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Title: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: Mike Caldwell on April 11, 2014, 10:00:55 pm
Maybe not exactly a concert sound piece of equipment but with built in reverb complete with bright-soft contour switch, about 50 watts output, unbalanced inputs with a high and low gain switch, in 1970 you would have felt special to have one of these........at least for a little while.

It has a few battle scars but it still works short of some noisy pots and an intermittent jack on channel 4. It's actually remarkably quiet as far S/N.
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: Ivan Beaver on April 12, 2014, 09:35:40 am
Maybe not exactly a concert sound piece of equipment but with built in reverb complete with bright-soft contour switch, about 50 watts output, unbalanced inputs with a high and low gain switch, in 1970 you would have felt special to have one of these........at least for a little while.

It has a few battle scars but it still works short of some noisy pots and an intermittent jack on channel 4. It's actually remarkably quiet as far S/N.
That old Altec stuff was designed to work forever-built like a tank.

The "wattage wars" was the start of the downfall (as far as i know), but they always made good gear that worked well.

Oh how the mighty have fallen-like when spark-0-matic bought them :(
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: Dave Scarlett on April 15, 2014, 08:06:49 pm
Just a few years later in Canada Yorkville came up with the YVM-6. Six channels and 100 watts into 4 ohms with built in reverb!
I use to work at Yorkville back then and you can read the full, and interesting story, at: http://www.yorkville.com/downloads/other/yorkvillehistory.pdf

Here's what she looked like:
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: Jerry Burns on April 17, 2014, 11:10:11 am
Just a few years later in Canada Yorkville came up with the YVM-6. Six channels and 100 watts into 4 ohms with built in reverb!
I use to work at Yorkville back then and you can read the full, and interesting story, at: http://www.yorkville.com/downloads/other/yorkvillehistory.pdf

Here's what she looked like:
Dave, about 1975 had a Traynor Bass head and then I bought the Mark III guitar head. The bass head had 2 EL34 Tubes and sounded like a Fender Bassman only brighter. Never tried a bass thru that amp only guitar. The Mark III had 4 EL34 and was very bright and loud. Had 2 channels and was a very clean Amp also very heavy. I used that amp for 10 years and probably changed the tubes 1 time.  I always liked the Traynor PA cabs that looked like Porta potties standing up. Big alum horns on each speaker. I was told Leo Fender helped set up that company after he sold to CBS. This has nothing to do with the post but I liked Traynor Stuff, solid and always worked and a little cheaper in cost.
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: Dave Scarlett on April 17, 2014, 03:42:26 pm
Dave, about 1975 had a Traynor Bass head and then I bought the Mark III guitar head. The bass head had 2 EL34 Tubes and sounded like a Fender Bassman only brighter. Never tried a bass thru that amp only guitar. The Mark III had 4 EL34 and was very bright and loud. Had 2 channels and was a very clean Amp also very heavy. I used that amp for 10 years and probably changed the tubes 1 time.  I always liked the Traynor PA cabs that looked like Porta potties standing up. Big alum horns on each speaker. I was told Leo Fender helped set up that company after he sold to CBS. This has nothing to do with the post but I liked Traynor Stuff, solid and always worked and a little cheaper in cost.

I don't remember anything about Mr. Fender being around Yorkville sound but I bet he knew who they were!  If you get a chance give a read to the history link I posted originally, it tells of many innovations the company created. The "porta potty" or "dog dish" speakers were the YSC-7A http://traynoramps.com/legacy/vintage/product/ysc-7a/ seemed an odd way to make more of a cheap driver!
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: Steve M Smith on April 17, 2014, 04:56:18 pm
Over here in England in the late 1960s, Charlie Watkins produced something similar:

(http://images-02.delcampe-static.net/img_large/auction/000/178/282/075_001.jpg?v=1)

As used at the original Isle of Wight festivals.

http://www.wemwatkins.co.uk/history.htm (http://www.wemwatkins.co.uk/history.htm)


