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Ampex ATR-100 professional reel t reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection

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The Theophilus / Reel2ReelTexas.com Vintage Recording Collection

Highland Sound Company studio, Alpine, Texas  in 1965 The Chris & Martin Theophilus/Reel2ReelTexas vintage recording collection actually began in 1964.  There are items Phantom Productions, Inc.'s logoin 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. Edison cylinder player given to martin by Chris in 1999

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.

Reel2ReelTexas.com logoAlso 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.

The Collection

The collection consists of 206 (and growing) - reel to reel tape recorders that range from and include many in between representative models. About 80% are working!  They include:

  • the original 1947 Ampex 200A from Capitol Records to the last Ampex  ATR-100, plus the laterAmpex 201 with full electronics.
  • the first Studer Dynavox T-26 to the Studer/ReVox B77 & Studer A807
  • the first analog/digital reel tape recorder - Mitsubishi X-80
  • The first Magnecord PT-6 to one of the last Magnecord 1024s
  • the first Teac reel tape recorder TD-102, plus the TD-103 "new" in its original wood shipping box.
  • the last Teac reel to reel tape recorder made,the X-1000R
  • the first 4 track Simul-Sync Teac TCA-43 to the last Tascam BR-20T
  • the first Roberts/Akia Terecorders to the last Akai GX-747
  • one of the first Berlant Concertone recorders the 1401 to the Concertone 800 Reverse-O-Matic
  • one of the early Sony 555 recorders to the last Sony consumer reel tape recorders TC-765
  • Sony's high end mastering reel to reel tape recorder - APR-5003 and Sony/MCI JH-110
  • One of the first Brush BK-401a to their professional Brush 2105
  • One of the first Crown Prince recorders to the solid state SS 700 and SX824
  • Other brands include: Amplifier Corp's Magnamite, Brenell, Dokorder, Eico, Fostex, HeathKit, Magnetophone, Nagra, Norelco, Otari, Pentron, Philips, Pioneer, Spectone, Tandberg, Tape-Athon, Technics, Telefunken, Toshiba, Uher, Viking, Webcor, WilcoxGay and Wollensak.
  • There are several Edison cylinder units, magnetic film recorders and wire recorders in the collection.
Teac Series 70 8 track reel to reel tape recorder in the Reel2ReelTexas.com vintage recording collection

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

 

Reel2ReelTexas Museum May 2015  Reel2ReelTexas Museum May 2015 Reel2ReelTexas Museum May 2015  Phantom Productions vintage recording museum show reel to reel tape recorders that include the Ampex 601-2, Akai GX-400D-ss, the Pioneer RT-2044, the Revox B77, the Crown 722 SX, the Dokorder 1140 and the Teac TCA-43 and Teac 35-2.

View Austin's NBC KXAN story by Jim Swift about the vintage

 
 

 

 

Statistics 20142015  •  KXAN Austin Recording Museum Update  • view overview video of tape recorder collectionmobile videomore info

 
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