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Where to find Reel-to-Reel Music

June 18th, 2021 by Gregory de Richemont
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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



SPARS Code - Where to find reel-to-reel music - Blog Le Son International

And now, here is where to find reel-to-reel music! 


2Inch-Records (straight2tape)



Where to find reel-to-reel music - Blog Le Son International

The Analog-Boutique-Label 2-Inch Records invites musicians and fans to straight2tape® sessions and releases limited, hand signed LPs and master tapes. No computer, no edits, only real-time analog live productions of their artists (Souls Revival, Paulo Mendonça, Ellis Mano Band, John Doe Band, Marc Amacher & Band).


Country: Switzerland

SPARS Code: AAA

2xHD



reel-to-reel music - Le Blog

2xHD is based in Montreal and is led by audiophile sound engineer René Laflamme and producer André Perry. All 2xHD tapes are from the original analog masters and transferred in analog domain using a Nagra-T tape recorder. The latter is modified with high-end tube playback electronics, and wired from the playback head. Titles available are a Bill Evans live recording at The Village Gate, the album Softly by Shirley Horn, and more.


Country: Canada

SPARS Code: AAA

2Track Masters



reel-to-reel music - Le Blog

2Track Masters is dedicated to bringing new and exciting independent artists to reel-to-reel music enthusiasts. Although all of their albums are mastered using analog processing direct to tape, most have been originally recorded and/or mixed with high-end digital systems. They believe this brings together the best of both worlds – the pristine accuracy of digital recording, and the warmth of analog tape.


Country: USA

SPARS Code: DAA

AC Records



reel-to-reel music - Blog Le Son

AC Records proposes a few Analog Master Tape copies in their catalogue. Machines used are Studer A807 mkII two track 1/4 ” for playback, and Telefunken M 15A two track 1/4 ” for recording. Mostly Polish Jazz albums like Wojtek Karolak, Adam Czerwiński – In a Sentimental Mood.


Country: Poland

SPARS Code: AAA

Acoustic Sounds (Analogue Productions Ultra Tapes)



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The Analogue Production Ultra Tape are reissue series, each a 15 ips, ¼-inch 2-track (½ track) analog tape copy (IEC equalization) sourced from a copy of the original analog master tape. Transferred real-time, using an ATR-modified Ampex Tape Machine with flux magnetic heads. Jazz and classical albums available, like Fritz Reiner / Rimsky-Korsakoff: Scheherazade, Leopold Stokowski: Rhapsodies, Ben Webster: Gentle Ben.


Country: USA

SPARS Code: AAA

Analog Mastering Service



reel-to-reel music - Blog Le Son

Analog Master Tapes are produced under license of Velut Luna Recording. Each Master clone is custom built to perfectly fit client’s reproducing equipment.
Most recordings are recent. Example of albums available: Massimo Salvagnini Quartet – Mancini Dry, Four Fried Fish & Flying Horns – Love Can Change Everything, Paola Casula – Nuvole Di Carta, Fabiana Martone & Big Band Ritmo Sinfonica Orchestra – Big Band Bond.


Country: Italy

SPARS Code: AAA

Analogy Records



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Instead of producing copies from any pre-existing master, for each order Analogy Records produces an original master directly from the multi-track recording system, thus removing an additional stage. Analogy Records produces artists from different musical genres, such as jazz, pop, classical, folk, world music, contemporary music and others.


Country: Italy

SPARS Code: DAA

Base2 Music



reel-to-reel music - Blog Le Son

Base2 is owned by Jacob A Purches, producer, recording engineer, 3D designer, audiophile and music lover. He owns ‘Base2 Studio’ and is available for recording work in all forms. Base2 Music is a young label, founded in 2017 and is not out to build a large catalogue in a short period of time, but to carefully and slowly produce recordings to the highest possible standards of the best artistes that are relevant today. Mostly organ and classical music recordings.


Country: UK

SPARS Code: AAA

Bel Canto Musicale



reel-to-reel music - Blog Le Son

Since 2015, Bel Canto Musicale makes full analog live recordings. For the best reel-to-reel music sound quality, check the Sasimi series live recording open reel tapes. They have 2 series of tape releases: BCM (recording is digital), and BSA (100% analog process).


