Friday, October 31, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
If you visit Boston you will inevitably encounter the "T" or nowadays, the MBTA. But don't go by this old map. Several of the stations shown on this 70s-era T placard are gone or have changed names, and some new lines have been added, such as the Silver line. I grew up riding the Green Line, mainly into Kenmore Square near Fenway Park, or to Park Street to change over to the Red Line, and get to Harvard Square. "The Square" as it was called, was filled with little restaurants, bookstores, and record shops and other businesses that made it a destination. Now Harvard Square is mainly occupied by banks, and of course, Harvard. Out of Town News is closing because nobody buys print magazines anymore, nor do they seem to need today's The New York Times - it's all on line.
It weighs about 100 pounds, and getting it up the stairs is a struggle indeed. Opening and servicing are too. There are many faults, aside from the lackluster styling. The VFO is hard to control, the audio quality is so so, the overall construction is crude and the heat it produces is prodigious. This example also has a lot of scuffs and dirt. It only puts out CW or AM. It is ugly. On the front panel, where the mic is connected, it says "mike".
Like many other analog technologies, Amplitude Modulation had its day, went into decline, and now is enjoying a bit of a comeback.
Yet hundreds of these, if not thousands, are still on the air today. Despite the limitations and shortcomings, hams have kept them going and putting out healthy signals. Over time, many modifications have been developed to improve the efficiency and audio quality to the point where they can sound quite good. One of these can cover the entire New England, New York, Quebec and Pennsylvania area, on a good night. A typical microphone for this rig is the ubiquitous D-104.
Is this a gem in the rough, or a permanent boatanchor to be dealt with at an estate sale? Can such as relic be rejuvenated, or is it too late? Zoom in to see the crud and the filth that might be cleaned up with some elbow grease and effort, and creative use of a spray can.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
They try to sell plaques. Thought I would publish this for your amusement.
Here is what came in email:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Soundwave Research Lab Receives 2008 Best of Ashland Award
U.S. Local Business Association’s Award Plaque Honors the Achievement
NO SUCH ORGANIZATION
WASHINGTON D.C., October 20, 2008 -- Soundwave Research Lab has been selected for the 2008 Best of Ashland Award in the Research Labs category by the U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA).
The USLBA "Best of Local Business" Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the USLBA identifies companies that they believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.
Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2008 USLBA Award Program focused on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the USLBA and data provided by third parties.
About U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA)
U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA) is a Washington D.C. based organization funded by local businesses operating in towns, large and small, across America. The purpose of USLBA is to promote local business through public relations, marketing and advertising.
The USLBA was established to recognize the best of local businesses in their community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations, chambers of commerce and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to be an advocate for small and medium size businesses and business entrepreneurs across America.SOURCE: U.S. Local Business Association
U.S. Local Business Association
Email: PublicRelations@USLBA.net <----baloney
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
That's the trend these days - in a down economy, people seem to want the assurance that their hard-earned money will get them something that will last and maintain its value for the long haul.
Here's engineer Desiree checking a UPS label. She designs most of the components and oversees the building of all Crowley and Tripp Microphones.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Friday, October 17, 2008
Jeff gave me a great gift - THANK-YOU Jeff!
Click here to see the excellent Leo Kottke deluxe brass slide! I love it.
Now I have to start practicing slide guitar again after many years. I know where this will lead: I have already looked at new slide guitars online....
We were fortunate to have the expertise and product knowledge of Jose Tenorio, engineer at Artist Lyfe Recording in Oakland. Jose spent many hours demonstrating the mics to vocalists and others who were in attendance.
The booth attendance this year was about half of what it is usually in New York. The San Francisco show is smaller and there is a smaller attendance, so that's expected.
Peter Reardon of Shadow Hills showing off his spectacular gear. Those who are familiar with WWII radios such as the Hallicrafters SX-28 will appreciate the detail and stying of Peter's compressors and other electronics. I suggested to Peter that he submit one of his designs to MOMA for consideration as they do collect post modern products that are unusual and break new ground. In this case, by going back into the mid century aesthetic, and amplifying it, Peter and others have created a new style (that I will not label retro, but you may if you must) and that new style, to my eyes, invokes the idea of technology as a life form, work of art, possessing the soul of the maker, historical reference, and other attributes that that are used to intentionally influence the user's perception and appreciation of the product, combined with the knowledge/belief that the result is improved.
In microphones, musical instruments, and certain other human-technology interface devices, we know this to be an important factor. The user must have confidence and a sense of the overall aesthetic meaning, and that comes through in the final result.
People want them and they are sure of it. The fact that Roswellite is strong and won't change or break is the deal-maker.
People want to put their money on a sure thing these days.
A Gaussmeter measures magnetic flux, or field, in this case with what is know as a Hall-Effect probe, an unusual transducer that changes its resistance as a magnetic field is varied.
Gaussmeters are used all over the place to check and measure magnets, and we of course use a Gaussmeter to measure the strength of the magnetic field in a ribbon microphone, and to check for proper orientation of the magnets.
Gauss is one of the most important mathematicians of all time. The so called 'bell curve" is more correctly known as a Gaussian Distribution, at least in the scientific world, and in statistics. Gauss and Chladni layed the groundwork for Quantum Mechanics. Chladni demonstrated "forbidden modes" with his sand-covered vibrating plates, and Gauss developed the math used to describe the distribution of values around a nominal quantity. It turned out to be quite important: every thing, every deal, house, cat, air sample, Queen Mary, is subject to the uncertainties of Gaussian variation. Nothing is quite precise, except perhaps the number itself. Piles of snow, averages of anything, and even you as a person, fall somewhere within a Gaussian distribution. Taken in sets, such as sets of real estate bargains, Gauss assures us that out at the ends of the distribution there are a few very horrible and a few unbelievably great deals. Though few they may be, Gauss tells us to look for them, especially when we need only one.
Friday, October 10, 2008
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
We let someone borrow the original, shown here on 1/4" 1 and 1/2 mil Scotch tape, recorded at 7 1/2 ips using two Sony dynamics, an EV 664, and a Shure mixer.
Though it is noisy, it is still one of my favorite "basement" recordings. Of course the playing was good and the compositions more advanced than anything EST would have done at that age.
We looked all over and finally found out that Jon Oshima had kept it safe (actually this is a second gen tape, we came to realize) all these years. Now transcribed to digital, it is circulating again, the cover of the CD the very same as you see here.
We have no idea who Pam Judson is.
Logo painting was not in the curriculum.
This is the scene today as we catch up on logo painting prior to AES. I'm about to head out the door but thought you'd like to see that my hand-eye coordination isn't completely shot - not yet at least. I don't paint many logos these days, I admit.
AES and any trade show is a bit of a grind. Potluck and Tapeop were a lot of fun and easy to do, because they are casual affairs. At the large centers such as the Moscone Center you have to deal with the various departments in the facility who provide such niceties as electric power, a carpet over the cement space, and other things at extra charge over the exhibitor fee we pay to AES.
You should see the chaos ahead of the show as exhibitors set up booths and get everything wired up. Then there is the show, and all is nice and neat. The second the show closes, off go most of the lighting in the hall (to save energy costs) and also the AC for the same reason, the carpets get rolled up immediately, and the pandemonium of breakdown and pack up and ship out begins.