Chingford Organs held a demonstration evening on September 18th at Walthamstow Assembly Hall to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Hammond Organ Company, and according to Gene Ashworth "It was a tremendous evening. Really first class. As a result of the success of the show, Hammond are arranging a series of these evenings." Among keyboard artists who took part were Robin Richmond, Tony Back, Bryan Rodwell, Keith Beckingham and Richard Dunn. The show was recorded by BBC radio for their "The Organist Entertains" radio series.
The Cardiff Music String Company recently announced the opening of their new European base in Amsterdam. It is a large office, showroom and warehouse complex which is spearheaded by Dutch managing director Kuhne Bakker, well known throughout the Dutch music trade after having previously held the position of sales manager for Gibson's distributor in Holland. The new European operation will distribute Sound City, Cathedral and Summit strings to the Netherlands and Benelux, as well as distributing the complete Cardiff Music String range (Sound City, Cathedral, Summit, Londoner and St. David) to Northern Germany and parts of Scandinavia.
The Leeman Drum Co. held their first drum clinic and presentation show at the Birmingham Locarno on September 30th, to introduce Leeman drums to this country. Kits on show included the Silver Sonic, Silver Flare and Vortex double 26" bass drum kit. Also previewed were Indian congas, bongos and orchestral side drums. Ex-CBS session drummer Ashley Warded demonstrated the drums and will be going around the country for the rest of the clinics. John Ryan told I.M. "The main thing was to show the public all the things that are unique about the drums. For instance there are no airholes in the drums, so when you hit them, the note is round and solid and doesn't go higher and then lower. Another feature is the aluminium hoops on the bass drum, which can be anodised black or polished aluminium. This is quite revolutionary and holds it steady as a rock — nothing can go out of shape."
White Sound Equipment of Sunderland recently opened their second retail shop called Rock City Music. It is situated at 48, Cloth Market, Newcastle Upon Tyne. Bill White told I.M. "The premises are quite large. We will carry mainly guitars and amplification on the ground floor, and keyboards and percussion in the basement." Fender Rhodes keyboards, Rogers and Gretsch drums, Fender, Ampeg and White amplification will be standard stock.
Davoli (UK) Ltd., based at Park Royal, London NW10, are soon to start manufacturing in this country. They will be introducing a new 35 watt combo incorporating one 12" and one 15" RCF speaker, which will also be available with built-in phase and reverb facilities.
Davoli will also be manufacturing a new range of slaves and PA Cabinets. Managing Director Jeff Gardner explained "One of our most popular lines at the moment is the 2 x 12" exponential bin, so we've decided to manufacture what is virtually half an exponential bin with a 50 watt twin cone RCF speaker. We will also be introducing a version with a built-in horn mounting. The speaker will handle 50 watts and the horn will take 25 watts giving a total handling power of 75 watts, while still remaining extremely compact.
"Further to these, we will be making a 15" exponential bin to match, and a tweeter and horn unit to sit on top. We feel the semi-pro and amateur musician is being ignored and, generally, equipment prices are constantly soaring, so we're endeavouring to produce some good-quality equipment at reasonable prices. The 35 watt combo will retail at around £110, while the phase and reverb version will be around £145." Jeff alio promises "an exceptional guarantee on the power amp, apart from the standard one year guarantee." The normal Davoli range will still be available, and the new lines will be in full production on November 21st.
In our Studio facilities guide in last month's issue we inadvertently gave Advision studio rates incorrectly. Hourly charges in Studio One are, in fact, £43 per hour and not £30 as we stated. The compu-mixing facilities in Studio two — on which we reported in our April issue — have proved particularly successful and rates are now £35 per hour.
Blackfoot Sue and Vitavox have made their report about the new Thunderbolt bins which the group have been testing on fields trials over the last few months.
When Blackfoot Sue were presented with the bin development was still going on. Improvements were still being made to improve deep bass performance and little thought had been given to hand holds.