Steve.
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: Craig Hauber on April 28, 2014, 01:04:02 am
Just a few years later in Canada Yorkville came up with the YVM-6. Six channels and 100 watts into 4 ohms with built in reverb!
I use to work at Yorkville back then and you can read the full, and interesting story, at: http://www.yorkville.com/downloads/other/yorkvillehistory.pdf

Here's what she looked like:
I learned "sound" on that thing.  Beat the living crap out of it actually and it still stayed in working condition.  Even had the matching column speakers with it.
Graduated from that to a Yamaha EM-300 and 2 shiny-new 4115 speakers.  Used the traynor as extension speakers with that or even as crude stage monitors!
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: Gus Housen on August 10, 2014, 01:01:13 am
I had a 6 channel vertion that I found in a old TV repair guys storage locker. it had no case but my buddy got it working and i used it and a couple Radio shack dual10" colums@ high school keggers
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: Jeff Bankston on August 11, 2014, 10:46:24 pm
in the early 70's we thought we had hit the big time with an early 1970's rack mount Tapco mixer.
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: Ivan Beaver on August 12, 2014, 08:26:51 am
in the early 70's we thought we had hit the big time with an early 1970's rack mount Tapco mixer.
If you had a Tapco 6 channel mixer with ALtec A7s-you had hit the big time.

Add in a Crown DC300 and WOW-you were cool. 

Oh how times have changed.

Now any idiot with a couple of bucks can buy a system that makes a lot of noise-but that is about it-noise.  Not quality sound.

While the gear had gotten much better-I don't feel that the "average" sound quality is any better-in fact I think it is worse-since it is so easy for people to get into the business.  At least years ago it took a decent amount of money to get a sound system. 

That weeded out some of the people
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: Jeff Bankston on August 12, 2014, 03:42:34 pm
If you had a Tapco 6 channel mixer with ALtec A7s-you had hit the big time.

Add in a Crown DC300 and WOW-you were cool. 

Oh how times have changed.

Now any idiot with a couple of bucks can buy a system that makes a lot of noise-but that is about it-noise.  Not quality sound.

While the gear had gotten much better-I don't feel that the "average" sound quality is any better-in fact I think it is worse-since it is so easy for people to get into the business.  At least years ago it took a decent amount of money to get a sound system. 

That weeded out some of the people
most of the time we used my Dynaco mono blocks. we used cabinets i built and also rented altec vot speakers from Sound Communications in Jackson Missippi. the bass players daddy was a laywer and his dad bought him 2 new altec vot speakers that he still has. they need the woofers reconed. he set them out in a shed and a hole heard of bees set up house inside one. in the late 70's i got in a band with a keyboard player that had a Peavey pa and iirc the board had 12 mic inputs. we were styling then. in 1984 i hit the big time when i started buying QSC series 3 amps.
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: Ivan Beaver on August 12, 2014, 04:37:55 pm
most of the time we used my Dynaco mono blocks. we used cabinets i built and also rented altec vot speakers from Sound Communications in Jackson Missippi. the bass players daddy was a laywer and his dad bought him 2 new altec vot speakers that he still has. they need the woofers reconed. he set them out in a shed and a hole heard of bees set up house inside one. in the late 70's i got in a band with a keyboard player that had a Peavey pa and iirc the board had 12 mic inputs. we were styling then. in 1984 i hit the big time when i started buying QSC series 3 amps.
I thought I had hit the big time twice.  The first was when I got my first CS800.  I thought NOW I have all the power I will ever need for bass cabinets.  Boy was I wrong.

My next "step" was 16 channel biamp 1621.  I loved that board-VERY easy to get a mix on.  No frills but did the job well.
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: Mike Caldwell on August 13, 2014, 11:15:56 am
in the early 70's we thought we had hit the big time with an early 1970's rack mount Tapco mixer.

I still used one of those in the early 80's, it was a silver one with black lettering. For a while I use it as a reverb / twanging effects unit.   
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: Tim McCulloch on August 14, 2014, 09:05:04 pm
I thought I had hit the big time twice.  The first was when I got my first CS800.  I thought NOW I have all the power I will ever need for bass cabinets.  Boy was I wrong.

