Old Reel-to-Reel Tape Recorders — Do You Have One?

We love analog reel-to-reel tape recorders and use them regularly to convert old reel-to-reels to audio CD.

I recently came across this SynthGear blog post that contains an old advertisement for a Sony TC-377: 1973 Ad for Sony Reel-to-Reel Tape Deck. (Editor: we are sorry, this link no longer works.)  Some of the text reads: This could be the tape deck you’ll leave your great-grandson.  This is a classic ad because, indeed, I think many people have done just that; not just with the TC-377, but with all different types of analog reel-to-reel tape recorders.

A customer recently sent us this picture of her Sony TC-558.

A customer's old reel-to-reel recorder

Here’s a picture of one of our own: a Teac X-3R.

Old reel-to-reel for converting to CD

Why are these passed down from generation to generation, and say, cassette decks are not?  Is it purely looks, frequency response or some tactile fascination?  I hope you will help us answer this question in our comments below.

If you have an old reel-to-reel tape machine, feel free to post a picture of it to our Facebook Wall.  We’d love to see it and hear how you came into possession of it.  Or send it to us via Twitter.

If you are interested in our nationwide reel-to-reel format conversion services in Colorado Springs and Denver, please see our website for more info.


  1. roger harrison December 17, 2010 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    Can you help?
    i have a audio tape I record 47 years ago on portable tape recorder. I was in Germany and sent it to my sweetheart, now my wife. We haven’t listened to it since, but I want to see if I can get it put on a CD so I can play it for her this Christmas. It’s narrow tape, and the size from the box seems to be 65m.
    Roger Harrison

    • Andy R December 17, 2010 at 3:33 pm - Reply

      Roger, we love to hear about how people used these old reel-to-reel recorders! We have been transferring a lot of 3″ reels to CD lately; many of our military personnel used them during the war in Vietnam to mail an audio recording home to their family. We can convert these to Audio-CD, wave, MP3 or just about any format you need. Give us a call at 719-477-9600 or email at info [at ] audiofilesolutions [ dot] com. Thanks!

  2. Pat McCarthy March 18, 2011 at 8:55 pm - Reply

    Nice blog! I can offer several answers to your question about why reel-to-reel machines are passed along more than cassettes. I think, for starters, all your theories are valid somehow or another. But more significant is the legacy factor: Modern reel-to-reel recording (with AC bias) dates back to WWII; cassettes were invented in 1964. R-to-R was already far superior to cassette in performance; cassette was invented mainly for speech use. So even though cassette eventually overtook R to R as a consumer format (thanks to convenience, Dolby and chrome/metal tape formulations), a much, much larger legacy of R to R tape recordings existed, because of R to R’s superiority over cassette for serious recording, and because R to R has been around much longer. Also R to R machines were built for durability; cassette decks tended to aim for budget-conscious markets and thus were more likely to be built on the cheap. So R to R recorders last much longer, and anyone with a collection of R to R tapes naturally wants to keep the playback hardware.

    But I really, really relate to the tactile fascination at an emotional level! That holds true for me. I grew up in the 1970s and ’80s with various reel-to-reels I acquired used (see http://www.spmaudio.com/beginnings.html, and I really enjoyed loading and threading reels of tape. Popping in a cassette never gave me that satisfaction. (Similarly, I had my hands on a manual-thread 16mm film projector a few times as a kid, and that was WAAAY more fun than dropping in a DVD today!)

    • Andy R April 1, 2011 at 11:06 pm - Reply

      The coolness factor of threading tape is definitely there for me too. But I still remember going to listen to my first high end cassette deck with Dolby C. The shop had the most of any in town–I think 3 or 4–the rest were Dolby B. I plugged in and out of each one with my best headphones, AB-ing them intensely. I never had the money to get one, but I’ll always have an emotional attachment to those 4 cassette decks.

