Can we finally put Reel to Reel out of its misery? Put it to rest people.


The format is dying and too expensive to repair properly. Heads wear out so easy and many out there are all worn.
High quality technicians are either retired or long gone. Its such an inconvenient format that can be equalled by nakamichi easily in tape decks.
Retire it please put them in museums. 
vinny55
Are you sure all your dogs are barking ?
IMO, it's still active, and will be for quite some time. 

I dropped out and switched to CDs as the playback heads for my 10.5 reel to reel were no longer being made. Tough decision - - switch to a different make of 10.5s  or go to CDs. 

In retrospect, for me, going to CDs was the better solution.  Others in my place might have switched to another 10.5 brand.

You can get same performance out of a 3 head Nak and Sony Elcaset and also Beta so R2R's are obsolete.
@dill just because its still selling on ebay doesnt mean its not dying. Who's gonna make those high quality heads these days? Stocks are being depleted. Only the rich will be able to afford repairs soon. 
Doctor Negativo strikes again with another pointless rant.
@lewm why does reality bug you so much
" You can get same performance out of a 3 head Nak and Sony Elcaset and also Beta so R2R's are obsolete."
" just because its still selling on ebay doesnt mean its not dying. Who's gonna make those high quality heads these days? Stocks are being depleted. Only the rich will be able to afford repairs soon. "

Now you are really being silly ...

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=reel+to+reel+tape+deck+repair+shops&ia=web
Vinny.

I hate to disillusion you but the 3 head Nak cassettes while good cannot hold a candle to a 7.5 or 15ips recording made on decent tape on even a middle ground R2R machine.

Recordings made straight of Qobuz hires onto 15ips on my Revox absolutely kill the same  recordings made on my Nak.

Shoot, even 7.5ips recordings made on my Pioneer ct701 better the Nak ... And don't get me wrong the Nak does make great recordings.

It's just that R2R is better.

So it maybe a minority media but it is far from dead and dying.

Just check out prices of r2r tapes on eBay, while I do not like some of the high prices it is far from dead!
@uberwaltz what Naks have you owned? I have two sony Elcasets and they sound awesome
Just as my LP's won't work in my CD player, my reel-to-reel tapes won't work in my cassette player.
Hi,
far from dead, most expensive media yes but not difficult to repair, not impossible to find spares not difficult to calibrate and better sounding than any other tape format, and better looking also!
There is something very cool about a 10.5" RTR running at 15ips. It just looks wonderful IMHO. I sold my Revox B77, 2 track HS MK2 deck about 10 years ago and regretted the decision ever since. I noticed at this years Axpona there were quite a few vendors demonstrating equipment using RTR decks, all sounded fine to me. So in then end, if owning/using a RTR deck makes you happy, go for it.
Nakamichi made some very fine cassette decks. I have a Nak Dragon rebuilt by Alex Nikitin with a full set of ANT 4066 mods. But seriously this is nowhere as good as 15IPS tape on a proper studio machine. If you can source a production or distribution master like this then even better :)
https://i.vgy.me/hWJJn1.jpg
@topoxforddoc not many vintage decks have 15ips settings. There are few high end cassette decks with variable speeds that sound phenomenal. Telefunken tc300 and Nakamichi 680
@vinny55 There are lots of professional R2R machines with 15 IPS. The thong about professional machines is that they are built like tanks and calibration and line up is easy to do; after all a decent tape tech would line up the machine every day in a studio, back in the heyday of tape. Having had a couple of domestic machines (Revox A77 and a high speed G36), I wouldn't go back to one now.
Checking the repro head azimuth on a tape is probably the most important part of line up, as the high frequency losses are significant, is the repro head is not aligned correctly to the way that the record head was aligned when the tape was made. This is something that most people don't worry about on a domestic recorder with commercial 3.75 and 7.5 IPS 4 track tapes. But that's another story.
Can we finally put vacuum tubes out of their misery? They are expensive, wear out, require special circuitry and are, occasionally, dangerous.

Can we put real wives out of their misery? They are always chatting away, wanting you to run errands and borrowing your car. We should just buy blow up dolls and be done with the whole inconvenient thing.

Trolls, can we finally put them out of their misery. Always asking meaningless, provocative questions and filling up the boards with baited threads. Bots can do the same thing these days, better and more quickly.
????

You mean not everybody has just a blow up doll?

How quaint.

What is a wife?
Kind of like a life?