My next "step" was 16 channel biamp 1621.  I loved that board-VERY easy to get a mix on.  No frills but did the job well.

I owned a 1621 and concur with your opinion.  Our PAC has a 1221 in the Exhibition Hall control booth. 
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: duane massey on August 16, 2014, 01:14:11 am
We could never afford equipment, so we built our own, first for our band, then for sale and rental. First amps that we "built" were Dynaco kits that we built into cases. Later designed our own mono amps (massive 85 watts/8 ohms) and started building mixers. Made a lot of mistakes, but also built a lot of cool (especially for the time period) stuff.
Those days are long gone, but there was a lot to be said for the wide-open experimenting that a lot of us did back then, even if we were just ignorant and foolish.
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: Ivan Beaver on August 16, 2014, 09:39:54 am
We could never afford equipment, so we built our own, first for our band, then for sale and rental. First amps that we "built" were Dynaco kits that we built into cases. Later designed our own mono amps (massive 85 watts/8 ohms) and started building mixers. Made a lot of mistakes, but also built a lot of cool (especially for the time period) stuff.
Those days are long gone, but there was a lot to be said for the wide-open experimenting that a lot of us did back then, even if we were just ignorant and foolish.
That is what got me into this business.  A also did not have any money to buy real gear.

My first mixer used the chassis from my Kay 770 guitar amp (I blew it up due to driver 20 some speakers with it-I did not know-------)

It was 4 channels with a volume/bass/treble and a master level on it.

The next mixer I built had 6 channels-volume/bass/middle/treble and 1 aux.

The largest mixer I built that was completed and working (I started some larger ones but never finished) was a 12 channel with 3 auxes.

These are all totally built by hand-from the ground up.  Including drawing out each trace on the circuit boards-etching the boards in the bath tub and drilling every hole with a hand drill and of course stuffing the parts and wiring etc.

Of course I also hand built my own amps/crossovers/eqs/cabinets etc.

You learn a lot when you go this route.

Now things are A LOT cheaper and this is probably not a good path to go-except for the learning aspect.
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: Tim McCulloch on August 16, 2014, 10:55:12 am
Those days are long gone, but there was a lot to be said for the wide-open experimenting that a lot of us did back then, even if we were just ignorant and foolish.

That, my friend, was the tuition at the Skool of Ye Olde Hard Knocks.  Our diplomas serve us well to this day.

And it illustrates why I continue to advocate that "today's kids" go out an build some circuits, blow up some speakers and amps and actually LEARN something besides taking dubious candy from strangers on the intertubes. ;)
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: John Roberts {JR} on August 16, 2014, 11:07:44 am
We are all born ignorant. Life is a grim teacher, she gives the tests first and then the lesson, but lessons learned in that school tend to stick.

When we were young, building stuff ourselves was a viable way to save money. Over the years I built many Heath kit products to save money and even had my own kit company back in the '70s-80s selling hifi kits.  At their peak Heathkit was probably a $100M business. But that entire business model was mooted by modern manufacturing technology. A large company could buy and assemble parts into a finished product for less cost than the small company could buy the raw parts (I experienced this painfully in the '80s).

The modern equivalent of DIY skills is probably to learn how to program computers or whatever computing device kids end up with these days. Making stuff is no longer a good use of our time, for anything we can find to buy off the shelf. I find myself still making thing that I can not buy.

JR
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: Ivan Beaver on August 16, 2014, 11:33:18 am
We are all born ignorant. Life is a grim teacher, she gives the tests first and then the lesson, but lessons learned in that school tend to stick.

vice kids end up with these days. Making stuff is no longer a good use of our time, for anything we can find to buy off the shelf. I find myself still making thing that I can not buy.

JR

How true.

I still build small stuff and odd things that simply are not available.  Various control circuits and so forth.

I feel that this is a "lost art".  Which is a real shame-because it was such a large part of up upbringing.

HOWEVER the skill learned I use to this day in various aspects :)

Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: Ivan Beaver on August 16, 2014, 01:06:55 pm
I have been cleaning out my basement-and starting to throw away the old stuff I build decades ago.

