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Reel To Reel Recorders - How to Find Reel to Reel Recorders Online and Off - Hit the ’Net, Hit the Streets

music reels looking local

Are you looking for that warm and silky sound that can only come from a classic analogue reel to reel recorder? Reel to reels dominated the music scene for decades, up until the eventual victory of digital over analog. Today CD’s and mp3’s dominate the popular scene, but reel to reels still have a very devoted core of followers that love its classic sound. Lately professional music artists have begun to bring back these sounds as samples in their music, or even entire tracks recorded in this “old” medium.

If you are looking for a reel to reel recorder of your own, chances are you are a music collector, artist, or maybe just a rabid audiophile. Whatever the case, you can still find trade communities that thrive around “old” technologies like reel-to-reels and turntables. But where do you start? And what should you look for? This guide looks to answer these questions to give you the best chances possible of finding a great score.

Hit the ’Net

Of course, when it comes to buying items that are considered vintage or antique, the internet is a great place to start your search. eBay will be your best friend as you search the nation and the world for vintage audio equipment. Amazon.com will occasionally offer some finds, but they do not offer nearly the variation in selection that eBay does in this category. The only drawback with shopping online is that you can never be 100% sure of the item’s condition until it actually arrives at your house. Look for sellers that list great detail about the reel to reel, including any information on ownership history, care and maintenance, any repairs or damage, etc. And of course, make sure they mention whether or not it still works!

Even if you do not end up buying on eBay, it can be a great place to get a sense of the current market prices for reel to reels. At the time of writing, reel to reels were experiencing something of a revival, which raised prices due to increased demand. It is good to know before you go, so when you walk in to a local music shop, you will know whether or not you are getting a deal. Speaking of going local…

Hit the Streets

OK, this first tip belongs halfway in the “online” category, but to find local people looking to sell their audio equipment, Craigslist is a great place to go. Look in the “for sale” classifieds and type in “reel to reel” for your city, and you can find everything that people in your area have to offer. This can also give you a sense of your own region’s market for vintage audio, and let you know how much to expect to pay should you go local. We recommend using Craigslist over daily newspaper classifieds for reel to reels in particular, because this is such a specific category that is not likely to show up in newspapers. But if you do your homework right, you could find a steal of a deal from someone who is simply looking to clear out all their old audio “junk” for cheap. Be patient, and keep checking back!

If you simply need to find something today, we would still suggest looking on Craigslist just in case it happens to be your lucky day. If you cannot find anything reasonable, try out local music shops or used electronics stores. Even thrift shops might have one in stock, so it would be your benefit to look around. Try calling places first so you are not driving around using gas money that could be going towards your final purchase.

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