The latest sculptural reel-to-reel analogue tape machine from Dutch brand Metaxas & Sins is now available in the UK, but you'll need deep pockets if you want to get your hands on the TR-X Tourbillon.
Inspired by high-end wristwatches, the TR-X Tourbillon is named after a component added to the mechanics of watch lever escapements to increase accuracy and derives from the French for 'whirlwind'. Metaxas & Sins claims that the TR-X Tourbillon is the first reel-to-reel tape machine to use the same concept to regulate tape speed, creating a hybrid of horology and hi-fi that you didn't know you needed.
Inside, Metaxas & Sins says that the TR-X Tourbillon contains discrete circuits for a sound quality that "puts classic reel-to-reel machines to shame." Designed for 10.5-inch reels, the Tourbillon is built to be compact and transportable for recording on location, with an optional battery box available.
Like all Metaxas & Sins products, the TR-X Tourbillon is handmade with its adventurous design originating from the brain of company founder Kostas Metaxas. The company 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.”
The TR-X Tourbillon comes in two versions – one for recording and playback, the other for playback only, with UK pricing of £59,998 (around $69,405/ AU$102,505) and £46,998 (around $54,360 / AU$80,280), respectively. The optional Lion battery box is £3200 (around $3701 / AU$5467), and the matching stand is £9398 (around $10,870 / AU$16,054)
Availability in the UK is only through Absolute Sounds, which offers the TR-X Tourbillon as part of its Ten Collection, an elite portfolio of curated high-end audio products with preamps and power amps by Robert Koda, Trafomatic and HSE, and speakers by DeVore Fidelity. The Ten Collection also includes an even higher-end reel-to-reel offering from Metaxas & Sins, the Pappillon Studio 15-inch open-reel tape player, with prices starting at £72,998 (around $84,418 / AU$124,754).