Metaxas & Sins’ £59k horology-inspired TR-X Tourbillon reel-to-reel tape machine now available in the UK

Who said reel-to-reel can’t be cool?

Metaxas & Sins TR-X Tourbillon Tape Machine

Image: Metaxas and Sins

The TR-X Tourbillon reel-to-reel analogue tape machine from Dutch hi-fi company Metaxas & Sins is now available to buy in the UK. It will blow your mind – and your bank account.

The reel-to-reel tape machine uses tourbillon (‘whirlwind’ in French) technology usually found in horology. This is an add-on to a watch lever escapement mechanism that increases the accuracy of a watch’s movement. Applying this to a tape machine, the TR-X Tourbillon is the first reel-to-reel tape machine to use the same concept to regulate tape speed. And on the inside, the Tourbillon contains discrete circuits for a sound quality that it claims “puts classic reel-to-reel machines to shame.”

Metaxas & Sins describes the TR-X Tourbillon as “an entirely newly designed professional reel-to-reel tape location recorder and playback machine that meets and exceeds the highest demands of recording engineers and the most serious audiophiles, combining 2020s technology with 1960s soul.”

As with other Metaxas & Sins’ creations, the TR-X Tourbillon is horologically inspired, offering users the tactile appeal of precision mechanical machinery usually found in watches.

Designed for 10.5-inch reels, the Tourbillon is built to be compact and transportable, with an external battery box for on-site recordings out of the studio.

Why the need for such an esoteric (and pricey) format, you might ask? The company claims that 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 compared to vinyl records.

That said, all of 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, says Metaxas & Sins.

For those audiophiles looking for mouth drooling sound accuracy prepared to splash the cash, the TR-X Tourbillon is available in two versions — one for recording and playback, the other for playback only. It lists for £59,998 (around $69,405) and £46,998 (around $54,940) respectively. There’s also an optional Lion battery box for £3,200, and a matching stand at £9,398.

Those looking to get their hands on this audio monster can do so via Absolute Sounds in the UK.

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