Positive Feedback Review R2R tape

Marc Phillips has just added a new review that describes is exploration in Reel To Reel tape as a diehard vinyl connoisseur.  Happy to be a part of his new discovery.

The article captures the reward, quirkiness, and expense of this old and wonderful fringe of the hobby.

For me, it was eventually the maintenance of the three R2Rs that I've owned that caused me to finally abandon the format. Then, the rising costs of this gear and tapes (supply and demand) soured it for me. Not the same as when in 1968 I bought an Ampex 750(?). Even though this was more of an entry level deck, it blew away the industry's future offerings of 8 Tracks and Cassettes. It also bettered my vinyl setup at the time.

I applaud those who don't care about anything that I wrote up above and go for it.
Those of us fortunate to experience quality R2R tapes on quality machines will never forget the density and dynamics of the sound as well as the lovely detail and nuance. But, it’s over. 
R2R is not over. Some might argue that there has a been a significant revival in the last 5-10 years. There are now several hundred new tape recordings available on R2R (albeit at a cost) and the price of used machines (esp studio machines) is rising. The fact that one company, Ballfinger, has engineered and released a new R2R machine (albeit in minuscule numbers) means that there is a demand.

I now listen to R2R 80% of the time now; my high end record player (Platine Verdier with Schroeder/Allaerts & Hadcock/Decca with TRON Seven Reference phono) is relegated to a period of enforced silence.

Learning how to line up a R2R machine is mandatory, if you are going to get the most out of the tape. But then again, you have to set up the arm/cartridge correctly to extract the very best out of vinyl grooves.

However, if you play a decent tape (even a 4th or 5th generation tape) on a properly calibrated machine. it is really no contest. The R2R just wipes the floor, and it's not even close. Then it can become quite addictive and expensive :)