Category Archives: Pro Audio Archive

Content! We got fresh content! 1940 RCA Sound System Proposal: Complete Documentation

Man how long has it been since i’ve posted some actual historical archival material? Months? Years? The problem is not a lack of new documents; quite the opposite.  I’ve amassed, and continue to horde, so much of this stuff that its totally fkkn overwhelming.  I need like an intern or seven to even have a chance of getting thru all this stuff before leave this earth.  So yeah instead i’ve been on Instagram instead.  It’s so much faster and easier and WTF even is a blog anyway?


Somethings, tho, are just too weird and interesting to ignore.  I found this jacketed proposal package for a 1940 church PA system.  Just the sort of audio historical flotsam that probably no one else ever bothered to preserve.  I can’t stand to see this stuff lost.  So here ya go.  If you ever wondered what those gigantic RCA amps and weird 77 variants cost new, who bought em, and how much those UrSoundBros got paid to install it… ANSWERS WITHIN.  enjoy. CR

Studio Outboard Gear Odds & Ends ’71- ’73

Urei_1176_1970Today: just a few things that caught my eye from ’71 -’73:  the ‘new’ black-cosmetic version of the Urei 1176, plus some odd bits from Soundcraftsmen and Sansui (I had no idea that they had made pro audio products), and another forgotten Quad-Eight rack device (see here for our earlier coverage of their very obscure reverb unit).  Also something called the ‘OP Reverberation’ …. anyone?  ,,,and a few unusual items from Martin.  Wrapping it up is the annoucement ad for the original API 525C, which has become one of my favorite compressors for vocals since we got one at Gold Coast Recorders.  If any of y’all are using the Martin or Quad-Eight kit, let us know!

Soundcraftsmen_RP10-12_1972Above: The Soundcraftsmen RP10-12 equalizer

Sansui_QSE_1_1971Above: The Sansui QSE-1 Quadraphonic Encoder

Quad-Eight_Filter_1972 Quad_Eight_1972Above: The Quad-Eight Variable Filter, Auto-Mix 23B compressor, EQ 312 channel EQ, and RV10 Reverb unitParasound_reverb_1971 Martin_Console_1972 MArtin_1972_2Above: the Martin SLM-1020B mixer, PEQ500 rackmount program EQ, and varispeed 3B tape machine speed controller.  API_525_1972

Highlights from the 1971 AES Convention

AES_1971,,,and today, perhaps unsurprisingly: some of the new kit unveiled in 1971 at the NYC AES show, also via DB mag.  Of note: Auto-Tec, Scully, Ampex and 3M intro’d new 16-track machines, Neve made a push for a new console (would this have been the series 80?), AKG introduced the BX-20 reverb, Melcor showed its model 5001 electronic reverb (anyone???), and a new company called Eventide introduced a digital pitch-shift device!  The Neumann U47-fet and Sennheiser MHK-815 mics were introduced, as were the Marantz 500 and Crown M2000 power amplifiers.

Click here to DL a pdf of the proceedings: AES_1971_DBmag


There is just a shit-tonne more of this stuff, so click the link below to READ ON;;;;;

Continue reading Highlights from the 1971 AES Convention

Highlights from the 1970 AES Convention, Los Angeles, CA

GRT_deckabove: the GRT 500 audio-tape evaluator c. 1970

Just in case you were too-young/too-hypothetical to have attended, we are pleased to bring you highlights from the 1970 convention of the Audio Engineering Society (via ye olde DB Magazine, r.i.p.).   You can download the whole shebang here…


…and we’ve also reproduced it below for your browsing enjoyment.  Products on offer at that time include: mixing consoles from Electrodyne, Gately, Quad-Eight, Spectra-sonics, Fairchild, Langevin, and Altec.  Opamp labs had kits on offer as well.  Tape machines include 3M, Otari ‘of Japan,’ Teac 7030, GRT 500, Norelco (Phillips) pro-51, Sony Superscope TC-850, and Ampex. Dolby’s model 360 N/R system debuted, as did the Melcor ‘all electronic’ reverb and the Urei LA-3. New microphones on offer included the Electro-voice DS-35 and the Shure SM-53.


