Audio Rental Firm Toy Specialists Closing Its Doors

In another illustration of the seismic changes to the commercial audio recording industry, the Toy Specialists, a prominent New York equipment-rental company, is going out of business.

In another illustration of the seismic changes to the commercial audio recording industry, the Toy Specialists, a prominent New York equipment-rental company, is going out of business.

The Toy Specialists' inventory, which includes vintage and modern equipment, will be sold at an all-day Auction Feb. 26 at the company's location at 599 11th Ave. and online at www.toyspecialists.com.

The equipment-rental market has declined in recent years, says Toy Specialists founder Bill Tesar, due to shrinking recording budgets and the prominent role digital-audio workstations (DAWs) now play in professional recording. In DAW recording, software-based plug-ins -- used to apply processing such as reverb, compression or equalization -- often replace the hardware-based equipment typically found in recording studios.

"We've seen this coming for years," says Tesar, who founded Toy Specialists in 1983. "Why beat your head against the wall? I've been in the industry in many capacities since 1970, and this business had a real good run for a long time." He adds, "In the mid- to late '90s, this was a screaming business. It's a confluence of things, but most of [the decline] has to do with record-company budgets. It's time to move on."
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