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Author Topic: Led Zeppilin sound system?  (Read 1591 times)

Kevin Conlon

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Led Zeppilin sound system?
« on: April 22, 2019, 09:37:15 pm »

I am posting this here as some of you big timers might have an answere. I saw them in 76 or 77, first concert ( all downhill after ), kidding. What gear did they use? I saw them in the garden and it was loud and mostly clear. I cannot find any info searching on it. Just an interest to me as very little seems to exist on this subject. Thanks for any links or info.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2019, 10:18:04 pm by Kevin Conlon »
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Rick Earl

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Re: Led Zepilin sound system?
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2019, 09:51:51 pm »

I am posting this here as some of you big timers might have an answere. I saw them in 76 or 77, first concert ( all downhill after ), kidding. What gear did they use? I saw them in the garden and it was loud and mostly clear. I cannot find any info searching on it. Just an interest to me as very little seems to exist on this subject. Thanks for any links or info.

It was a Showco System, but I don't know much of the details.  There are some oral history recordings and interviews.  I suggest entering "Led Zeppelin Showco" in your favorite search engine. Lots of stuff to wade through.
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Kevin Conlon

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Re: Led Zepilin sound system?
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2019, 10:17:25 pm »

It was a Showco System, but I don't know much of the details.  There are some oral history recordings and interviews.  I suggest entering "Led Zeppelin Showco" in your favorite search engine. Lots of stuff to wade through.
Thanks, i will check it out.
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Art Welter

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Re: Led Zeppilin sound system?
« Reply #3 on: April 23, 2019, 12:22:06 am »

I am posting this here as some of you big timers might have an answere. I saw them in 76 or 77, first concert ( all downhill after ), kidding. What gear did they use?
Led Zep didn't tour in 76, their '77 tour probably used a  similar system as Showco provided for the Who in '76:
http://www.thewho.net/whotabs/gear/pa/pa7576.html

"The Showco PA, for the largest concerts, the system was as follows:

    75,000 watts peak power
    54,600 watts RMS divided into four frequency bands and distributed to transducer components as follows:
        28,800 watts RMS to the bass cabinets (40250Hz)
        10,800 watts RMS to mid-bass (250800Hz)
        7,800 watts RMS to midrange (8006,500Hz)
        7,200 watts RMS to high frequencies (6,50018,000Hz)

PA speakers, driven by Crown DC-300A power amplifiers:

    48) folded-horn bass enclosures with JBL K130 415″ speakers; each enclosure powered by one 600-watt mono amp.
    36) fibreglass mid-bass horns, with JBL K120 212″ speakers; one amp powers two horns.
    24) 2350 90 radial mid-range horns with two JBL 2482 drivers; one amp powers four horns.
    12 high-frequency horn cabinets, each with two JBL 2309 horns and two JBL 2420 drivers; one amp powers four cabinets.
    12) Showco 6012 long-throw radial mid-range horns, each coupled with two JBL 2482 drivers; one amp powers four horns.
    24) 2356 outdoor long-throw mid-range horns (one JBL 2482 driver each); one amp powers six horns.
    10) outdoor high-frequency assemblies, each with four Showco high-frequency horns; each horn coupled with one JBL 2420 driver; one amp powers two assemblies.
    Eight) tweeter assemblies, each with 24 piezoelectric tweeters mounted in a semi-spherical array; one amp powers two assemblies.

Front-of-house and monitor mixing board:

    Two Showco 30-channel, 8-output Superboards; each channel has a three-stage parametric EQ.
    Two four-way crossover master panels are used to control the division and assignment of the four frequency bands.
    Two graphic equalizers.
    Two Urei 1176-LN limiters.
    Patch bay.
    Oscilloscopes.
    For vocal effects:
        Eventide three-channel 400-millisecond electronic delay
        Eventide Instant Phaser
        Roland Space Echo"


Most all the large Showco tours through 1979 used the above speaker format. I recall an Elvis Costello show and some others back then using the same 15" FLH Low, 2x12" Low Mids, Dual JBL 2482 on 2350s Hi-Mids and loads of Piezo tweeters in arcs above the 2350s.

