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Music

Surging Demand For Vinyl LPs Has Raised Hopes For Reel-to-Reel Tape Deck, Which is Returning To Sale For First Time in Decades (bloomberg.com) 243

It's no secret that sales of vinyl music are at the highest in decades. Even the lowly cassette tape is regaining popularity as some millennials embrace analog music over digital downloads and streaming services. But for the first time in more than two decades, a German company is reviving what may be the ultimate format: a new reel-to-reel tape machine. From a report: Dusseldorf-based Roland Schneider Precision Engineering this week will introduce four Ballfinger reel-to-reel machines, bringing back a technology that dominated professional music recording for most of the 20th century and is now making a comeback with audiophiles and artists including Lady Gaga. The sleek machines, some of them customizable, will retail from about 9,500 euros ($11,400) for the basic version to about 24,000 euros for the high-end model, which features three direct-drive motors, an editing system and walnut side panels. "Digital media is great, but experiencing music is more than just listening to a sound file -- it's sensual, it's reels that turn and can be touched," says Roland Schneider, the machine's designer. "When it comes to audio quality, nothing else in the analog world gets you closer to the experience of being right there in the recording studio than reel-to-reel tape."

Surging Demand For Vinyl LPs Has Raised Hopes For Reel-to-Reel Tape Deck, Which is Returning To Sale For First Time in Decades

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  • by spiritplumber ( 1944222 ) on Wednesday May 09, 2018 @10:42AM (#56580850) Homepage
    "The cyber" is a word again, tape decks are back... what's next, twiddler keyboards and phreaking?
    • "The cyber" is a word again, tape decks are back... what's next, twiddler keyboards and phreaking?

      Teletypes for text entry. IBM Modell M is for pussies.

      • Hah! IBM 029 keypunch for ever. 026 if you are truly hard core ("we don't need the text printed on the cards. True Programmers read Hollerith").
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 09, 2018 @10:43AM (#56580876)

    Also holistic embrace of artisan communicable diseases that have been cured for decades in preparation for the return to rustic, wholesome, and natural levels of infant and maternal mortality.

  • by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Wednesday May 09, 2018 @10:44AM (#56580888) Homepage Journal
    Are there many(any) studios that record primarily, in analog?

    Do many of them have analog components to them...ie tube amps, pre-amps, tape....etc?

    Wouldn't it really only sound the best on analog home play, if the source was also at least mostly recorded using analog technology?

    • by Dzimas ( 547818 ) on Wednesday May 09, 2018 @11:00AM (#56581008)

      Recording on 2-inch analog 24-track is different than digital. Tape exhibits saturation effects -- if I record a drum track onto tape, I can record it "hot" by turning up the gain so that the hardest hits saturate the tape. The result is a distinctive compression/limiting/harmonic effect. One of the reasons that people complained about sterile and thin digital sound when we shifted from analog to digital was that digital recorders don't behave the same way. That said, there are now some excellent digital plug-ins that emulate this effect.

      That said, it makes sense to mix your 24-track analog recording to digital since the digital reproduction will be technically better than a dub of an analog 2-track tape.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Here is my Tube Amp for guitar geeks with a shocking sense of adventure:
        https://www.aeronetworks.ca/2015/02/cool-amplifier.html

      • by Tapewolf ( 1639955 ) on Wednesday May 09, 2018 @11:34AM (#56581310)

        Recording on 2-inch analog 24-track is different than digital. Tape exhibits saturation effects -- if I record a drum track onto tape, I can record it "hot" by turning up the gain so that the hardest hits saturate the tape. The result is a distinctive compression/limiting/harmonic effect. One of the reasons that people complained about sterile and thin digital sound when we shifted from analog to digital was that digital recorders don't behave the same way.

        Another thing is that the frequency response is nonlinear. Jack Endino has some rather interesting graphs of this in different models of 2" deck: http://www.endino.com/graphs/ [endino.com]

      • Is there any reason you couldn't capture much of the same effect with an analog pre-filter that demonstrates the same saturation effects - i.e. boost the gain, pass it through your saturation filter, and then digitize the result? Even an all-digital saturation filter should be able to recreate the result, though obviously you'd need to record the sample at a higher bit-depth and range to accurately record the "will be saturated" signal peaks while maintaining the same detail for the "normal" signal.

