|Once upon a time: Original "Head, Red & Roll Cleaner" (HR&R) was a very popular product. Unlike anything previously available to the audio professional, HR&R was a true industrial product. When alcohol and so-called Rubber Cleaner's failed, HR&R excelled. While other products were toxic and potentially harmful for your recorder, HR&R was not. For years, we were able to provide you with HR&R's industrial strength chemistry. HR&R was safe and by far, the most effective cleaning, defluxing agent on the market. With its amazing cleaning power, rapid evaporation, non-flammability, and low toxicity, it was nick-named "the Right Stuff". The name stuck. (in fact, it's still stuck on the bottle.)
Flash back: In 2005, due to epa regulations and the limits placed on various ozone depleting chemicals, the principal ingredient in original HR&R was effectively banned. We knew this was coming, so we stocked up but were nonetheless forced to discontinue the product once we sold out of our stockpiled reserves. Those of you who had been using HR&R in and around the studio were, needless to say, very disappointed. To us, it looked like the tape based recorder was nearing the end-of-life and so, the quest for a new chemical formula didn't seem to make sense. Wrong! You die-hards not only kept your tape recorders, but without many options, you were running old, dirty tape. With the surge in archival work, the thousands upon thousands of miles of gummy old tape, more than ever, there's a need for "The Right Stuff".
Flash forward: We went back to work. It sure wasn't easy finding the right replacement. Much of what we tested would've "killed a horse" or was so expensive as to make the cost of a bottle laughable. It was damned discouraging and so again, we dropped the ball. Still, you persisted and we kept getting the calls, "When are you guys gonna bring back HR&R?" Our determination stiffened, and finally, in 2009, after several months of testing and back & forth with a major chemical company, we nailed it. It cleans like crazy, it's non-flammable, non-toxic, and evaporates before you can say "AMAZING".
The new 411: What price safety? This "new" chemistry which safely and effectively replaces "CFC's" is expensive and there's just no way around the cost increase. Whether or not you buy into the global warming theories and the ozone hole is of no concern to the EPA. The point is that as of now, in the solvent world there are few options by law. On one hand you've got cheap, toxic & flammable (aka. dry cleaning fluid, paint removers, organic solvents) and on the other, you've got non-toxic, non-flammable and, unfortunately, very costly. For safety's sake, we chose the latter alternative to provide you with an effective, non-toxic, non-flammable cleaner. Our bulk cost is now 250% greater than in the good ol' days, and so, you too will be paying more to keep your tape path clean, rust free and be safe doing it... did I mention that you techs can also deflux your soldering work with the new HR&R? Truly amazing stuff!
The bottom line: HR&R is reformulated and it's back. As before, a little goes a long way, it works incredibly well and is safe for everything in your tape path. If you've never used it, you must give it a try. If you're an HR&R fan from the before, please come on back - either way, you won't be disappointed. No question it will blow you and your dirt ridden tape path away!