  3. Chris Lewis August 27, 2011 at 2:58 pm - Reply

    I have three reel to reel tape recorders. A Philips, and Two Sony machines, a TC 399 and a TC 440. I got the Sony machines from a popular online auction site. I like the machines purely for the fact that they are robust and they sound great. I use them on a regular basis, as I am not a fan pf digital media. I like to cling onto the more traditional media, I just love it

  4. George January 6, 2012 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    Hi, I have a Sony TC-558 reel to reel in almost mint condition with lots of tapes. I wonder if i can send you pictures of it and also wonder what it would sell for today.

    Thanks george

    • Andy R January 6, 2012 at 1:59 pm - Reply

      George, lucky you!! Why not keep it and hand it down to your kids/grandkids? If you have to sell it, compare it to other reel-to-reels on Ebay that are similar. You may even find someone else selling the same thing. That should give you a good idea of an asking price.

  5. Dan February 17, 2012 at 2:58 pm - Reply

    I was given a TC558 reel to reel deck, and a box full of tapes, both recorded and blank.
    Since this is a new audio machine to me, and I know nothing about reel to reel, can you clue me as to HOW TO THREAD THE TAPE ON THE DECK. I know from left to right as you are facing the deck, but other than that I know nothing.
    Thanks for any help you can give me.
    I collect LP’s, have the turntable, a dual cassette deck, equalizer, and tuner so this deck is like a final piece to my set up.

    • Andy R February 17, 2012 at 4:42 pm - Reply

      Dan, since I don’t own a TC-558, I recommend you get a hard copy of the owner’s manual. There should be a diagram on how to thread the tape in it. Do a search for “Sony TC-558 Owners Manual” in Google. There are several companies offering them. By the way, if you have good eyes, click on the picture in the our article. It will open in a bigger window and you might be able to see how our customer has threaded hers. Hopefully, it is correct in the picture, otherwise, do a little trial and error on a blank tape with your finger hovering over the stop button. Good luck!

  6. Stephanie Morgan April 13, 2012 at 8:55 am - Reply

    I have my dad’s reel to reel tapes he made for my mom and grandmother while he was over in Vietnam. I have been search for someone to transfer them over to a cd so that I can play them for my son. How do I reach you to find out if you can put these tapes onto cd?

  7. Brandon June 16, 2013 at 9:45 pm - Reply

    Easy answer. The warm full sound of analog as well as the beauty of the machines. In addition, when recording the gratification of using your hands to splice, set level, create delays and the natural inaccuracy of the medium. It’s a beautiful thing indeed. Cheers.

  8. Andy C March 21, 2014 at 5:41 pm - Reply

    I have a Ferrograph Series 6 Stereo 1/2 track that I bought second hand when I was at school in 1979. It is all valve and performs perfectly well 35 years on and it was 10 years old when I got it. The sound was so much better than any cassette machine I could afford at the time, it is detailed and well rounded. It is not just the sound, though it has always been superb, but the smell of the machine when it has been running for a while (it gets quite warm) and the tactile nature of threading and winding the tape. It is so evocative and always reminds me of teenage parties and student times. I recently used it to convert a tape to CD which was recorded by my Grandmother in 1952 at the BBC Radio & Television Exhibition. These machines just go on and on.

  9. brianna September 23, 2014 at 11:01 am - Reply

    I love my “new” TEAC reel-to-reel.
    It is the one I lusted after in the 70s and early 80s, but as a little kid there was no way I could afford it. I was stuck with my mediocre RCA machine.
    So, partially I am fulfilling my dream of owning the TEAC I always wanted—the fact that the world changed around me doesn’t seem to matter.
    I know that there is really no point in searching out HQ online music with my ipad and running through my TEAC DAC and then to the reel-to-reel….but it’s fun.

    Last year (as part of a 21st century purge of my home office) I threw away all my old reels of tape AND all my old cassettes and took the recorders to Good Will. I didn’t miss the cassettes but I did miss the R2R.

  10. John September 29, 2014 at 12:49 am - Reply

    In the past year I have picked up two sony reel to reel decks, A TC-366 and just recently a TC-355. I like both decks and have been acquiring tapes. I think what I like about them(and turntables) it that I like to see something moving when I listen to music.
    There was not much wrong with both decks, outside being really gummy on the inside. I like to tinker, so taking them apart and getting them working was fun. I still need a tape head cover for the 355, but I am sure one will turn up.
    I always liked this stuff in the 70’s, but could never afford it. I feel like I am living a dream that I had back then.