        • by q_e_t ( 5104099 )
          Pre-filter? You can do it after the fact, either by 'reamping' (sending the signal out to a tape head and recording it back with the non-linearity desired), or spend some money on a plugin for an industry standard DAW to do it, which is how 'authentic' tape sounds are often done today, and few are any the wiser. Doing it later means that if you overcook the saturation on the final mix you can dial it back. If you commit to tape, you can't. The other option is to split the signal and record digitally as a ba
    • by aitikin ( 909209 ) on Wednesday May 09, 2018 @11:05AM (#56581040)

      Are there many(any) studios that record primarily, in analog?

      Yes, there [welcometo1979.com] are [electricalaudio.com].

      Do many of them have analog components to them...ie tube amps, pre-amps, tape....etc?

      All preamps are analog preamps. Almost all microphones are analog microphones. Most major studios have some analog hardware and utilize it.

      Wouldn't it really only sound the best on analog home play, if the source was also at least mostly recorded using analog technology?

      Most new vinyl is recorded at least in some part on a digital medium. It does not mean that the vinyl is less "analog", but the days of AAA (Analog recording, Analog mixing, and Analog mastering) are long gone (even Jack White [consequenceofsound.net] "cheats" now), but that doesn't make it bad. Most professionals in the audio industry use the right tool for the job, be it analog, digital, or a hybrid solution.

      • the days of AAA (Analog recording, Analog mixing, and Analog mastering) are long gone (even Jack White [consequenceofsound.net] "cheats" now), but that doesn't make it bad. Most professionals in the audio industry use the right tool for the job, be it analog, digital, or a hybrid solution.

        Its easy to find professional mastering using analog compressors (Knif Vari-Mu II) , analog eq (I have an API 5500 and its used a lot in mastering) etc.

        http://www.audibleoddities.com... [audibleoddities.com]

        That's not mentioning plenty of the tracking using analog synths, compressors and eq for tracking ... guessing at least 50% of modern vocals use a hardware analog compressor such as a LA2A but that's my perspective.

        The company API makes analog mixers, compressors and EQ that has seen a modern surge into the 500 series lunchbo

    • Do many of them have analog components to them.

      Unless you're clicking out bits pretty sure the audio is still analog.

    • There a couple...
    • Do many of them have analog components to them...ie tube amps, pre-amps, tape....etc?

      Vacuum tubes are still used quite extensively on the artistic side of audio production. It's not uncommon to see them in microphone/instrument amplifiers, and many electric guitar players prefer tube amps. In those cases though, they're used specifically because the inherent non-linearities and distortion characteristics of tube amplification sound good to most people.

      Thing is though, once you've got the sound you want, it's like a perfectly cooked steak - adding anything else to it might ruin it. That's

    • Transistors are fully analog devices as well - they're used strictly in saturation (pseudo-relay) mode in most modern CPUs, etc, but that doesn't change their fundamental nature. Most modern audio and signal amplifier ICs use them in analog mode to great effect.

      As for replay - you'd probably get the best results if the entire production chain was (high quality) analog, but professional digital equipment may very well use radically greater fidelity than any consumer hardware can use - typical consumer hardw

      • Which means that a smooth input sine wave is approximated by a jagged "staircase" waveform

        No, before the signal is sent to the ADC, the digital hardware first recovers the sine wave at higher sampling frequency. If you were to subtract the original sine wave from the output, you'd get only very soft white noise (at least 100 dB below signal) which would be impossible to hear in any normal listening environment.

        while that quantization will typically capture (most) of the (average) human's hearing range, it completely discards higher-frequency tones whose harmonics may still be audible,

        No. If you can't hear a 24 kHz pure tone, you can't hear it either when it's the 2nd harmonic of a 12 kHz fundamental. A 12 kHz sine wave will sound exactly the same as a 12 kHz triangle

        • Um, prior to the ADC there is NO digital signal, the ADC is what converts analog to digital - it's right there in the name.

          Now granted, for (good) hardware you'll likely sample at a higher rate/fidelity than your final format (integer multiples to avoid introducing greater digital distortion), but that doesn't change the fact that you've already discarded some information.