I took a few photos before it went in the dumpster-but these were pulled out and went to the metal scrapyard.  Maybe some of it will end up in an amp in YOUR future :)

NO LAUGHING JR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  All I had was simple tools and only my own experience to go on.
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: Scott Holtzman on August 17, 2014, 01:31:31 am
I have been cleaning out my basement-and starting to throw away the old stuff I build decades ago.

I took a few photos before it went in the dumpster-but these were pulled out and went to the metal scrapyard.  Maybe some of it will end up in an amp in YOUR future :)

NO LAUGHING JR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  All I had was simple tools and only my own experience to go on.

I used to collect sweep tubes out of TV's on the curb when I was a young teen and build 100W Linear Amplifiers for the CB crowd.  Sold them at the flea market.  Made good money at it to.  Kept a hi fi and a fast car habit going into college.

I thought that circuit design was a lost art but there seems to be a resurgence of microcontroller project boards. They have all sorts of A/D converters.  The kid I hired out of electronics school last year knew the difference between RS-232 and TTL voltages.  That and knowing the binder wrap colors on a 25 pair phone cable got him an instant job. 

Embedded software/hardware engineers are the highest paid in the industry and near impossible to find.

We had a lot of fun, but so does this generation. 

 What blows me away is the value.  If I recall a little 8 or 6 input allen and heath mixer was over a grand in the mid 70's

Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: Steve M Smith on August 17, 2014, 04:03:08 am
I used to collect sweep tubes out of TV's

I assume these are what we refer to as the line (horizontal) and frame (vertical) output valves. In the UK, this was usually a Mullard PL504.   I have heard the term sweep tube before but we don't use it here.

Luckily, when I was at high school and got interested in this stuff, I could get EL34s, EL84s and 6V6s fairly easily so I didn't have to re-purpose TV valves.

Later today, I'm going to try to get some pictures of an all valve/tube mixer I built for a friend a few years ago.


Steve.
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: Jim McKeveny on January 13, 2015, 08:31:53 am
I assume these are what we refer to as the line (horizontal) and frame (vertical) output valves. In the UK, this was usually a Mullard PL504.   I have heard the term sweep tube before but we don't use it here.

Luckily, when I was at high school and got interested in this stuff, I could get EL34s, EL84s and 6V6s fairly easily so I didn't have to re-purpose TV valves.

Later today, I'm going to try to get some pictures of an all valve/tube mixer I built for a friend a few years ago.


Steve.

My dad had a repair manual for our 1962 Ford Falcon. The day I leaned how to calculate (pre-calculator BTW) volume of a cylinder in school, I raced home and flipped to the page that displayed Bore and Stroke.

I checked my math again and again. "Ford wouldn"t be wrong! They're not kids like me!"

I was sadly disappointed when our advertised 144 cu. in. car really turned out to be 142 and change...

Years later, when I purchased a calculator with, OMG! exponential function, I traced coordinates for a horn flare on graph paper. I didn't match what I saw on commercial horns. WTF??
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: DAVID J. SYRKO on January 30, 2015, 02:55:19 pm
If you had a Tapco 6 channel mixer with ALtec A7s-you had hit the big time.

Add in a Crown DC300 and WOW-you were cool. 

Oh how times have changed.

Now any idiot with a couple of bucks can buy a system that makes a lot of noise-but that is about it-noise.  Not quality sound.

While the gear had gotten much better-I don't feel that the "average" sound quality is any better-in fact I think it is worse-since it is so easy for people to get into the business.  At least years ago it took a decent amount of money to get a sound system. 

