It took seven months to find the right combination that we were looking for. A way to not only make the reels look better, but to be better. Carbon fiber provided the right balance of strength to weight ratio. It's two times stiffer than steel and five times stronger. We wanted a flange that was rigid, but not too heavy.
Carbon fiber is not inexpensive. However, the second breakthrough was due to our location in the Pacific Northwest. Turns out there is a lot of new, high-grade raw carbon fiber material that is discarded in the manufacturing for the military and aviation industries. Much of this is perfectly good, but perhaps not big enough. It gets scrapped. We upcycle that unused material and turn it into our reels.
Carbon fiber comes in many grades. The highest quality is aviation grade carbon fiber and that is what goes into our flanges.
Benefits of our Carbon Fiber Flange: They don’t warp and resist bending.That means they won’t scratch your deck. Our flange cut-outs are made with a function first design to make tape threading easier. Because they are very rigid and don’t flex, they spin truer, which reduces motor wear, and some say that the reels sound better as a result.
"I now understood how using an RX Reels spool could result in sonic improvements...I had a sense of a slightly wider soundstage with clearer instrument imaging in comparison with using a standard spool fitted with aluminum flanges and a plastic hub".Hifi journalist Neville Roberts
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Standard aluminum reels were made to be one thing - inexpensive.
Most were simply a vehicle to deliver the tape that came with them, and it shows.
Carbon fiber is stronger than aluminum. It resists bending and won't warp.
Our reels are made to last a lifetime and it starts with the hub, which are custom made to our specifications. Most commercially available hubs are designed to be inexpensive to produce. They weigh about 23 grams and only three screws hold the flanges to the hub. Our solid aluminum hubs are precision made to tolerances below two thousands of an inch. Each flange is held to the hub with twelve screws for a secure fit.
Benefits of Our Precision-Made Aluminum Hub: A well balanced hub and securely fitted flanges creates a reel that spools tape exceptionally well to protect your investment. The quality difference is easy to see.
"The RX reels are among the mechanically best I’ve ever seen. In use they provide the most even take-up I’ve experienced."
"In every case, the tape spooled to the same flat perfection you usually only see when you open up a factory-fresh blank tape."
Ken Kessler – Soundstage!
"It takes better care of your precious tape, will aid sound quality and could even prolong the life of your machine."
Martin Pipe - Hi-Fi World
Each RX Reel is handmade in the Pacific Northwest of the USA by skilled craftsmen. Each is also individually numbered. Why? Our finishes are unique and some are available only in very limited quantities. You will find the serial number on the inside edge of each flange.