          As for not being able to hear the difference between harmonics - bull. 16kHz square, triangle, and sine waves all sound definitely diffe

          • Sorry, meant to type DAC, not ADC.

            16kHz square, triangle, and sine waves all sound definitely different

            I don't believe you've actually tried this in a blind test, where you've been careful to compensate the volume to keep energy in fundamental the same.

            • by Khyber ( 864651 )

              "I don't believe you've actually tried this in a blind test"

              Blind test isn't needed - any fucking analysis tool can show this without needing to hear a thing. The waveforms themselves are DRASTICALLY DIFFERENT thus THE SOUNDS ARE DRASTICALLY DIFFERENT.

              I guess you never spent any time making NES music - which uses raw waveforms. The difference is clearly audible no matter what.

              • The waveforms themselves are DRASTICALLY DIFFERENT thus THE SOUNDS ARE DRASTICALLY DIFFERENT.

                This is only true when the frequency is low enough that you can hear the higher harmonics. You tried some low frequency waveforms, and are blindly extrapolating your intuition to higher frequencies. Physics doesn't work that way.

              • by q_e_t ( 5104099 )
                The waveforms are drastically the same.
            • 16kHz square, triangle, and sine waves all sound definitely different

              WTF?

              There's a reason old sound hardware had dedicated voices for square waves, triangle waves, sawtooth waves, etc.
              They sound incredibly different, even at the same pitch and volume (RMS).

              • I somehow quoted the wrong thing, and going back to find the right think I realized the original bitching was specifically about 12 KHz sine, triangle, etc. waves sounding the same.

                That's correct. Those waveforms only sound distinct at lower frequencies. Once you get over 8 KHz they start to sound alike, and when you hit half of your hearing range they're going to be indistinguishable.

    • Are there many(any) studios that record primarily, in analog?

      Do many of them have analog components to them...ie tube amps, pre-amps, tape....etc?

      You have to look, but there are, yes. Most big studios have the capability to do things all-analogue but these days it's mostly done as hybrid. I managed to build my own as a hobby because I thought it might be interesting to experience the workflow, and the machines were very cheap on ebay about 10 years back. I could almost certainly get better results by recording everything end-to-end digital, but working on tape is more fun.

    • by sjbe ( 173966 )

      Are there many(any) studios that record primarily, in analog?

      No because that would be a stupid and expensive thing to do.

      Do many of them have analog components to them...ie tube amps, pre-amps, tape....etc?

      No because that would be a stupid and expensive thing to do.

      Wouldn't it really only sound the best on analog home play, if the source was also at least mostly recorded using analog technology?

      The idea that analog sounds better is a myth. It's the sort of bullshit audiophiles tell themselves to justify spending outrageous amounts of money to pretend they can get "better" sound and impress their friends. It's the sort of bullshit hipsters spout to gain social points pretending they know something the rest of us don't.

    • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

      Read carefully. The quote in the summary is straight from the horse's mouth:

      "nothing else in the analog world gets you closer to the experience of being right there in the recording studio than reel-to-reel tape"

      Note the qualifiers.

      Digital mastering is better than analog. Digital reproduction is better than analog. Your speakers need to vibrate in an analog (approximately) world, but the more digital you've got before that, the better.

  • Vinyl can still sell because it's relatively inexpensive and plenty of record stores sell used records for pretty cheap. However, no hipster has $11,000 to spend, so I don't see this having much of a market outside of the rich audiophile crowd that thinks it will pair nicely with their gold-plated monster cables.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Powercntrl ( 458442 )

      However, no hipster has $11,000 to spend

      Most people couldn't afford reel-to-reel machines back in the day (when it actually was the superior format), hence the nostalgia for shitty ass vinyl. Today, even if it was less expensive, it's likely the hipsters wouldn't want it because reel-to-reel doesn't have that "warm" (which is really just the RIAA EQ curve and any other adjustments done to the sound to make it cuttable) sound they associate with "analog". If you wanted your music to sound true to the source, you'd just be using lossless digital

      • " lossless digital formats anyway."

        LMOL ok Potsy....but you see people aren't. So even in the digital age people are listening to shitty ass digital formats.

