Copper


Natural born kessler


A Visit to the Paris Audio Video Show

Issue 202Natural Born Kessler

“We'll always have Paris...” Ken Kessler dons a trench coat and fedora to retrace Bogie’s footsteps with a visit to the Paris Audio Video Show. It’s been six years since...

Back to My Reel-to-Reel Roots, Part Five: Tape ...

Issue 200Natural Born Kessler

Previous installments in this series appeared in Issues 196, 197, 198 and 199. I feel like a rabbi talking a non-Jew out of converting to Judaism. It’s incumbent on him or...

Back To My Reel-To-Reel Roots, Part Four: Makin...

Issue 199Natural Born Kessler

By now it has been established that my renewed interest in reel-to-reel is unnaturally narrow, in that I am not a recordist in any manner. I may be the only...

Back to My Reel-to-Reel Roots, Part Three

Issue 198Natural Born Kessler

Just so there are no misunderstandings, I have to explain to you how focused is my interest in reel-to-reel tape. I absolutely don’t want to be challenged or trolled by...

Back To My Reel-to-Reel Roots, Part Two

Issue 197Natural Born Kessler

Ken Kessler recounts the hardware phase of his re-entry into the world of open-reel tape, as a cautionary tale and a guide-of-sorts to help you maintain your sanity.   As...

Back to My Reel-to-Reel Roots, Part One

Issue 196Natural Born Kessler

Along with many mainstream audio publications and websites, Copper – in fact, more than most – has actively acknowledged and supported the revival in open-reel tape. Its contributors have dug deep into...

STOP PRESS: A Copper Sneak Preview! Back to My ...

Issue 191Natural Born Kessler

KK hears a new high-end speaker under beta testing, and it’s a stunner.   Those who have followed my scribbling over the years will know that I have no greater...

Back to My Reel-to-Reel Roots, Part 31

Issue 190Natural Born Kessler

The Cassette is Back – Or is It? – An Investigation, Part Two It’s taking all I can muster not to be smug about the absurdity of the return of...

Back to My Reel-to-Reel Roots, Part 30

Issue 189Natural Born Kessler

The Cassette is Back! Or is It? – An Investigation, Part One As is the wont of half-informed mainstream newspaper and lifestyle journalists – primarily when dealing with specialist subjects...

Back to My Reel-to-Reel Roots, Part 29: Tonbrid...

Issue 187Natural Born Kessler

Like the recent AXPONA hi-fi event in Chicago, deemed by all to be a roaring success, the latest Tonbridge AudioJumble in early March was certainly one of the best, but...

Celebrating the Linn Sondek LP12 Turntable, Par...

Issue 180Natural Born Kessler

Ken Kessler recounts anecdotes from the LP12’s heyday to create an impressionistic picture of the scene in the 1980s. For those who “weren’t there” – that is, living in the...

Celebrating the Linn Sondek LP12 Turntable, Par...

Issue 179Natural Born Kessler

It was the turntable that rattled cages around the world in the 1980s and 1990s – Ken Kessler, with jaundiced eye, recalls the power of the Linn Sondek LP12. It’s...

Back to My Reel-to-Reel Roots: The Cassette Str...

Issue 178Natural Born Kessler

As noted in previous installments, including my report on the recent AudioJumble in the UK (Issue 164) and a later column (Issue 175) about the emergence of a new generation...

Back to My Reel-to-Reel Roots: Noodge and Ye Sh...

Issue 177Natural Born Kessler

If you recall my installment in Issue 171, I recounted how my incessant pestering of Kevin Root of RX Reels drove him to silence me by producing a 7-inch version...

Michael Jackson’s Thriller: Mobile Fidelity’s 4...

Issue 176Natural Born Kessler

As one who has been reviewing reissues on vinyl and CD for nearly 40 years – yes, I’ve been around the hi-fi press for that long – two or three...

Back to My Reel-to-Reel Roots, Part 26: Half Fu...

Issue 175Natural Born Kessler

Back to the Future: despite his glass always being half-empty or even cracked and leaking, Ken Kessler finds reasons to be cheerful. Unlike my ever-optimistic colleague and friend Mikey Fremer,...

Back to My Reel-to-Reel Roots, Part 25: Half-Fu...

Issue 174Natural Born Kessler

Ken Kessler looks again at the availability of reel-to-reel hardware – and drools with envy  All it took were the words of a semi-troll/moron replying to an Instagram posting. Up...

Back to My Reel-to-Reel Roots, Part 24: The R2R...

Issue 173Natural Born Kessler

Ken Kessler assesses the increase in the reel-to-reel presence at the Tonbridge AudioJumble. Only five months have passed since the previous AudioJumble, but cataclysmic events have taken place in that...

Reel-to-Reel Roots, Part 23: Better Than Rice K...

Issue 172Natural Born Kessler

Ken Kessler revels in the stories told by scraps of paper found in tape boxes However old the tapes, however worn and unloved, nothing amuses or delights me as much...

Back to My Reel-to-Reel Roots, Part 22: Reel-to...

Issue 171Natural Born Kessler

To noodge is Yiddish for “to pester,” but with a vengeance. It isn’t just whining and nagging. It’s full-blown, incessant, won’t-take-no-for-an-answer annoyance. That’s how I managed to drive RX Reels’...

Back to My Reel-to-Reel Roots, Part 21: The Bes...

Issue 170Natural Born Kessler

With the myriad changes which have inevitably affected audio pursuits over the years – the return of vinyl, the decline in the numbers of print magazines and hi-fi shops –...

Adventures In Hi-Fi – Read All About It

Issue 169Natural Born Kessler

In this summer break from his reel-to-reel activities, Ken Kessler discusses an important new book, Richard F. Colburn’s Adventures In Hi-Fi. Unlike most industries, high-end audio – or, for that matter,...

