they will have cut all the connectors off all the cables and solder everything directly together. This is UltraAnalogue Recordings.

From a fidelity and content perspective there really is no one better and I’ve invested thousands in listening to what’s out there. Naturally having literally the worlds best recording chain puts some real pressure on one to have equally staggering content and this again separates Ed’s tapes from so many others in the classical field. You can pay $400 a tape on eBay all day every day, just look, there are 100’s of them all the time. Never do they even mention the musicians or particular symphony that played the tape… it’s just the fact that is is a recording of a popular movement by a popular composer and everyone is suddenly happy to pay this sum of money!  It’s stupid when you can get the real deal from Ed Pong.  He goes after virtuoso artists and pairs them together in small groupings and trust me, you will know who you just listened to because the experience is that intimate.

I’ve said it before for those of you who are willing to spend 5K or more on part of your system, you can get a 15IPS NAB reel-to-reel on eBay and from a hand-full of small tape machine dealers for a grand or two, and you’ll spend probably another grand on a hand-full of tapes and be basking in the audiophile demo of all time. Imaging, dynamics, texture, depth, scale, weight, density, liquidity, detail, micro detail, dimensionality and emotional content for that knock your friends over demo that you can use anytime you need to get the big guns out, or say once every couple weeks just to blow your own mind!  Remember… a hundred thousand dollar vinyl rig will not sound this good!  Seriously, they proved it years ago at the audio shows and continue to do it every year.