Reel to Reel Tape   

  Reel to reel tape systems use open reels of magnetic tape for the recording and playback of either analog or digital programs. The tape is held on a source reel and is threaded through the tape transport system, across the record, playback, and erase heads and onto a take-up reel. 
Reel to reel systems offer the advantage of easy editing. It is a simple matter to cut and splice tape or insert leader in order to separate selections. Tape on open reels is more suseptible to dust and other contamination as well as damage due to careless handling.  Dust and particles of oxide from recording tape can build up on the recorder's heads and soon cause problems such as drop-outs and high-frequency loss. The same dust and particle buildup on the capstan, pinch rollers, and tape guides can result in tape slippage and a resulting degradation of sound quality. It's a good idea to clean the heads and entire tape transport path before every session. 
Tape Handling and Storage