en busca del sonido de edad

We went to Buenos Aires  (BA) a few years back to visit a friend who was working on a project there.  It is a very beautiful yet decayed city.  If you like faded glamor, I got a place for you.

The history of Argentina is long and sometimes dark, filled with tales of cannibalism,  secret police forces, athletic games involving live ducks, and on up to recent obsessions with cosmetic surgery and psychology.  It also has some of the finest architecture, food, and wine on the planet.   100 years ago, Argentina was one of the most prosperous and wealthy nations on Earth.  Its fates have shifted.  Visiting BA in the midst of the most recent Economic Calamity, I could not help but imagine Argentina as a vision of the United States in 50 years.  Proud and beautiful and vast, but with many starving, huge dependency on foreign industry, and very low standards of conduct for elected officials.

We stayed in an old part of the city by the docks.  There are many flea markets in this part of town, and I managed to find a few things of interest.

This circa 1960 Soviet microphone sadly did not work.

Purchased this very cleverly named chorus pedal from modern Argentine maker CLUSTER. This pedal is a clone of the EHX Small Clone, an effect which looms largest in our collective subconscious due to Kurt Cobain’s use of the device for the clean (IE, the verses) guitar parts in ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit.’ 1992 was the year that this track broke worldwide.  Hence “Spirit (of) (19)92.”

It’s a great sounding pedal with a very charming hand-finished quality to the enclosure.  I don’t think these are available outside of Argentina.

Most exciting were the ancient audio-tech magazines that turned up in some of the numerous stores and stalls dedicated to old books.  Here are some images and projects from:  ‘Radio e Televisao,’ Sau Paulo, 1950; ‘Radio Chassis Television,’ BA., 1960; and ‘Radio Tecnica,’ BA., 1976.

Many more great images and schematics from a bygone world after the link….

Here are some interesting projects from Buenos Aires c.1960 – a one-tube theremin circuit and a hi-fi amp.

6 thoughts on “en busca del sonido de edad”

  1. Hi! I’m from Russia and I have the same Soviet Mic Oktava MD-55 in working condition. This mic was made for speech amplification and usually used for guitar/harp recordings.

    Best regards, Alex

  2. Hey, I`m Argentinian, spot-on description, save for cannibalism.
    I have a fair amount of these mags, If you want, I can scan some for you.

    1. Hi Nicholas,

      if you come across any unique schematics for vacuum tube mic preamps, compressors, or hi-fi amplifiers in those Argentine mags, yes pls send them our way!

      c.

  3. Hi Chris. Nice article and thanks for mentioning and reviewing the Cluster Spirit-92. I hope you still have it and enjoyed it too.

    Regarding what you wrote in the article, let me do a minor correcting: it’s not a phase-shifter but a chorus (you mentioned it in the last paragraph), and it’s a clone of the EHX Small Clone (not the Small Stone, the phaser, for which Cluster also has its own version, the Spiral-48.

    Best,
    Julián

  4. hey this is cool, Argentina now is not doing great, however they had a wealthy past . Me pareció excelente el artículo del theremin diy .

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