Super efficient, very loud, and the near the highest THD (total harmonic distortion) of any touring PA I'd ever heard, making it seem even louder than it actually was.
As was Showco's (and most others of that era) general practice, most of the PA stacks were set side-by side, so in addition to the distortion, you were also treated to massive comb-filtering- if you didn't like the sound in one seat, you could trade with the next person over and hear something different ;^).

Art



« Last Edit: April 26, 2019, 05:04:46 pm by Art Welter »
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Dave Pluke

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Re: Led Zeppilin sound system?
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2019, 12:10:23 pm »


PA speakers, driven by Crown DC-300A power amplifiers:

    36) fibreglass mid-bass horns, with JBL K120 212″ speakers; one amp powers two horns.
    24) 2350 90 radial mid-range horns with two JBL 2482 drivers; one amp powers four horns.
    12 high-frequency horn cabinets, each with two JBL 2309 horns and two JBL 2420 drivers; one amp powers four cabinets.
    12) Showco 6012 long-throw radial mid-range horns, each coupled with two JBL 2482 drivers; one amp powers four horns.
 
    Eight) tweeter assemblies, each with 24 piezoelectric tweeters mounted in a semi-spherical array; one amp powers two assemblies.

As was Showco's (and most others of that era) general practice, most of the PA stacks were set side-by side, so in addition to the distortion, you were also treated to massive comb-filtering- if you didn't like the sound in one seat, you could trade with the next person over and hear something different ;^).

Aw, Art, you're making me nostalgic  ;) .

Dave
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Ivan Beaver

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Re: Led Zeppilin sound system?
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2019, 03:08:06 pm »


    48) folded-horn bass enclosures with JBL K130 415″ speakers; each enclosure powered by one 600-watt mono amp.
   
I wonder if those were the "hurler" cabinets.  You mentioned 4x12" midbass hurlers, but I know of one rental company who was making 4x15" hurler cabinets, that they said were copies of Showcos.

They were a pretty short horn, and certainly would not have gone down to 40Hz, not at any real level.  But they did have a good bit of kick to them.

I love hearing about the old systems.

YES I was part of the "pile em up/combfilter" crowd when doing larger shows.  But so was everybody else HA-HA 

It's was all we knew how to do back then.  I learned a lot by doing it wrong, and then wondering "why" it didn't work as I had intended.  I found out years later, mainly during SynAudCon classes when it all started coming together and making sense.

Here is my system from 1988.  I never set it up like this for a show-this was just for a photo.  I did try to stack and splay my horns and stack my mids (4560s) as best I could.

Oh what we have learned over the years.
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Art Welter

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Re: Led Zeppilin sound system?
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2019, 05:03:05 pm »

I wonder if those were the "hurler" cabinets.  You mentioned 4x12" midbass hurlers, but I know of one rental company who was making 4x15" hurler cabinets, that they said were copies of Showcos.

They were a pretty short horn, and certainly would not have gone down to 40Hz, not at any real level.  But they did have a good bit of kick to them.
Ivan,
The mid bass were 2x12", had about a 2" throat, very high compression ratio at the time.
I think you are correct, the 4x15" bass cabinets (not mid bass) were known as the "hurler".

Art
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Dave Garoutte

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Re: Led Zeppilin sound system?
« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2019, 08:12:15 pm »

Ivan,
The mid bass were 2x12", had about a 2" throat, very high compression ratio at the time.
I think you are correct, the 4x15" bass cabinets (not mid bass) were known as the "hurler".

Art

Because they bar ::)fed out the bass?
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John Fruits

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Re: Led Zeppilin sound system?
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2019, 08:14:57 pm »

Because they bar ::)fed out the bass?
I don't even want to think about the meaning of "farty subs".  ;,)
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Re: Led Zeppilin sound system?
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2019, 08:14:57 pm »


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