Open Reel tape
How to enjoy this format
Open reel, reel-to-reel, R2R, RTR, or whatever you like to call it, was the original medium for recording all music from the 30’s through mid 80’s, when digital media was introduced. This format is the most diverse with four different tape widths: 1/4 inch, 1/2 inch, 1 inch, and 2 inch. Quarter inch tape is the most common. There are options to consider with reel size, tape speed, tape recording formats, equalization and operating level. To learn more about this format, head over to Dave Denyer’s website, The Reel to Reel Rambler for everything you wanted to know about open reel, including news, reviews and musings.
There is a resurgence in the open reel format partially due to a variety of reasons including the availability of brand new tape and supplies, as well as a strong used market for tape decks that are serviceable. The information on this page is intended to help you get the most out of this analog format if you are considering a jump in, or have taken the leap and enjoying this new audio adventure.
Learn more about this format
The reel-to-reel rambler
Dave Denyer is an audiophile and a music fanatic with a serious analogue habit. He’s been in the audio industry for around 30 years, so he knows a thing or two about what makes great sound. You can find his professional website at daviddenyerpr.co.uk, while thereeltoreelrambler.com is a personal blog that’s all about analog tape. I’ve found his site very helpful in learning what’s so great about the open reel format (R2R or RTR). It has news, resources, guides to sourcing tape decks and music on tape, reviews, and guest blogs from other audio journalists and tape fans.
Tape deck repair & sales
The Audiophile’s Clinic
Petronel Butuc is the ‘doctor’ at The Audiophile’s Clinic. He is an electronic engineer who is also a qualified acoustic engineer. The Clinic offers a variety of services including: hi-fi equipment maintenance, high quality audio transfer, vinyl restoration, sound room design and installation. Petronel also specialises in sourcing, servicing, repairing and restoring vintage reel-to-reel tape machines and he has a nice selection of professional and home R2R machines serviced and ready to enjoy. The Clinic ships worldwide, insured.
Reel to reel tech
Curt Palme is the tape guru that runs ReeltoReelTech.com in Surrey, B.C. and has to be one of the best R2R techs in North America. I sent my Akai to him and know first hand that he does a great job. With over 30 years experience, he repairs decks, sells refurbished decks and new tape in 7″ and 10.5″ reels. He works in all size formats from consumer to professional decks. He also offers free tech support and has quite a bit of helpful information for the DIYer. Based in British Columbia, Canada.
Analog Audio Tape & Accessories
ATR Magnetics is located in York, Pennsylvania and has been producing tape since 2005. They are the only manufacturer of studio-grade, analog recording media for professional and semi-professional use, in the Western Hemisphere. Proudly made in the USA. They sell master tape, MDS-36 tape, cassette tape, specialty tapes, accessories, and packaging.
Recording The Masters
A brand dedicated to world-class audio professionals, RTM are the leading manufacturer of professional and semi-professional analog audio tapes, providing superior recording and sound playback qualities. Our products are made in France and used worldwide in major recording studios, for archive and instrumentation markets. See dealer list.
Splicit Reel Audio Products
Splicit Reel Audio Products is the nation’s innovative supplier of analog reel-to-reel audio tape supplies and accessories. They carry a full line of audio reel to reel tape, supplies and accessories, including: Capture Series and Recording The Masters tape, splicing blocks & kits, tape reels and boxes, plus cassette tape and supplies.
516 SE Gleneden Place
Bend, Oregon 97702
By appointment only