The most expensive music format (in the world)

  • Published on Dec 13, 2017
  • Is Reel to Reel the new Vinyl? Short answer: No. Long answer: It's complicated - Press Play.
    In this video I'll be playing pre-recorded tapes from 1957 & 2017 The first half concentrates on the history & background, and the second moves onto the current day and the most expensive pre-recorded music format available for the home.
    01:11 i) History - Explanation of the format
    15:01 ii) Now - The ultimate in high-end analog music
    More Information/Links:
    The Tape Project
    (Tapes & Useful Information)
    The Verge Article from 2015
    United Home Audio
    (High end 15ips machines)
    Horch House
    Opus 3 Records
    Analogy Records
    What Hi-Fi article
    (quoted in the video)
    Clearly a short video like this can't hope to cover every possible aspect of the complete history of Reel to Reel from 1928 to 2017...for example it's missing facts like the first stereo tapes were recorded in Germany in the early 1940s, how the different thicknesses and formulations of tapes affect sound quality, and why tails-out storage of tapes is recommended. If you would like more information on reel to reel the following website is a great place to start:
    If you are shopping for a Reel to Reel machine on ebay - here's my affiliated link
    UPDATE: DUPLICATION PROCESS The company that I contacted have now answered my questions and clarified their duplication process.
    They borrow the master tape, make a copy (or more likely a number of identical parallel copies on a bank of tape machines)...they then use these copies as their master to run duplicates off that they sell to you. The original master is returned to the studio.
    The 1957 stereo demo tape can be heard in full on my website:
    ...and yes the demo tape contains the voices of Art Gilmore as the narrator and June Foray as the bowler - you can see this written at the bottom of the tape box at 08:17
    This channel can be supported through Patreon
    Patrons usually have early access to videos
    ----------Outro Music-----------
    Over Time - Vibe Tracks
    ------Outro Sound Effect------
    ThatSFXGuy -

Comments • 5 369

  • Techmoan
    Techmoan  4 years ago +395

    There are links in the video description text box if you need more information on anything covered (or not covered) in the video. You can also skip past the history section and get straight to the present day high end-tapes by jumping to

  • RFC3514
    RFC3514 2 years ago +1

    Having worked with plenty of professional reel-to-reel recorders back in the day, the only regret I have is not holding on to a couple of Nagras and Stellavoxes I had, to sell them to

  • SuperOtterBoy
    SuperOtterBoy Year ago +53

    Tape is honestly one of my favourite formats. It's a shame that it's become so expensive and unattainable for most casual listeners. It was such an elegant and yet simplistic platform.

  • Saul Goodman
    Saul Goodman Year ago +687

    "Getting into reel to reel tape, eh?"

  • Alorand
    Alorand 2 years ago +812

    Being an audiophile seems like a masochisticly expensive hobby...

  • jihadjoe
    jihadjoe  +18

    The quality of that recording from 1958 was awesome! The technology may have progressed, but the direction of mastering has certainly gone backwards.

  • Bill Marshall
    Bill Marshall Year ago +25

    This brought back memories. I was a (mostly live) sound engineer in the 70s and Revox were the standard for semi-pro (and a lot of pro) work. I couldn't afford one so bought a Tandberg, which was surprisingly good and which I used to record live gigs from the mixing desk as well as using it for sound effects for theatre. Ws almost ready to buy B77 when of course Revox brought out the 700 series which was superb but way out of all our pockets. The quality of all these decks was excellent - largely because of the wide dynamic range - none of the compression and Dolby-ish processing which made cassettes sound so boxy unless you had a Nakamishi.

  • Douglas Kalberg
    Douglas Kalberg 4 years ago +3

    "The machine only plays One Direction" was a scary way for me to mishear.

  • Tina Sparkle
    Tina Sparkle Year ago +6

    Absolutely love this guy. Informative, down to earth language, and very dry humour. Really looking forward to visiting the next UK hi-fi show with my newly acquired knowledge of open reel machines.

  • thebones
    thebones Year ago +7

    being a producer in a former life, I've had the pleasure of mastering onto 1/2" 30ips, now that sounds truly great. Make a copy onto DAT is preferable to a hard drive to my ears. One problem with buying old tapes, is that they are falling to bits and ungluing themselves by the hour!

  • Erik T.
    Erik T. 2 years ago +97

    Sweet, sweet dynamic range

  • zvast
    zvast  +18

    I had to smile, when you said "how good is my hearing" :-)

  • Michael Meichtry
    Michael Meichtry Year ago +5

    Excellent video presentation! A lot of time and effort went into producing this history lesson/audio analysis surrounding open-reel systems. Kudos!

  • leokimvideo
    leokimvideo 4 years ago +509

    looks like there is hope that VHS will be back in again soon

  • Mad Scientific
    Mad Scientific Year ago +2

    R2R was indeed awesome. There's also something mystical about watching the units play a tape. Not quite as mesmerizing as a needle tracking vinyl but still a thing

  • Angelino
    Angelino Year ago +2

    Great video; thanks! I’ve tried and tried (for decades) to think kindly about extreme audiophiles, but I have come to the conclusion that they care more about high fidelity than they do about music. (And yeah, I have an Otari Mk II 50/50 that plays 15ips.)

  • Renny Robertson
    Renny Robertson 2 years ago +4

    The Revox B77’s main home was in theatres for sound for shows. I still have three in my theatre I can’t bear to get rid of. Though having seen the prices they go for I’m tempted. When preparing the sound designs for shows very often you would have different speed machines for different effects. For example music and very specific effects on 15ips, background atmosphere that may run under entire scenes on 7 1/2 ips. Amazing to think we stopped using them as Minidisc was cheaper and faster to work with. Now we use Apple computers with QLab software that means we can easily do things that would have required multiple Revox playback machines and geniuses to operate them.

  • bareknuckles2u
    bareknuckles2u Year ago +3

    You make amazing videos! The footage, editing, background research, sound, etc is so great. Most importantly, however, is YOU! You are so well spoken, intelligent, and thoughtful. Thank you for these videos!

  • Steven Schuessler

    I heard my first reel to reel recorded audio as a teenager during the CD is king era. The tape was the Miami Vice soundtrack played at the 15 ips quality through a very nice sound system and my mind was blown. To this day the quality and warmth of reel to reel is superb.

  • Philip Leitch
    Philip Leitch 3 years ago +256

    I've got a vintage pair of ears that seem to be the limiting factor in my audiophile system. They haven't made ears like mine in over 40 years.