Mike Spitz of ATR Service and ATR Magnetics passed away on Saturday, October 12. Mike was an industry expert in magnetic recording, in later years specializing in the Ampex ATR series. He repaired and restored hundreds of recorders in his career, making them better than new and keeping the technology alive. He presented seminars in tape recorder alignment where he emphasized that by proper adjustment of bias and fluxivity level, you could get any characteristic you wanted out of nearly any recorder.
Mike was a really friendly guy who was always willing to help people with problems with their recoreders. When 3M and Ampex stopped making professional audio recording tape, he set up a tape factory, developed some new techniques for manufacturing small batches of tape, and ATR Magnetics tape was born.
He had cancer, and apparently didn't survive his latest treatment. He was 59. Industry news is that his business will carry on, with parts, service, and tape continuing to be available. But the real star and spark plug will be missed.