Much has been written about the superiority of reel to reel tapes and I have many of them (I think I I have every London tape ever issued…)
Pre-recorded tapes sound fantastic – much better than vinyl…better dynamics, sound staging, especially at the extreme left and right, and distortion free ,especially advantageous with classical music and opera.
As well, some companies like Opus 3, chasing the dragon, and acoustic sounds are issuing master tape copies.
Playing tapes and recording tapes is the ultimate audiophile hobby as it involves maintenance of the tape deck and it’s fun to handle the tapes, it’s fun to watch them turn around while you’re listening to the music and sometimes you have to splice tapes. It’s a hobby that predates the digital era of course were you just push buttons on the remote or tablet, giving you virtually no interaction with your precious equipment…
If you are interested in this medium it is worth investing in a restored or at minimum a serviced machine and the best machine I have owned is a Revox B77 rebuilt and restored by Walter Tegelmann in Germany. He only deals with Revox or Studer as these are the best He cleans and restores, replacing all capacitors in the process. The machine I got from him, my current one and the one my kids will inherit, sounds fantastic. His email is firstname.lastname@example.org