Reel to real: Neville Roberts discusses the very real R2R resurgence at StereoNet – with a great overview for those new to tape

Thanks to the recent vinyl revival, ever more people are realising that the purest way to enjoy music is to keep it in the analogue domain in its journey from instrument to brain, says Neville Roberts, in his recent article for audiophile webzine

A decade after the vinyl revival began, “the same started to happen for another analogue format – open reel tape. It can be expensive to get into, but the potential sonic rewards are so great that many audiophiles have embarked upon this journey.”

If you’re still wondering why and how, Neville gives an interesting tour of tape’s history and background, from the invention of sound recording to the role of Bing Crosby, via knowing your two-track from your four-track, and your NAB from your CCIR.

And, if you’re still on the fence about whether or not you can afford to dive in, Neville offers reassurance. “Starting your adventures in tape does not necessarily mean investing heavily in professional equipment. You can experiment with domestic machines and purchase second-hand pre-recorded four-track stereo tapes recorded at 7½ ips, which are readily available via internet auction sites. Used domestic machines are also readily available, and it’s not necessarily a complex or costly task to get them back to good working condition.”

Check out Neville’s full article, which is packed with useful pointers, advice and resources for the tape novice, at

Neville Roberts explains the benefits of analogue tape in The Reel-to-Reel Rambler room at Hi-Fi Show Live 2019.

See also: A quick chat with… tape-loving hi-fi journalist Neville Roberts