Tape expectations. There are niches, and there are niches, and then there’s this: Revox is selling copies of studio master tapes on, wait for it, studio master tapes.
Essentially what happens is this: the Swiss tape recorder company makes one-to-one copies of studio masters on new tapes and then sells them to enthusiasts who have Revox tape machines.
Whatever else you might think about this, you have to say that it's an authentic experience. And a very good one, we'd imagine.
We'd be very tempted to try it ourselves, not least because the last time we used an analogue tape recorder was, well, decades ago, and it's easy to forget that under the right conditions, analogue tape was a very high quality medium.
Revox even has a music store where you can buy the tapes.
Here's Studer's own description of how it duplicates the tapes:
"The copying machines are refurbished STUDER A80 devices. The playback and recording levels are controlled by RTW gauges. The copy is created using a Pure Analogue process directly from a master tape of the first generation. The result is a copy in the best possible quality.
Before every recording the audio heads are demagnetised and all tape-guiding elements are cleaned.
After every tenth recording the machines are calibrated by means of monitoring devices and corrected if required. For this purpose calibrated gauges from NTI/Neutrik are applied."
If you really want to try this – and why wouldn't you? – you can buy a refurbished tape recorder from the company.
Prices for the recorded tapes are high, as you'd imagine: over £200. But, honestly, given that they're made individually after they're ordered, we think this is a bargain.