Armed with a sound level meter Vitavox visited the Marquee on 28th May to hear, for the first time, Blackfoot Sue in a live performance. Following this their P.A. rig was brought to the factory for compatibility tests while the Thunderbolt was being prepared for the A.P.R.S. Exhibition on 19th and 20th June.
From comments at A.P.R.S. a few modifications were made such as the sealing of the circular hand-holds, and the Thunderbolt was ready for its debut at Stockwell College, Bromley on 4th July. From this date it was used as stage monitor for all dates until mid August when a new and very promising management deal took Blackfoot Sue off the road.
It was a slightly shorter test than had been hoped and time did not permit a set of Thunderbolts to be prepared for a main P.A. However, together with subsequent tests, sufficient information was gained to feel very confident about Thunderbolt's future.
On receiving the road test models Blackfoot Sue were delighted to find that many of their initial criticisms of May 1st had been heeded. Thunderbolt was now easier to truck and handle, substantial bump strips were fitted, XLR connection was provided on a transparent panel which allows a view of the H.F. attenuator setting on the Crossover and the H.F. Horn was now separable to allow alternative siting when used in a P.A. stack.
During the road tests the following recommendations were made which will make the Thunderbolt even more effective.
(A) X.L.R. connectors are to be provided on the H.F. Horn allowing total separation from the LF section and the method for stowage inside the mouth of the bass horn is to be improved.
(B) It was found that the H.F. Horn could slide out of the transit position if handled in a particular way while if a piece of gravel or such got between the sliding faces of the H.F. Horn panel and the LF Horn the H.F. Horn would become jammed in the transit position. Both of these faults have been eliminated by the design of a screw type locking device.
(C) It was suggested that the bottom corner was a more convenient place for the trucking wheels with a grasp rail in the present wheel position. Having given this due consideration the present view is that to accomodate this would add to the cost and alter performance for little practical benefit. A simple diagram would indicate the recommended handling method in various typical situations such as stairways and truck on and off loading. This could be fitted for the guidance of inexperienced road crews.
(D) While no severe difficulties were found, experiments will be made using alternative hand-hold positions.
Rick Curtain, Blackfoot Sue's Sound Engineer: "Thunderbolt gives a solid clean sound without being too large. When stacked for a big P.A. the H.F. Horns could be used separately and positioned according to angle of coverage required."
Frank Gallacher, Chief Roadie: "I agree with Rick. Also, the fact that the H.F. Horn slides inside the Bass Horn is very useful — not only for transport but also on small gigs, where there is not much room onstage. Thunderbolt is small enough to handle and truck easily."
Blackfoot Sue: "We really like it. We are very pleased. The sound is clear with plenty of punch. The Thunderbolt potential is truly tremendous and though we gave it all we've got, we do not feel we gave it full scope. Our first and lasting impression is that it gives a great sound."
CBS/Arbiter's new Fender Soundhouse opened with a flourish at the beginning of last month. In an astonishing display of hard work and resilience Rod Alexander and his team have pushed the phoenix up from the ashes and re-created the glories of the old Fender Soundhouse.
The new shop spreads along a huge frontage at 57-87 Hampstead Road, London N.W.I., just a few hundred yards from the old Soundhouse. The shop forms parts of the Euston Tower complex.
Frantic imports have returned the Soundhouse stock situation to near normal and vast displays of Fender, Rogers, Rhodes and Arbiter can be found all on one level.
Commenting on the rapid reopening, Chairman Ivor Arbiter said: "It's all due to the efforts of the people who work here. They've worked, day and night to get us open again and they're a really great bunch."
Unfortunately some things are not so easily started again. A couple of months ago this magazine announced the start of the Fender Guitar Club. The club offers members great assistance in practical aspects of playing and Big Jim Sullivan is undertaking some clinics as part of the scheme. Many International Musician readers wrote in asking for details and before the letters could be replied to, the fire destroyed all the paperwork within the Soundhouse. CBS/Arbiter are naturally apologetic about this and ask if any interested musicians would write again to Andrew Wallace, Fender Guitar Club, CBS/Arbiter at the address given above.
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