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Author Topic: Availability of Open Reel Tape and Needful Things  (Read 7218 times)

Offline USR

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Availability of Open Reel Tape and Needful Things
« on: March 23, 2013, 08:33:22 AM »

There's a lot of questions about the future of open reel recording. When someone asks "How many years will there be tape available?" there's no good answer.  It could all go away in ten years, five years, or next year. I don't know. The real problem lies in the volume of tape being sold. As the volume shrinks there's more and more pressure on the tape makers to increase their prices because the chemicals and film they need to buy is constantly going up. When the prices go up on the tape, less people buy it and the cycle continues. 

We narrowly averted a real problem last year when the one place that makes USA flanges decided to not make them anymore. This is the same place that ATR and RMGI get their flanges. After a lot of pressure they decided to continue making them (Paul S knows who we're talking about) but the prices went waaaay up. Luckily we can still get quality alloy flanges or we'll end up all learning how to use pancakes.

The last we heard from RMGI, and this is what they told us, Pyral in France is gearing up to make SM900 for the first time in quite a while and their LPR35 stock is actually in production. This is a good sign for tape users.  ATR tape has spotty availability due to lack of supply. I guess that's better than making pallets of tape that sit there, but the ATR tape is very good.

What do you think is the years left in people actually recording onto tape?


Offline ironbut

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Re: Availability of Open Reel Tape and Needful Things
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2013, 01:23:41 PM »
Hi USR, (btw, we use our real names here)

Hopefully, I'll be using tape for the rest of my life.
Unfortunately, my meager purchases won't make or break the producers of current tapes.
However, I aways advise folks to avoid iffy eBay purchases of old tape stock and support RMGI and ATR Magnetics in hopes that our combined purchases do make a difference.

There do seem to be more and more commercial, prerecorded tapes becoming available and while their appearance has just trickled in, they are and will be, in need of ample tape stock.
Just like the Tape Project, these new prerecorded tape offerings are premium products and I believe that the demand for them exists.
And just like the "manufacturing cost vicious circle" you mentioned, the more prerecorded tapes that become available, the more willing folks are to invest in the hardware for home playback and the more interesting the idea of producing prerecorded tapes becomes.
steve koto
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Offline docb

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Re: Availability of Open Reel Tape and Needful Things
« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2013, 02:14:52 PM »
A don't forget that within my secret vault I hold the entire world's supply of barrel nuts for flanges. It feels awesome to hold that kind of power over people.
Dan "Doc B." Schmalle
President for Life, Bottlehead Corp.
Managing Director - retired, The Tape Project