That weeded out some of the people

When I got out of Tech school I worked for an AV company that put on shows for clients to introduce their products.  The guys that were putting together the amp racks used the DC amps.  They said they would have to fabricate a bracket to support the transformers in the rack because the transformers would snap off of the amp during transport.  I also noticed  when you would push the amp the front lights would dim.
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: Stephen Kirby on April 01, 2015, 07:50:51 pm
Poverty is the mother of invention.  Does anyone remember Tiger amps?  Around 80W SS thing you got plans for and parts from Allied or Heath.  Build a couple cabinets with some sort of horn flare and power with one or two of these and rock the gym.  In the early '70s Acoustic came out with a cabinet that had a stack of 6x9 car speakers playing into a plastic flare.  A buddy copied these but made the flare with 1/4" ply and they sounded much better.

Some folks here may remember the small "line-arrays" I built 6-7 years ago based on planar tweeters.  Those are long gone but there's still room for money saving experimentation.  I still have the neo 8's from those and my next project is to figure out what sort of dome tweeter is in the AccuGroove cabinets (I think they're Audax units) and build some small bar band wedges.  These days you can get a plate amp with DSP, hook it up to a computer, run Smaart on your deck and tune the DSP to pretty good effect.

The concept behind those wedges is that in bars and other situations where you're right on top of the monitor, the intelligibility isn't very good.  Even if you get the angle so it's pointed straight up at the singer.  I've been doing some gigs lately as a drummer and notice that I can hear the monitors pretty clearly from further back.  Having heard the AccuGroove cabs from on stage I get their assertion that horn loaded treble units have more throw but are less good in the nearfield.  It makes sense to me that the same thing happens when the singer is right on top of a wedge.  Another garage project at least.
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: Ivan Beaver on April 02, 2015, 08:12:51 pm
Poverty is the mother of invention.  Does anyone remember Tiger amps?  Around 80W SS thing you got plans for and parts from Allied or Heath. 
The "real guys" built THIS.  It had "all the power you need to fill a stadium with sound"

http://www.tigersthatroar.com/?page_id=59
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: Chris Hindle on April 10, 2015, 08:09:50 am
The "real guys" built THIS.  It had "all the power you need to fill a stadium with sound"

http://www.tigersthatroar.com/?page_id=59
Nice one Ivan. I remember building a couple of the Dynaco kits. Wern't they around 400W a side ??
A lot of things are a bit foggy about "those days" Used them on home-built A-7's
Chris.
 
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: Scott Holtzman on April 10, 2015, 11:03:47 am
Nice one Ivan. I remember building a couple of the Dynaco kits. Wern't they around 400W a side ??
A lot of things are a bit foggy about "those days" Used them on home-built A-7's
Chris.

SWTP was a big player in early computer kits too
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: Ivan Beaver on April 10, 2015, 04:33:39 pm
SWTP was a big player in early computer kits too
I have one of their old catalogs.

Their "BIG DADDY" was something like 64K.  I need to find it and look it up.

Oh how times have changed
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: duane massey on April 19, 2015, 07:37:10 pm
Built several Dynacos and Tigers. Like some of us, they were a stepping stone to bigger things.
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: Ivan Beaver on April 19, 2015, 07:44:59 pm
Built several Dynacos and Tigers. Like some of us, they were a stepping stone to bigger things.
I always wanted an "Ampzilla"

I would love to add one of those to my collection of amps.
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: Robert Patch on April 21, 2015, 08:18:16 pm
I've got a pair of Leak TL/50 tube amps screwed into the bottom of a road case in the shed.  It's buried.  I haven't seen it for years.
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: Steve M Smith on April 22, 2015, 01:33:28 am
I've got a pair of Leak TL/50 tube amps screwed into the bottom of a road case in the shed.  It's buried.  I haven't seen it for years.


That must have been some landslide to bury the shed!


Steve.
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: Scott Holtzman on April 22, 2015, 02:51:46 am
Ivan,  do you know Jim Bongiorno's history

http://www.ampzilla2000.com/James_Bongiorno.html

He had his hand in many storied audiophile designs.

Personally I would love to have a Thaedra preamp in my collection.  It was an interesting design.

The Ampzilla had an interesting industrial design and a cooling tunnel if I recall.  There was also a son and grandson IIRC.

This was the gear of my late youth though I was a Bob Carver fan from the PL400 days.  In college I got to see his first road trip with the cube.