  11. J. Flores November 7, 2014 at 9:35 am - Reply

    Dear sir, with an extensive collection of reel to reel tape decks, I’m having a hard time finding parts. For now I’m looking for a solenoid for a Sony TC-558. Would you be able to help me find a source? Thank you! JF

  12. Elmer Dangerfield January 9, 2015 at 2:32 pm - Reply

    might be able to give up a cover. I need drive belt for the Sony TC-355.Can’t find one anywhere. HELP!

  13. Rosanne January 13, 2015 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    I need information on correctly loading the tape onto my mother’s TEAC X-3R. I can’t find the manual for it & am trying to listen to some old tapes that I want to digitize.

    • Andy R January 13, 2015 at 7:02 pm - Reply

      Rosanne, I think Teac/Tascam may still have an owner’s manual you can buy from them. Contact them directly. In the meantime, I’ll send you a tape path diagram to your email address. Good luck!

  14. David Browne June 27, 2015 at 8:02 am - Reply

    I’m trying to find the collector I have an old reel from the president that I’m looking to find out it’s worth

  15. Jas July 24, 2015 at 4:55 pm - Reply

    I have a Sony reel to reel tape deck recorder TC377 for 40 years. The play button doesn’t catch to play for the past 4 months. The player still looks fantastic with its lights, wooden box and charcoal black dust cover. I’m wondering if it’s worth selling or to just donate it to goodwill. I’m somewhat attached to it but don’t use it any longer.
    Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks for reading.

    • Andy R July 24, 2015 at 5:12 pm - Reply

      Jas, why not look for a local electronics repair shop? Even if they can no longer get the part from Sony, they may be able to custom rig something for you that will make your deck usable again. Good luck!

  16. Len Jeffrey August 10, 2015 at 2:10 pm - Reply

    I currently have three old reel to reel decks. Over the years I have had probably a dozen in total. As far as I can remember the the only annoyance with all of them is drop-out. Is it because I have not always used new 1/4 inch tape reels or is it simply the ‘nature of the beast’? Of course, I have mostly noticed it at the slowest speed, usually 1-7/8 IPS. Thanks. Len.

    • Andy R August 10, 2015 at 3:10 pm - Reply

      Len, in theory, drop-outs can increase running at slower speeds. In my experience though, coming at it from a pro angle–assuming you use good tape, keep the heads and tape path clean, etc.–you shouldn’t automatically get drop-outs. Even running at a slow speed like 1-7/8 ips doesn’t strike me as problematic; heck, the old analog cassette format ran at 1-7/8 ips and didn’t have a huge issue. (A caveat though, cassette decks are designed and produced to ONLY run at 1-7/8 ips which can increase their stability at that speed.) Running that slow will generate more noise (tape hiss) and decrease the frequency response of the recording, however (vs. 3.75ips or 7.5ips, etc.). Instead, I tend to think using old tape or not cleaning the deck would be more likely the cause. Or, if the dozen decks you mentioned are all lower-end models that you got second hand, that might also be an issue. But again, my experience is on the professional music side and I don’t even own a deck that will go that slow, so I may be completely wrong here. Maybe someone else would have a better idea about this…?

  17. Len Jeffrey August 14, 2015 at 6:33 am - Reply

    Thank you Andy for your suggestions. Len.

  18. Pamela August 29, 2015 at 6:20 am - Reply

    I recently came across a vintage Pioneer 4 track 2 channel stereo auto reverse model Rt – 909.

    Could you please advise me on how to see whether or not it works properly and the value as I would like to sell it.

    It looks as though it is in great condition. What all do I need to do to test it?

