Sneak glimpse of some of the goodies on display at the most important instrument exhibition of the year
The British Musical Instruments Trade Fair is the most important date in the UK trade diary. It runs from August 17 to 21 at the Bloomsbury Centre and Russell Hotels, London, W.C.2.
The message from Roy Morris, President of the Association of Musical Instrument Industries (as well as Chairman of Rose-Morris), is clear: "We are particularly keen on welcoming overseas visitors to the British Musical Instrument Trade Fair this year. Every U.K. manufacturer and distributor will be anxious to improve his export position.
"The show has traditionally been the meeting place of the British musical instrument trade and this year the Bloomsbury Centre and Russell Hotels will be completely given over to AMII members. EODA members and PMA will be at the Connaught Rooms.
"I am sure that 1975 will prove to be a record year, both in turnover and the number of visitors to the fair. Although there is a recession in many countries, it is paradoxically a fact that the making of 'live' music becomes more significant at such times."
The importance of AMII as a trade body has been remarkably well illustrated this year. Following the Chancellor's recent Budget, certain musical instruments and amplification immediately became subject to an extra 17 per cent V.A.T. Through the efforts of Roy Morris on behalf of the Association, the Customs and Excise department agreed to modify the ruling to limit "professional" equipment to 8 per cent. Thus items like amplifiers over 30 watts R.M.S. escaped the crippling 25 per cent V.A.T.
At the time of going to press, Roy Morris was still in negotiation with the Treasury in an attempt to secure relief from the high rate on all instruments representing to the professional musician the tools of his trade. Indeed he had expressed to the Minister his Association's opinion that all musical instruments which produced live music should carry a rate of V.A.T. no higher than that which is levied on recorded music and that individuals should be encouraged to make their own music rather than listen to the recorded variety.
A broad selection of Boosey & Hawkes' wide range of musical instruments will be on display this year. The "Axxe" synthesiser, an addition to the ARP range of keyboards, will be joined by the Diamond 70 and 701 Electronic Organs.
Boosey & Hawkes will also be exhibiting a couple of combination amps. The Firehawk 30 and 50 watt combos will doubtlessly attract a fair share of attention.
The highlight of the Carlsbro stand this year will be the improved Mk. II models of the proven Marlin and Stingray Boasting improved sustain circuitry and controls and a higher input sensitivity, these models will be joined by Carlsbro's new Scorpion, a 35 watt combination amplifier fitted with two 12" Celestion speakers.
Also on display will be the celebrated Mini-Bin and two models of Sennheiser dynamic microphones. This marks Carlsbro's first foray into microphones, which they recommend for use with their P.A. systems.
The full range of Cleartone products will be on display this year at the Bloomsbury Hotel. Among new lines to be shown are a range of Latin American percussion instruments from Latin Percussion.
Slingerland Drums will welcome a new range of military drums to their legion. The main section of the Slingerland display will be an enormous 19 shell kit which is made up of an 11 shell 11N kit plus a full range of concert tom-toms.
C.M.I. amplification will also be exhibited, and the new Maximin cabinets, small but powerful, will be introduced for the first time. The Maximin 152 is available with a variety of 15" speakers — Celestion, Eminence and Gauss among them — all handling 100 watts.
Cardiff Music Strings, distributors of WMI products, are announcing a new "Direct Import Scheme" for main dealers. Under this scheme dealers will be able to buy middle price acoustic guitars through WMI's Tokyo office at "extremely competitive prices".
The full range of CMS strings will naturally be on show and these include Cathedral, St. David, Londoner, and Summit! CMS are also introducing Sound City strings.
WMI's new range of Kay guitars will be prominently displayed. The range includes a 3-piece back classic, a similar jumbo model and the Kay electrics, which feature a new multi-ply neck that hasn't been seen outside Japan before. A Grand concert model will also be displayed.
Dealers are being exceptionally well treated at the CMS/WMI stand this year. There's the offer of an exciting holiday for many lucky dealers and a superb £1,000 Kay banjo which is inlaid with beautiful Korean lacquer work, pearl inlay and gold plating will be raffled. The Kay mike range, including the brand new competitively priced KCM44 and KCM33 condensor mikes, will also be shown.
Other curious items on the stand include something called a Man-Handler which is a mechanical organ or piano mover capable of lifting instruments up steps.
The Leeds based firm of J.T. Coppock will be exhibiting a number of new products at this year's trade fair. New models of Antoria guitars include the Black Hawk Bass, which boasts a double Bullhorn body; the Stereo Thin-Twin, with genuine stereo wiring and twin pick-ups and a red finished thin acoustic body; and the Vulcan, a copy of the original Flying V.
