I would've thought Audio Bill or Skizo to have weighed in by now, as they are digital junkies. And with AudioBill's excessive patience, I got tapped into Tidal and it produces superb, redbook quality sound, if you've got the internet speed to support it. Tidal is marketed to the hip-hop bozoes but you can stream the Fugs, Holy Modal Rounders, all the old Stones and Beatles albums, and a superb jazz and blues catalogue. You'll need a MAC Airport Express ($100) and for full juice, a decent DAC that accepts an optical input from the AE ($400 for an Emotiva plus maybe $10 for the cable), to get the best out of Tidal. Tidal is $20/month but offer a 50% discount for veterans -- just mail 'em a copy of your DD-214 with your SSAN or service number blacked out and there ya go. Hat's off to them for that.
I prefer archiving vinyl to R2R tape. Archiving vinyl digitally is a technology I'm not sufficiently interested (yet) in learning. Find me a box with a single sheet of instructions in scrutable English and maybe I'll try it.
I'm backing up my Precambrian vinyl to a Technics RS-1500 series R2R machine, soon to upgrade to the auto-reverse 1700 series. A guy in Gig Harbour, WA, Jeff Jacobs (j-corder.com) refurbishes the belt-less Technics to better than new, and many of the two-tracks are in use in recording studios. Four tracks is sufficient for me. I can't sing Jeff's praises high enough. Even at 3-3/4 ips on 4-track will make your socks roll up and down. You're moving 4x the tape by the heds than a Nakamichi Dragon. I find myself taping digital Tidal to the Technics. You can, at that speed, put about 3 albums per each side on the tape.
Plus, just watching those 10.5 inch reels spinning lazily around during record or playback is better than acid, man.
ATR Magnetics (USA) and Pyral (France) make superb mastering tape for about $70 with metal reels; pancakes are half-price if you've got reels already. Absolutely none of the infamous "tape hiss" and the dynamics are right up with the best if you don't "stuff" them. Vu meters should be below 0 dB except on quick peaks -- forget everything you knew about recording in cassette days. No Dolby, MPX and other crap interfering with the sound, either.
Good quality mag-tape will perform to spec for about 15 years. Don't, whatever you do, buy antiquated tape, even if new in the box. It will gum up your heads and capstans and not deliver high-quality sound. Unless the price of the old-stock tape is less than the $30 metal reels, run away like the wind.
A tricked-out Technics RS will run anywhere from $3k on up. But they'll blow the doors off a Revox, Tandberg, or Crown of that era. Sad they're still not making them.
I guess two further caveats: I'm not on anybody's commission. Also, keep the master volume down real low so no feedback from the turntable gets mechanically transferred to the tape. In fact, if you trust your preamp, just leave the power amp off while recording and keep an eye on the Vu meters.
Last edited by deepee99 on Sat Jun 25, 2016 3:16 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : spelling correxioin)