Rediscovering Reel to Reel
I recently re-discovered the joy of Reel to Reel music reproduction. I started with an old, somewhat refurbished 4 track NAB Revox B77 with 3.75 and 7.5 ips speed. I use this one for the simple work, experimenting with electronics and playing the wonderful old pre recorded tapes from the sixties (these are all US standard NAB) !
Of course, at some point, I also wanted to record my own master tapes in studio quality. I still have hundreds of old 7″ singles I want to clean (De-Gritter…) and record in nice meaningful “playlists” – so I started looking for a Revox PR99. But this one should be really like new. Not just a bit overhauled (like the B77) and still lots of work needed (by me or someone else). Long story short, I found what I wanted at Authentic Sound ( https://www.authentic-sound.com/ ), run by the very friendly and knowledgeable Ralf Nadolski. He had a TOTALLY from scratch rebuilt PR99 MK3 for sale. The specialty of this one was that the overhaul would be officially done by the head of the technical & service department from Revox themselves. Literally every moving part and the tone heads were new. What could go wrong? Well nothing, so I ordered it to my request: 2 track CCIR with 15.0 and 7.5 ips speed. Good work take some time, so after a few weeks I got the news it was ready for pick up! So in the car and on my way to his store in Worms.
Ralf is a true audio fanatic as well, so we had a great morning listening to music and his beautiful Adeus Elysium SL MKII horn loudspeakers – what a beauties… If you are ever in the neighborhood of Worms, pay him a visit, you will not be disappointed 🙂
The PR99 is playing already since a couple of weeks to my full satisfaction. I bought a few real master tapes from STS and Opus 3 and must say, it is incredible what is possible with these pre recorded tapes… I will not start reviewing those here – there is enough written on this topic. I was speechless any way, LOL. So, I am a happy man and look forward to many years of joy with my two tape decks!
Everyone knows that DDDAC never sits still developing and building stuff. So yes, I am working right now on a Tape Head Amplifier with tubes and passive equalization – selectable NAB / CCIR at speeds from 3,75 to 15 ips… As soon as the PCBs have arrived and I can do some first proto type build, you will read it here…. On the topic of Equalization in general I will publish another blog soon…
Till then, I will have to spend some more time in my listening room with my new toy 🙂 which is not a problem I guess..