AXPONA Preview: Analog Audio Design TP-1000 Reel-to-Reel Tape Player

With AXPONA a little over a week away, we wanted to get an early jump on looking at some of the cool new products we expect to be checking out firsthand at the show. First up, we’re already quite intrigued by French manufacturer Analog Audio Design’s TP-1000 reel-to-reel player, which is finally making its stateside debut after being introduced in Munich last year.

According to Analog Audio Design, the TP-1000 consists of a “completely new mechanical-electrical design” that took the company five years of development before it reached production in early 2023. Following its aforementioned Munich 2023 debut, AAD’s open reel-to-reel player is finally available domestically, having already made its presence known stateside at the Southwest Audio Fest in Dallas in mid-March, prior to what we’ll see of it in person soon enough at AXPONA.

 040324.apnews.aadesign reelpic3.png

The TP-1000 is a 1/4-inch 2-track tape player — not a recorder, though AAD does offer one (the TR-1000) — and it supports 15ips and 7.5ips speeds, with switchable NAB or IEC EQ curves. The unit offers a “completely new” DC motor, sports a belt-drive design with a microprocessor for precision mechanical control, and it boasts a more modern-looking touchscreen display and user interface. The overall design and performance goals for the TP-1000 are, in Analog Audio Design’s own words, “inspired by the tape flagship [models] from Studer, Telefunken, and Tascam.”

 040324.apnews.aadesign reelpic2.png

All of the TP-1000’s mechanical parts are made in the company’s own facilities, and “all units” are assembled in their HQ in the northern region of Bretagne in France. The belt-driven reels and capstan using low-torque, Swiss-made DC motors “in the best Studer Digitec tradition,” as AAD puts it. The constant tape tension is microprocessor-controlled, in combination with a “unique” strain-gauge design that is said to maintain voltage within 1ms and with an accuracy of 0.5g.

Besides the touchscreen indicators for all of its playback parameters, the TP-1000 also features two classic VU meters. AAD supplies an optional infrared remote for the player, but the TP-1000 itself sports an RJ45/Ethernet interface so that it can be controlled via Wi-Fi on a smartphone or tablet. The integrated web server also enables internal firmware updates and external maintenance.

 040324.apnews.aadesign reelpic1.jpg

Some additional company background now. Analog Audio Design was founded by Christophe Martinez in France in 2020. An engineer with extensive experience in electronics and firmware who worked on flight simulator design for 25 years, Martinez also had previous association with the Mulann Group, the French industrial conglomerate that “currently holds all the knowledge and the processes for high-quality magnetic tape that originated in Europe,” and owns the (all one word) RecordingTheMasters brand.

Finally, the Analog Audio Design TP-1000 reel-to-reel tape player has an SRP of $26,000. Undaunted by that price, we are very much looking forward to experiencing this tape player in person in the Pro Audio Listening Room section at AXPONA.

For more about Analog Audio Design, go here.
To find out how to order an TP-1000 direct, go here.

 040324.apnews.aadesign reelpic5.png

PeterPani's picture

In our times tape is a costly hobby. And people, who can afford it want a future-proof solution. To play a tape you need two parts. Part one is a flexible running gear to roll the tape. You want the main running speeds of commercial tape: 3,75, 7,5 and 15 ips. And you want the ability to play 2-track tapes and 4-track tapes.
Part two is a preamplifier that can be switched to mono or stereo and who plays CCIR and NAB. But CCIR and NAB do not have the same frequency turning points in the EQ-curve for every speed. In the history of tape different frequencies points have been chosen for different speeds. It is a mess. But it is a mess that can be easily addressed with some resistors and caps in a dedicated preamp.
In short running gear and preamp should be splitted in two singular units. What the customer needs is a running gear unit with outlets for an external tape-preamp. There are many opportunities for buying tape-preamps on the market already. The missing thing is a singular tape drive.

Glotz's picture

Thanks Peter.

Mike Mettler's picture
I'll second that -- thanks, Peter! I'm thinking we should test a reel-to-reel player in the not-so-distant future...
PeterPani's picture

buy a for around $2300 and an used Revox machine as tape drive for around $2500 and go from the toneheads directly into the 222.
What you get, is a combi that beats every $100.000+ vinyl system. And you will never have to buy expensive MC-cartridges (appr. $3000+ vs. $150 for new tape heads) anymore.
But the 15 ips tapes (like KOB from Hemiolia or Bellafonte live in Carbegie Hall from Audio Nautes) will make you poorer than everybody you know!
The only rescue could come from a revival of analog Laserdisc. Still waiting :)

salvo's picture

Then again, there are people (like me) that rejuvenate old glories

kevinlevin's picture

Own a piece of Yellowstone's spirit with Beth Dutton's signature purse, symbolizing resilience and empowerment in every stitch
Site: beth dutton hobo bag

kevinlevin's picture

Explore the luxurious world of leather merchandise, where craftsmanship meets sophistication, elevating your everyday essentials to new heights
Visit: the leather merchandise