Advent tour .
About 8 BAS members were given a complete
tour of the Advent factory in Cambridge on July 25. The tour included: the assembly lines for the Advent Dolby units and cassette machines (whose circuit boards contain an intricate forest of components); the surprisingly extensive facilities for testing and adjusting each unit before it is packed; the astonishing process whereby a liquid (paper pulp) is poured into a mold and emerges, after a brief vacuum-pressing, as a speaker cone; the systems on which Advent is producing recorded
cassettes; and Advent's VideoBeam projection color TV, now in pro- duction, for which they make their own special lenses and screens as well as the circuits. Blanid Tardif suggests that the most impressive
aspects of the tour were the TV with its incredible 24-square-foot image,
the production design and attention to detail which permit Advent to employ many non-technically-educated minority-group personnel to produce sophisticated products, and Andrew Petite's gracious and informative services as a guide.
July meeting .
About 40 members assembled on July 22 at
the recording studio of Renaissance, Inc.
Cases of Maxell UD-35
open-reel and Advent CrO
2 C-90 cassette tapes were delivered to the
members who had ordered them at the June meeting.
Chuck Ange and his crew at Renaissance, aided by Rene Jeager and Al Foster, conducted a live-versus-recorded experiment. Unantici- pated difficulties caused the session to start late and run long, but the result was so informative as to be worth the wait — especially for those
members who were able to remain through the entire meeting. The session started with a fine performance of five Mahler songs by Nancy Grant (graduate student in voice at the New England Conservatory) and pianist Alan Grossman, professor at B.U. They were recorded and then played back through a McIntosh 3500 amp into Dayton-Wright Mk II full-range electrostatic speakers (for which Renaissance is the
The piano sound on playback was good but the vocal sound
was heavy, lacking the light, lithe quality of Ms Grant's live voice. So a Mahler song was re-recorded using entirely different mikes and mike placement, resulting in less realistic piano sound but a distinctly better
vocal recording. T h i s t a p e w a s t h e n u s e d f o r m u l t i - w a y A / B c o m p a r i s o n s b e t w e e n p a i r s o f D a y t o n - W r i g h t s ( $ 2 0 0 0 / p r ) , A R L S T s ( $ 1 2 0 0 / p r ) , d o u b l e p a i r s o f A d v e n t s ( $ 4 0 0 ) , a n d r e p e a t p e r f o r m a n c e s b y t h e l i v e m u s i c i a n s
The opinion of members was split on whether the live sound was
more closely matched by the LSTs or by a single pair of Advents (the
double pair having suffered from mutual coupling where they were placed).
For another test, baritone Dennis Boyer (WBUR producer and graduate student in voice at B.U.) and pianist Gerhard Suhrstadt gave
a delightfully rousing performance of a Schubert song. On playback the Mc3500 went into distortion trying to drive the Dayton-Wrights to the same loudness as the live voice in the huge studio. (In a normal living room the Dayton-Wrights would go about 10 dB louder before amplifier clipping set in.) The LSTs and Advents, driven by a Phase Linear 700,
w e r e l o u d e n o u g h , a n d m a j o r i t y o p i n i o n f a v o r e d t h e L S T a s m o r e c l o s e l y s i m u l a t i n g t h e l i v e v o i c e .