  19. Bill newell October 20, 2015 at 10:06 pm - Reply

    copied sig from Spudnix 1 on an Ampex recorder using a Collins r-388 rcvr, bought a tc 366 1972 on Okinawa trying to get it to play again. also have a tc 377, not working. love the(old stuff)turned 80 6 months ago. hard to find people willing to give any advcie on the old things 73s

  20. Squid October 22, 2015 at 7:57 pm - Reply

    What kind to f commercial reel to reel tapes will play on my Sony TC377? I’d like to purchase some Beatles and Rolling Stones. Thanks!

  21. R,young December 21, 2015 at 9:49 am - Reply

    Sir I I have a cossor reel to reel recorder which is I the loft and has not den used for years it tie seven inch reels and cnrmnber fitting new fibber belt drives and cleaning the recording heads rrom oxide with maths. When the quality got poori keep meaning to get it out and see if it’s still serviceable. The heads were cleaned with meths, and It was a four track machine when one head went u/s. I was able to still use the serviceable one am looking out for a replacement tecorder as I have a lot of seven inch rotor Tape plus about eight pre recorded tape of jazz and popular vocals of the dayR.YOUNG

  22. Pedro Gomes February 3, 2016 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    Hello all,

    i have been wrecking my head trying to figure out the model of a Sony reel to reel i got from my late grandfather which i guess the plate that identifies the model has been lost over the years, and i can’t seem to find one online that looks the same.

    Can anyone help me out?


  23. Darla February 13, 2016 at 1:20 pm - Reply

    I have a vintage Sony t377 with tons of tapes and pre recorded music. What kind of price would something like that go for? Thanks

  24. Vince Flotta April 2, 2016 at 4:16 pm - Reply

    We have a TEACH Real to Real Model R-1000
    Made in Musashino, Tokyo Japan circa 1965
    Can anyone send me a tape threading diagram.
    We want to record the contents on the tapes via our iPhone. Then sell the tape recorder.

  25. Ray garrett June 7, 2016 at 11:52 pm - Reply

    I currently own a Teac X-3 Reel To Reel Recorder. The only issue, it needs belts. It powers up, lights come on, it will wind tapes. Without the capstan belt, it cannot pull the tape as we all know.

    Located the belts (capstan and counter belt) on Amazon for about 9 bucks. I am seriously considering selling this recorder. As I don’t really use analog tape anymore. I was well on the way to refurbishing and using it. When my wife talked me out of keeping it any longer. Anyone wishing to buy, make a reasonable offer for it, and pay for the shipping. She’s all yours. Please contact me if you’re seriously interested. I am motivated to sell it. And have several tapes which came with it as well, if you wish for them, even for just the reels. I will send the deck with the respective tapes no additional cost. Needing to sell the unit.

  26. Rhonda Adams June 8, 2016 at 2:52 pm - Reply

    Does anyone know where I can sell a reel to reel player

    • Andy R August 30, 2016 at 3:56 pm - Reply

      Rhonda, ebay is always an option to sell but is a hassle if you have to ship it to the buyer. I’ve also found that the local electronics repair shop will sometimes want them. If not, they may know of others who are looking.

  27. Bill E. July 29, 2016 at 4:48 pm - Reply

    I have an upright RCA reel to reel all working tubes. Metal case flip up door in back to expose the large high fid. speaker and expose the mic. in storage area. Front has roll up door to cover the reels. Inherited recorder in late fifties I estimate recorder was manufactured late fourtees or early fifties.. looking for fair price. Send email address for pictures and contact.

  28. James August 7, 2016 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    I have a r2r x2000r. I bought omg over 25 years ago used it for about a year sparingly and I feel it’s time depart. Who can I sell this to and get proper came..like New

  29. Bill August 30, 2016 at 1:47 pm - Reply

    I have a Stereo Tone model # 130, 230 watts, made by Three Dimension Co. I received this player over fifty years ago; there were many big band recordings, but from heat and lack of attention they became stuck together. Machine tubes seem to be working; Make offer, if need be shipping required, you pay.

