Famous Swiss Tape Recorder Brand To Re-introduce Reel-to-Reel Analog Recorder! (NOT)

Not allowed to divulge the brand name but a famous Swiss company renowned for its pro audio and semi-pro reel to reel tape decks will begin again next year manufacturing a reel-to-reel tape deck! As unlikely as has been the vinyl resurgence, this news is even more unlikely, yet it is happening.

Why? Because of increased demand for reel-to-reel playback and the willingness of record labels to license titles for reissue on 15IPS 1/2 track 10" reel tape.

These tape sets are very expensive yet the demand grows. The tapes shown here are the Oscar Peterson set also reissued on a six LP set mastered from analog tape by the appropriately named AAA label in Germany. The recordings were originally produced by the well-regarded MPS label that recorded many jazz greats during the 1960s and beyond.

A spokesperson at the booth selling the sets (or at this point taking orders) said the demand has far exceeded the company's expectations and based upon it, it expects to dig deeply into the MPS catalog for future tape releases. Getting raw tape is "no problem" he told me, because someone had bought BASF's tape manufacturing equipment in the "unlikely" event what has happened might happen.

Tullman's picture

I wonder if BASF will be able to produce 2" recording tape.

J.D.'s picture

Nagra, Studer, Stellavox ..... ?
All swiss analog tape names.
Can anyone narrow this down ?

csmalak's picture

Has to be Nagra given pro-audio hint, and they have a semi-pro R2R in their current product line as well.

volvic's picture

Time to take the plunge and finally get that Tandberg reel to reel.

Bruce in PA's picture

Can these be ordered from the US?

Bruce in PA's picture


rdh79730's picture

After getting back into vinyl a decade ago, I decided that I needed a way to make mixes of all my one-hit-wonder albums. Remembering my dad's broken Tandberg R2R that sat in my closet through highschool and college, I jumped into tape. Love my Pioneer reel. Great for parties. Plus, who didn't love making mix tapes back in the cassette days? I made a mix special for my wife with songs she loves.

Rsandru's picture

As the proud owner of a Studer A812 reel to reel I can only salute this initiative!

However there's nothing mysterious about someone buying the BASF process 'just in case'. All of us tape nutters are already buying fresh tape from ATR and RMGI (Pyral) since quite some time.

Just search for it at any decent online store and you shall find!

wao62's picture

Hope it will come in quarter track configuration so that one can play all those commercially produced titles that came out in the 60's & early 70's!

labjr's picture

How is the generation loss of tape vs the record making process?

Considering the delicate state of so many old master tapes, and even the priceless value of them, I can't imagine anyone using the originals to dub copies over and over. They don't even like to do it to cut lacquer masters. So that leaves a digital process in between or two generations of tape loss. What's the point?

Bigrasshopper's picture

That's a good point. I don't really see the point of a vinyl resergance unless the entire analog process is revived for new recordings. How lasting can a trend be when it's reduced to mocking a form that is only 180 grams deep. It ain't the real deal and if hybridization is "the future" then that convenience will be heard and only hasten the full resurgence of analog, which is happening. It is real. I am " pulled in " by magnetic attraction, not by convincing displays of musical statistics. Numbers are models of reality. They are stand-ins.

TommyTunes's picture

As a person who just got done spending 9K refurbishing and modifying an Otari and adding an outboard head amp and who already owns Tascam and Revox decks, there is just way to little available on tape. Sure it sounds great but the catalog is none existent.

soundman45's picture

My guess would be Studer. They have not produced an analog machine in quite some time, and they were the last ones to produce
a 24 track analog deck that's in demand.

Jim Tavegia's picture

The sad part is I'm sure none of them will be affordable so I'll have to be content to start my own recording at 24/192 and maybe some native DSD with a Tascam unit for all of $999.00 It's too bad as it would have been fun, but to do R2R right but it cannot be cheap.

dhyman's picture

"analog planet" is broader than vinyl and will cover this analog excitement as it develops. my hold back from the tape project has been lack of content.

