Instruments & Equipment
Communications, disseminations, notifications, announcements, etc, brought to you by the inside dopes (let us out!). Studios & Recording resumes next month.
Court Acoustics, well-known for their studio monitors and sound reinforcement equipment, have recently brought out a new range of wide-band, high-power speaker systems for PA applications. The new units, designated the RC610 (300W) and the RC612 (420W) are characterised by their compactness (the RC610 is only 48in x 16in x 12in) and their wide audio bandwidth, 40-18kHz ±3dB in the case of the RC610, the 612 having a lower bass end, down to 30Hz.
The enclosures are of the reflex type, constructed of solid chipboard or marine ply, and the units are available in a number of finishes, including an integral flightcase if required.
The bass end is handled by four high-power units with large-diameter voice coils to give accurate cone control; two aluminium dome units handle the lower midrange; mid to high frequencies are handled by two magnesium alloy compression drivers, giving good transient and HF response, with low phase distortion. The units are pretty sensitive, offering 102dB SPL at a distance of 1m, for a mere 1W in. A high-power integral crossover unit offers 12dB/octave attenuation and has a five-position HF level control and variable HF roll-off.
'Colinear' is a term usually used in RF aerial jargon; in this case it presumably means that the drive units are phased together, giving a smooth coverage of the audio band and good control of the dispersion. Thus it should be expected that the units would give equal coverage in terms of dispersion angle for all audio frequencies, unlike the normal bin/horn systems which have a tendency to produce different dispersion characteristics for the outputs of the separate drive units.
Court reckon that these units 'do not obey the inverse square law of attenuation' - we don't quite know how they manage to alter the laws of physics; presumably they mean that the units produce a 'sound-beam' rather than just blasting out, thus offering greater efficiency and making the units suitable for both large and small halls.
All in all, these units sound like an excellent alternative to conventional systems, and should offer a more even coverage as far as frequency and dispersion characteristics are concerned. We await users' reports with interest.
Meanwhile, Court Acoustics have taken on the construction of a new monitor system for De Lane Lea studios, and a 6kW PA for a London record company. They've also moved into new premises, with extensive workshop and test facilities.
Court Acoustics Ltd, (Contact Details).
Bell Electrolabs and the designer of their ADT unit, Tony Koorlander, have taken us to task somewhat over a couple of points in our review last month. Dave Blake reported the unit as having 'only' an oscillator-controlled pitch variation effect, as opposed to the MXR delay unit's 'variable delay', also saying '...I don't regard this unit as an ADT box at all; it is an effect'. This has been misinterpreted. In fact, the Bell ADT uses an analogue delay line where the time delay is varied according to an oscillator, as opposed to the MXR where the delay is varied manually with a knob.
The time variation also causes a pitch variation, which is designed to give a more realistic impression of 'double tracking' than a simple fixed delay-time. The degree of variation is altered by the 'deviation' control. When this is 'off', the unit gives a fixed delay; with it on a little, you get what we can call 'true ADT' (a delay with time and pitch variation). But turn it up further and you get a far greater degree of pitch variation, hence Dave's comment: not only is it an ADT, but also an effect of its own. In fact, Dave prefers the unit's pitch-variation effect to its 'straight' (ie no pitch-variation) ADT sound. And remember that ADT is defined as 'the repetition of an original signal after a certain time just sufficient for the ear to distinguish two signals; with or without a variation in delay/pitch.' Bell also reckon that the 'crack' Dave experienced when operating the effect on/off switch was in fact due to a faulty circuit board on the sample we received. However, faulty circuit-board or no, we still feel that an inflexible linkage would be less liable to damage on the road. We'll be looking at the complete Bell system in the near future.
Hopefully this clears up any confusion. But remember that in the final analysis what matters is whether you like the unit, whatever we or the manufacturers say about a device of any kind. A review can only be subjective, so try it yourself to be sure. Richard Elen
A regular outlet for Alembic basses in the UK is becoming established through Grant Music of Edinburgh. The first instrument, a long-scale bass, has already been shipped in to Grant; Jim Grant told SI that the basses are liable to follow in ones or twos in the future, due mainly to the minimal production levels at Alembic's Cotati, California workshops (see August SI August '78 p69).
Grant will be retailing the instruments, which means that they are able to take orders direct from musicians - the prices of the instruments are pretty astronomical, with the long-scale bass expected to work out at something in the £1,500-£1,600 range, but these guitars are top-line pieces of workmanship.
Also creating interest among Grant's customers are the Gurian line of handmade acoustics, built by Michael Gurian in Hinsdale, New Hampshire, and ranging in price from £455 to £1000.
Grant Music of Edinburgh, (Contact Details).
Incidentally, while we're on the subject of Alembic, as we went to press we received a letter from Alembic main-man Rick Turner covering some of the points which Steve York raised in his Alembic review in SI August '78. This letter will be printed in full in an upcoming Letters page (probably next month), but a more immediate fact which we ought to update right away is Alembic's change of address from the Sebastopol one listed in Steve's review. Queries, love letters and blank cheques should now be sent in the direction of: Alembic, (Contact Details).
News by Richard Elen
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