        So basically you don't have a point.
      • However, no hipster has $11,000 to spend

        Most people couldn't afford reel-to-reel machines back in the day (when it actually was the superior format), hence the nostalgia for shitty ass vinyl. Today, even if it was less expensive, it's likely the hipsters wouldn't want it because reel-to-reel doesn't have that "warm" (which is really just the RIAA EQ curve and any other adjustments done to the sound to make it cuttable) sound they associate with "analog". If you wanted your music to sound true to the source, you'd just be using lossless digital formats anyway.

        In other words, people buy vinyl copies of modern albums because they want the shitty music to sound shittier. There's no helping those people.

        Exactly.

      • There's no such thing as a lossless digital format - quantization noise discards vast reams of data at the moment of digitization. Mostly stuff outside of the "typical" human's hearing range - but there's lots of harmonics that can create perceived sound from imperceptible frequencies (a modern example being the use of interfering ultrasound signals to generate tightly targetted apparent normal sound sources).

        You're probably thinking of lossless *compression* such as ALAC, FLAC, etc. Which doesn't discard

        • by ceoyoyo ( 59147 )

          There's no such thing as a lossless analog medium either. The difference is that the MTF (the modulation of the spectrum) for a digital system is dictated by the amount of memory you're willing to use. The MTF for an analog system is dictated by the physical constraints of the materials in your equipment.

          For recorded music, microphones are a component in common, and are necessarily analog. The microphone will have peak sensitivity at a particular frequency and that will fall off with higher and lower freq

    • Vinyl can still sell because it's relatively inexpensive and plenty of record stores sell used records for pretty cheap. However, no hipster has $11,000 to spend, so I don't see this having much of a market outside of the rich audiophile crowd that thinks it will pair nicely with their gold-plated monster cables.

      Uh, let's be realistic for a minute here. The only reason vinyl is selling now is because hipsters found a cool new wall decoration. I'm willing to bet only 5% of vinyl sold today ever actually touches a record needle.

      I don't see reel-to-reel taking off because the media isn't considered artsy hipster kitsch, and those who can afford to blow $11K on a deck will "use" it as room decor.

    • I was into reel-to-reel before reel-to-reel became cool - literally. The premise that it is a more accurate analog medium than vinyl is dubious enough, but there will never be enough content release on reel-to-reel to make it worthwhile aside from hipsters and millennials want to pose as "old-school".

      We went down all these roads long ago. People into audio in the 50's/60's/70's were not all morons, this was long hashed out in any detail necessary. That's why CDs exist an

    • by jythie ( 914043 )
      At this point they are probably trying to target the trend setters. If the tech gets some traction there then there will be a market for producing cheaper versions for people to play with.
    • by xystren ( 522982 )

      I see this as a demand for tangible products. All too often DRM servers get taken off line. There is something to be said by physically picking up a vinyl records and placing it on the turntable that that clicking a couple buttons on a digital player just isn't there. I won't go into the sound debate of digital vs analogue - as everyone has their own opinion on that.

      Personally, I like the physical tangibility of the non-digital media. I can do with it what I want, when I want, sell it, loan it, etc. That is

      • by Sloppy ( 14984 )

        You must have had some weird unpleasant experience with some kind of proprietary music format or service. Not a single issue that you raise, is related to digital-vs-analog. If we changed "digital" to "[censored]" everyone would probably guess you were talking about how much you love CDs.

  • Seems fair (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Joce640k ( 829181 ) on Wednesday May 09, 2018 @10:45AM (#56580898) Homepage

    If people want the "experience" of rewinding tapes, taking five minutes to change to a different album, etc. then nobody here should try to stop them.

    All we need is a law to prevent them bragging about the "experience" in public places.

    • If people want the "experience" of rewinding tapes, taking five minutes to change to a different album, etc. then nobody here should try to stop them.

      All we need is a law to prevent them bragging about the "experience" in public places.

      Sounds like the holodeck, we are the bored people of the future, simulating that we need to do things like in the past ...

