Reel-to-Reel Tape Recorders

Reel-to-Reel Tape Recorders are still being used by professional sound specialists. The high quality of these machines can seldom be duplicated by smaller recorders and the cassette tapes. These tapes are also quite easy to edit them. The tape recorders are capable of recording very challenging sounds that cannot be accurately recorded by most cassette recorders. Tape transport mechanism also referred to as open reel recorders are immune to problems that are related to humidity. The width of the tape is wide with a very fast linear speed in comparison to cassette recorders. This is the reason why they provide a very wide frequency bandwidth and best signal to noise ratios of any analogue recorder.

Most recording artists prefer the natural and warm sound or reel to reel player recorders. Blues and rock artists find the distortion that is caused by tape saturation to be quite pleasing. The harmonic distortion that is the cause for the slight depression of the the high end and the  thickening up of the bass creates a fuller sound which has a more natural effect on the human ear. It is common for artists to re record digital tracks to analogue reels.

Teac reel to reel maintenance and tool kit circa 1980s very cool
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It is essential for the recorder to be well maintained to serve its purpose for a longer time. The recorder should be kept in use. Recorders that stand still for long periods of time may end up not functioning well. Make sure that it is well cleaned after being used and before being used.  It is worth checking to see if the essential parts of the tape transport and tape path are easily accessible for maintenance purpose. It is important to have the service manuals it is going to be helpful especially if the some maintenance chores will need to machine to be taken apart. Some of the regular maintenance can be performed without the need of the manual.

The tape path needs to be well cleaned as well to make sure that everything runs smoothly. When the sound of playback and recording gets distorted, it is definitely time for it to be cleaned. The heads and capstan can be cleaned using alcohol and it needs to be very pure with little water in it. The alcohol being pure means that it does not contain any residue and it will evaporate very fast. Do not use any force on part with stubborn dirt but instead use more alcohol. When cleaning pinch rollers, ensure that there is no alcohol that will enter the machine or even touch parts like pinch roller bearings.

Despite the fact that fact that they can be a little hard to find and are quite costly, analogue reel to reel recorders are still available. Problems in regard to maintenance and repair should not be of major concern as tapes and parts of the components are still available.