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.
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. Here is what industry professionals say about RX Reels:
"Making advanced reels from CNC-machined hubs and carbon fiber flanges pays off in terms of appearance and sound quality via lower wow and flutter."
The Absolute Sound
"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!HIFI
"Thanks to RX Reels careful balance, fast-winding is quieter than with lesser articles due to a considerable reduction in vibration - which is itself a good thing, for the life of your deck's reel motors. The lack of physical noise during playback isn't the only audible benefit - I also found that the stereo image was more solid and better defined. Quite frankly, it's highly unlikely you'll find a better spool for your deck."
Martin Pipe - Hi-Fi World 5 Star Recomended Product
"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."
Neville Roberts - Hifi Journalist
"This makes the task of threading a tape so much easier. Worth it for that alone."
Dave Denyer - The Reel-to-Reel Rambler