Reel to Reel Analogy


Bronze Member
Username: Dscrobe

Reading, PA USA

Post Number: 35
Registered: Dec-05
I don't know why I never thought of it. I still mess around with my dual casette deck and get a kick out of experimenting with the noise reduction. It was mentioned to me that a HiFi VHS tape is very similar to casette recording but with very good noise reduction. Like Reel to Reel, VHS tape runs faster than a casette and the tape is wider, allowing for a better copy of the audio signal. With the exception of a louder signal on the VHS tape, I found it hard to tell the difference between a CD-R and VHS, when copying an original compact disc.

Silver Member
Username: Alright_boy

Post Number: 203
Registered: Jan-07
VHS does a very credible job of recording audio. However, a digital CD copy will generally you superior dynamic range. Now whether you can hear a difference is a different story.

Gold Member
Username: Tapeman

New York City in-HD, NY

Post Number: 1120
Registered: Oct-06
Many studios today still use 2" reel to reel as a better source of audio as 30/ips. It is a better quality audio
A lot of recording artists use hard drives as a better choice for easier editing, sequencing, copy and paste etc.

you can debate for many years on which is a better sound.

But there is a huge difference between VHS and CDR you may not notice if you use small speakers and low cost consumer Amp.

Gold Member
Username: John_s

Columbus, Ohio US

Post Number: 1546
Registered: Feb-04
When Hi-Fi Stereo VHS VCRs first hit the market around 1986, it took people a while to fully appreciate what a technical wonder the new Hi-Fi decks were. In order to appreciate Hi-Fi audio in these machines, it is necessary to understand how the video is recorded.

In order to record the rather complex and high bandwidth signal (compared to analog audio), it is necessary to achieve high a tape to record head speed. An effective tape speed necessary for recording video would require far too high tape speed to be practical with a stationary record head.

The solution was to make the record head move in addition to the tape itself. VHS VCRs have two video heads on opposite sides of a spinning drum. This drum turns at 1800 rpm, or 30 revolutions per second. As the first head passes by the tape, it records/reads the even scan lines in 480i video (or 1/60th second) and the second head records/reads the odd scan lines. One complete revolution of the drum represents one complete video frame.

At the time, the exciting thing about Hi-Fi VCRs (including Beta as well as VHS) was that the audio heads moved as fast as the video heads since they were on the drum that previously had only video heads. Since audio signals are a lower frequency range than video, the audio signal gets recorded deeper into the oxide coating than the much higher video frequency range. Now the audio record speed for audio is the same as it is for video, which means that, even though the actual speed of the tape itself at SP is actually slower than a cassette deck (SP @ 1.31 inches per second vs. 1 7/8 ips for cassette) the actual head/write speed is equivalent to 228.5 ips!! Sort of leaves a 30 ips reel to reel in the dust.

What this record speed means for audio is that a very wide frequency spectrum can be recorded at something like 80dB S/N. There is no need for any sort of noise reduction scheme. And because the drum/tape speed has to be very constant for the sake of video stability, the audio is recorded with almost undetectable wow and flutter. In other words, very close to CD quality.

Gold Member
Username: Tapeman

New York City in-HD, NY

Post Number: 1125
Registered: Oct-06
Nice post John
I still think 2 inch 24 track reel to reel 30ips 10 times better than any digital recording out in the market

Those machines like otari, skully treat analog frequency with better greatings than best frequency sample rate

Which one better?
Digital or Analog?
I know I opened a can of worms

Silver Member
Username: Alright_boy

Post Number: 207
Registered: Jan-07
Great follow up posts guys. Boy have you opened up a can. For reasons that may only be clear to a psychiatrist, certain analog recordings (LP medium) sound closer to the real thing to me than the digital counterparts-even when the digital is done right(like many Doug Sax masterings). But I can't explain why. King, take a shot at this.
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