Reel-to-reel resources and insights
Ken Kessler, a writer for Hi-Fi magazine with a self-proclaimed obsession of Reel-to-Reel tape players recently wrote an article about his research for the top ten pre-owned and refurbished open-reel decks that are not only worth having but also affordable for now, the prices on all decks are soaring upwards as the trend for these open-reel tape machines become more popular with audiophiles. It’s a great overview for anyone jumping into the hobby.
Anyone can go to one of the numerous used record stores and grab some great discs, however, it is not the same quality of sound as with reel-to-reel tapes that audiophiles crave.
Here is a look at both reel-to-reel audio tape recording decks and the tape reels themselves.
The true reason tape survived wasn’t because analog-obsessed audiophiles, held onto a bittersweet longing for something of the past, but because the fact remained that tape is an incredibly dense archival medium that has never been improved upon.
In 2013, The Absolute Sound shocked readers by proclaiming that a new reel-to-reel deck absolutely crushed the highest-rated turntable-based system ever reviewed by the magazine. “I have never heard rock and roll reproduced more powerfully and realistically in my home or at a show in my entire life,” concluded reviewer Jonathan Valin.
Although vinyl and turntable sales are currently shooting through the roof, analog-loving audiophiles know that reel-to-reel has inherent advantages over the once-again-hot vinyl record, because quite simply the sound quality is as good as it gets.