Do not have one of those either.
@viridian tubes are way way way more plentiful than reel2reels decks parts heads. Tube amps and tubes have never stopped being made. Reel2Reels have been stopped for 40 years. 
@viridian tubes are way way way more plentiful than reel2reels decks parts heads. Tube amps and tubes have never stopped being made. Reel2Reels have been stopped for 40 years. 
None of this is going anywhere. As long as people want to spend money on it, it will be around with the exception of wives. They just steal your money. On the other hand the only thing worse than being old is being old and alone.
Silly you. I’ll grant you it’s probably the not the best format for a modern audiophile.  It is however a very useful tool in the recording studio.  It’s far too fussy for someone who just wants to throw on a CD and sit back. I play 99% vinyl - easy- that R2R is fussy.For the most part you’ll have to make your own recordings from a good source. Ugh! The recorded tapes that are available are either outrageously expensive, have a poor selection of titles or are antiques. That’s why only professionals use R2R anymore, for the most part. Here’s how I use mine:  
 Synthesizer >Studio mixer >digital recording program>  Digital mixer > R2R > CDR/mp3 >  sound cloud. 
Look for my first ever release “new day May” by Bentunderground on sound cloud now. It’s a thunderstorm.  It sounds like crap on the phone. The R2R was critical in the recordings process as it enhances the soundstage and equalization for recording.
Please read and understand more before making blanket (trolling?) statements like you made.  There are many advocates of reel to reel on Audiogon - do a little research!

Bent

I have a Teac X10-R and about 15 (remaining) Maxell dbx 224 type II recorded reels.  At one point, I had about 40 reels but my Ampex reels deteriorated to the point where they were unplayable. 

Back in the 80's, I used two Technics SL-1600 MK2 turntables and a Rodec mixer in my home "studio."  I would spend months recording individual R&B and Jazz tracks to make a reel for my personal enjoyment.  I recorded albums and selected songs from albums that you cannot find on any streaming source.  I love vinyl, but it was so much easier to just play a reel of the songs I liked.  

My vintage gear is over 30 years old and I've tried to maintain it in like new condition.  No one's post is going to change my opinion of what I like or use.  I'm 71, more than likely, my R2R will die with me. But until them, I will continue to play and enjoy a reel now and then.
Can you say (or spell) STELLAVOX?  STUDER?

Better check it out before you declare R2R deceased.

ALSO, SOME older recording studios (Muscle Shoals, for example) still use analog (Scully 1", Ampex, etc).

SO, yes, not many use R2R today, but it has its place and is still used when needed i specific places.

Sorry to bust your digital ballon, but most digital recording is total garbage as anyone who has an ear or is a real musician will tell you.

Cheers,

Richard
mijostyn,

"The only thing worse than being old is being old and alone."

Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.  
Given arthritic hands and bad eyes, thank goodness for CDs.
Now, l'm living alone with a wonderful 2 channel HD stereo system.

The Old Fud
When I finish my house move I look forward to setting up my Pioneer SX-1050, Pioneer PL-630 and Teac A-2300S RtR.  Can't wait for the 70s and 80s!  The Teac did not get that much use so I am sure the heads have plenty of life left. Just need to get a reasonably priced cartridge.
ATR Magnetics in York, PA is making tape in most formats- cassette, 7" 1/4" reel to reel, 10.5" in reels or pancakes, and also 1/2" and 1" for those with studio machines. Their tapes are made to match 456 Grand Master so no need with most reel to reel machines to re-calibrate.
https://www.atrtape.com/

Nortronics has long been a supplier of high quality replacement heads for a variety of consumer and studio machines:
http://www.jrfmagnetics.com/
Its easy enough to find new cassette tape heads on ebay. Finding rubber parts is a bit trickier, although Russell Industries has a large selection of belts, tires and idlers that fit a good number of machines:
http://russellind.com/


I have the impression that in fact more and more people are getting interested in tape, both RTR and cassettes. This might be a fashion moment and might be not, too early to tell. As for recording studios, that's how you record if you want quality - you use tape and analog recorder. Double that for acoustic music. Digital is consumer mass market medium, it can be listenable but that's all.  Instead of engaging in a futile task to make digital sound as analog, it would be better to invent better analog medium, better than tape.
IME, R2R is the best sounding format, but the price of entry has become prohibitive for most as software cost, maintenance, and access to quality machines have skyrocketed over years.  IMHO R2R is dead to the average consumer but it has nothing to do with performance, only cost.
Average consumers will consume anything that is average thinking that it is good. Audiophiles are not that.
A footnote to this important issue:
We should just buy blow up dolls and be done with the whole inconvenient thing.

You mean not everybody has just a blow up doll? How quaint.
Roxy Music was 50 years ahead of you guys....

I bought you mail order
My plain wrapper baby
Your skin is like vinyl
The perfect companion

Deluxe and delightful
Immortal and life size
My breath is inside you
I'll keep you till death sighs

Inflatable goddess
Lover eternal
I blew up your body...
But you blew my mind

They're in their Seventies. She's still 19. And never strays.

Except in high winds...
Reel-to-reel is a personal choice.  Why should the OP insist on what I want to listen to?  I don't demand that anyone listen to my preferred sources.
I just added myself to the legion of R2R enthusiasts today. Bought a mint condition TEAC A-3300SX. Just need to track down some new production 10.5” tapes, calibration tape and demagnetizer. This will go great with my dbx 224 type II noise reduction unit and Technics SL-1700mk2 turntable. Gonna have some big fun!
R2R tapes I've seen advertised on audiophile web sites are priced far beyond my budget. Aside from that, I wish I hadn't abandoned the format. There was always something seductive about watching those reels spin...
Welcome to the club , Sleepwalker!
You will enjoy!
"...most digital recording is total garbage as anyone who has an ear or is a real musician will tell you."
I may know fake musicians, but they actually cannot care less for digital vs. analog. They lean towards digital for convenience, in fact.

