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In 2011, people began to show up at audio shows with reel to reel tape recorders that could compete or better the best turntables made. That was the beginning of a resurgence of interest and now reel to reel tape recorders have become the go to device for high-end audio enthusiasts.
1. Designing and manufacturing a completely new reel to reel tape recorder.
2. Taking previously made models rebuilding them from top to bottom while potentially redesigning the electronic circuits to new specifications.
Ballfinger of Germany was first out of the gate to design and manufacture a completely new tape recorder. As of early 2021 this company has 3 models in their lineup.
Metaxas and Sins have recently released a new tape recorder that will be produced in limited quantities.
Revox and Thorens have made plans to do so, having produced prototypes but have yet to release any production models.
Some types of tape formulations may be more prone to degradation, especially when stored badly. And certain specific tape formulations have been proven to be problematic but this represents a very small percentage of overall tape production. With some of these failed formulations, should you have a tape with material on it that is valuable to you, you can reverse the process of tape shedding by heating or baking the tape at low temperatures. Lots of information available on the Internet on this topic.