Why do people like reel to reel players?

do They sound all that much better than the other stuff?

they look very cool and remind me of language class when I was younger which was the only place I saw them used. It’s like a record player mounted on the wall where you can watch something spin.

It seems a bit impractical to get the tapes and then to mount them all the time. Cassette players seem a lot better. Cassettes used to be a bit easier to get. Not sure they’re even available anymore. I remember they were double sided just flip them over.


Isn't there a better way to transfer that good quality to newer age media to make things sound better.

@emergingsoul LPs have wider bandwidth both top and bottom, as well as lower noise and lower distortion. So that could be a media...

Usually the LP mastering, which is very expensive, is done to save as much time as possible so compression and other processing is used. That's the main reason tape can sound better if carefully dubbed from a master or 2nd generation.

Nostalgia, as other have mentioned. But finding a good deck and maintaining it today can be frustrating. Then, finding any new recordings in the format is problematic. 

But yeah, they were probably the pinnacle of analog sound reproduction for those who can't afford (or don't want) a ~$8000 vinyl playback system. 

For sound quality, I'd *almost* put my Sony 3-head cassette deck with Dolby S and a metal TDK MA-XG tape up against most reel-to-reel running 7.25 IPS. 

For those with r-2-r, enjoy them, but I can't see anyone just wanting to "get into it" here and now in 2023.  You'd likely get more bang for your bucks by elevating your music streaming system and/or DAC, room treatment, or speakers. 

Then you do have the issue (just like all the studios and record labels) that magnetic media will deteriorate over time, indeed, each time they are played, just a bit. 

Ah, but man, watching those large spools of tape going round and round is addictive I'm sure.  My brother-in-law had a very nice r-2-r set up in the 1970s but it was stolen.  It was mesmerizing and yeah, sounded great in its day. 

Many here have been spoiled by convenience. Streaming, digital, etc. Better sound is always and should be the objective. 

I was 16 growing up in ‘71 when my girlfriend’s Stepdad Phil had a R2R and a TT. Phil was a mailman who there was rarely a day when he didn’t come home from his early shift and play his R2R. I can still hear the long running tracks of Issac Hayes in my ears. 

Two years later I was in the Navy stationed in Oahu when my ship did a WestPac cruise to the Philippines, Taiwan, Australia, Singapore, and New Zealand. But it wasn’t until we went to Japan was I exposed to R2R’s at dirt cheap prices compared to stateside. Did I purchase one on my $320 per month salary? Of course not, because I was too busy chasing tail at 18. But later on I wish I had. Anyway, thx for all your memories regarding R2R, for many of us have them. You do you. 

A good R2R recording is the best analog sound you'll ever hear. But there are more reasons to have a reel recorder. One, they're fun to watch. Two, they're fun to play with. Three, the produce the best analog sound you'll ever hear (Yes, I'm repeating myself.)

I once, for a brief time, worked in a recording studio and was able to work with a number of 1970's decks: Ampex 440's; Scully 280's; Studers; JCI's etc. My favorite for tape handling was the Scully.

Reel to Reel Rules if you have a quality deck and the funds for killer tapes. How the hell do you post pics on here?!