New Reel to Reel machines!


Convert?fit=crop&h=128&rotate=exif&w=128cerrot
I have seen those pictures before and one thing bothers me.  If you look at an enlargement of those photos, the controls for the machine suggest that it is a playback-only machine (no record button, no controls for input or output volume, etc).  

While not having a record or erase head, nor electronics for such functions, would greatly reduce cost, this would make the buyer entirely dependent on the supply of pre-recorded tapes.  There really is not much in the way of high quality pre-recorded tapes out there, and some of those sell for $500 or more per album.  

United Home Audio sells their premium reconditioned tape machines primarily on the basis of how good tapes made from playback of vinyl sound.  If you go to their shop, they will play records on a really nice vinyl setup from which they make tapes.  You can compare the vinyl playback with the tapes made from that same vinyl setup.  It is quite an interesting demonstration.  I actually did NOT prefer the tape playback (transients were blunted a little bit), but, I can see why some listeners might actually prefer the tape playback (very pleasant, smooth and remarkably close to the sound of the record).  I cannot see buying a playback-only tape machine.
I have seen those pictures before and one thing bothers me. If you look at an enlargement of those photos, the controls for the machine suggest that it is a playback-only machine (no record button, no controls for input or output volume, etc).

The deck will be available in three versions at three price points. Lowest price and the one in the picture is playback only. Next up adds recoding and the top level is "pro" with balanced inputs.

Base price is a surprisingly "reasonable" 4000 Euros but the linked article suggests the manufacturer is hoping to make its margin on tape sales -- although if they were strictly following the printer/ink model they would not allow the machine to play anyone else's tapes (which I am pretty certain is not the case)

Revox A77's are easy to find for cheap, and can be reconditioned.
Dear @cerrot: 4k Euros to listen what?. They have only 30 different title tapes and maybe you can find out other 200 out there and not for a " penauts " price.

In my case I can't justify that kind of " investment ". I prefer use that kind of money on other things to improve the quality sound of what I already have.

But that's me and only my opinion. The important one is up to each one of us.

Regards and enjoy the music,
R.
To add to what Raul says, why settle for tapes made from an LP, if the rationale for going to the expense of purchasing an R2R machine is based on sonics?  If I were to go that route, I would want only first or second generation master tapes. Or I would be open-minded about other sources (e.g., direct to hi-rez digital) but not an LP source. I already have that.  Since first and second generation master tapes are now virtually unobtainium, I'm staying away.  However, I love gadgets, and what neater audio gadget is there than a tape recorder?

Lewm, according to the link above, you can buy either 1.a master tape copy or 2.a vinyl record made from a 
2nd generation master tape (or even a downloadable copy if you prefer).  The tapes however are VERY expensive.
I myself would actually prefer a 7.5IPS copy on a good reel of tape, But half track of course.  I don't care one bit if the reel is smaller and plastic and less expensive.  From my own experience, even with a plain old Teac in good shape, you can make excellent recordings of vinyl at the slower speed
even in quarter-track format.  So by upgrading that to half-track and 2nd generation copies, you could sell them for a LOT less money, and thereby popularizing the format for real.

To my little ears, nothing sounds better than 15 ips tape.  There is a nice amount of contents available, albeit not cheap.   If you have not heard a really good tape on a properly set up machine, you should. 
Carrot, I only WISH there was a "nice amount" of content available, truly.
But when i can get SACD'S for $20 or less (pristine recent recordings i really want at that), the cheapskate in me takes over.  I have a Studer A810 along with an Otari, some Tascams, and even a Stellavox deck.  I recently obtained 3 tape project issues on sale, and the (cheap) metal reels were out of round, the boxes were peeling, and the content on each tape was so brief i almost spent more time setting them up than listening to them.  My conclusion- they're very good, maybe even extremely good recordings, but IMHO
as an alternative, $50 for a reel of tape and $100 for the service to make a copy would bring the price down to a far more reasonable level (7X more than a disc but the "audiophile" in me can justify the difference).
I just wish someone in this community with access to some very clean
material would step forward and offer to make some copies. they do NOT have to be master-tape copies, just something that gets close.
Also a warning--- I have had to throw out several pre-recorded tapes i bought on Ebay since they either crumbled or had edge-warpage, etc. They were "real
bargains" at $15-$20 each (!) so i would strongly urge others NOT TO BUY THOSE OLD TAPES.  
french_fries
What you are asking for in your last post is available. I have contacts if you want source material. If you have the cash they have the stash.
Feel free to pm me for their info. Cheers
French-fries, you have some great tape gear there.  I would never buy a 15 ips tape off of ebay (ebay is not audogon).  My experience with Tape Project has been excellent.  The reels are the best I own, the boxes first rate and I do have the photo of the artists start to peel when my amps start getting really hot.  Check of 'Open Reel Records (openreelrecords.com),  There is more and more tape becoming available every day.  I would rather listen to a record than an SACD, though do enjoy my nice sacd classical recordings VERY much.  Not much of a difference between a good sacd and a regular record but a great record blows the sacd away, and a great tape, as much as I agree setting up is more of a pain then putting a record on, to my ears, tape sound trumps all (on my rig).  There is an outfit that tapes live jazz performances and they sell those tapes, I think $300.  I have not heard them but my friends have and they say they are 1st generation.  Keep in mind, a blank good reel is $50 and tape costs a few dollars as well so I do not think $275-$300 for a first generation tape of a live recording (of music that I like) is expensive, looking at the costs to make them up.  $450 for 40 minutes of music when there is only one tack that you like can definitely get someone down on tape. Its not for everyone, but neither is a 49 year old bottle of wine or a 100 year old fountain pen.  Tape, like vinyl, have become acquired taste's.