Knowing where to find reel-to-reel music can be a challenge today, as music on tape is rather rare. Besides the vintage reel to reel albums and master tapes for sale on marketplaces like eBay, about 40 audiophile labels specialize in reel to reel records. These records can be recent recordings or legacy master tape copies, and can be customized for a perfect playback on your reel-to-reel deck (number of tracks, equalization, speed).
You will discover here the complete list of audiophile labels offering reel-to-reel music for sale, worldwide.
I am lucky to have the precious help of Daniel Fiser to compile this list and make it available for all of us. Thank you Daniel!
In order to distinguish the different work processes to produce reel to reel recordings, we mention the SPARS code for each label.
The SPARS code is a three-position classification system developed in the early 1980s by the Society of Professional Audio Recording Services (SPARS) for commercial compact disc releases. The code denotes aspects of the sound recording and reproduction process, distinguishing between the use of analog and/or digital equipment. The code’s three positions refer to recording, mixing, and mastering respectively.
The 3 letters of the code have the following meanings:
First letter – the type of audio recorder used during initial recording (Analog or Digital)
Second letter – the type of device(s) used during mixing (Analog or Digital)
Third letter – the type of mastering used (Analog or Digital)
For example, a full analog reel-to-reel recording will show an AAA code
And now, here is where to find reel-to-reel music!