The Quad-Eight RV10 outboard spring reverb unit of 1972

QuadEight_RV10foto_vanleerJust about a year ago I published an article entitled “Obscure Mechanical Reverbs of the 70s.”  Included in this this survey was the Quad-8 RV-10.  Now, y’all know how much I love spring reverb (also here…), so I was pleasantly surprised when I received a phone call from one J. VanLeer (his photo at left), who claimed to be the inventor of this obscure device.  In VanLeer’s words:

“When with the HAMMOND ORGAN CO. I worked on spring reverb tanks – after HAMMOND closed, these were made first by GIBBS, and OC ELECTRONICS than ACCUTRONICS who sold out to BELTON (Korea) and now a Chinese firm MOD makes spring tanks. The RV-10 still sounds the best ’cause it makes use of 4 different (length, diameter & wire gauge) rather that 2 or 3 with only difference in length.”

Vanleer patented this unique twist on spring-reverb technology and then apparently leased said license to Quad-Eight.  By his reckoning at least 357 of these units were sold. VanLeer sent me via post the original product-sheet for the RV10.  I reproduce those here for your edification and downloading: QuadEight_RV10

QuadEightRV10QuadEightRV10_0001Below are some photos of the interior of the RV10 (from an eBay listing that ended in January 2014 at $446).  The parts and build quality is extremely high – with hefty input/output transformers, and a UTC O-series (inside an O-17 case), which I presume is the recovery-pickup transformer.

FirefoxScreenSnapz004 FirefoxScreenSnapz003




ed. note: Mr. VanLeer had quite a long and interesting career as an innovator of electro-acoustic devices; click here for an article about his career (use Google Translate to translate into your own reading language).

Rebis Modular Outboard Gear of the 1980s

Rebis_Modular_OutboardI was flipping thru some old pro audio mags and this REBIS (distributed by Klark-Teknik) advert caught my eye…  I imagine that there must not be too many of these REBIS racks out there.   I don’t think that I have ever come across any original REBIS documentation in the PS dot com archive, but i’ll give it another look…

There is a very informative thread on GS regarding this line…

For our earlier coverage of the (earlier…) DBX 900 modules, click here…

And for our earlier coverage of the (earlier…) AD&R ‘Scamp’ modules, click here…

And for coverage of the 80’s Aphex module line, click here…

Any 80’s-era modular outboard I’ve missed fellas?  Let us know…

Big Ole Project Studio Mixing Consoles of the early 80s

Audy_Series_2000_mixer_1981Remember when you absolutely NEEDED a mixer?  And a dozen compressors and FX units, and a mile of cable, just to make a basic mix of a track?  That sort of kit still serves a valuable purpose, and most better studios still keep it all in play, but plenty of folks these days get by fine with just a few pieces of ‘outboard’ gear and a good DAW.  All those big ole mixers that we used in the 80s and 90s though?  And I am not talking about Neves and Tridents, or anything with ‘cult’ value…. all those big, garden-variety consoles are still out there, waiting in the basements and attics and backrooms of this great country, too boring to use, too… well, too ‘this thing cost a fortune new!’ to scrap.  Above: The AUDY Model 2000 circa 1981.   Below: the Walker AV 40 series, The Tascam Model 15, The Tapco Series 72 and 74, the StudioMixer c. 1981, The StudioMaster 16-4-2, Soundcraft series 800, The NEI 164XM, The Canary 16:6 and 24/4 circa 1981, the BiAmp 83, The AudioArts 8000 and 4000, the Allen and Heath 16:4:2.  If yr using any of these, if you can advocate for em…  drop us a line and weigh in…  plenty of this stuff on the Craigslists of America… let’s find out which are worth saving!Walker_AV_mixer_1981 Tascam_15SL_mixer_1981 Tapc_C12_mixer_1981 StudioMixer_1981 StudioMaster_Mixer_1981 StudioMaster_16-4-2-_1982 Soundcraft_800_1981 NEI_164XM_mixer_1981 Canary_Mixer_1981 Canary_24:4_Mixer_1981 Biamp_83_Console_1981 AudioArts_8000_mixer_1981 AudioArts_4000_1980 AllenHeath_16-4-2_1981 Allen_Heath_mixers_1982 AH_16-4-2_1981 AH_16-4-2_1981_2


Fostex “Pro Sound Reinforcement Components” Guide/Catalog 1981

Fostex_Sound_bros_1981Got a pretty odd one for y’all today… download the 1981 Fostex “Professional Sound Reinforcement Components” catalog/guide:

DOWNLOAD: Fostex_SR_1981

Featuring: Fostex speaker systems GS3001, GS3003, SV22, SV30, BS1502, G700, SP104F, SP102, SP109, SP89, SP109F, SP109, SP104, SP82S, SP84S, and many more enclosures.  I can’t recall ever having seen ANY of these; were they even sold in the US?

Fostex_Studio_Monitors_1981 Fostex_Disco_1981 Fostex_columns_monitors_1981