Accessories on display will include a new Renometer from Ibanez, an effective graphic equaliser; the new range of Ibanez condensor microphones, and a new Phase Tone unit.
The Elgam range of organs will boast three new members: the Royal, which boasts drawbar tone changers and six separate feet; the Talisman, a portable version of the Royal console; and the Crystal, a mid-range console.
The stand this year will revolve around the extensive range of of portable keyboards. Chief among these is the Rhapsody 610. The Rhapsody 490 will also attract a lot of attention, as will the relatively new X55. The Elka piano 88, the Notturno and Capticcio organs will also be on display.
An additional boon for beginners is the Orla range of instruments, which includes the Tiffany 4, Fantasy 20 and Companion 21, all of which are attracting a good deal of attention.
The recently introduced range of Farfisa home organs, which includes the Balmoral, Beaumont and Balfour models will hold pride of place at their stand.
The home organs will be accompanied by Farfisa's proven range of professional portable instruments. The V.I.P. range, the Syntorchestra, the Professional Duo, the Professional Piano, and the super Piano will all be on display.
This is a bumper year for Fletcher, Coppock & Newman, with more than 60 new items being introduced at the Trade Fair. Paramount among these are the Kent Drum kits and the Kimbara stereo bass guitar.
The Kent Superstar five-piece outfit is the newest jewel in Fletcher, Coppock & Newman's crown. Designed for the professional, the Superstar is also joined by the Apollo IV and V kits, four and five piece kits respectively, which combine a low price with professional quality.
The Kimbara range of bass guitars boast three new additions, and chief among these is the N 125, which can be used either as a regular bass when played through a single channel amp, or as a stereo model when played through either a two channel amp or two amps.
The Columbus range sees the introduction of a new 12-string Jumbo, and other items sure to attract a lot of attention range from ukeleles to accessories such as cases and machine heads, to violin bows and the Guban range of saxophones.
The established range of Picato strings on display at this year's exhibition will be joined by some new additions. Hawaiian guitar, banjo, tenor banjo, mandolin and ukelele strings will complement the popular "round box" packed guitar and bass strings.
General Music Strings will also have a complete display of the Peter and Nicholas range of microphone stands, as well as some new models designed for use with disco units, speaker cabinets and mixer units. There will be further new additions announced at the show.
The centre of attention at the Habig/Kimball stand this year will be two brand new organs, never before exhibited in Europe. Literally nothing is being revealed about these organs until the opening day of the fair, and they should surprise a good number of visitors.
The complete range of Kimball grand and upright pianos will also be on display, including the latest player piano.
Hammond's exhibitions will be split between two venues at this year's Trade Fair. At the Connaught Rooms, the Dolphin, Dolphin de Luxe, Cougar, T.500, Phoenix and Grandee, will be displayed, as will the X.2 and X.5 portables. They will be joined by the Hammond Auto-Vari 64 and Hammond Synthesiser.
The London Hilton will also witness a Hammond display of several new models recently launched at the Chicago NAMM show. Hammond have reserved VIP facilities for visiting Dealer Principals and their sales executives.
The Beford Suite will house this year's Hohner stand, the largest in their history. Their exhibition will be featuring a number of new items, such as the Hi Piano, Hi Strings and the Hi Piano/Strings. All portable, these instruments are available with legs if required.
The full range of Hohner harmonicas and melodicas, as well as a few surprises in the vamper range and dispenser units, will also be on view. A large segment of Hohner's space will be allotted to a comprehensive display of Sonor Drums and accessories, including the exciting new Acrylic sets which are proving to be one of Hohners strongest sellers.
Represented at both the Russell and the Connaught Rooms, Hornby Skewes will be displaying their wide range of musical instruments. Completely new models of Kasuga, Terada, Zenta and Palma guitars will be exhibited for the first time, as well as the Sam Ick range of electric guitars, the U.K. distributorship of which was acquired at the last Frankfurt Trade Fair. These wilt be marketed under the name of Zenta.
Hoshino drums, Zenta and Miles Platting amplification, and Tivoli and Rainbow electric organs will also be exhibited, along with the proven keyboard ranges of EKO and Crumar. The Logan String Melody will also be exhibited.
Long a manufacturer of strings for guitars and basses, James How will introduce the first Rotosound instruments at this year's Trade Fair. The Rotosound guitar and bass are completely original, combining high quality and a competitive price. The original shape makes them equally suitable for left and right-handed players.
