Via the Village Voice and meta-via Brooklyn Vegan comes the tragic news that the NYC recording studio operated by Daptone Records was burgled last night, with a remarkable amount of main brain Gabe Roth's vintage gear lost. Even worse, it wasn't insured. And for your daily dose of cosmic irony, they were on the cusp of signing the first of many expensive checks to an insurance company which might have made this a little less disastrous.

I interviewed Gabe in Tape Op #59 (gosh, was it really THAT long ago?) and he's definitely at the forefront of any contemporary retro recording scene you might want to define, so the loss of the equipment he relies on is pretty staggering. His letter, reprinted below, includes a reasonably complete list of the missing goods. Please keep your eyes open as you're cruising eBay looking for your next, erm, steal.

Friends and associates,

As you may have heard through the grapevine by now, Daptone was broken into last night. Unfortunately, there was a lot of equipment (mics, pre-amps, monitors, turntables, guitars, amps, computers, etc.) stolen and damaged. It is going to take us a while to go through everything and take full stock of what was stolen, and we are not supposed to touch anything until the cops come back to collect fingerprints so we can only guess what's missing from some mic drawers and cabinets.

And, no, we did not have insurance. We had been shopping around with different companies earlier this month but had not signed a check, so nothing was insured. We are working on replacing the gate in front, installing an alarm system, and getting insurance, but it is President's day so it's not going as quickly as we would have liked.

Nydia's computer was stolen (which wasn't backed up) and the modems/ phone system was ripped out, so we'll be relatively out of commission for a few days.

I would like to ask for everyone's help first in keeping an eye out for all of our stuff showing up on ebay/craigslist/local music shops, and secondly (and more realistically) keeping an eye out for good deals on headphones, mics, pre-amps, etc. I could really use a heads up on any kind of studio package for sale or studio equipment to be possibly bought or borrowed as soon as possible. We have a session scheduled for Friday to lay down some music for (I know this sounds surreal) Rod Stewart, and I'm going to have to get the studio running by then. I know I'm going to need to find headphones, cables, mics, and pre-amps by then. I'm not sure what else yet.

Upon first glance we are definitely missing:

  • Fender Super Guitar Amp in case
  • Fender Deluxe Guitar Amp
  • A whole bunch of headphones and wires
  • Nydia's HP laptop computer
  • One Desktop MacIntosh Computer
  • One Purple Audio API style lunchbox with four Purple Audio Biz mic pre-amps
  • 2 Yamaha NS10 monitors
  • Vintage Harmony Rocket Guitar
  • One steel string acoustic guitar
  • Martin Tenor sax in a gig bag
  • Technics 1200 turntable
  • Ion USB turntable
  • Teac Receiver/stereo amp
  • Sony dual deck CD burner/player
  • All of our modem/phone system stuff was ripped out and taken.
  • A whole bunch of condensor and dynamic microphones (I still need to figure out exactly what's missing) The power supply for my Trident console was tossed and the board was moved (probably not gently) so the status of that is still questionable.
  • A baldwin organ was tossed and is probably broken.
  • Lacie External hard drive

Over the next few days, as we sort out the rubble, we are going to figure out what else we lost.

We are putting in a roll down front gate, alarm system, and finally getting our insurance happening this week. We are also going to hire a security guard to watch the house for tonight as the cops and alarm guy seemed pretty confident that they will be back with a truck now that they've seen what's in here.


Thankfully, we all still have our health, ambition, tape machines, and sense of humor in tact. You can slow us down, but you can't stop us. Sleep well knowing we here at Daptone will continue to...

Keep putting Soul up,
Gabriel Roth

P.S. On a lighter note, it seems like the burglars did drop a few items in order to lift Alex's old safe out of here, which was VERY heavy, VERY unwieldy, and also VERY EMPTY!

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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