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The Reel-to-Reel Deal

Why analog-obsessed audiophiles are returning to reel-to-reel

Audiophiles are notorious for embracing dated technologies, but their latest move might leave some wondering if they’ve lost their marbles. Incredibly, the audio world is seeing the resurgence of a product that declined decades ago and practically disappeared from the market around the early 2000s: the reel-to-reel tape deck.

Forty years ago, a reel-to-reel deck was the mark of a true audiophile. But the simplicity of cassette and, eventually, the quality and user-friendliness of digital recording killed off R2R. Or so most audio enthusiasts thought.

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