Dave Katznelson of the marvelous Birdman Records pointed me to The Tape Project, an interesting subscription service for reissues of great music on reel-to-reel audio tape. Each release, from Sonny Rollins's "Saxophone Colossus" to Jacqui Naylor's "The Number White," comes on an engraved reel in a leather case and includes cover art printed on high-quality claycoat paper. Depending on the subscription package, each release costs around $129. From The Tape Project site:
Q: Why are you doing this?
A: Most people have not had the experience of hearing studio master tapes. Many formats have been introduced with the promise of bringing master tape sound into the home listening room.
We don't expect that this tape project will replace any of your other favorite formats, so we see no need to dwell on the drawbacks of any other format. Suffice it to say that we don't offer an "analog-like" listening experience. We are offering a chance to have in your own listening room an actual analog listening experience as close to the original master tape as practical.