I’m considering investing in a reel-to-reel tape machine. Any recommendations?

At the time of writing, there are (to our knowledge) no companies that currently manufacture reel-to-reel machines. There’s certainly a market for them, but for now it’s a second hand market, serving both professional studio and home use. 

At Horch House, we use machines from Swiss experts Studer, who pioneered many key developments in the audio industry and who remain world leaders in audio engineering. We also rate Revox and Stellavox.

Whichever brand you choose, we’d recommend learning about the different types of analogue tape machines and their various features before investing in a reel-to-reel deck. We’d also recommend finding a source of high quality technical support. These analogue machines are mechanically intricate and their optimum performance depends on good maintenance. Any second hand machine will have been subject to both age and usage and so some parts are likely to have deteriorated and may need repair or replacement. In fact, unless specifically stated otherwise, most used machines will require some maintenance or repair to get them back to their optimum specifications. The chances of finding replacement parts for older machines will tend to be better with the more common brands.