Coming soon from Ballfinger: the new £10k M 002 P tape deck

Ballfinger M 002 P (wood version)

The company that brought you the millenium’s first completely modern tape decks, the M 063 (in four editions), is now working on a new model, the forthcoming M 002 P.

Scheduled for release in summer 2020, the M 002 P is a playback-only machine and is priced at around the £10k mark. It doesn’t include any internal reproduction electronics, being intended for use with external tape amplifiers – such as those made by Bottlehead, Doshi and Merrell, and which will set you back anything from £1,000 to £10,000.

The design is closely related to the TM 1600, which Ballfinger’s Roland Schneider has been developing for Swiss hi-fi brand Thorens. The Thorens deck, which is a variant of Ballfinger’s M 002 P, is also due for launch in summer 2020 with a limited production of 100 units and an estimated price of around €12,000.

Selected features of the new M 002 P include:

  • A super flat (60mm) and compact design for horizontal and vertical operation.
  • External DC power supply.
  • Belt drive capstan motor and direct drive reel motors.
  • Takes reels of up to 30cm.
  • ¼“ stereo with 2mm or 2.75mm track width (straight or butterfly heads).
  • 2 switchable speeds: 7.5ips and 15ips.
  • High-resolution digital counter.
  • Playback tape head direct to balanced XLR output.
  • Housing available in wood or black.

Designer Roland Schneider plans to show the M 002 P in various versions at the 2020 Munich High-End Show in May.

Says Schneider, “In my opinion, open reel will develop very strongly as a playback medium, and this will be key to its long term survival. It’s therefore important to make a standalone tape transport available to the market, so that we build a market for tape transports and tape stages similar to the market for vinyl hi-fi.”

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