Country: Taiwan

SPARS Code: AAA & DAA

Chasing The Dragon Audiophile Recordings



reel-to-reel music - Blog Le Son

Chasing The Dragon has become known as one of the leading reel-to-reel music record labels. Their music includes chamber orchestra, full orchestra, big band jazz and HiFi demonstration LPs, CDs and downloads. They run 1/2 inch master tape recorded at 30 inches per second, from which they release their copy masters.


Country: UK

SPARS Code: AAA

Delmark Records



reel-to-reel music - Blog Le Son

Delmark Records is the oldest continuously operating Jazz and Blues independent record label in the United States. It was founded by Robert G. Koester in St. Louis, Missouri in 1953, originally under the name “Delmar.” In 1958, Koester and the label relocated to Chicago with the label’s current name: Delmark. For their releases, the original analog master tapes are played on an optimized Otari MTR10 and copied to a newly refurbished Ampex ATR 102 using RMGI SM-900 tape stock. Subsequent copies are made on Otari MTR10s using SM-911 tape.


Country: USA

SPARS Code: AAA

Fonè Records



reel-to-reel music - Blog Le Son

“Analog pureness from the hands of his creator”. Giulio Cesare Ricci, founder and president of the Audiophile Productions/ Fonè, began professionally recording his albums with analog systems in 1983 and continues to do so today. His analog recorders are: Nagra 4s, Studer c37, Ampex ATR 102. So far he has produced more than 600 analog recordings that have been spread around the world on Vinyl, SACD, CD Gold 24k and HD files.


Country: Italy

SPARS Code: AAA

Groove Note



reel-to-reel music - Blog Le Son

Groove Note Records is an audiophile label specializing in High Quality Jazz, Blues, Vocalists and a Classical Music Trio. The albums include Jazz, Pop, Rock, Soul and Classical music recorded in an intimate setting with some of the top studio session musicians based in Los Angeles. Bernie Grundman will do the mastering and EQ for all Groove Note reel-to-reel music titles, and only the original analog masters (1/4″ or 1/2″, 30ips) will be used as sources.


Country: USA

SPARS Code: AAA

HDTT



reel-to-reel music - Blog Le Son

High Definition Tape Transfers is the brainchild of an avid 2 & 4 track open-reel collector and a serious audiophile. Collected over the years, many of his tapes contain forgotten performances of historical importance. HDTT’s mission is to preserve and share these rare gems with other music lovers by painstakingly remastering them with the finest state-of-the-art equipment and best techniques available. Only one tape available to date: Howard Hanson – An American Romantic.


Country: USA

SPARS Code: AAA

Hemiola Records



reel to reel music - Blog Le Son

The label records live or studio sessions using all analog processes. They offer Prestige, Reference Studio, Gold, Live and Master Cassette collections. You can find reel-to-reel music recordings of Luciano Pavarotti there, as well as Classical Music and Jazz recordings.


Country: Italy

SPARS Code: AAA

Horch House



reel to reel music - Blog Le Son

Horch House was created in 2014, closed in 2019 and re-opened in 2021. The label releases master tape copies from well known recordings, following its own ‘full analogue soft refurbishing’ process. Their reel-to-reel music catalogue mainly contains classical, jazz (e.g. Oscar Peterson), and electronic (e.g. Yellow) genres.


Country: Austria

SPARS Code: AAA

International Phonograph Inc.



reel to reel music - Blog Le Son

International Phonograph Inc., was started in 1981 with the sole intention of recording and producing great jazz, at the highest sound quality, while supporting deserving musicians who forward this original American art form. To that end, IPI records music to analog tape with the sole intent of copying the original recording to 10.5 inch analog tape reels for the customer interested in the highest quality reproduction possible. IPI’s catalog lists over 60 offerings.


Country: USA

SPARS Code: AAA

Legacy Master Tapes



Sony Reel to reel

Sony Music Italy released several master tape copies of famous Italian artist albums, like Lucio Battisti, Premiata Forneria Marconi, or Lucio Dalla. The two-track master tapes are reproduced using a custom Studer A820 MKII recorder, and the tape copies are made via a second A820 MKII recorder with the same characteristics as the one used for playback, without any intermediate processing stage.


Country: Italy

SPARS Code: AAA

Lyn Stanley



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Lyn Stanley’s line of jazz vocal reel-to-reel tapes could be considered among the finest available today. Their original studio master tapes are 1/2 inch and 1/4 inch running at 30ips, and their new recordings are made in legendary studios with top jazz musicians–mixed and mastered by multi-Grammy winning engineers.