J.D.'s picture

Couple of good reasons for Open Reel...

Mixes, comps, best-ofs, greatest-whatevers. Most audiodweebs like myself have overwhelming amounts of musical material, some of us have more than we can really rotate in a years time (mf?). Generally there is great material and then 'edit-out-able' material; open reel tape is a hi-rez way to do a little sampler of periodic "high points" from large collections.

Tape allows nice, curated 'revisits' of various genres or artists or any given category, in a linear, analog-style experience. (punching in new entries on a server doesn't have the well-considered, leisurely vibe of a proper tape compilation...)

Digital recordings sound better in analog tape playback that is high quality. So a new generation studer or nagra playing a well-recorded 24/192 program would likely hit the spot nicely.

Open reel could be a way to rescue your cloud-dwelling HD tracks or hi-rez hard-drive-sourced files, and bring them down to earth.

For older masters, no, as above the labels aren't going to lend them out to niche re-release projects like tape. But for newer things, where the master is a digital file anyway, tape is a feasible platform for limited collector release.

Viable is another thing. We certainly don't need more krall or barber, released again, on open reel. But who knows; if the vinyl resurgence teaches us anything, it is that stranger things can and have happened ...

labjr's picture

Sorry but I'd prefer to hear digital recordings which are being converted to analog as I listen to them.

I can't imagine open reel making a come back because someone wants to hear digital recordings on tape any more than using open reel machines to store my computer data.

Michael Fremer's picture
The Jarvi Beethoven cycle recorded to multitrack DSD was mixed to analog tape and cut for an LP box set at the behest of members of the Bremen Chamber Orchestra (mostly string players) who preferred that sound to the SACD. They said it sounded more like "them" than did the SACD. The box set sold out though it was considerably more expensive than the SACD set.
J.D.'s picture

To preface my comment above with "in addition to whatever might become available as fully analog sourced".

(kind of goes without saying at a place called analogplanet, I would've thought?)

c1ferrari's picture

Which EQ?

Personally, I would not be interested in R2R titles unless analog tracking, analog mixing, and analog mastering yielded the analog R2R.

Listens2tubes's picture

This is great news. With the price some reel to reel machine command these days it does seem there is a market. And there are a few labels that sell second generation tapes like Yarlung, UltraAnalogue Recordings and International Phonograph, Inc. just to name a few.

MrRom92's picture

This is GREAT news... surprising to say the least as tape is very niche. I think there'd be a bigger market for a new lathe on the market. The last tape deck being manufactured only stopped manufacture a couple of years ago. But we haven't really had an entirely new model since the 90's. And we've had a ton of advancements in technology since then. If it's studer and they make something comparable to the a820, count me IN

JRSBat's picture

I found a website that sells brand new Otari MX5050 BIII decks for $5,530. Are those NOS units or is Otari already manufacturing new decks for the broadcast industry (and individuals who can afford them)?

By the way, United Home Audio sells new decks. The inside electronics are pretty much gutted and rebuilt by UHA. The decks are pricey but they can play Tape Project master copy tapes without additional add-ons or upgrades. UHA says its $20k deck trounces its $199k vinyl front end.

JRSBat's picture

UHA's $20k tape deck trounces its $100k vinyl front end. Can't type today.

waltzingbear's picture

there are currently 2 sources of new tape
1) ATR Magnetics with a new tape formulation over the last decade
2) RMG, now operated by Pyral, a French company with long experience in magnetic recording. This tape is the current derivative of the agfa to BASf to Emtec to RMg linage and equipment.

Both of these tape are available in all standard widths and are used daily in the music industry even today. Tape is not and never was dead, pretty close at times though.


Plush's picture

There is no need at all for new analog machines. There are a plethora of good used machines that can be refurbed and record / play as new. It is a folly. World wide demand for analog machines is at an all time low. There would be perhaps 100 customers world wide for a new $50,000 plus analog tape recorder. A Nagra T-Audio is available cheap as is an outstanding Studer A820.