There you have it. I’ve said it. To all you vinyl loving turntable adepts: vinyl is dead. Long live reel-to-reel! I’m not joking here. I hear rumors that the vinyl era is coming to an end. Why is that? Vinyl has become too common. Everybody does it. No, I’m not talking about sex. How hard is it to buy a refurbished turntable and retrieve some old vinyl from your grandmother’s attic? Turntables are no longer sexy.

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Revival of the tape recorders

As music lovers, we’re spoiled for choice. Our favorite tunes are now available in a wider variety of formats than ever before. But whether you’re a vinyl collector, a digital convert or one of a growing number of audiophiles who are now rediscovering the joy of reel-to-reel tapes,we clearly agree on one: nothing can ever sound – or feel – quite like the original master tape. And when it comes to masters, analogue will always trump digital, hands down. This is the moment to start looking for a Studer, Revox or Akai tape recorder!

Reel-to-reel: are you for real?

Of course we are for real! A very warm welcome to the sound engineer’s seat. So how do you get your hands on an original master tape? Well, it might be possible if you own a record label, you’re a billionaire or you have an uncle who was Oscar Peterson’s manager or are best friends with Leonard Bernstein.

And then there was Horsh House

Horch House was created for the sole purpose of bringing the magic of analogue master tapes to audiophiles and music lovers worldwide. The original analogue master tape is copied, in real time, from a Studer A807 or A80R (depending on the original tape format) to a small bank of just eight finely-tuned Studer top-of-range A80R master recorders. Their reel-to-reel tapes are the classic SM-468, the only tape that has proven its worth and stood the test of time over several decades. The recording quality is constantly monitored, using sound level meters to ensure the best signal to noise ratio.

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Where do you stand in this debate?

Here’s a link to the Horch House article “Capturing the magic of master tape“.
The Horch house master tapes.