Greg Beron designer UHA-HQ tape decks
Awards for UHA tape decks
The latest Editors Choice for 2015!
Late night listening session RMAF 2012
Picture by David Robinson Editor in Chief, Positive Feedback Online
The United Home Audio UHA-HQ Reel to Reel Tape Decks were designed and meticulously voiced by Greg Beron. This project began over 6 years ago
and has employed countless hours of design and development resulting in revolutionary electronic and cosmetic changes to the UHA decks.
The crowning achievment was in 2010 when the UHA-HQ Phase4 deck won a "Golden Ear Award" from The Absolute Sound Magazine.
This was the first tape deck to ever win a "Golden Ear Award"!
When this project began Greg interviewed countless technicians and electronic engineers before hiring a staff with impecable
credintals spanning over 35 years experience in Reel to Reel service and design.
Greg's design objective has been "simple" from day one of the project, make the finest 1/4" deck available.
To offer these decks for consumer purchases in a reliable one box unit that isn't as large or as heavy and cumbersome as a washing machine.
No worn out 40 - 50 year old tape path and electronics, no outboard preamps and unsightly wires from the head blocks.
There have been countless trial and error configurations that have resulted in the UHA decks for sale today, however one unwavering requirement was
manditory in all UHA decks, reliability. In the process of designing a tape deck Greg Beron and his staff tried many different decks;
However the daunting task of making these 40-50 year old decks into reliable decks of the UHA quality proved impossible and parts were hit and miss.
Not a good situation for reliability and long term use!
So Greg found a very reliable Japanese made Tascam Pro deck that was manufactured till 7 or 8 years ago, and an important feature was you can still buy parts from Tascam.
This was a perfect platform to start from, it had a great transport, the deck even had a great servo-controlled tape tension feature as well as full logic tape control.
The idlers had precision bearings and the tape path was simple yet modern in it's design since the decks were still made till 2002.
Just one issue, it sounded pretty bad, however that was of no concern because the goal always was to re-manufacture the entire audio electronics platform.
Greg and his staff worked the last 6 years with an open electronics agenda, with no preconceived notions of normal tape deck preamp designs. The
goal was to use the latest 2011 preamp designs and cost on object electronic components, then to voice this design to what would most closely mimick a live performance
in both dynamics and soundstageing. Just to choose the capacitors for the decks, reviews of some 35 different capacitors were used. The same attention to detail was employed when choosing
internal wire, connectors, resistors, etc. Every detail has been tried and examined to the purpose of mimicing a live performance. Voicing the deck took Greg almost 10 months of traials
before he arrived at the sonic limit of the respective high, midrange, and low end performance. Voicing is a crutial part of the wholistic design approach used in the UHA-HQ decks,
Greg uses a $200,000 MBL Reference system to voice the UHA decks because of it's speed dynamics and clarity, he feels this is an important factor in the final
outcome of this Golden Ear Award winning decks.
Greg Beron explains the UHA-HQ Reel to Reel Tape deck to John Atkinson Editor of Stereophile Magazine.