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  • On Looking Professional

    Posted on October 20th, 2014 admin No comments

    My square dance sound system was a freebie, donated by a retired caller, and I was grateful to receive it four years ago when I was just starting out.  It's an old Hilton Micro 75A turntable/amp, with a stacked speaker, manufactured around 1980.

    The Hilton is still in fair shape (after I added a new needle, blew out the dust, replaced a weak capacitor, serviced the turntable, cleaned the crackly potentiometers....  Free usually comes with a price!)

    The speaker cabinet had clearly seen better days.  The corners are chipped, and somebody saw fit to install the mesh over the speakers with hot glue.  Works okay after I rewired the out-of-phase speakers, but looks like hell.   I bought some metal box ends to cover the bashed corners, which shaped it up somewhat.

    This was a great unit to learn on, and served me well for the first year.   I continued to use it as an amp even after I converted my 45 rpm records to MP3 a year later.   But even so, I'm thinking that the old equipment looks a bit crude.  It was good technology in its day, with  solid-state digital circuitry, but it's almost forty years old.  Modern equipment is lighter and more efficient.

    Sure, a good caller with old equipment is still a good caller, and a bad caller with good equipment is still a bad caller, but an old caller with old equipment just looks dated.   There is something to be said for at least looking professional.

    A couple of callers in our area have moved to the Bose L1 Compact.  A single unit is supposed to provide sound for 100 to 150 people.   The L1C includes a woofer, a two-channel amp with presets for microphone and line/guitar, gives out a tremendous volume of sound (though my son, who is in the home theatre business, argues that Bose speakers are weak in the mid-range),  covers almost 180 degrees from a single speaker column, and is resistant to feedback even when the caller and mic stand right in front of the speakers.    And it weighs about 15 kg in two small packages.

    So I'm going to buy a little mixer and rent a couple of the Bose L1 units to use at the Trek 2014 Reunion Hoedown I'm calling on  October 25.

     

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