Forget vinyl and cassettes. The new retro hipster format is reel-to-reel

Back in the 50s, 60s, and 70s, all the coolest home audio systems had a reel-to-reel tape machine. When I was a kid, I wanted this TEAC.

Why? To make high-quality/low noise mixtapes that could run for two solid hours without any human intervention! How quaint, right?  And let’s not forget that many labels offered albums on reel, too. (And you can still find them today.)

Now that vinyl has made its resurrection and with hipsters pushing a revival of the cassette (Give it a rest, people! Cassettes suck!), a German company wants to bring back the romance(?) of high-end two-track reel-to-reel machines.

Behold the products of Roland Schneider Precision Engineering of Dusseldorf, Germany. They have four Ballfinger machines, starting at about $15,000 and heading north to $36,000. The company doesn’t sell many–about 200 a year–but at those prices, it makes financial sense.

Read more at Bloomberg.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

One thought on “Forget vinyl and cassettes. The new retro hipster format is reel-to-reel

  • May 10, 2018 at 11:24 am
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    My dad still uses his reel-to-reel…including his hours-long 80’s mix he made about 30 years ago. He never got the memo that the world moved on.

    Reply

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