The Chris & Martin Theophilus/Reel2ReelTexas vintage recording collection actually began in 1964. There are items in the collection that were originally used by Martin in recording for his Highland Sound Company. Highland Sound Company provided studio and on-location recording services in Alpine, Texas. Highland Sound Company was moved to Austin, Texas in 1978 and became Phantom Productions, Inc. in 1980. The actual "collection" began in 1999 when Chris gave Martin a Christmas present of a 1904 Edison Cylinder player.
While initially Martin intended to re-acquire the reel to reel tape recorders he'd used over the years, he also decided to acquire a few that had eluded him. In January of 2000, Martin had an opportunity to purchase a Roberts 1000 4 track reversing audio and combination black & white video reel tape recorder from Lee Hanzen. The uniqueness of this particular recorder resulted in the consideration of a more serious collection.
In 2001 Martin initiated a data base that would track the sales history of all the items in the collection. This would provide perspective in value and dictate what Phantom could reasonably pay for additional items. That data base continues to this day and has about 20,000 entries that track most of the significant reel tape recorders both in and out of the collection. It provides excellent information for determining the value of recorders and perspective on the evolution of interest in reel to reel tape recorders.
Also in 2001, Martin found it difficult to find information about reel to reel tape recorders on the internet. To meet this need, he created the web site Reel2ReelTexas.com. That web site now has 12,300 items on the site providing information about tape recorders. The site receives in excess of 1 million hits per month from over 200 countries. The web site receives inquiries daily and we strive to respond to all of them as we are able. This Reel2ReelTexas.com web content will eventually be donated to the Museum of Magnetic Sound Recording and is being migrated there at this time.
In 2001/2002 Chris and Martin built a new home east of Austin. In the home design, Martin created a second story recording studio that would also house the reel to reel tape recorder collection that was mostly being held in storage. When the home was completed in 2002, all the reel tape recorders were moved to the second story, much to the frustration of the movers. Subsequently we've had many second thoughts about this second story studio/museum as many of the units are very heavy.
The studio/museum houses the collection in a very unique manner. Instead of just shelves of tape recorders, we have created a "museum" like setting that supports the reel tape recorders with documentation, posters, related music and broadcast awards, ads, photos and memorabilia. We provide private tours when possible, however are not open to the general public, as it is our home.
To provide folks with better information about the collection, in 2008 Chris & Martin decided to create a 45 minute video about the collection. It turned out to be a 2 DVD set released in 2010. In 2012, due to new acquisitions, the DVD set grew to 7 hours on 3 DVDs.
In an effort to look at long term plans for the collection and to try to find a way to make the collection more available to the public, Chris & Martin began exploring entities that might accept and display the collection. Not finding a suitable source, Chris & Martin decided to create their own resource and the non-profit Museum of Magnetic Sound Recording was born.
It is Chris & Martin's goal to initially loan and eventually donate the Chris & Martin Theophilus/Reel2ReelTexas' collection to the Museum of Magnetic Sound Recording once a proper permanent public facility is established. Please note that the photos and videos in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection are the property of and copyrighted by Chris & Martin Theophilus/Reel2ReelTexas and are on loan to the Museum of Magnetic Sound Recording.
112 microphones that range from a 1920's Webster Chicago spring microphone, to the RCA 77DX. and NeumannU 48 and U87.
400+ reel to reel related audio magazines
100's of manuals, ads, photos, memorabilia and support documentation
© 2013 Museum of Magnetic Sound Recording • Webmaster • All pictures and content on this web site are the property of the Museum of Magnetic Sound Recording / reel2reeltexas.com • photos are available for sale