Country: USA

SPARS Code: AAA

Magnetic Fidelity



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Magnetic Fidelity is a unique 100% analog mastering and analog media production facility. The studio took over three years to build, since the finest craftsmanship and materials have been used throughout the construction. They have one master tape copy for sale to date.


Country: UK

SPARS Code: AAA

Master Tape Sound Lab



reel to reel music - Blog Le Son

Mr. Todor Dimitrov, head of MTLS, persuaded Kostas Metaxas to make his tapes recorded over the years available to a wider audience. That is how the MTSL catalog came to be. MTSL offers high quality 1st generation master tape dubs. Currently their catalog contains diverse music, from Jazz to Classic and other genres, all of which were recorded onto/from 1st generation master tape with strictest quality standards. The MTSL master tape dubs are recorded directly from the original master tapes, as MTSL owns those originals, and have a license to release them in limited numbers (100 per title).


Country: Greece

SPARS Code: AAA

Omad Records



Music on tape - Blog Le Son

New York City-based label Omad was founded in 1995 by Academy Award winning, and Grammy Award nominated, musician/songwriter/producer John DeNicola.Their reel-to-reel music releases are made from the original 96k 24bit master direct in real time at 15 IPS on metal reel 1/4 “ ATR tape to Studer B67 tape machine.


Country: USA

SPARS Code: DAA

Open Reel Records



Music on tape - Blog Le Son

Marco Taio, the Artistic Director of Open Reel Records, is a musician, a sound engineer, and an audiophile. They only use SM900 tapes for their live recordings. From microphones to your recorder, everything is analog (stereo mixing in real time, mechanical editing, tape mastering).
Genres: Classical, Jazz, Pop/Rock.


Country: Italy

SPARS Code: AAA

Opus 3 Records



Music on tape - Blog Le Son

Opus 3 Records was founded in 1976. Until year 2000, they recorded everything strictly 2 channel analog and with the Blumlein recording method. They made a fairly large amount of full albums (2 reels each, 15ips, CCIR) and out of those, they also offer samplers on one reel – some with mixed music, some with only Classical and some with only Jazz music. Genres: Blues, Jazz, World Music and Classical.


Country: Sweden

SPARS Code: AAA

Premonition Records



Music on tape - Blog Le Son

Premonition Records first released Patricia Barber’s audiophile classic, Café Blue, on open reel analog tape. This version was remixed by the original recording engineer, Jim Anderson, at Capitol Studios in Hollywood in 2011. The master tape copies are duplicated from Production Masters created by Doug Sax of The Mastering Lab using Premonition’s 1/2″ analog master of final digital mixes. They now have a larger reel-to-reel music catalogue.


Country: USA

SPARS Code: DAA

Pro-Ject



Music on tape - Blog Le Son

The audio equipment manufactrurer sometimes releases LPs and reel-to-reel music recordings. For example, this 7RAY feat. Triple Ace – Jazzy Zoetrope (Jazz) album. Studio and Live Recording at Studio Baumgarten & Pro-Ject Headquarters.


Country: Austria

SPARS Code: AAA

Quinton Rec



Music on tape - Blog Le Son

Since it’s foundation in 2001, Quinton Records has become internationally renowned for being an audiophile recording label. The wide musical background of producers Andreas Rathammer und Heinrich Schläfer as well as their musical engineering experience ranges from Classical to Pop Music.


Country: Austria

SPARS Code: AAA

Reel to Reel Tapes Russia



Reel to Reel albums for sale - Blog Le Son

R2R Tape Russia are a team of professionals united by one big idea: giving the opportunity for everyone to listen high quality musical material. They believe that recording on magnetic tape will never be a thing of the past, and will remain the best option for those who want unsurpassed sound quality. Previews of their reel-to-reel music tapes are accessible on their website. Genres: Classical, World Music, Jazz, Pop-Rock.


Country: Russia

SPARS Code: AAA

Rhapsody Analog Recordings



Reel to Reel albums for sale - Blog Le Son

Rhapsody Analog Recordings is an audiophile record label that produces analog recordings using recording principles and techniques that produced the distinctive sound of the sensational recordings from the 1950’s and 1960’s with a modern approach. With the use of the best possible equipment and the recording studio 2 (MCO) where Miles Davis,Ella Fitzgerald etc. recorded. They sell direct copies of the Master Tape, LP’s and high-res files, mostly Jazz and Blues.


