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From what I've read recently on the AMIA (Association of Moving Image Archivists) listserv, Videomagnetics in Colorado is the last company in the world still refurbishing 2-inch Quad video heads.  

2-inch Quad was pretty much the sole professional format in use from the late 50's  through the early 70s, and I gather the heads are pretty complex and have a limited number of hours they can run before they need to be rebuilt.   Apparently Videomagnetics bought much of the tooling, etc. from the originator, Ampex in the 90s when they give up the ghost--which they are apparently close to doing--there will likely be no one left who can do that work and playing back 2-inch tape will quickly become impossible.

I'm not sure if the situation is similar for 1-inch formats (Videomagnetics supports some of those those formats, too) but I've read from several apparently knowledgeable people that for many professional video tape formats there are far more tapes untransfered and undigitized than there are functional machines that have enough lifespan remaining to do the transfers.

Arthur


On Jul 31, 2013, at 4:10 PM, Roderic G Stephens <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> "Subject: [ARSCLIST] CBS News on LOC efforts to pres
> Tom Fine wrote:
> 
> "Subject: [ARSCLIST] CBS News on LOC efforts to preserve video history
> 
> 
> http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-18563_162-57596237/library-of-congress-races-to-preserve-tv-history/
> 
> Question about one "fact" stated in the story, by an LOC employee -- there is really only one guy who works on the heads for Ampex 1" machines, and he's in his 80s? 
> -- Tom Fine"
> 
> 
> ________________________________
> 
> 
> My take on this is that perhaps the "one guy" should be working with someone that has the technical expertise to learn the ins and outs of the Ampex 2" quad VTR plus, isn't a company like JRF Magnetic Services able to recondition VTR quad heads?
> 
> http://www.jrfmagnetics.com/index.html?JRF_mainframe=/JRF_replacement_heads.html
> 
> Or, this site lists a number of companies that still do 2" quad work:
> 
> http://www.labguysworld.com/VTR_Links.htm