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Reel To Reel All discussions pertaining to reel to reel decks. These include general usage, recording, playback, and service questions. For subjects related to tape itself, see the Open Reel subforum under this one. Obscure service subjects that don't quite fit go in the Help and Do It Yourself subforum.

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Old 11-08-2010, 01:56 AM
shawn shawn is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 322
Otari mx 5050

Otari halting the production of the last reel to reel MX5050?


Sad. end of a era
Old 11-08-2010, 05:25 AM
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jcmusic jcmusic is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Outside New Orleans, LA.
Posts: 161
That is very sad, the last of them. Time to stock up on parts.

My current decks:

Otari MX 5050 BII -2/DeHavilland Model 222
Old 11-08-2010, 06:44 AM
Des-Lab Des-Lab is offline
5/12/2008 - 12/27/2014
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 7,960
I'd say "bittersweet" would be a more accurate description. Yes, it's sad that the worlds last remaining production R2R deck will cease to be produced. But on the other hand, why is it being discontinued?

There isn't enough market to support it. If folks were still buying them, they'd still be in production. But this deck...which has a retail price of about $5000 (last time I checked), that's pretty far above most of our budgets. And adding insult to injury is when so many folks will tell you how to get a used one for anywhere from $100 to $1000. Great for the user, bad for Otari. They don't see a dime of that. So yeah, it's sad. But the MX-5050 is probably too much deck for too much money for most of us. SO I'm not surprised. OTOH if we were back in 1994 and having this discussion about the last Teac X-2000R, then that would totally be a Day Of Mourning.

We've been down this road before and it's only a matter of time before we go through this with the tape makers too: ATR and/or RMGI.

I don't see too many folks here telling us about the new tapes [from them] that they bought, but you can be assured that the day is going to come when one or both of them also announces a cessation of production. And two things will happen. One, everyone is going to throw a pity party bemoaning another 'end of an era' and two, gloat about the carton of tapes they got from a studio that went under for $5.
Old 11-08-2010, 07:21 AM
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Pentium100 Pentium100 is offline
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Kaunas, Lithuania
Posts: 2,671
Well, the market for new R2R tape decks and tapes is only concerned with the highest quality. High quality means high price and not everyone has enough money to justify buying a $5000 tape deck or $50 reel of tape.

Would it really be that expensive to make an average quality reel tape deck, you know, like most of the tape decks in my list. They were not intended to be top quality when they were made (with the possible exception of E004).

I would like to buy a new tape deck, you know, one that would work for many years, have warranty and parts available for when it goes bad. But I don't have $5000, how about a lower quality tape deck for, say, $300-1000 or less?

Car analogy - not everyone can afford a new Ferrari. Cheaper cars are made for a reason.

Tape is the same - I'm sure RMGI and ATR make really good tapes. But they are too expensive for me. Two of my most used cassettes are current production Maxell UR and TDK SA. How about something like that in a reel form?

But these have one common problem - quantity. If you want to make something cheap, you usually have to sell a lot, since margins are low. Reel tapes are not popular.

As much as it saddens me the fact that reel to reel tape decks are no longer made, it does not really impact me, since I could not afford a new one anyway.

Let's look at vinyl records. There are a lot of record players still made, also a lot of used ones. I can buy a new one for $100 or $10000, there is a lot of music on records, new records are still made and they play on the $100 player. There also are a lot of used records that play on the new and expensive players.
Reel to reel tapes are only made blank, there is almost no music currently being released on reel to reel tape and what is being released costs way more than a record and does not play on cheaper tape decks that do not have 38cm/s speed.

So, yes, if/when RMGI and ATR stop making new tape, expect me to say "end of an era" and hopefully show a picture of my car full of boxes of cheap Soviet made tape.
R2R: Akai GX636, Электроника-004, Revox A77, Юпитер МК-106С, Снежеть-301, National RQ-115, Uher 4400 IC, Aidas 9M, АСТРА 110С - Cassette: Technics RS-BX646, Sony WM-D6C, Marantz PMD430, Sony WM-EX606 - VHS: Siemens FM739 (SVHS), Sharp VC-MH704, Panasonic AG-7330 (SVHS) - Radio: Latvija M, Leak Troughline Stereo, Siemens B8 - Record player: Technics SL-D20, JVC L-E5 - LD: Pioneer CLD-2850 - MD: Sony MZ-RH1 - Amp: Denon PMA-1080R, Hitachi HA-37 - Other: dbx 224, 400xg, 3bx-ds 500char limit is here

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