Country: Netherlands

SPARS Code: AAA

Smart Audio Recording Lab



Reel to Reel albums for sale - Blog Le Son

Smart Audio Recording Lab records full analog sessions in their studio. Music that they record and release on reel to reel tapes is preferably Jazz or Chamber Classical Music. To do so, they have equipped their studio with a lot of professional modern and, of course, vintage gear, that helps them with the entire recording process. Example: Studer A800 (24 channels).


Country: Russia

SPARS Code: AAA

STS Records



Reel to Reel albums for sale - Blog Le Son

The STS recording studio has 2 brands: STS Digital and STS Analog. They produce digital recordings or pure analog on request. They master all their own products together with QPoint Mastering and Arjan Rietvink Online Mastering. STS takes care of the MW Coding Process (not clear if it is the Korg one) and QPoint or Arjan Rietvink are responsible for the finishing touch. Reel-to-reel releases genre is mostly Jazz. It is not clear rather all their reel-to-reel tape releases are AAA.


Country: Netherlands

SPARS Code: DAA & AAA

The Tape Project



Reel to Reel albums for sale - Blog Le Son

The Tape Project was one of the early label releasing Master Tape copies, as well as modification kits for reel-to-reel tape machines.
Their solid reel-to-reel music catalog includes 3 main genres: Classical, Jazz, and Roots.


Country: USA

SPARS Code: AAA

Tone-Pearl Records



Reel to Reel albums for sale - Blog Le Son

Tone-Pearls Records is a non-profit atelier of music researchers and music lovers devoted to recreating the original experience of live concerts. They also offer some recordings on master tape and in digital formats at cost price. They have developed the Tone-Pearls Recording Technique based on Tone-Pearls using analogue recording with a pair of microphones. What are Tone Pearls? Actually, they are etheric tone generators; they create an appropriate medium for musical tone. Functionally, Tone-Pearls enhance the listener’s musical experience and the quality of music recordings.


Country: France

SPARS Code: AAA

TRJ Records



Reel to Reel albums for sale - Blog Le Son

TRJ Records Label contemporary jazz style formed in 2007 although they have been working in this field since 1989 with various experiences in the music industry. They decided to launch a studio to release the works of their artists. True-blue believers in Analog, some of their releases have been available in Original Master Stereo Tape since 2012. For them, Analog is the best professional audio support; it has been used for many years and has been part of the history of music. Their recordings are strictly “in session” without any digital manipulation for most of their catalog.


Country: Italy

SPARS Code: AAA & DAA

UltraAnalogue Recordings



Reel to Reel albums for sale - Blog Le Son

UltraAnalogue Recordings records classical chamber music in a natural acoustic environment with custom tube electronics throughout the recording and playback chains. They keep the signal path as simple and direct as possible – using only 2 microphones and removing as many contact points in the tape recorder as possible. There is no signal processing or added reverb – to keep the signal as pure as possible. There is a mixture of mainstream violin, cello and piano repertoire. Special attention is given to recording some of the most compelling young classical musicians of our time.


Country: Canada

SPARS Code: AAA

Yarlung Records



Reel to Reel master tape for sale - Blog Le Son

Yarlung Records brings fresh musicians to the Jazz, Gospel and Classical music world using minimalist audiophile recording techniques to deliver sound as close to living performance as possible. Rather than using recording studios, engineer Bob Attiyeh produces these albums in concert halls famous for their acoustics, including Walt Disney Concert Hall and Ambassador Hall in Los Angeles. Yarlung makes individual tapes using SonoruS vacuum tube tape decks. Genres: Classical, Jazz, World Music.


Country: USA

SPARS Code: AAA

Zavalinka Records



Reel to Reel master tape for sale - Blog Le Son

Zavalinka Records is based out of Moscow, Russia. It is run by Nikolai Kazantsev and his daughter Maria. This duo made a big splash at the Munich 2018 High-End Show with the debut of their first recording of works by Wieniawski and Astor Piazzolla. Currently Zavalinka Records is offering titles including Rock, Classical and Jazz music. All the reel-to-reel music recordings are pure analog.


Country: Russia

SPARS Code: AAA


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    Gregory de Richemont

    If you like this post, feel free to share it! This blog is about love for music & analog sound, and is meant to be resourceful and interesting for people along their audiophile journey