I searched this topic and didn't come back with anything. Excuse me if it's been discussed though. I’m 59 years old so I’ve been involved with magnetic tape recordings, pre-recorded as well as home brew types. I still own a reel-to-reel machine and, after reading one of our members saying he has Laura Nyro on R-T-R and how good it sounds, I was thinking of maybe purchasing something that’s been produced by a record company. My previous experience of them though is having a CCR tape that was at 3 ¾ IPS and a BS&T’s that was at 7 ½ IPS. The CCR tape didn’t have the best upper frequencies but clean sounding, the BS&T’s sounded better and was also clean sounding. This goes back to around 1970 and I was about 13 years old then. The machine was a Pentron my dad owned. I'd run it through a few different systems that were available to me back then, one of which was a Sylvania tube console that had 10” woofers, paper cone mids and tweeters. My thoughts on vinyl is having the ability of using a turntable, cartridge and preamp which allows us to tailor our system. I also seem to hear a grainy type of sound from vinyl. Maybe it’s the mechanical cutting process of a cutter gouging out a groove, transfer plates made, a pressing made and finally a stylus tracking this gouged out groove? It’s so mechanical and sort of barbaric to me but it works amazingly. There's a certain character of sound from vinyl, to my ears. Using a R-T-R constrains us to a tape head and all of the internal signal chains thereafter. Though nothing like a CD player, we’re still relaying on the source material and the machine that plays it. We don't swap out tape heads, and even if we did, it likely isn't going to change anything. I also feel that pre-recorded R-T-R tapes weren’t the best in sound quality (from my experience mentioned), like the pre-recorded 8-tracks I remember back in the day too. I could always make a better sounding R-T-R tape or an 8-track cartridge on my own equipment coming off of vinyl with a decent turntable. So my question to those here, are there many of you who play pre-recorded reel-to-reel tapes? I realize there are better machines out there as well as 15 IPS decks, which I’m sure sounds much better than the slower speeds. Is playing a pre-recorded tape giving a truer representation over playing vinyl? I see tapes are pretty pricey, even being 50 years old. And too, the magnetic flux on those tapes must weaken through all those years? I feel paying so much for a tape that old makes no sense. I doubt it could match the sound of media that basically changes very little through time like a vinyl disc. Just wondering if there are any thoughts on this topic.