  30. James buckmaster November 13, 2016 at 3:13 pm - Reply

    I recently acquired an old reel to reel tape player (I buy and sell a variety of vintage electronics) It is a portable one primarily made of plastic but here is my problem, it is called an ENCORDER and there is no model number on it anywhere that I can find and when I did my research on it nothing at all shows up, not one thing for ENCORDER, it is as if it doesn’t exist. Has anyone ever heard of the ENCORDER reel to reel tape player/recorder? Oh and it works too. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated, if anyone does a search on it you may get a result on the one I have as I just placed it on Etsy for sale but i hate guessing at a price, don’t want to be too high or too low.

  31. wade d boteler December 6, 2016 at 7:27 pm - Reply

    I have a very old, (1968), Ferric-Oxide reel to reel family tape of some great bits our parents did when they were alive plus other classic old family stuff we’d love to hear again. If anyone could refer a sound restoration company, it would be appreciated. Thanks!

  32. karl lyons March 7, 2017 at 7:36 am - Reply

    I have a sony tc-366 old reel to reel tape recorder and I need a part. The part I need, is the tape selector switch. If there is anyone out there that help me please contact me krllyons961 [ at) gmail dotcom. Thank You

  33. Lee April 8, 2017 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    I have four or five reel-to-reel audio tape decks and a great number of musical audio tapes. I have a 4-channel Bose preamplifier and two Bose stereo amplifiers which were very important to me at one time, but no longer — and so, there they set. Since I don’t use any of them any longer and since I have no one to pass them on to, what can I do with them? What does anyone do with them??

  34. Vintage Falconer April 13, 2017 at 2:46 pm - Reply

    Hello everyone, I would like to sell my AKAI M10 THREE MOTOR AUTO REVERSE REEL TO REEL TAPE RECORDER,
    CONDITION: Good working condition with all parts and come along with woodencase.
    I can ship it worldwide with secure package box, If anyone intrested feel free to mail me.
    Thank You

  35. Kathleen June 8, 2017 at 10:01 am - Reply

    Hello all: I am the original owner of a Sony TC 560. The power cord has gone missing, and I would like to know if anyone knows where I can purchase another one? I have done a great deal of web searching, and have not been successful. Thank you for any help you can offer!

  36. Charles August 9, 2017 at 3:18 pm - Reply

    I have a vintage Akai GT-1900 Reel to Reel/cassette tape deck. Looking for a company that will restore it for me. Anyone know of an co. that does this?

  37. Robert October 9, 2017 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    I am hoping you or your readers know why SONY (circa ’68 – ’72)called their audio recorders TAPECORDERS?!? Was it lost in translation or a deliberate marketing gimmick?

  38. Anthony Dema May 20, 2018 at 12:33 pm - Reply

    We have a Wilcox Gay Recordio from 1956-60. It doesn’t work. Where can we go to have the tapes converted so we can play them?

  39. Stephen September 3, 2018 at 4:50 pm - Reply

    I have a 1975 vintage Akai reel to reel audio player and recorder, fully restored with factory OEM Akai parts by a retired Akai tech, this unit is beautiful and works great i payed $500 and want to sell it cheap, can someone get ahold of me please my email is cuke933@gmail.com and my cell is 3524365093 please text me and let me know who u are so i dont miss your call.. Thank you very much my name is Steve Cochran

  40. Bill Sims September 8, 2018 at 4:08 pm - Reply

    I just discovered your site. I also just found an old 3” tape that I recorded in Vietnam at 1-7/8 ips. The Sony that I used is long gone. I would really like to be able to share this with my grandchildren. Do you have any thoughts on this? Thanks so very much!

    • Andy R September 9, 2018 at 6:20 pm - Reply

      Hi Bill, we’d love to help you convert the 3″ tape, however, our machine runs at 3.75ips and 7.5ips. Give us a call and maybe we can help you find a solution.

  41. Olle Dahlquist September 22, 2018 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    Hi everyone!
    Wow, that’s a lot of comments. I will take a moment to read them, but first I would like to tell you about my experience in reel-to-reel tape recorders.