    • I'll allow it the minute I see one of these chumps lugging around a tape reader for their Macbook and I don't mean one of those lame cassette tape systems from the Vic-20, I mean a real paper tape reader. You can't trust the signal off magnetic media like a hard drive, or something based on transistors like SSD -- those signals are just analog sources defined as on/off within certain tolerances... Now, holes in paper? It's either a hole or it's not (2000 election notwithstanding). That's a truly binary/digi
  • Spent many hours in the car listening to my parents play music on 8-track.
    • Just ordinary cassette tapes will come back long before 8 track, because 8-track is too fiddly. It would have been cool if Quad-8 had taken off for automotive use, though, since most cars actually have four speakers and that would have implied that we'd get quad discrete inputs on our stereo head units.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 09, 2018 @10:55AM (#56580980)

    are doomed to hear it all over again. 50 years ago, vinyl (45 dB S/N at best) and 15ips tape (65 dB S/N at best, before DNR) were as good as it got. Since the early 80s, there's been CDs (100 dB S/N). That's already nearly 40 years. Going back is not something any person with normal hearing could ever consider. So when you see these things being labelled anything but noisy old gear, consider the source's hearing. No, not everyone hears normally, just like not everyone sees normally.

    Let that be a lesson. Hear it.

    • Ironic. You picked the one technical spec between the mediums no one except for some classical music lovers gives a shit about. CDs with 100dB S/N? Try finding a modern song that uses more than the top 20dB. Try find someone who cares when you point that out.

  • Useless. (Score:5, Informative)

    by TigerPlish ( 174064 ) on Wednesday May 09, 2018 @11:00AM (#56581016)

    The real "magic" tape decks of the 50's - 90's were the ones that ran two-inch tape at 15 inches / second. And that was super expensive. I think $200 for ten minutes is the last I heard, and I think that was for Squirrel Nut Zipper's "Hot"

    These new tape decks are 1/4 inch, which are really not made for studio recording, no matter what their looks try to portray.

    The topic is too complex to be easily addressed in any kind of civilized manner, but I think the digital / analog debate can be summarized as such: Early digital capture, 44khz PCM is crap. Yet 44khz PCM playback is OK. Well-mastered, analog-born sound played back on CD sounds wonderful.

    The real breakthrough was DSD. Capture it in DSD and the playback will sound as warm and rich as any two-inch Ampex machine from the past, especially if equal care is put into the mikes, the miking, etc.

    Too complex to easily address here. It *will* de-evolve into flames, namecalling and tiny closed minds.

    • DSD is only helpful in editing. However how anything will sound is dependent on the recording. If the recording isn't done right, then nothing will make it sound better. Garbage in, garbage out.
    • The real "magic" tape decks of the 50's - 90's were the ones that ran two-inch tape at 15 inches / second. And that was super expensive. I think $200 for ten minutes is the last I heard, and I think that was for Squirrel Nut Zipper's "Hot"

      250 GBP will buy you 2400 feet of 2" tape. Running at 15ips that'll give you about 33 minutes, minus any test tones you may want to record. If you run at 30 you'll get less tape hiss, but you'll also reduce the running time to about 16 minutes, which at current tape prices is crazy. I'm running an Otari MX80 as a (very expensive) hobby and by planning carefully I can usually get an album onto two reels.

      The machines being offered here could potentially be used as a 1/4" mixdown deck, but you'd have to be

    • If you used a 1/4 inch tape for a two track recording system (0.125 inch per track), wouldn't that actually be better than using a 2 inch tape for a 24 track recording system (0.0833 inch per track)? I should think the width is important for capturing differences in amplitude, but even more than that, the speed of the tape under the head right? Surely there is an analogue here with the sampling rate issues in digital recording.

      The real trick here is that you need a system with good motors and head and whe
      • If you used a 1/4 inch tape for a two track recording system (0.125 inch per track), wouldn't that actually be better than using a 2 inch tape for a 24 track recording system (0.0833 inch per track)? I should think the width is important for capturing differences in amplitude, but even more than that, the speed of the tape under the head right? Surely there is an analogue here with the sampling rate issues in digital recording.

        It was a compromise between sound quality and track count. In the very late 60s and early 70s, the standard was 2" 16-track which had the same width as the 1/4" stereo master. Running at 30ips, this was basically the pinnacle of studio recording quality on tape and did not require noise reduction. 'Crime of the Century' by Supertramp was done this way and was used as a reference recording for sound systems for at least a decade afterwards.

