Our goal is to help preserve the history of the development of the open reel, or analog reel to reel tape recorder and recognize those
persons who provided the innovations along the way. In spite of its relatively short history (1930's to the 1980's), the
reel tape recorder enabled folks for the first time to capture sound
with ever increasing levels of quality. Whether it be the musician
preparing for the studio, broadcasters documenting a major event,
or just capturing granddad interacting with the kids, reel tape
recorders preserved the moments.
In collecting our vintage analog open reel tape recorders, we have attempted to include units that had a significant role in the development of audio recording. Our focus is primarily on those reel to reel tape recorders that enabled musicians to hone their craft. We felt it would be interesting to include some of the early cylinder, disk and wire units, however, our main collection reflects the recorders that first became available to musicians and "prosumers" in the late 1940's, '50's, '60's, '70's and early '80's. So many innovations assisted the musician to capture that unique sound. They included, "sound with, and on sound," echo, and then came multi-tracking. There are presently 151 reel to reel tape reorders in the Theophilus/Reel2ReelTexas.com collection.
For perspective, we added reel to reel pages in radio catalogs from the late '30's to the early '80's and included open reel tape recorder ads as well. We hope you enjoy our online information. Take a look at our "Phantom Time Line" page also. You'll see some of the audio and video units that were interesting benchmarks of production development. It continues to evolve as we have time. Enjoy!