    I was just six years old when my aunt gave me a little Sanyo Pocket-Corder MC-2. It worked for a time… At nine I started to edit tapes on my fathers Tandberg. Four years later I started as a free-lacing sound engineer for the Swedish Broadcasting Corporation. I got employed at the age 18 and moved from Northern Sweden to Stockholm.

    Over the years I worked as a studio recording engineer but also with Outside Broadcsting, PA, theatre and music recordings. Besides that I had my own radio shows broadcasted nationwide and for some time I was also the purchasing manager for the Swedish Radio.

    After 22 years I felt that the company had changed to much in a direction I didn’t like, so I moved back to my home town and became the main instructor for computer software for the Swedish Army of Defence.
    Now I am free-lancing doing sound recordings and some PA as well as web and graphics design (and more).
    My interest for vintage and new sound stuff has resulted in a collection of more than 30 reel-to-reel tape recorders from the small Sanyo MC-2 (I found two on Ebay so my tape recorder history is covered) to the Studer A812. I also have a lot of cassette recorders and decks, some digital recorders and mixers plus a few broadcast mixers.

    I guess I have to find a bigger house for my stuff.

    Among my hundreds reel-to-reel tapes I have recordings made by my father back in the 50’s and they still sound absolutely great.

    Well, that was some of my experiences.

    Have a great time!

    Mr. Olle Dahlquist, Boden, Sweden.

  42. Brij October 4, 2018 at 12:28 pm - Reply

    By which company was Paros TR8 SW/MW Radio/Tape recorder was manufacturered in Japan.

  43. Robin Tryloff October 28, 2018 at 3:24 pm - Reply

    Do you accept donations of reel-to-reel machines?

  44. Troy November 7, 2018 at 3:16 pm - Reply

    I’m selling a AMPEX AG 440 IN CONSOLE, all original parts in working order. Asking $1500.00 but will take offers. I know shipping can be expensive so willing to work out a fair price. Troy @ troydalton90@gmail.com or 385 246 6509…. need to sell fast so first come first serve

  45. James Dale November 16, 2018 at 6:51 pm - Reply

    I love reel to reel tape recorders. When I was a missionary in Uruguay, we used little recorded tapes and a video player that every time the tape bleeped, we would advance the video player to the next slide. One of our missionaries was very rich and he had a Roberts reel to reel recorder. His father raised race horses and won a Kentucky Derby. Anyway, I always wanted one. Two months after I got home, I was drafted and 7 months later married my girl friend. I got a Sears credit card and the first thing I bought was a Reel to Reel Tape Recorder with their own speakers. That was in 1969. In 1980, I bought a Teac X-10R recorder. I loved it. In 1995, my wife left me to marry her high school sweetheart. I was so mad, I pushed the reel love of life over the ledge. What a dumb thing to do. Anyway, I threw what was left in the dumpster, another dumb thing. In 1996, I married a girl that I had a crush on before I met #1 wife. A couple of years after we were married, I saw an ad for a Teac X-700R that was selling with about a dozen recorded tapes on Maxell XLII WW 35-90 tapes and about 20 of them still sealed. (They are still sealed.) Over the years, I bought several pre-recorded tapes. Anyway, the owner of the X-700R and tapes got killed in Iraq (He was in the Air Force.), so his roommate had to sell them. I got them all for $200 cash. I have the original box and packing material, manuals, and the TZ-550 Dust Cover and it’s box. How much do you think all of that is worth now. I see ebay selling them. Anyway, my son doesn’t want it and I love it but don’t need it. It takes away some of my wife’s sewing room.

  46. Teresa July 11, 2019 at 5:06 pm - Reply

    I have an very very very old reel to reel player. Looks to be in mint condition. Got it from an elderly lady that was moving.
    I want to just get rid of it. Does anyone want it?

