There’s no disputing the desire for analog formats by audiophiles around the globe today. New record labels are emerging, and there’s no shortage of turntables on the market, both brand new brands and those of yesteryear enjoying the resurgence. But Reel to Reel? By all accounts it’s coming back too.

Munich’s HighEnd Show for 2016 was just one example. While this writer’s first Munich experience, I can’t compare to years gone by. But there was no doubt that the rooms and HeadFi stations running Reel to Reel machines were popular. So popular in fact, punters were queuing up to listen.

Finding a good machine today can be challenging. Servicing, restoring and maintaining them is almost a dying art, or at least, those that could perform such a service are now well into retirement. Auction sites and classifieds are the best resource here.

Perhaps one of the most famous names in reel to reel, Revox, have earlier this month announced their plans to produce a brand new R2R machine for 2017.

Through a partnership between Horch House (a division of Lutz Precision), and Revox, and most certainly a strategic move, Revox have launched their Online Store offering the full selection of Horch House analog master tape copies. Step 1, release content. Step 2, release the first R2R machine in decades to play said tapes.

Clever recording artists are already getting in on the renewed interest. Lyn Stanley and her latest release, Interludes, is available in 15ips NAB format. It will set you back USD$675 + shipping though.

Italian label, Open Reel Records, has a large catalogue already available, from €245 each.

The new machine has been designed by Manfred Meinzer who was responsible for the design and appearance of both Revox and Studer tape decks from around the 1960s. It will be released under the Revox name and is said to become available in the first quarter of 2017.

Specific details are still sketchy at the moment, but the first model is reported to be ‘playback’ only with a target price of USD$4500. A second model with recording function will follow at around USD$5500, while a ‘studio upgrade’ including XLR instead of RCA will be available for around an additional USD$1200.

Horch House/Revox hope to demostrate the finished machines at the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest in Denver, Colorado, in October 2016.

Posted in Tech on June 1st 2016 comments

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