Reel to Reel Recorders and Tapes

They were big, they were heavy, and if you insisted on taking one to college, your parents would try every trick in the book to dissuade you. But for a while, from the late 1950s to the late 1960s, reel-to-reel tape decks and recorders were the only way you could capture live sound or make copies of prerecorded music on vinyl records. One of the most legendary names in tape recorders was Ampex, whose model 601 came with its own carrying case and remains an icon of the form. The Sony TC-377 and Teac A-1250 were workhorses of the 1970s, as were the more compact reel-to-reels made by Pioneer (the company’s RT-701 and RT-707 was given a design upgrade in the 1980s by Akai as the GX-77).

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