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Mixing it!

The hills are alive

Article from The Mix, April 1995

If you've ever looked at the circuit board on your mixer, or the construction of a speaker cab and wondered, "How do they do that?", you're either a very sad individual, or someone who is not content to just take things as they are dished out to you. Hughes and Kettner understand their customers are interested in the theory as well as the practise, and so they invited a party of journos to take a look at their production processes.

Their factory and research installation in St Wendell, Germany is a working example of such dedication in practice. Here, the manufacture of products from speaker cabs, to mixers and guitar amplifiers is carried out with a Teutonic precision and attention to detail. Even the flocking on PA cabs is applied electrostatically, and using a patented system which, they assure me, ensures each individual fibre is perpendicular to the surface, for increased durability. I was naturally sceptical about this but, after testing H & K's Classic PA system for a month, I have to report that the flock is certainly durable, and took all the rough handling I could throw at it.

Electrical components are rigorously tested after precision assembly here too. Specially-constructed jigs and trained operators individually check the mechanical operation of every pot, switch and socket, and confirm the electrical operation of all circuitry against definitive parameters.

Dedication to the ever-evolving nature of sound reproduction, means H & K are always testing new products, and this visit was the opportunity for them to show off their new Target 244+5 mixing console and Q series PA cabs. A hillside demonstration of this top end touring product, still in the latter stages of development, evinced remarkable projection, with crystal clarity at the top end, and a powerful punch further down. As the system was still in development, H & K were disappointed they could only show us one set of stacks in operation, a disappointment not shared by the neighbours of the industrial park of this sleepy little town. The 26k setup rattled quite a few windows!

The Q series should be in its final stages by now, and would be a sterling choice for any large stadium. The T series, which H & K also demonstrated, was equally impressive one step down in the power stakes, and Hughes & Kettner's sound research engineers were just as eager to discuss its development as they were the larger system. Overall, the impression was one of total commitment to quality and continuing development, which goes a long way toward explaining a range of products which caters for everyone from the bedroom guitarist right up to the stadium rocker.

Previous Article in this issue

The lexicon of love

Next article in this issue

Mixing up the motor city

Publisher: The Mix - Music Maker Publications (UK), Future Publishing.

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The Mix - Apr 1995

Donated by: Colin Potter

Coverdisc: Chris Needham

Mixing it!

Feature by Roger Brown

Previous article in this issue:

> The lexicon of love

Next article in this issue:

> Mixing up the motor city

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