Back to My Reel-to-Reel Roots, Part 20: (Not) L...

Issue 168Natural Born Kessler

At the risk of courting lawsuits from retired octogenarians, I find myself unable to resist attacking the easiest of targets: record labels. To be more precise, the major labels circa...

Back to My Reel-to-Reel Roots, Part 19: Reports...

Issue 167Natural Born Kessler

(Please note that this installment relates directly to the previous column, published in Issue 166.) Having established that my comparison between the Tuchel and the four-banana-sockets line-level outputs on the Nagra IV-S...

Back to My Reel-to-Reel Roots, Part 18: Reports...

Issue 166Natural Born Kessler

Open-reel tape devotees are aware of the current state of support for the format, which is now entirely the province of the niche. As far as machines go – leaving...

Back to My Reel-to-Reel Roots, Part 17: Stalkin...

Issue 165Natural Born Kessler

In the wake of the AudioJumble – see my article in Issue 164 – there has been a palpable buzz about vintage gear, not least because of activity on social media. The AudioJumble’s organizers...

Back to My Reel-to-Reel Roots, Part 16: Stalkin...

Issue 164Natural Born Kessler

A slight departure this time, as a wonderful event – directly related to tape pursuits – took place on May 29th. After two years and three months, the Tonbridge AudioJumble...

Back to My Reel-to-Reel Roots, Part 15

Issue 163Natural Born Kessler

Producing what one considers to be revelations from what is the “bloody obvious,” as the British would say, is a waste of anybody’s time. What could I possibly tell Copper’s audience of...

Back to My Reel-to-Reel Roots, Part 14: Origina...

Issue 162Natural Born Kessler

Like vintage watches, pre-owned tapes are best appreciated with mint, original packaging. Ken Kessler finds they often disappoint. It was our friend Jeff Dorgay at TONEAudio who first identified me as an...

Back to My Reel-to-Reel Roots, Part 13: Re-Educ...

Issue 161Natural Born Kessler

After the last two issues’ litanies of sins, by both the tape manufacturers and the end users (but not the vendors), I tried to place myself back in the 1950s...

Back to My Reel-to Reel-Roots, Part 12: The Sin...

Issue 160Natural Born Kessler

Following on from last month’s litany of offenses attributed to the manufacturers of pre-recorded tapes, please be aware that not all the misdeeds were committed by the record labels. Once...

Audio Pioneer Mel Schilling: In Memoriam

Issue 155Natural Born Kessler

With the passing of Melvin “Mel” Schilling on January 14th, 2022, the world of high-fidelity music reproduction has lost an individual whose experience and expertise covered its entire history. Born...

Back to My Reel-to Reel-Roots, Part 11

Issue 159Natural Born Kessler

High Crimes and Misdemeanors Nobody ever accused the record labels of unnecessary largesse. While the audiophile companies like Impex, Analogue Productions, Mobile Fidelity, Speakers Corner, Intervention and others show care...

Back to My Reel-to Reel-Roots, Part 10

Issue 158Natural Born Kessler

In which Ken Kessler makes a discovery linked to his dad. Only the churlish would deny that there’s an element of nostalgia in the Reel-to-Reel Revival, however much the inescapably...

Back to My Reel-to-Reel Roots, Part Nine: Who K...

Issue 157Natural Born Kessler

KK finds out that embracing a dormant format is full of surprises. Audiophiles come in many flavors, and I am not even remotely bothered by those who are, say, equipment...

Back to My Reel-to-Reel Roots, Part Eight: More...

Issue 156Natural Born Kessler

It goes without saying that tape deck maintenance – such as cleaning the heads and pinch rollers, periodic demagnetizing, etc. – are essential practices which (circa-2022) only come naturally to...

Back to My Reel-to-Reel Roots, Part Seven: Tape...

Issue 154Ken KesslerNatural Born Kessler

If you’re a studio denizen or a seasoned open-reel tape user, please skip this interlude before I resume discussions about the current state of acquiring pre-recorded tapes. You will find...

Back to My Reel-to-Reel Roots, Part Six: Rock O...

Issue 153Natural Born Kessler

After the last issue’s epic coverage of the Beatles’ Get Back film, and my diatribe about the British mono open-reel tapes, you may have overdosed on the Fab Four. Please allow me...

Back to My Reel-to-Reel Roots, Part Five: Tape ...

Issue 152Natural Born Kessler

Previous installments in this series appeared in Issues 146, 148, 149 and 151. I feel like a rabbi talking a non-Jew out of converting to Judaism. It’s incumbent on him or her to try to...

Back To My Reel-To-Reel Roots, Part Four: Makin...

Issue 151Natural Born Kessler

By now it has been established that my renewed interest in reel-to-reel is unnaturally narrow, in that I am not a recordist in any manner. I may be the only...

Back to My Reel-to-Reel Roots, Part Three

Issue 149NATURAL BORN KESSLER

Just so there are no misunderstandings, I have to explain to you how focused is my interest in reel-to-reel tape. I absolutely don’t want to be challenged or trolled by...

Back To My Reel-to-Reel Roots, Part Two

Issue 148NATURAL BORN KESSLER

Ken Kessler recounts the hardware phase of his re-entry into the world of open-reel tape, as a cautionary tale and a guide-of-sorts to help you maintain your sanity. As inveterate...

Back To My Reel-to-Reel Roots, Part One

Issue 146NATURAL BORN KESSLER

Returning after a long absence, Contributing Editor Ken Kessler – who started with Copper Issue 2 – provides us with a cautionary study of the open-reel tape revival, an addiction that has...