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Thread: Well boys .... it looks like it's the end of tape ... for real now ...

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    Unhappy Well boys .... it looks like it's the end of tape ... for real now ...

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    Opelika plant closes
    Tamiko Lowery
    Staff Writer
    Sunday, January 2, 2005


    When they clocked out for the Christmas holidays, Quantegy employees planned on returning to work, as scheduled, Monday. But, there's no job to go back to - for some 250 employees.

    "No Trespassing" signs were erected Friday afternoon and security passwords were changed at the Opelika plant, 2230 Marvyn Parkway.

    "Quantegy, Inc. has ceased operations pending restructuring. This is due to financial issues that have plagued the industry and Quantegy for some time. All employees are on lay off pending further notice," according to a brief press release issued by the company Friday. The Opelika plant, once employed some 1,800 workers, has recently filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

    Almost 60 years ago, the story was different. "In 1945, after capturing several German 'Magnetophon' tape recorders from Radio Luxembourg, the American Signal Corps recorded a speech by Gen. Dwight Eisenhower to be played to the people of occupied Germany. Due to a shortage of recording tape, the speech had to be recorded on a reel of used German tape.

    Due to a problem with the German tape recorder, the tape was not completely erased and the voice of Adolph Hitler was intermittently heard along with Eisenhower's voice. This caused a great deal of fear and confusion among the German people and obviously a great deal of embarrassment for the Allied Signal Corps.

    Gen. Eisenhower issued an immediate order that no more captured German tape was to be used and assigned Maj. John Herbert Orr to develop an American magnetic tape manufacturing facility.

    Maj. Orr located a German scientist, Dr. Karl Pfleumer, who gave him a basic formula for magnetic tape. Within two weeks, Maj. Orr had managed to manufacture his first reels of usable audio tape. After returning to his home in Opelika, Alabama, Orr set up a magnetic tape manufacturing facility and soon afterwards began marketing his own tape under the "IRISH" brand name. Orr continued his manufacturing operation and in 1959, Orradio Industries became part of the Ampex Corporation.

    Founded by Alexander M. Poniatoff, The Ampex Corporation had been developing audio tape recorders since the end of WWII starting with its model 200. The company's first sales of the Model 200 were to Bing Crosby Enterprises and the American Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). In 1956, Ampex announced a historic breakthrough - the first practical video tape recorder.

    Shortly after this introduction Poniatoff and Orr entered into negotiations and in 1959, Orradio Industries became the Ampex Magnetic Tape Division of Ampex Corporation. In November of 1995, the Ampex Recording Media Corporation was put up for sale, and the recording media pioneer became Quantegy Inc., according to www.quantegy.com Fast forward 2005...

    "It's like Happy New Year - you don't have a job," said one former Quantegy employee. "Most of these employees have worked there 28 to 30 years - they don't know anything else; they are a different breed of people, dedicated to the company. The average age is 50 plus, and no matter what they say - it's not easy to start over."

    Quantegy management could not be reached Saturday.

    This story can be found at: http://www.oanow.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=OAN%2FMGArticle%2FOAN_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1031779976767&path=!news!local news

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    A smart company would jump right in and take the whole pie of the analog tape format market, which is still pretty large and growing btw. Maxell .. are you listenning ??

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    Arrow It's a damned shame.

    GWB should hop in and nationalize tape manufacture, to assure the military has enough reels for it's own purposes. You think I'm kidding?

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    Quote Originally Posted by A Reel Person
    GWB should hop in and nationalize tape manufacture, to assure the military has enough reels for it's own purposes. You think I'm kidding?
    You've got a good point there, Dave!

    They spend billions on other questionable ventures and give aid to countless other nations...this would be a drop in the bucket compared to all that!

    But, I don't want to see a picture of Dubya on every tape box!!

    Cheers!

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    This was taken from the Ampex mailing list today......

    Subject: [AMPEX] News on the future of analog tape

    Hi --

    Just got off the phone with Mike Spitz of ATR Services and I have what
    could be good news.

    Apparently, long before this unexpected move by Quantegy, Mike had
    already been quietly working on bringing a new analog tape product to
    market to compete with them. He saw the need to develop a line of
    analog
    tape products made and marketed by people who understand and care about
    the art of recording.

    In speaking with him, I got a sense that he has a good handle on the
    situation and is well up the learning curve.

    So, the key is not to panic. We will have to wait a few months. Mike
    has
    not yet solved all of the problems of bringing up a tape manufacturing
    line and he was counting on Quantegy to survive a bit longer. But, it
    didn't.

    Of course, this project is now priority #1 on Mike's business agenda.
    If
    his past record of quality, service and innovation is any indication, I
    think the world may see some of it's best analog tape ever in the
    coming
    months.

    Mike was not at the point of development where he was ready to make a
    formal announcement. So, there are no details yet, but I'm sure they
    will be forthcoming as we learn more about the future of Quantegy and
    Mike has a chance to re-assess how quickly he can bring his analog tape
    products to market. I would suggest you resist the temptation to call
    him as we need him to focus his time on solving this problem for us.

    So, for right now, plan to recycle and reuse what's out there and keep
    your eye on the horizon.

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    Steve Albini says they'll stay open..:

    "We are staying open. We have a lot of tape here, and there is more out there in the world, which we intend to find and acquire. This should tide us over until a newly-manufactured supply comes on-line.

    I have found a research group that said there are more than 50 coating plants world-wide for magnetic tape, and one of them will surely step up and fill this void.

    There will probably never be another large company to make tape, but given the market as it is now, it's a boutique business (or ought to be) anyway.

    Expect tape prices to go up, but supply will re-appear sooner or later.
    "

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    deleted, posted in wrong place,
    Last edited by cdbstudios; 01-04-2005 at 10:06. Reason: deleted, posted in wrong place,

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