Welcome to DaviSound "NEWS UPDATES" !
Copyright ©1999-2021 by Hayne Davis, DaviSound
NEWS UPDATE ... from Hayne Davis ...
March 19, 2021... April 30, 2021 ...
eMail- DaviSound at DaviSound dot com ... Text- 803 - 944 - 7972
January 15, 2021 - ''DaviSad DaviStation'' l February 22, 2021 - '' DaviShort and DaviShortwave ! '' (Barndoor Receiver) l
March 19, 2021 - ''DaviSqueezing DaviSnakes'' l
'' DaviSpringing ... DaviSearing ... DaviStressing ... DaviSnaking (again) ... and DaviScrapbooking! '' Yep, we're not just "DaviSpringing" through spring ... but you might say we have "spring, sprang, sprung" in that we have pretty well accomplished the tasks at hand (well ALMOST anyway) that were planned for the spring months before we head into the stretch and begin the final phases of assembly on those long awaited, last big, custom mixer projects that are planned for completion by the end of the year !
This is the last accepted Tool Box we have in the works for this year prior to the upcoming "mixer run". (Once again, I must apologize for the poor, distorted quality of my cell phone camera!)
This is the new TB-4 for Dave Rust that we mentioned awhile back and it is now into the infamous "burn-in" stage whereby we run all sorts of audio proofs of performance periodically while the unit stays powered up 24/7 for several weeks in order to assure there are no early failures with any circuit component. Then, after staying on continuously, it goes through many more days of frequent off/on cycles before going back into another lengthy, always-powered-up, "burn-in"/proof testing period. Think of it as a "stress test" of each completed project before we send them on their way for, typically, a lifetime of trouble-free performance.
Nowadays, this "burn-in" period is more important than ever! This is because the last four projects we have put through these paces have all had varying problems (circuit component failures of one type or another) turn up during the "burn-in" period. Once the faulty components are replaced, either replacing power supply components (the most common early failures) or a MasterPiece module with a bad manufactured component inside (either an active device or, more likely, a bad coupling or decoupling capacitor), another subsequent,lengthy "burn-in" period is required for the replacement component(s). The new TB-50 (anniversary special inaugural Tool Box) has required a "record number" of these lengthy burn-in sessions and, in fact, is STILL here undergoing,hopefully, its LAST such procedure prior to shipment! The fact that we now have TWO units on two separate test tables (highly unusual) still undergoing these tests simultaneously is why I dubbed these current "burn-ins" more akin to SEARINGS than burn-ins!
I have been forced to comment several times in these updates the past couple of years on the high percentage of faulty electronic parts flooding the market these days even from formerly reliable sources. One can only speculate the cause of this but it is most likely the fact that ALL components nowadays tend to actually originate from the same error-prone factories in Taiwan or China even when they are sourced by former reputable American, British and German "manufacturers"! This has forced me to, nowadays, be overly concerned about all the issues for which I originated the burn-in process many years ago even when such failures were most rare in those bygone times.
So, while I don't like to have to add lengthier-than-ever post completion times to an already, neccessarily lengthy completion process, it MUST be done under today's circumstances to insure that each finished product is capable of maintaining the DaviSound standard of performance for that lifetime of dependable, trouble-free service for each owner! It seems that I now have to call this unfortunate fact to the attention of all prospective buyers. Nonetheless, in the end, each receives a superior performer when it has FINALLY passed the new, lengthier than ever, "DaviStress" test!
"DaviSnaking" (again) ...
Last month's post featured the fact that I "DaviSqueezed" ("DaviSneaked"?) in an order for a new pair of newly designed DaviSnake microphones for a client due to very unique circumstances. You can scroll down (or use the index link) to read about that if you happened to miss it last month (and see a nice photo of Weston Ray's "snakes" in action as well).
Although I still have not taken the time to update the DaviSnake site area to illustrate the revised version, I thought I would go ahead and post a couple of photos of the new "DaviSnake" microphone design here.
