United Home Audio

As well as listening to hi-rez digital files on the MBL system, I auditioned 15ips open-reel tapes from the Tape Project on a much modified Tascam recorder from United Home Audio. UHA's Greg Beron (that's Greg's hand in the photo) replaces the heads with low-impedance ones sourced from the company that supplies Abbey Road Studios in London, wired with single-crystal cable and silk-dielectric caps. A UHA machine costs $8000–$17,000 depending on the level of work the customer needs, and the machine is lined-up to be compatible with Tape Project tapes. Listening to a Decca orchestral recording of Suite Espanole, I was reminded how good analog tape playback could be. Even a mono Thelonious Monk cut from 50 years ago sounded fresh.
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COMMENTS
Plush's picture

I am an analog tape freak and recording mang. I'm sorry, but the prices asked here for this machine are not credible. The reason is that the original machine does not have a good high resolution capable tape path.

So, sadly, any improvements done to the electronics, heads etc. cannot help change the fact that the tape path is strictly a consumer grade one. This despite the Studer or Nagra like asking price.

 

with thanks,

Plush

Pro-Audio-Tech's picture

I was in pro audio sales and repair for many years. We sold various decks including Tascam and we serviced everything. I would agree that the plastic Tascam's like the 32's and 38's were not that well made, but that's the way they were priced. Even at those prices they were pretty reliable. 

This deck is clearly based on a BR-20 and it actually has a nice tape path with features found on any high quality studio deck. Servo controlled tape tension arms, sealed bearings on the idlers, tape logic control, reliable motors, just a well made Japanese deck, this is no consumer grade tape transport. Fact was these were the most reliable decks we sold, never ate any tape and ran without a hitch.

In the shop my boss would love to see a guy come in with a Studer or a Revox because he knew we were gonna make some real dough. Better yet a Nagra so he could charge them a zillion for parts and the guy could wait 3 months to get them! Eproms were always an issue, that damn battery when you replace it you wipe out your eproms and nothing works at all, the motors are quite expensive, all in all can be a  costly and aggravating venture.

Sorry to be a downer but many people get into these hyped up European decks who clearly don't know the inherent problems. Then they find that they are over their head and shelling out some real money getting the deck running correctly.

Pro-Audio-Tech's picture

superaudiolistener's picture

I had a Crown open real deck back in the 70's, loved that deck should have never sold it. Gotta say I am absolutely familiar with open reel tape and the awesome sound it is capable of, but the sound I heard at RMAF 2011 from the United Home Audio deck was DIFFERENT.

It was dead quiet, the tape had no hiss between tracks I could hear whatsoever, even at high volume levels. The sound was so dynamic, so tight and clean, great balanced and just so damn alive sounding. I was pulled back to the room many times at RMAF and I heard both master tapes and also rock and jazz  that was recorded from vinyl on the deck, both were just awesome. I heard quite allot of buzz at the show about the sound in this room, especially because the Jolida mono amps and preamp were $6000!

Best sounding room at RMAF 2011.

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