Also for the first time, How will be exhibiting their new range of pick-ups.
John Birch guitars will also be displayed, and the complete range of Rotosound strings, with special emphasis on the Gauge Selection and Bass range, will undoubtedly attract a lot of attention.
Kemble will make every effort on this, their first time at The Russell, to do things in style. The complete new range of 50 and 100 watt guitar and bass combos will make their U.K. debut, as will the new professional SY2 Synthesiser, and a host of new P.A.s, jumbos, solids and semi's.
Three new mixing desks will also be on display: the PM200B, an eight into one with VU and a wide choice of feeds; the PM300, a jack version of the popular PM400 (XLR) eight into two with twin VUs; and the new PM1000 16 into four modular studio/P.A. Desk with five band EQ, four monitor groups dual echo groups, full panning and cueing.
A selection of new cabinets, acoustic guitars, organs and Kembles first display of classic, folk, jumbo and electric guitars will round out the display.
Along with their already extensive range of sound equipment, which will be displayed at this year's exhibition, Orange will also introduce three brand new products. Among them is a quality, all British-built valve twin combination amplifier.
Boasting two heavy duty speakers and full size Hammond reverb springs, it also offers two channels — straight and one combining reverb and tremelo. This amp and the separate amplifier top and P.A. are rapidly becoming the most popular items in the Orange stable.
Chief among Premier's exhibits at this year's Trade Fair is their new 14 x 5½" metal shell snare drum, which boasts a novel positive conventional throw off lever. Also on display will be two new sets of rigid frame chimes, six single headed tom-toms, and a 22" cymbal case. Up dated products include a vibraphone with improved electronic speed control, improved bass drum spurs and the latest polychromatic silver drum finish.
Attracting particular attention at this year's fair will be two new microphones from Reslosound: the RGP71 Super Cardioid Microphone (Reslos answer to the Peavey microphone) and the low-priced Omni-Directional Dynamic Microphone.
The Cabaret, the "Walk and Talk" mike which eliminates the need for leads — and is known by Reslosound as the "Star of Frankfurt" — will also be on display.
In addition, a selection of accessories and a range of floor stands will also be shown.
It is reasonable to expect that Rose-Morris' stand at the AMII Trade Fair will be bigger and better than ever this year. There are several major items which are on show for the first time at the fair and it's a good bet that special fuss will be made of these.
The new transistor range of amps from Marshall will naturally attract great interest. Jim Marshall made the world wait several years before launching the new range and the last six months can truthfully be said to have shaken the world amp market. Marshall transistor amps have been a major export winner and obviously Rose-Morris are seeking to sustain the U.K. success that the amps have enjoyed for so long.
The other really big news from the R-M stable is the Ludwig range of drums. The company acquired the U.K. distribution rights for Ludwig at the Frankfurt Trade Fair in February this year and this is the first chance the company has had to exhibit the impressive range.
It's an additionally important year for Rose-Morris because the company's Chairman, Roy Morris, is President of AMII this year and he will naturally be concerned to ensure that the Fair is a success, both from the AMII and Rose-Morris point of view.
Other lines on the R-M stand will include the Mini-Korg synthesiser, EKO mandolins, bouzoukis, banjos, Shaftesbury Drums and guitars, Ovation acoustic and electric guitars and the guitars marketed by Rose-Morris under the names Top Twenty, Ned Callan, Avon, Sigma, EKO and Alhambra.
The exciting new H100 Universal Cabinet will occupy pride of place at Rosetti's stand this year. Built to be the first truly universal 100 watt cabinet, the H100 is equally suitable for P.A., guitar and disco, and houses four HF horns a husky 15" RCF speaker with a 4" diameter voice coil. The frequency response is from 45 to 1kHz, the crossover point is at 2.00kHz (passive), and the unit measures 39" x 20" x 12".
Selmer are, as they say, rolling out the bandwagon this year to display a whole galaxy of exciting new products. Top of the form are the Pearl Professional and Maxwin Drum kits. Moog synthesisers will be demonstrated by Bob Moog himself, and the full range of Lowrey organs will also receive a good deal of attention, with the new Symphonic Holiday attracting particular attention.
The woodwind scene will star the new range of Mark 7 alto and tenor saxophones from Selmer Paris. A new range of console and portable organs in the popular price bracket, a new range of amplification, six new models of Gibsons, and a wide range of other Selmer favourites will all be ready and waiting when the doors open.