A few above posts seem to equal tape with analog which is not always exactly the case.
I own a teac 10R it’s a beautiful machine it’s plays and sounds so 
realistic,THAT a Digital computer can’t come close to reproduce   you can play ur digital music. Box 01 01 01 that’s not a natural sound
and-getting those R2R machines repaired AND GETTING PARTS  isn't that hard  teac has a repair and parts department in northern NJ , and it won’t break ur bank book And tubes I love the sound that sound they reproduce
I will stay with analog equipment AND you keep your 01 01 01
"Can you say (or spell) STELLAVOX? STUDER?

Better check it out before you declare R2R deceased."
What is going on here? 

Stellavox has no reel-to-reel products (http://www.stellavox.com/products.html)

Studer seems to be the same
(https://www.studer.ch/en-US/product_families)

If that is anything to go by, R2R has deceased.
Here is a list of manufacturers, while none that I know of are currently making new ones, there are many available as are the parts, rebuild and techs that service them..  



I just purchased my first reel to reel player last December. Best addition to my system ever! 

A good tape beats any other medium I have heard...and I’m a very critical kinda guy and have tried em all except MQA.

Tape is not as romantic and glossy as vinyl, nor is it the clean ridged re-representation that is often digital. It is just so freakin ‘natural’ sounding! When you hear it it’s like “Oh. That’s what it’s supposed to sound like.” Great contrast and cohesion. What comes off of a good tape sounds alive!

Even albums I used to think were just recorded badly sound ‘right’ on tape. Aqualung is a good example.

I hope this format isn’t on its way out. It’s a shame more people can’t hear how good it sounds. 

Shaft on SACD vs Shaft on tape...the tape is just so much more fun! Again it just feels more alive (not live). And it’s really nice to hear panned left and right bass instead of summed to center like it is on vinyl. 

If you are ever in Burbank CA you are welcomed to stop by for a listen.  :-)
dill,

Does any of those manufacturers still make parts or has servicing somehow organized?
Grammar alert 🚨 Not to mention Brer Fox and Tar Baby routine alert 🚨
" Does any of those manufacturers still make parts or has servicing somehow organized? "
- I would doubt it, however there are businesses that do rebuild them, here is a sample:

https://www.vintagetech.co.uk/tape-heads#!

http://www.oaktreevintage.com/Stereo_Open_Reel-Reel_Tape_Decks_Recorders.htm
geoffkait,

A little paranoia may be healthy, but seeing a fox where there is none may be a sign to be concerned about. Double the morning dose. Leave the evening dose unchanged for now.
dill,

I have nothing against reel-to-reel decks but if every manufacturer abandoned it, it is hard to understand why many claim it is a thriving format.

There are people who can restore artefacts from many centuries ago so having an occasional technician who is willing to work on a tape deck hardly shows significant viability.

Having said that, I am not sure why OP calls for reel-to-reel annihilation. Let people have fun with their toys as long as they can.

By the way, both of your above links brought me to the same webpage.
Post removed 
I doubt anyone with a Stellavox or Studer, first, needs parts except possibly heads, and second, would part with it for less than several thousand dollars at least.  Of course, I could have mentioned Nagra if I knew someone wanted to buy one, but you can go to ebay or whatever if you wish to buy an analog R2R.  I don't have the available funds, personally.  You can send it back to Nagra for a complete refresh using original parts as well.

Today they are surviving very well with high-end digital, but that's another story and involves actually producing products that are capable of high quality digital recording AND they have analog inputs as well to use on film sets, etc.  I am certain that Foley people have many historical sounds on analog tape in their libraries that they still use.

When the OP posted that this format was dead--obviously just a troll trying to stir up whatever--I was motivated to remind audiophiles that many of the "live" recordings they love so much and almost all first-tier films were done on these analog machines, to their great credit and sound quality.

Regarding musicians and digital, sure it is easier.  It is also easier to eat at McDonalds than to cook your own food.  Choices, choices...

Cheers!
I remember when everyone said record albums were obsolete. Same time when CDs were going to replace them. The only format I would say is dead is 8-track. My player ate all my tapes...eventually.
+10 @elizabeth

I am first in line for the caning though.....

Got an old 8 track so I am not worthy!

@2pysop.
Have you checked eBay of late for 8 track tapes and machines for sale. I guess someone forgot to tell them it was dead ....lol

"Its such an inconvenient format that can be equalled by nakamichi easily in tape decks.
Retire it please put them in museums."


"You must be smoking some of thot Jamaican Spliff Mon"