  47. David August 17, 2019 at 2:02 pm - Reply

    Any one have information regarding an old panosonic Videomaster 2 reel model nv 204am from late 60s? Can’t find any info online….thank you

  48. Richard Carter August 24, 2019 at 8:48 am - Reply

    Some time ago a friend of mine gave me some tapes from recording studios in Conn and Ill. about 36 in total they were of famous rock bands and people in the 60 and 70’s his brother was a well known drummer with some of the groups and also a studio drummer as well and recorded these on his own machine for his use. I bought a AKAI 1730D 4 channel to play them on but it didn’t run so I took it to a repair shop that specializes in R2R repair. Before I got it back my friend passed away and his brother had also passed back in 2001. I now have the player back in tip top working order and the tapes sound great so much better than the sounds we are getting today. recently I went to an estate sale and picked up a Sony TC 730 and a box of 28 prerecorded tapes from the 60-70″s for ten dollars. I don’t know if its because i’m older than most folks on the site pre Vietnam but I love to go to my man cave sit in front of the reel to reel and thread the tape and listen to the rock groups before they made it big. My point is there is a lot of music history out there that should be enjoyed not pitched because its old teck.
    If any one has any old tapes they want to get rid of please let me know. Buying old tapes is a crap shoot as you never know what your really getting but for the right price its worth a gamble. Don’t give up on R2R tape format pass it on down to your kids even though they don’t understand it it a history lesson and a different experience in music and listening pleasure.

  49. Gaylord Ewing October 30, 2019 at 7:36 pm - Reply

    I have a small collection of vintage recorders and of course several reel to reel tape recorders. I also have a couple of 1940’s vintage wire recorders. I have found that most of time the reel to reel tape recorders are a lot easier to repair . I have found to,that the audio cassette tape recorder mechanisms are a lot more difficult to work on because of the smaller parts.. The smaller parts do tend to ware out quicker.
    Most of the reel to reel tape machines are a lot easier to work on because of their having the larger parts.. I used to re-build the Ampex 350-series tape decks. They were the “Work-Horse” of the recording industry and they were easy to rebuild and repair.
    Again do to their larger parts and they had 3-motors and I still use a Technics 1500-series and a Pioneer RT-707 to transfer old reel to reel tape recordings to CD’s for people. Best regards, Gaylord Ewing Morris,N.Y.

  50. Regina L Turner February 11, 2020 at 11:24 pm - Reply

    Hi, my father has 4 reel to reels, some are TEAC , AKAI , SONY & KENWOOD. He passed away last year and I really don’t know what I am going to do with them. I remember him playing and listening to them and hearing my mother singing on some of the reels. Those were great moments from my past.

  51. M.H.PARAMESHWAR July 27, 2020 at 11:13 pm - Reply


  52. Peter November 9, 2020 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    I have two identical reel to reel tape recorders, Ultra, one is beyond repair but I want to puts it’s reel carrier on the other machine. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

  53. Marc March 15, 2021 at 10:28 pm - Reply

    I’ve been into high end audio since the mid 1970s, just a teenager at the time. I had numerous reel to reel tape decks through my home stereo business at the time, and always marveled at their ability to faithfully record any audio source, whether live or from vinyl records.

    Nearly 50 years later, the time came to get “back in the game” and pick up a serious, prosumer deck and in my search I stumbled upon the folks at Reel To Reel Heaven (www.reeltoreelrestoration.com). We chatted a great deal and became friends due to our shared passion long before I pulled the trigger and purchased one of their fully restored Otari MX-5050BII-2 machines. Ryan and Ozzie have been absolutely fantastic in regard to customer service and their depth of knowledge is impressive. Being able to chat with Ozzie directly about setup and calibration has proved invaluable. The unit was meticulously packed for safe transport to Maui, Hawaii and arrived in perfect condition. Their attention to detail was immediately evident and I can’t wait to get this deck into the studio with some local bands and start showing them why tape is (still) king.

    It’s a real crap shoot out there in the used reel to reel tape deck market, in regard to the condition of the machine you might be buying and how much work it may require, as well as proper packing and shipping methods to get it to you safely. Working with Reel to Reel Heaven (www.reeltoreelrestoration.com) took the guess work and uncertainty out of my purchase and they back their machines 100% with amazing customer service. I’m so happy I went with them to get a restored, reliable machine into my hands to start pursing my passion again, recording music!

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