Sharma will be exhibiting their established range of speaker cabinets and speakers. The Audio Max, Sharmette Professional and 5,500 speakers which attracted so much attention at Frankfurt will all be on display. Also on display will be the Sharma professional organ speakers, including the Sharma 5000, the 650, the Carousel 900 Professional, the 2000 Professional and the Sharma 2300 De Luxe cabinets, as well as the Sharma Combo pre-amp.
The big news from Stentor this year is the unveiling of two new lines of Hokada jumbo guitars, retailing below £40.00 The Fylde range will also welcome another jumbo model, and the Maya range of electrics will be supplemented by a new low priced six string and a bass, as well as a Hawaiian guitar.
Mandolins and mandolas, violins, cellos, and new lines from Rampone, and Cazzanni will also grace the stand.
Larry Macari's stand at the Fair is going to be crammed with new items. In addition to the already large range of effects pedal, several new Colorsound pedals are being shown, including — for the first time — phase pedals. These include the Phase 4 pedal which has a 5 IC circuit and the larger Super Phaze which has a 7 IC circuit. Other effects units and pedals include the Dopplertone, the Fuzz Phazer and a fascinating item called a Chuck-A-Wah which has a trigger filter activated by hitting the guitar string. The Super Reverb box and a mains version of the Super Reverb will also be shown.
Of special interest will be a range of amps new to Britain called the Unicord. The range includes a six-channel P.A. amp, a guitar amp and a small bass gigging amp.
Electronic keyboards are something of a speciality in Larry's London shops and naturally they are in prominent display at the show. One corner is completely given over to keyboards and the range on show includes the Instant String synthesiser and the Compact Piano.
The emphasis this year will be on guitars and percussion. The true centrepiece, however, will belong to the four new acoustic-electrics and the 14 new electric guitars which will dominate their Bloomsbury stand this August. Ibanez, CSL, Levin, Sumbro, Cimar, Matsuoka — all will be displayed, but the most prominent display will be reserved for the CSL Gypsy guitar range. Signor Mario Maccaferri, the animus for the design of this guitar, will attend in person.
The Tama/Star drums will also attract quite a lot of attention, as will the Tama/Star accessories. Last but not least, the Darco and D'Addario string ranges will also be on display, as will the new Ibanez "2000" Piezo Ceramic miniature pick-up.
Exhibiting for the first time at the Russell Hotel, Top Gear will display a complete range of equipment, and will in addition also offer their amplified instruments for trial in a demonstration room, on the first floor.
Barcus Berry Transducer systems will be on display for the first time, and the "Hot Dots", minute sensors which provide true acoustic reproduction after their installation on the bridge of any guitar, will surely attract a lot of attention.
The Guild range of acoustic and electric guitars will also be on display, along with Hondo and Little Buddy Pedal Steel Guitars. The Strings represented will include both D'Angelico and Ernie Ball, and Peavey Electronics will represent the whole spectrum of amplification. Rickenbacker guitars and basses will also be on display.
For the first time, Top Gear's Model TG-55 Synthesiser will be displayed. This is believed to be the first synthesiser which will accept a guitar signal directly, permitting a guitarist to produce the synthesiser sounds previously restricted to keyboard players.
A selection of accessories including those of Terry Gould, Ambico, Axamp, De Aromond, Gibson, Herco, Hi-Watt and Kluson as well as Top Gear will round out the stand's compliment.
The X.39 Reflex Bin,described as the best P.A. WEM have ever made, will dominate their stand at this year's exhibition. A high capacity system type reproducer, it boasts a 15" reflex bass speaker, two 12" middle horns and an HF horn.
The Pre Mixer IV is an economical and low-priced four channel mixer with reverb which will also be on display, as will the Aggressor, a speaker cabinet for use with rhythm or lead guitar. This boasts a single heavy 12" speaker surrounded by eight mixed 8" units. The Dominator 50 Combo, a 50 watt valve amp which comes in two models — either keyboard or guitar — rounds out the WEM exhibition.
Woods of Bolton, importers of such musical instruments as Jose Ramirez and Ricardo Sanchez hand-made concert guitars, will be exhibiting a broad range of musical instruments at this year's fair.
Of particular interest will be the Welson range of guitars and organs. These include portables as well as a synthesiser. Included are the Welson Winner 45, which features lower manual volume control and pedal volume, reverb intensity, and repeat speed control, all controlled by slide potentiometers, and a 12 button rhythm selector with Magic Muster; the portable Key Orchestra, with 49 keys (C to C), four voices and sustain control; and the Vedette piano, with 61 keys, an integrated circuit master control oscillator system, and two slide volume controls — one for piano and one for harpsichord.
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