THE DIRECTORY OF EVERYTHING REEL TO REEL
Past, Present & Future
WE INVITE MEMBERS TO MAKE THIS THE MOST COMPLETE SUMMARY OF ALL THAT HAS HAPPENED IN OPEN REEL TO REEL SINCE 1950
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Yes they do, as the sound on LP records is compressed which is not the case with tape, which is more dynamic and not prone to clicks and pops.
In the early 2000’s people began returning to vinyl, realizing that CD was not as natural sounding as analog. Cassettes followed shortly thereafter.
In 2011, people began to show up at audio shows with reel to reel tape recorders that could compete or better the best turntables made. That was the beginning of a resurgence of interest and now reel to reel tape recorders have become the go to device for high-end audio enthusiasts.
New tape recorders fall into two categories.
1. Designing and manufacturing a completely new reel to reel tape recorder.
2. Taking previously made models rebuilding them from top to bottom while potentially redesigning the electronic circuits to new specifications.
Ballfinger of Germany was first out of the gate to design and manufacture a completely new tape recorder. As of early 2021 this company has 3 models in their lineup.
Metaxas and Sins have recently released a new tape recorder that will be produced in limited quantities.
Revox and Thorens have made plans to do so, having produced prototypes but have yet to release any production models.
Strangely, there seems to be a widespread opinion by people who know nothing about this category, that tape degrades. Across the wide spectrum of tapes that have been manufactured in the last 60 years, the track record for tape lifespan has been quite good. 98% of the prerecorded tapes made in the 1950s and 60s are still playing beautifully.
Some types of tape formulations may be more prone to degradation, especially when stored badly. And certain specific tape formulations have been proven to be problematic but this represents a very small percentage of overall tape production. With some of these failed formulations, should you have a tape with material on it that is valuable to you, you can reverse the process of tape shedding by heating or baking the tape at low temperatures. Lots of information available on the Internet on this topic.
The higher end ones from the late 1970s and early to mid 1980s are highly sought after and getting harder to find. But there are many lesser-known high-performance tape recorders that are readily available. We share that information on this website.