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Reel to reel - The peak of audio quality and sophistication

Reel-to-reel tape decks, also known as open-reel tape recorders, were once the standard for high-fidelity audio recording and playback. These devices, which use large reels of magnetic tape to record and playback sound, have largely been replaced by digital recording technology in recent years, but they still hold a special place in the hearts of audiophiles and music enthusiasts.

The reel-to-reel tape deck was first introduced in the 1940s and quickly became the preferred method of recording and playback for professional studios and musicians. The technology behind the reel-to-reel tape deck allowed for a level of sound quality that was unmatched by other recording methods of the time. The use of magnetic tape, which is coated with a thin layer of iron oxide, made it possible to record sound with a high degree of accuracy and clarity.

One of the key advantages of reel-to-reel tape decks was their ability to record multiple tracks simultaneously. This allowed for the creation of complex, multi-layered recordings that were not possible with other recording methods. Additionally, the tape deck's ability to record at different speeds and in different formats (such as stereo or quadraphonic) made it a versatile tool for recording and production.

Despite the many advantages of reel-to-reel tape decks, their popularity began to decline in the 1970s with the introduction of compact cassette tapes and, later, digital recording technology. Today, reel-to-reel tape decks are considered a niche market, with only a small number of manufacturers still producing them.

However, the unique sound of reel-to-reel tape recordings has led to a resurgence in interest in these devices in recent years. Many musicians and audiophiles prefer the warm, natural sound of reel-to-reel tapes over the more clinical sound of digital recordings. Some even argue that the analog nature of reel-to-reel tapes adds a sense of warmth and character to the recording that cannot be replicated with digital technology.

In conclusion, Reel-to-reel tape decks and its legacy still holds a special place in the hearts of audiophiles and music enthusiasts. The unique sound of reel-to-reel tape recordings has led to a resurgence in interest in these devices in recent years. Whether you're a professional musician or just a music lover, the reel-to-reel tape deck is a piece of audio history that is worth preserving and experiencing.

To celebrate this resurgence, Hifishark and Catawiki join forces to bring the best of the experiences if you are looking to acquire or invest in one of these technical marvels. Note that links to specific items in the following are affiliated. Catawiki will track your use of these links in order to gouge the success of our collaboration and reward us for referrals that lead to sales.


Carad R73

The Carad R73 is a professional solid state 2 track machine, with permalloy heads, extraordinarily built in Belgium. A must-have for any collector or enthusiast in high level Reel to Reel machines.


TEAC A-3440

The TEAC A-3440 is a semi-professional home application track machine with Simul-Sync. The Simul-Sync feature permits the recording of discrete but synchronised program material on all four tape tracks. Featuring Permalloy Heads. As successor of the TEAC A-3340S this implements the very best of TEAC innovative technology back in the 80's.


Akai GX-255

The Akai GX-255 is one of the last Akai 200 series, with the famous Akai GX Heads. You can rarely find it in good condition, let alone the magnificent state of this exclusive black model.


Revox A77 Mark IV

The Revox A77 Mark IV is the latest model of the iconic deck featuring optimised capstan servo control, improved Audio Cards, and a new front. Revox, and their units, are internationally known as pioneers of reel to reel recording with devices built up to Swiss standards. In this case with an interesting set of aftermarket modifications that includes a remote control.


3M M79

The 3M M79 is a versatile tape recorder for producing superior quality master recording tapes. It has been used in Studio by the Rolling Stones. Led zeppelin and Deep purple among others. A machine with history and fame in the professional area.


Pioneer RT-909

The Pioneer 3-motor deck advances the open-reel format beyond anything offered in the cassette format by adding auto reverse / repeat playback and many other functions. The Pioneer RT-909 is without a doubt made for the person with great musical ambitions and strongly professional preferences.