        24-track allowed the artists more flexibility, but the quality wen

      • If you used a 1/4 inch tape for a two track recording system (0.125 inch per track), wouldn't that actually be better than using a 2 inch tape for a 24 track recording system (0.0833 inch per track)? I should think the width is important for capturing differences in amplitude, but even more than that, the speed of the tape under the head right? Surely there is an analogue here with the sampling rate issues in digital recording.

        Up until recently the cassette decks were not available balanced i.e. pro level +4db ... basically balanced is a hotter and better signal than a -10db consumer level.

        I haven't used 24 track 2" tape since the 90's and wouldn't dream of maintaining a vintage tape machine. I expect reissues in a few years and will reconsider then.

        Anyways, the saturation and warmth of 2" tape just sounds better as I see it and 24 tracks means it is more of a mixing workflow.

        I had good results with 8 track 1/2 tape back in the d

    • Those 2" decks recorded 24 tracks onto the 2" wide tape. The widest 2-track tapes were 1/2" (Studer A80) IIRC, which would have been used for the downmix that became the source for vinyl and tape reproduction.

      1/4" 2-track recorders were common in e.g. radio studios, and available in the high-end consumer market.

    • by jhecht ( 143058 )
      What's good enough depends on what annoys you. I recorded 4-track 1/4 inch reel to reel tape from vinyl at 3 3/4 inches per second and it was good enough for my ears. I never noticed a significant difference at 7 1/2 inches. Reel to real took a little fiddling, and careful recording, but it held up better than vinyl, which suffered scratches and pops. Reel-to-reel requires some maintenance but is fixable. Cassettes tend to be noisier, the tapes are fragile, and the drives didn't hold up, tending to jam and
  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Wednesday May 09, 2018 @11:04AM (#56581036)
    I for one can't wait until unpowered cylinder phonographs come back. I even bought a gold-plated horn to ensure optimal audio fidelity.
  • IF it comes back, it will be updated with all new signal processing, technology and tape innovations.

    Think grandma's Oldsmobile turbocharged, boosted and blown for the ultimate analog reel to reel.

    Innovation on top of reel to reel could get interesting in a DRM world. The Supremes could be rereading some Bill of Rights more closely.

  • can you feel the zeroes and ones better on tape then through your speakers? fucking lunacy.

  • All you suckers said he was a fool. But I knew papa had made a good investment 40 years ago!
    https://www.reddit.com/r/vinta... [reddit.com]

  • by iksrazal_br ( 614172 ) on Wednesday May 09, 2018 @11:13AM (#56581106) Homepage

    I realize lots of people are skeptical of tape, but things like balanced ins / outs and control voltage (pre-midi, Moog and analog equipment uses it still) was not even twinkle in someone's eyes on cassette tape decks when the digital age started.

    In short for this example, digital delay doesn't sound as good. It sounds too perfect. Binson tape delays were used by Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin a lot but cassette decks opens new possibilities. CV can actually control wow and flutter for cool effects. This space case TE-1 deck with all the bells and whistles is around $1000.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/Bc... [instagram.com]

    • In short for this example, digital delay doesn't sound as good. It sounds too perfect.

      Can't it be modeled?

      • In short for this example, digital delay doesn't sound as good. It sounds too perfect.

        Can't it be modeled?

        They've been trying digital modeling for 35 years and while the ADC has improved it still is like a sex doll vs a real girlfriend. Its close, but if they had 85% bananas some people would prefer the real thing.

        The way I see it, the warmth of tape, transformers and transistors is something people will try to program for centuries and will be pretty much at the same place they started in the 80's.

        More seriously, analog is forever. If you buy an analog eq, compressor or synth its pretty much the same design as

        • You'll never reproduce the 'warmth' of rotating ferro-oxide covered platters.

          Not hard drives, Hammond Organs, with spinning leslie speakers.

  • Either these guys have a mischievous sense of humour or something got lost in translation from German!

  • I have vacuum tube hi-fi stuff, in storage.

    I have a very nice Thorens turntable.. in storage, along with about 12 linear feet of LPs.

    I have fountain pens, wind-up watches. THe watches see use weekly. The pens, not so much. Quick notes are better served by pencil, imo. I used fountain throughout the late 70's well into the 90's, when writing was replaced by computer writing.

    I enjoy all that old tech tremendously and may return the tube stuff to service .... when I get around to fixing the power amp.