Most kids had baseball cards I had vendor slicks and Absolute Sound,  or was it just Stereo Review back then?



Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: Ivan Beaver on April 22, 2015, 07:43:54 am
Ivan,  do you know Jim Bongiorno's history

http://www.ampzilla2000.com/James_Bongiorno.html

He had his hand in many storied audiophile designs.

Personally I would love to have a Thaedra preamp in my collection.  It was an interesting design.

The Ampzilla had an interesting industrial design and a cooling tunnel if I recall.  There was also a son and grandson IIRC.

This was the gear of my late youth though I was a Bob Carver fan from the PL400 days.  In college I got to see his first road trip with the cube.

Most kids had baseball cards I had vendor slicks and Absolute Sound,  or was it just Stereo Review back then?
Yes there was a son and a grandson of ampzilla.  But the look of Ampzilla was the coolest.

My first Carver amp was "the cube".  I picked it up at a pawn shop and used it with my PA at the time.

I ended up using lots of PM1.5s a few years later for regular rental stock. 

They had horrible pin 1 problems.  Of course it wasn't until years later that I learned about pin 1 problems.

It sure would have made life easier if I had know about it back then--------

I used to trace hums/buzzes for sometimes hours, and often just to reduce it.  Take care of the pin 1 problem and they work much better.
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: Tom Roche on June 02, 2015, 07:35:49 pm
Most kids had baseball cards I had vendor slicks and Absolute Sound,  or was it just Stereo Review back then?

It could have been either or both.  I subscribed to Stereo Review, though got tired of every Julian Hirsch review sounding the same ... all glowing reviews!  I suppose it's bad business to bite the hand that feeds you.

Audio: 1947 - 2000
The Absolute Sound: 1973 - current
High Fidelity: 1951 - 1989
Stereo Review (started under different name):  1958 - 2000; currently called Sound & Vision

I can't help but think I'm forgetting another hi-fi magazine (published in the U.S.).
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: Stephen Kirby on June 04, 2015, 01:44:59 pm
Tom, are you thinking of Stereophile?  Formerly edited by Robert Harley who's now at TAS after HP's departure.

Now like the old Audio, you can find these at the grocery store newstand.  Unlike the old days when both were underground and only esoteric. 
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: Tom Roche on June 04, 2015, 05:48:58 pm
Tom, are you thinking of Stereophile?  Formerly edited by Robert Harley who's now at TAS after HP's departure.

Now like the old Audio, you can find these at the grocery store newstand.  Unlike the old days when both were underground and only esoteric.

YES, that's the one!  Thanks.  Wasn't Stereophile's staff known for being inordinately snobbish?
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: Stephen Kirby on June 09, 2015, 06:47:13 pm
When I stumbled into high end audio in the late '70s I thought that what I saw in High Fidelity and Audio was the high end.  But the true high end was very underground and had it's own snobbishness.  They deliberately hid their shops in dental office buildings and such to avoid the common riff-raff.  There was some cross pollination between TAS and Stereophile in the '90s.  TAS was always a little further out due to Pearson's dominance.  But he was really mostly about the music.  Stereophile seemed to me to adopt the esoteric snobbishness to keep up.  They they did an about face and went mass market.  And folks started jumping between and even writing for both.  And a few really went out on limbs with ebony hockey pucks and the like.  I used to go to the Stereophile shows when they came to SF but that whole scene has gone expensive mass market and isn't about the music anymore.  I heard so much harsh bombastic sound at the last one I went to I've never been back.
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: John Roberts {JR} on June 09, 2015, 07:59:34 pm
When I stumbled into high end audio in the late '70s I thought that what I saw in High Fidelity and Audio was the high end.  But the true high end was very underground and had it's own snobbishness.  They deliberately hid their shops in dental office buildings and such to avoid the common riff-raff.  There was some cross pollination between TAS and Stereophile in the '90s.  TAS was always a little further out due to Pearson's dominance.  But he was really mostly about the music.  Stereophile seemed to me to adopt the esoteric snobbishness to keep up.  They they did an about face and went mass market.  And folks started jumping between and even writing for both.  And a few really went out on limbs with ebony hockey pucks and the like.  I used to go to the Stereophile shows when they came to SF but that whole scene has gone expensive mass market and isn't about the music anymore.  I heard so much harsh bombastic sound at the last one I went to I've never been back.
The Absolute Sound was more like a lunatic fringe, but served as comic relief with some of the advice (like tune your TV set between stations and other such nonsense.). Stereophile was relatively more grounded compared to TAS but still far from a scientific journal. The mainstream magazines were dismissed as being rubber stamps for the manufacturers but most mainstream product was already decent by then, and claims of large sonic differences were more a matter of exaggeration for effect.

