Do I really need R2R ?

While on CES I have came across R2R presentation, I guess it were folks from
It was first time for me I have seen and heard any high-end R2R. To my total surprise it was the best sound of the Show. It sounded better then the most expensive separates from Wadia ($35k) or even top LP rigs. It got me thinking. Just recently I have bought Nakamichi CR7-A. It is incredible machine, it can record audiophile quality CD played by AA Cap mkII and I could not hear any difference. Quite accomplishment considering that it coasted me only 1/10 of the Capitole price.

I wondering how Nacks would sound on audiophile prerecorded tape. Is there a place/website I still can buy one ?
Is there maybe some kind-of-project for Decs like for R2R, where I can get tapes recorded from Master Tape to hear what Nacamichi is really capable of ?

I have compared specs of Technics RS-1500 with Nacamichi CR-7A, looks like pretty good match to me:

Technics RS-1500

Frequency Response: 20Hz-25kHz 7.5ips
S/N: 60dB
THD: 0.8-1%
Wow-and-Flutter: 0,03%
Chanel separation: >50dB
Erasing ration: >65dB
Speed fluctuation: 0.1% at 7.5ips
power consumption: 120W
weight: 26kg

Nakamichi CR-7A:

Frequency Response: 18Hz-21kHz
S/N: 66dN Dolby B, 72dB Dolby C
THD: 0.8-1%
Wow-and-Flutter: 0,027-0,048%
Chanel separation: >37dB
Erasing ration: >60dB
Speed fluctuation: 0,5% at 7.5ips
power consumption: 55W
weight: 9kg

Thank you for reading.
Not really. The tape project stuff is great but you are limited to a very small selection of media, expensive at that. I have heard the tape project demo and it is great. Since life is all amount the music, better to invest in SACD's and the coming stuff on blu-ray, which will blow away R2R.

I have many r2r units, including the 1500, Nakamichi Dragon and others. I have an extensive library of pre-recorded tapes including a lot of broadcast tapes that were produced commercially and by the government. These are two track, 7.5 speed. They have a great sound since I play all the material in tube electronics. Some material does come close to the tape project stuff.

my own recent experience. Bought a stock Studer A810 from audiogon end of last year. Got it modified to accept stock electronic as well as Tube Repro by Bottlehead. Before I receive my Tube Repro, I was playing the tapeproject tape with stock electronic. Its didnt float my boat. With Tube repro its a different issue. I like it much better.
In conclusion ,at least for me, if you wish to go in R2R route, you need to modified the recorder to accept external electronic
I would say that you are better off without R2R. I have a modified Otari R2R machine with outboard tape head preamp and I wouldn't be without them. But then I have hundreds of open reel tapes and am willing to put up with the MAJOR inconveniences of open reel. This is the ultimate "hair-shirt" medium and you have to commit a lot of money and energy to make it work for you.

The Tape Project tapes mentioned above cost $500 per performance for instance. The only major source of pre-recorded open reel tapes is Ebay, and boy is THAT a crapshoot. To make matters worse the tapes and machines are decades old, except for those Tape Project tapes. And the tape decks need regular service by an experienced tech. Am I changing your mind?
That what I was afraid of, expensive maintenance, and need for modified R2R. And there limited choice of music. As far as SACD is concerned I have mid priced SONY DVP-S9000ES, and high-end AA Cap mkII. There is no comparison, SONY sound like a crap, actually even much worse them 12 years old Arcam Alpha 5 I still have (I was so disappointed). Cheap turntable I have, beats it. That's why I'm going back in time hardware wise. And to ease my mind I need to hear what Nakamichi is capable of, on tapes recorded from AA Cap it is beyond reach of my SONY SACD. How good it would be, if I could get tape recorded from some master tape, it really scares me.
Damn right, you should be scared. Only get a r2r if you're physically fit enough to deal with the throngs of hot, young, buxom audiobabes who will permanently encamp themselves in your listening room. A r2r is more trouble than it's worth, but if you're man enough... Owning one has taken years off my life -- but I'm smiling!
Damn right, you should be scared. Only get a r2r if you're physically fit enough to deal with the throngs of hot, young, buxom audiobabes who will permanently encamp themselves in your listening room. A r2r is more trouble than it's worth, but if you're man enough... Owning one has taken years off my life -- but I'm smiling!

I have three, and I can tell you, I have to beat those hot young girls off with a stick.


Onhwy61/A_L :-) Hi Sorlowski...credible comments from all of the posters; however, I wouldn't be without mine. I couldn't be more excited about the prospects of analogue reel to reel: 1/4 and 1/2 inch, 2 track, 15 and 30 ips, which are close as possible to original master tape!

I've heard some formidable DSD files in a mastering studio and a fantastic DXD-recorded CD, in a different mastering studio, as well as on my own gear at home. Really fabulous.

Nothing does it for me like analogue tape :-)


p.s. sourcing and researching material is an enjoyable endeavor for me.
I have a Teac R2R, and quite frankly, it's difficult to find high-quality source that I'm willing to pay for. A R2R is a cool piece of equipment to have, but you have to ask if the costs justify the enjoyment.
That why I have not yet bought R2R. Cost and availability of R2R quality recording are sky high. First I wanted to hear my Nakamichi CR7A at full potential.
Is there anybody who have R2R with some high quality recordings and one of the top Nakamichi audio decks to make a copy to audio cassette ? I would gladly pay some reasonable fee for time spent, and would provide some Metal audio cassette so signal quality loss, would be as small as possible.
If that would sound unquestionably better then my AA Cap, I would consider buying some sexy looking R2R.
Interestingly enough I have an Otari R2R and several Nakamichi cassette decks, the best of which is a 680ZX. I too have thought of doing the R2R/cassette comparison as I have 6 of the Tape Project recordings. Problem is finding the time. Even with my unmodified Otari professionally set up, the Tape Project recordings are very good. I preferred the tape version of Waltz for Debbie to my CD, although I should note that I have the SACD version but can only playback the redbook layer.