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Tape shortage makes front page

Discussion in 'Recording Gear and Equipment [BG]' started by brianrost, Jan 12, 2005.


  1. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The bankruptcy filing and plant closing of Quantegy, the last supplier of pro quality open reel recording tape, made the front page of the Wall Street Journal today (1/12).

    Interviewed and quoted folks include Steve Albini (who's been stockpiling), Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, analog guru Walter Sear. Frantic buying of remaining stock has jacked prices through the roof.

    Apparently Quantegy's audio tape business has been profitable but losses in the video tape business caused a cash crunch that made them close their doors.

    Should be interesting to see if this spurs improvements in overseas sources (China) as it did with vacuum tubes.
     
  2. Droog

    Droog

    Aug 14, 2003
    PDX
    What about Emtec? AKA BASF. They are sill turning out tape aren't they?

    Thats a shame, hopefully somebody will buy out the audio tape side of the company and keep turning out the same tape. The GP9 is great tape, also the old 996 (3M) is cool if you can get it.
     
  3. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Droog,

    I honestly don't know if Emtec is still cranking out any 2" tape. I never see any listed in US supplier catalogs. The WSJ article suggested they had already dropped out of the pro tape business.
     
  4. Droog

    Droog

    Aug 14, 2003
    PDX
    Yeah, I looked around the web last night as well as some tape catalogs I have and it does seem that EMTEC may be out of the game too. What the hell? Though I can't ever recall using either companies video tape, or anything other than audio tape. I would think that the demand for high quality audio tape is still high. Lot of Studer's and such still floating around, not to mention Nagra users and people with 1/4 in decks at home. If I was smart and rich I would attempt to buy both EMTEC and Quantagy's formula's for there tape and turn around and make it under a different name. Use the same plants and same workers and everything, even down to the packaging. R&D would be zero and marketing would be a breeze. Though I am sure it is much more complicated than that, I still think tape is not dead.
     
  5. corinpills

    corinpills

    Nov 19, 2000
    Boston, MA
    Emtec doesn't do audio tape any more, Quantegy was the last source. For those of us who try to only record to tape, it's a pretty majhor thing. I have a pro tools rig, but it's like a toy compared to recording to tape (even if it's just 1/2" 8 track in my case). I wish I could somehow divide the stacks of 2" tape in my rehearsal space into 1/2" reels.

    I have faith that someone will fill this void in the marketplace. As far as I can tell. most high end commercial studios (at least in the rock world) at least mix to tape, and as the Wall Street Journal article pointed out, NASA uses tons of tape (I had no idea). I mean, it's a big enough story to make the front page of the WSJ, that's gotta mean it's not a completely marginalized market, right?

    Personally, I'm just sad for the generation of young musicians who may never have the thrill of heating their songs coming back off a 2" machine (before it all gets neutered down to CDs and then to MP3s).
     
  6. Ben Joella

    Ben Joella

    May 31, 2004
    Boca Raton, FL
    That's a real shame. I hope someone does step up. Tape really does have a sound all its own.

    Maybe some other media companies have just been watching and waiting so that they can snatch up a dying company cheaply and then re-release as Droog suggests.
     
  7. bassbum81

    bassbum81

    Jul 18, 2003
    mass
    dang... I was just hoping to start using tape... :meh: