Tape head preamplifiers that take your reel to reel deck to the next level!

1980’s reel-to-reel tape recorders have 1980’s electronics. Welcome to 2024!


The majority of enthusiasts are aware that Reel to Reel tape recorders offer the best sound available, but it gets better than that.

The electronic designs in the older recorders were good in the day but much has improved since then. If you bypass the internal electronics of your tape recorder and use modern day pre-amplification, you can get significantly better sound, as the quality of electronic components has continued to improve.  Tape head preamplifiers have been available for just over 10 years with very few offerings, some of them priced out of range for many audio enthusiasts at $15-20K. 

For those that are new to this category, consider the parallel to phono preamplifiers of which there are many. You are amplifying a low-level signal with four outputs on the cartridge. Same deal with tape heads, but they require a bit more gain. As long as you have a great transport with good speed stability, you are in a position to get a lot more out of your tape recorder regardless of what model,  Pro/ Studio recorders or High-end consumer decks from Japan or elsewhere.

In high-end audio, diminishing returns with subtle improvements, tends to be the norm. Not so with the DB series of Tape head preamplifiers. Whether you are running 15 IPS master tapes or the older pre-recorded tapes, this is potentially one of the most significant upgrades you can do. The AHF DB series Preamps will take your system to a surprising new level, at the cost of a very good phono cartridge. Our design goal was to produce 3 great sounding Tape Preampliers targeting various price points, designed by David Berning, one of the best audio designers in the last 50 years.


Most frequent questions and answers​

Yes, significant sound quality improvements occur with more modern, high-end electronics.  It’s surprising how most of the top end Tape recorders made in Japan and elsewhere sound quite insufficient when you compare with current electronics.

Yes, just disconnect the existing 4 wires on the playback head and attach new ones. This must be done with the right shielded Wire and can be internal On your machine or direct to the preamplifier. We offer the correct wire for this install. More info https://analoghighfidelity.com/options-installation/

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