Technology

This high-end reel-to-reel tape machine is an audiophile work of art

Metaxas & Sins TR-X Tourbillon reel-to-reel tape machine up close, all silver and red metal

Inspired by horology, driven by a passion for Hi-Fi, Metaxas &  Sins’ extraordinary TR-X Tourbillon reel-to-reel analogue tape machine is as much a feast for the eyes as the ears.

While it’s unlikely reel-to-reel tape will enjoy quite the same revival as vinyl turntables, there’s plenty to intrigue and delight in this work of audio art. After all, it’s beautiful to look, and the audio credentials for reel-to-reel are high. Before the advent of digital, magnetic tape was the standard format for master recordings. It still has its advocates.

Interest has been fueled by the increased availability of classic albums on open-reel tape, and there’s no doubting the attraction of hearing an album in the same format on which it was made. 

The company says reel-to-reel has the potential to deliver the warmth of analogue sound with less processing, greater dynamic range, and better clarity and extension at the frequency extremes compared to vinyl records.

A first generation copy dubbed in real time directly from the original master tape can get you closer to the  entirety of sound captured during the recording sessions for a classic album than any other format, we’re told.

Interest has been fuelled by the increased availability of classic albums on open-reel tape…

Is the TR-X Tourbillon the ultimate expression of Hi-Fi as art?

The TR-X Tourbillon is designed for 10.5-inch reels, and is inspired by wristwatch mechanics, a tourbillon being used to increase timing accuracy.  The TR-X Tourbillon is the first reel-to-reel tape machine to use the same concept to regulate the speed of the tape. It’s also transportable, thanks to an external £3,200 battery box.  

The TR-X Tourbillon is available in two versions, one for recording and playback, the other for playback only. It sells for £59,998 and £46,998 respectively.  

Netherlands based Metaxas & Sins was founded by Kostas Metaxas. A prolific product designer, Metaxas has collaborated with various luxury brands, producing everything from pens to clocks. He’s also a recording engineer who’s made hundreds of live concert recordings; magnetic open-reel tape is his playground. 

The Metaxas & Sins TR-X Tourbillon is available from distributor Absolute Sounds.

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About Steve May

Creator of Home Cinema Choice magazine, and editor of The Luxe Review, Steve muses and reviews for Trusted Reviews, T3, Yahoo UK, Home Cinema Choice, Games Radar, Ideal Home, Louder Sounds, Channel News and Boat International. He’s also the editor of professional home cinema website Inside CI. He's on Twitter and Instagram as @SteveMay_UK

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