Akai GX-77

The Akai GX-77 open-reel deck is made to play both traditional and EE (Extra Efficiency) chrome-type tapes. a 6-head, 7-inch-reel, two-speed (7.1/2 and 3-3/4 inches per second) machine. The GX-77 is equipped to record and playback in both directions. In order to prevent tape damage from quick mode switching and to enable instantaneous direction shift during normal-speed recording or playback, the transport push buttons control logic-controlled solenoids.

Let’s not forget, it is a beautiful machine as well


Revox A77

The Revox A77's well-known consistency is the consequence of a skilled design idea that successfully blends the benefits of a well-made tape transport mechanism with those of a cutting-edge electronic circuit design. Perhaps, the most popular among those who have heard it or seen it on various radio stations in the past.

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Summum de la qualité audio nécessite summum qualité bandes

By, 29. January 2023, 00:01.
Bonjour , un immense plaisir à partager dans le domaine de l' analogique , pour le summum en qualité de bandes , cocorico , le seul et unique fabricant de bandes de super qualité de plus est , se situe en FRANCE , en région de BRETAGNE : RECORDING THE MASTERS - R T M - lien du site :
Egalement fabricant de cassettes SUPER QUALITE ...
La platine cassette , un autre sujet pour Ariel CABELLO ....
A suivre .

By, 30. January 2023, 13:01.
Bonjour à nouveau ,
Précision à corriger sans tarder selon sources confirmées :
R T M est situé en NORMANDIE ... Et non en BRETAGNE ...
Et alors que je conserve la plume , les résultats avec les cassettes R T M sont également exceptionnels , dès lors que l'on possède une platine cassette d'un certain niveau de qualité .
Ariel CABELLO doit donc maintenant ouvrir les horizons sur les platines cassettes ...
Personnellement , cela fait plus de 50 belles années que je me passionne pour ce monde magnifique , et actuellement , je tourne entre autres , sur une platine EUMIG FL 1000 HIGH COM II , avis aux connaisseurs ....
A suivre ..
Musicalement .

Akai GX-77.... not!

By Doorz, 8. February 2023, 10:02.
I cannot agree with a recommendation for the Akai GX-77, it is the last gasp from Akai and key parts in it break as they are made of plastic. The preceding models, such as the GX-630D, GX-635D or GX-650D are much more solidly built. But a general word of warning, any deck independent of brand and model needs nowadays a revision. Some well-regarded models are up to 50 years old. Imagine taking a car out of a garage where it was stored for say 20 years... you don't expect if to run without servicing it either? So either you are handy with mechanics and electronics to service a tape-deck yourself or be prepared to pay a premium for a serviced one.

Reel to reel decks

By Michael Walmsley, 9. February 2023, 20:02.
I began noodling around on my dad's Sony 2 head monaural deck in 1969, making mono mix tapes on four tracks, 2 in each direction. In 1974 during college, I bought my first stereo deck - a Sony TC-377 which I used for two years. It was at this point I discovered the sound benefits of using 7 1/2 ips to make my recordings. I sacrificed length of recording for better quality results. That decision led to wanting a 10.5" reel deck so in 1976 I bought a Teac A-3300S, quarter track. That was a workhorse for me and I moved up to a Revox B77 when I found a used one at a great price in 1988 along with a stack of mostly new reels. I still have the Revox and use it occasionally.

By AlpaPignons, 15. February 2023, 00:02.
Frightfully sorry chaps but you missed the best tape decks, Stellavox SM8, AMPEX ATR700, Ampex 350,
Studer A80. Some TEAC machines were good enough to do the job. It seems that you did not do your homework.

By Roadrunner541, 20. April 2023, 22:04.
Please don't forget units made by Tapesonic in the 1960's and 1970's. Crown International was famous for their high powered DC-300 amplifier but also made the 700 and 800 series Real to Real units which are note worthy. The SX844 was an early quadraphonic unit. It was a great looking piece of equipment.

By monaw yak, 26. April 2024, 19:04.