What a Journey - The Story of Reel to Reel Haven
In 2018 while employed at Bloomberg LP, the Bloomberg news department came out with an article about the Ballfinger. I was dating a girl at the time, now my wife, who’s father restored tape decks for a hobby, or so I thought. I was always trying to get close to him because I had wanted to be a sound engineer myself; so, I asked my girlfriend to share the article. Long story short, he read the article and called my cell phone within five minutes. Osvaldo asked me if I could make him a website, email etc… I said, in my head, & and whispered to my girlfriend, well, I want to marry your daughter so I am about to make you the best fucking website you have ever seen LOL… I remember her smiling at that moment!
So we built the website, got rid of @gmail and started to uncover he has real talent with tape decks. I brought one of his restorations to a friend in the audio department of one of the big broadcasting companies. He said, “Ryan, whoever rebuilt this deck would be allowed to work on our equipment here anytime!” We knew we had something then. Took off from there.
We called it Reel to Reel Heaven and it had one simple philosophy… These machines are important. They are not simply expensive playback devices. These machines help a son or daughter remember their father who brought home the Akai from Vietnam. These machines help special collection libraries save the music! These machines bring happiness and nostalgia to our older and aging and yes of course they provide the best (reproduced) sound possible! We kept that in mind every day on every deck… So, Our philosophy is… Work on this deck as though it is the last chance for the owner to relive a memory! Work on this deck so the audiophile can feel like a kid again! And work on this deck so we never see it again!
Over the years we realized that our repair department was full of tape decks that other "technicians" had attempted to repair. Sadly, many of the "technicians" marketing their ability to truly repair a tape deck are, well, not in fact capable. Our co-founder, Ryan, had a vision to build a trusted marketplace for the reel to reel and only for the reel to reel. A marketplace where only companies and technicians fully vetted could participate; a marketplace that would help ALL members of the tape community from consumers too manufacturers. We made the decision then, as did other companies, to participate in this marketplace, Reel to Reel Haven.
February 1, 2022 - Reel to Reel Haven is born.
June 18th, 2022 - Reel to Reel Haven opened it's doors to the public for the first ever showroom dedicated soley to the reel to reel. We currently have two world class technicians and will continue to grow our nation wide technician network.
October 14th, 2022 - Reel to Reel Haven will open the doors for our first live recording straight to tape. Going back to the old school MTV Unplugged days - Reel to Reel Haven produces live events where artists talk analog, perform, interact with the audience and go out for a drink afterwards! There really isn't anything like it!
As we make this next step in our evolution we do so by taking examples from the greats! Guys like John French of JRF Magnetics (a living legend) (And his amazing partner Cookie!!) Analog Technician Mr. Midnight Bob Shuster (also living legend), Bette Spitz of ATR Magnetics (Another living legend) and many more! We are excited to expand our offerings and continue growing our service/repair department.
- Ryan M. O'Connor
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