Some audiophiles will tell you that the only way to enjoy music listening with master tape audio quality is to do so using a reel-to-reel tape machine. Audio engineer Kostas Metaxas agrees and has announced a new addition to his high-end hi-fi hardware company’s product line in the shape of a “kinetic art object” that happens to record and play analog tape.
Metaxas says that the best source for reproduced music is analog tape recorded on 10-inch reels at 15 inches-per-second (IPS), and of that there is no doubt. He further states that the same reel-to-reel hardware is the best way to capture live music.
“This is a fact not open for discussion and is responsible for the incredible resurgence in interest in Open Reel Analog Tape Recorders,” says the audio engineer and hi-fi component designer. “The High End Audio industry has embraced and acknowledged this over the past 10 years.”
Metaxas himself has been using two modified Stellavox portable tape recorders to capture more than 300 concerts since the mid-1980s. Now his company, Metaxas & Sins, is looking to tap into the recent upsurge in analog reel-to-reel interest from audiophiles by creating an open reel tape machine called the GQT Portable Recording Device No 1, which acknowledges the hardware as a Georges Quellet Tribute – Quellet being the Swiss founder of Stellavox.
The GQT is based on the Stellavox SM8 recorder, and has been “designed for ultimate location recording and playback duties.” It’s likened to a large Swiss mechanical watch mechanism, with no computer or logic control hardware in sight. Its circuits are made up of discrete transistors and components similar to those found in 1960s to early 70s devices.
The portable recorder can handle either 468 or 911 0.25-inch analog tape, its DC motor will operate at 15 IPS only and, as you might expect from a Metaxas creation, the GQT is a work of art as well as a functioning recorder and playback machine.
The prototype device will be on display at the High End Show in Munich, Germany, during May, before a very limited production run starts around August. No price has been revealed at this time.