Who has a reel-to-reel and why?

was just perusing some threads and was looking at @Tony 's avatar. As a reel-to-reel owner (but not active user) was wondering who has them in their system and why? I have mine set up, but only for the very (very) occasional use when I pull out an old reel that has something like 5 hours of opera on it…If you’re running one - how come and what are you using it for??

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I know it’s a crime but I only use mine half a dozen times a year to play some pre recorded tapes. I keep mine mainly for sentimental reasons.
I am sure there are other members who use their on a regular basis. @Richard.Dane has a stack of them in his collection and I’m sure plays them more often.


I have a few hundred pre-recorded stereo reels from the US, mostly 4 track 7 1/2 ips. Many sound really good - very fresh and alive, although this is partially down to the characteristics of the tape used (Ampex?). Because of this I favour a Reel to reel player that can really get the best from 4 track 7 inch reels, so I tend to use most a pair of Sonys - a TC-645 and a TC-755. Like most, I don’t use them enough, and R2Rs need constant maintenance to stay on form. I have recorded a number of them to digital files, which ensures the tapes stay fresh and it also means I can play them any time with only a fairly small drop in overall SQ.

I also have a pair of lovely sounding 2 track decks, on an early Revox 77A, and the other a high speed Teac. The Teac would be ideal for the current crop of reels from the Tape Project and from Analogue Productions amongst others. In fact when I went to visit Focal some years back, just after the merger with Naim, I spent a most of the time discussing reel to reel with Gérard Chrétien over lunch and then back in his office. He was a big R2R fan and had joined The Tape Project. He showed me some of the tapes and I could only admire covetously. It’s an expensive business and so remains something of a dream for me.


I’ve always hankered for one of their reissues but at $500USD it is a little steep!


I did have for a few weeks but not anymore.
If you want to buy the very expensive tapes, and like what’s on them then go for it.
But if you want it to just record your own stuff then not really worth it really.
But it’s nice to look at and play with. But and here is the very big But. They are all very old, they can and do break down, plus you need to find one with good heads, as this is where the problem’s start.
Most have heads that are knackered, especially the revox pr99, and other machines used on the professional side, as the heads are also soft on these.

If you are going to buy one then 100% get someone that knows about them to look at it, as moat sellers say everything is fine, when it’s not.

Sorry i miss read the 1st post.
I got one because i wanted to, but it didn’t really add anything, so it went.

Or buy a new Ballfinger M 002.


I would like but like a Nakamichi it wouldn’t be used. Very desirable objects.

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When I had one (actually two, Sony TC377s), it/they were for recording (so much better than trashy cassette), and messing about with music creation, e.g. using one as an echo machine, or playing a loop track, etc. These days of course it is so simple digitally, so, with some reluctance, I moved them on some time ago.


Just like @Innocent_Bystander I had a TC377 in the 70s and 80s. Recording quality was excellent compared to similarly priced cassette decks and creating echo effects etc was lots of fun. No doubting there was a certain pleasure in watching the reels go round and also physically changing the reels (similar the vinyl experience). Sadly though the deck was moved on and vinyl:cd became my music source. These days I am all digital…….touching an iPhone screen might be easy but falls well short of handling reels of tape!

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Haven’t used tape since my old studio days … but I’m surprised the main attraction isn’t editing … endless loops of a favourite hook, chorus or solo … bliss :slight_smile: … ah, maybe only works on a half-track when I think about it.

OK, since you ask
1/2 Track
Revox G36
Ferrograph series 4
Uher report 4200 (portable)
Tandberg Model 11 (portable)

1/4 Track
Homemade machine I built in 1990 based on Brenell mechanics.
Cossor CR1601
Heathkit STR-1

They mainly get fired up very occasionally to transfer an old tape.
I had a big digitisation session in the 90s using my homemade machine to transfer various tapes I made in the very early 80s on a Beocord 2000.

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