My biggest criticism of the audiophool rags was they routinely featured reviews where a small handful of writers tested various review units by substituting them into their "reference" system, but contrary to the term there was nothing remotely reference quality about those systems or listening rooms.  The more esoteric the gear, the more random or chance the review results, unless you happened to be drinking the same kool-aid and using the same esoteric reference components to balance out the sundry family colorations.

I literally had the exact same review unit, receive two wildly different reviews from two different reviewers (with their two different reference systems). I am confident that my unit behaved the same both times, so draw your own conclusions. I suspect the guy who didn't like the sound was using crap components for the rest of his system. (Coincidentally it was a well known reviewer from Strereophile who gave me the good review). 

About then I decided to escape from that market since there was no linear cause and effect between product value and sales success. The thing i liked about large scale sound reinforcement is that it's hard to BS an auditorium full of listeners. The laws of physics tend to sort out the fakers. 

JR

PS There were a handful of even smaller audio-phool magazines that were even more unreliable. 
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: claude cascioli on July 29, 2015, 05:54:53 pm
its not the gear only .it the person running it. today i see a lot quote un quote sound companies i happen to have still an old university 6 input pa head it was actually and altec university was owned by altec and university sound was their commercial sound division marketing to sound contractors. its still a great sounding head. but today its seems that small sound companies don't have a clue what real gear is or what even sound good. they go on line buy some powered speakers a mixer and mics and say there a sound company. i started my company in 1974 with a 2 homebuilt speaker columns a radio shack mixer and a fisher stereo tube amp a 4 realistic mics. it did ok for my high school jazz band and few speaking jobs. and a year later i brought a vocal master amd 4 shure 588 hi z mics.and just beford the bicentennial in 76 i brought 2 bogen 100 watt amps and 6 atlas horns and i still use those horns its was not until 1978 when i built my first band pa and that was 2 community frc low freq horns and 2 community radial horns a bgw 250 amp and a tapco mixer. two years later we supplied the sound for the new york city marathon. so you need to start somewhere like all of us in the business. today i still use the turbosound tms 4 i brought in 1988 and they still sound great. i did rebuild them in 2012 
Title: Re: 1970 suit case powered mixer
Post by: Stephen Kirby on July 30, 2015, 05:51:03 pm
  This was the gear of my late youth though I was a Bob Carver fan from the PL400 days. 

Ah, the good old Phlame Linear 400.  Horrid sounding amp compared to the 700.  Harsh and brittle.  The band I played with in the late 70s had one in their PA.  The saving grace in that was the mixer was a tube thing that a buddy of theirs made and the mains were cabs with a pair of D130s, a slot tweeter and these big radial horns that he'd cast out of concrete.  Which weighed around 250lbs each but didn't have that metallic ring of the JBLs he took a form off of.  He made several sets of thinner ones and did a lot of the HIC arena rock concerts with them but even those were heavy.  Last thing I remember he made up a 5way system with 2 10s, 4  5 1/4s, a couple of slots and a couple of bullets.  Sitting on top of a W bin with a D140 in it.  I saw George Benson in the arena with 2 of those stacks per side and it was the warmest and most natural live sound I'd ever heard.  I saw some other shows where he had 3 per side and thought the extra volume wasn't necessary.  You can only load up a basketball (nobody plays hockey in Hawaii) arena with so much noise before you hit the point of diminishing returns.  That was about the magic point.