    But t

  • Just the other day I was looking at used Regina Music Boxes and companies that were even producing new disks for them, and got to listen to one in person as part of a historical demo. Sometimes it isn't about something being technically superior, but fun and interesting to operate. I know people who still do things like wet plate photography even though it has been outdated for a century or more, or who work on older cars, or even smith their own tools. For that matter, I know people who actually have a
  • Millennials? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by TJHook3r ( 4699685 )
    Who the hell is buying all this retro stuff? I love the tactile nature of physical media but you know what I love even more? Space! My collection has gone digital and I have a streaming account. That is an entire wall I have reclaimed. Millennials can't even afford houses so where do they plan to keep record players and tape decks?
    • Agreed. I have two 128TB media server mirrors at different sites. All the media (lossless albums, movies, etc.) that I'll ever need, in a large ATX case.
  • The "warm noise" of vinyl is bad enough, but the magnetic echos that not only follow but precede the sounds that create them on magnetic tape are nerve wrecking.
  • by sjbe ( 173966 )

    Even the lowly cassette tape is regaining popularity as some millennials embrace analog music over digital downloads and streaming services.

    Translation: "Some millennials" = "Hipster douche bags"

    Casette tapes SUCK. They need to die a permanent and gruesome death in a fire. I grew up with them so I should know. Anyone using one is just trying to gain social points by using retro tech. There is certainly no audio advantage to them. They are fragile, awkward to use, degrade easily, are bulky, hold little content.... The list of their failings is almost endless.

    • by x0 ( 32926 )

      They are fragile, awkward to use, degrade easily, are bulky, hold little content....

      Lots of negatives there, butch... But show me *one* digital source device with any of the sex appeal of a Nakamichi Dragon... m

      • by sjbe ( 173966 )

        Lots of negatives there, butch...

        Yep and every one of them well deserved.

        But show me *one* digital source device with any of the sex appeal of a Nakamichi Dragon..

        If you think that has sex appeal you badly need to get laid so you can learn what the term actually means. That's the sort of device douchebags buy to impress other douchebags.

        • by x0 ( 32926 )
          Wow, you used 'douchebags' iteratively. Can I subscribe to your newsletter? Your post is just an asshole's rendition of: Stop liking what I don't like, or I'll really post mean words!

          m
      • show me *one* digital source device with any of the sex appeal of a Nakamichi Dragon...

        You've apparently confused "sex appeal" with "being nerd-shunned by women".

    • by jetkust ( 596906 )
      Physics are still cool, that's why. Storing and playing analog music on a tape or a flat piece of vinyl is like magic, especially if you are growing up in an all digital world and missed that whole part. Plus they are really just collectible items. And it's really no different than any of the other millions of collectible things people buy all the time.
  • by JustAnotherOldGuy ( 4145623 ) on Wednesday May 09, 2018 @01:02PM (#56582010)

    I'm bypassing all you techno-dweebs by converting all my music back to wax cylinders, the way god and Edison intended.

    You haven't heard anything until you've experienced Lady GaGa's "Born This Way" in the original 15rpm 5 kilohertz mono version.

  • I have various cassettes of audio recordings from 1970s that I recorded police calls on a tunable VHF receiver. I remember those days when you hear every 11 seconds you can hear "bbbzzzzttt" from the Mt Umunhum (Alameden AF station) air defense radar (huge powerful, the signal strong enough a non-radio stereo system will pick it up). Though not sure how good the tapes are after all these years but some of the police calls may be historical interest (procedural as years before MDT).
  • I got rid of my Revox A77 (arguably one of the best prosumer decks ever) circa 1990 as parts were no longer available and CDs had notably better sound. Hipsters looking to the analog past may be everywhere these days but that doesn't make them well informed or conscious of the technological improvements that took us to the present state of audio devices. I'll take WAV, AIFF, FLAC - or even lossy formats like MP3 - any day over incessant hiss and analog recording artifacts any day.

  • I want t

    o have so

    me 8 trac

    k goodness!

  • I've always wanted a Tascam Fostex ever since I first heard the name. I have no idea what it is and I think those words don't mean what I think they mean, but it just sounded so cool... ;)

    Google tells me they are two different devices. I'll never own one. :(

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