How To Find a Vintage Reel to Reel Tape Recorder

Not many young people today are familiar with the vintage reel to reel tape recorder. Well, for everyone’s edification, reel to reel tape recorders were used in the 50s, 60s and up to the 70s - decades before digital sound recording took over. Interestingly, during the pre-digital age, a sound recording with this equipment by far produced better quality sound compared to the cassette recorder that followed later. In big recording studios, reel to reel tape recorders took center stage in taping would be hit songs from popular artists. Nowadays this recording instrument has become obsolete and is considered more as a vintage and collectors’ item in sound technology.

If you are interested to have a reel to reel tape recorder, here are suggested ways to help you find this item:

  • Search for vendors on the Internet. EBay is the most recommended site for searching anything on sale online. Go to the electronics section and find out the auction schedules for vintage reel to reel tape recorders. The price, the quality and the brand are foremost considerations when shopping online so be among the first birds to go for the catch on auction day.
  • Check out music sites particularly those that feature different types of musical instruments and tools used in the sound and music industry for the last ten decades. There are collectors specializing in assembling reel to reel tape recorders who also put up their collections for sale on the Internet. Some of these reel to reel tape recorder collectors maintain regular sites where they post their collections and publish the pegged price of the items that they want to sell to fellow collectors.
  • Comb the Internet for more sites that sell vintage reel to reel recorders. Aside from eBay, there are a good number of sites where you can find vintage reel to reel recorders ready for disposal. You may try these sites:,, and and see various models of reel to reel tape recorders of different kinds. From these sites, compare the quality of the products and their prices and decide which of the offers you can afford to buy.
  • Log on to Goodwill site to see if there are any donated reel to reel tape recorders. There are people who would rather donate their old equipment and personal belongings rather than sell them at auctions. If you are lucky, you may score the ideal reel to reel tape recorder that you have been searching for.
  • Inquire from local radio stations. Know that radio stations have all types of recording equipment and you might bump into one that still keeps a vintage reel to reel tape recorder. Should you find any, try to negotiate with the management if they are willing to sell the equipment at a price you can manage to pay for.
  • Look in the telephone directory and newspaper classified ads for advertisements about musical apparatus repair shops. You might find a few that engage in repairing or reassembling reel to reel recorders.

There may be various reasons why you want to find a vintage reel to reel tape recorder. It could be that you are into the hobby of collecting vintage items. It could also be that you need one to use as props in a play and other presentations. Whatever your purpose is, just take note that reel to reel tape recorders are rare now and hence quite expensive, so be ready with a substantial budget for the purchase.


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