Are you sure all your dogs are barking ?
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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."
" 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 ...
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!
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 :)
@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.
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!
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.
"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
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.
Nortronics has long been a supplier of high quality replacement heads for a variety of consumer and studio machines:
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:
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.
A footnote to this important issue:
We should just buy blow up dolls and be done with the whole inconvenient thing.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
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...
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!
"...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?What is going on here?
Stellavox has no reel-to-reel products (http://www.stellavox.com/products.html)
Studer seems to be the same
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. :-)
" 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:
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.
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...