Metaxas & Sins Reel-to-Reel Machines Join Ten Collection Elite
Metaxas & Sins TR-X Tourbillon and Papillon reel-to-reel tape machines have been added to Absolute Sounds' Ten collection.
Metaxas & Sins, founded by Kostas Metaxas, is renowned for creating “high-end audio sculptures” and “kinetic art objects” - not merely hi-fi. Furthermore, Kostas is also a prolific recording engineer who's made hundreds of live concert recordings using magnetic open-reel tape. So, it stands to reason that his reel-to-reel machines caught Ricardo Franassovici's eye. They have now been selected to join his carefully curated Ten collection joining, DeVore Fidelity and Robert Koda.
Metaxas & Sins is based in the Netherlands, where Kostas and his sons carefully hand-make these pieces of sonic art. Kostas is a renowned artist and product designer whose collaborations with respected luxury brands stretch well beyond audio equipment – pens, clocks and much more.
Even though right through to the 1990s, reel-to-reel machines were the established method of capturing master recordings in the music world, it was never a widely adopted format for the home the way vinyl or compact cassette was. However, while not quite on the scale of the vinyl revival, there has been a steady growth of interest in reel-to-reel tape among a passionate group of enthusiasts in the audiophile community.
In sonic terms, reel-to-reel has the potential to deliver the warmth of analogue sound with less processing, greater dynamic range, and better clarity and extension at the frequency extremes than vinyl records. But, of course, this depends on how the copy is made – a first-generation copy dubbed in real-time directly from the original master tape can get you closer to the entirety of sound captured during the recording sessions for a classic album than any other format. But you also need a reel-to-reel machine capable of doing it justice.
Metaxas & Sins makes two reel-to-reel tape machines – the TR-X Tourbillon and the Papillon. Both are designed from the ground up to utilise the finest components available today, from the heads to the entirely discrete circuits. The end result is pretty impressive, as we most recently experienced at the Munich Show earlier this year, and we can only say that hearing is believing.
Absolute Sounds will carry both machines, but the initial focus, we are told, is on the TR-X Tourbillon. This high-end location recorder takes 10.5-inch reels and is designed to be practically portable and not left in the studio. Hence, there is also an optional battery box, so it doesn't have to be plugged into the mains.
As with all Metaxas & Sins' creations, the design is horologically inspired and offers the user the tactile appeal of precision mechanical machinery. The high-end wristwatch design is followed through in the TR-X with the use of a tourbillon, an addition to the mechanics of a watch lever escapement to increase accuracy and has been used for the first time in a reel-to-reel tape machine to regulate the speed of the tape.
Ricardo Franassovici told StereoNET:
There are two important reasons why I have selected these Metaxas & Sins tape machines to join the Ten collection. The first is that thanks to a number of specialist suppliers, the increased availability of the reel-to-reel format to consumers makes it a viable – and highly satisfying – medium for music connoisseurs. The second – and crucial – factor is that Metaxas & Sins has succeeded in elevating the sound quality from open-reel tape to new levels, wrapped in a package that exudes individuality and flair. Unique, exceptional, highly desirable – these are perfect additions to my Ten collection.
The TR-X Tourbillon is available in two versions – one for recording and playback, the other for playback only, with UK prices of £59,998 and £46,998, respectively. The optional Lion battery box is £3,200; there's also a matching stand at £9,398.
Meanwhile, the Papillon Studio 15-inch open-reel tape player costs £72,998, with the player/recorder tagged £89,998. The Papillon Studio stand is priced at £19,998.
Visit Metaxas & Sins and Ten Collection for more information
StereoNET UK’s Editor, bass player, and resident rock star! Jay’s passion for gadgets and Hi-Fi is second only to being a touring musician.
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