This new version employs a simple technique which allows the microphone to be used as the traditional snake, mounted on a boom with a mic clamp, or the head can be detached from the flex body and uitlized as a "DaviSwinger", hanging mic, suspended by the mic cable from above! The entire microphone circuitry is mounted inside the housing which is essentially just a male, XLR connector.
I hope to have the time to redo the description on the microphone section of the website very soon. Meanwhile, this illustrates the point that it is always a good idea to check these News Updates on a regular basis for any changes that may have occurred which have not yet been able to be updated in the item descriptions elsewhere on the site!
A little while back, while rummaging through an old desk, I stumbled on a few old, faded, apparently discarded,black and white photos that were, no doubt, out-takes from an old brochure photo shoot. The quality of these is pretty terrible since the only way I had to copy them in digital format was to simply attempt to re-photograph them with my cell phone camera (that "iffy" camera again...although it did manage to capture some pretty good snaps of those mics above!). Aside from this, the photos themselves were of varying degrees of poor quality as you will instantly notice. But, since they were rare photos of rarely documented moments from our past, I thought I would close out this month's edition by including them here below.
This was a view of the old MCP/DaviSound studios main control room circa 1975. This was shortly after remodeling. The console was about the third generation of custom boards for that room and the last one used prior to the addition of the "DaviSuperSystem" prototype added in 1982.
This is a photo of the large wall map that hung above/right of the office desk for years. The flagged, push pins were used to deignate the many broadcast stations that were using our "Airtight" production services. We used this method with the map so as to know at a glance where a conflict might be if a new client appeared in a pinned market desiring a similar piece of production. As you can see ... we were VERY busy with radio/TV/Film/Advertiing productions in those days. This photo was taken in 1978. So glad I found this one! This is the only known, surviving photo of one of my most beloved studio vocalists, Brantlee Price. Brantlee worked with us for about seven years and was heard on more of our productions than any other single contributor during the seventies. Aside from being a good friend, she was a superior talent both for singing and voice-overs. Many of our custom radio ID jingle packages featured Brantlee alone being mulitracked numerous times for our signature female "chorus". She was also an accomplished actress, TV personality and former Miss South Carolina, 1969.
Brantlee was always quite a trooper and a real pro. She taught school for several of the years she worked with me and I can recall many afternoon sessions when she would come in tired and "frazzled" from having to endure the classroom all day yet still work long past the dinner hour to get that "perfect" take on a track.
She later married and moved to Texas where she was a devoted wife, mother and community worker. Unfortunately, she succombed to breast cancer in 2015. The last time I saw her was in 1989 when she came and gave a pep talk to my staff just before we launched our new FM station. I think of her often and, of course, anytime I listen to an old MCP demo tape! You can hear some samples of her work (although not necessarily her best! - The jingles presented here on this private YouTube area are actually out-takes for one reason or another and the quality is bad since the only surviving tape was a victim of the "Ampex Tape Plague" - a phenomenon that caused stored tapes' oxide to "grow" and often become unplayable or, at best, full of gritty high end distortions noticed on this copy.) The link takes you to, basically, an ALL MALE vocal jingle package although Brantlee can be heard on the one, "Be My Baby" parody in the package. Her voiceover talent is demonstrated on the promos at the end of the package done by she and I together. She can also be heard doing backup vocals on the "Dream Medley" cut (By "Sugar And Spice") posted in this same location. Once I am finally able to get the Mother Cleo Productions memorial website up and running, many, many more examples of her remarkable talent can be heard there. https://youtu.be/AeAOF5F77qc
If interested, you can find more old black and white brochure photos from the the early 70s here - DaviScrapBook
So, this wraps up QUITE an extensive edition of News Updates for the month of April 2021. Thank you so much for visiting and please join me here again next month for more of the " on-going, goings-on" at DaviSound!
March 19, 2021
'' DaviSqueezing DaviSnakes '' Hard to believe we are just about to enter the second quarter of 2021 already. It has been a fast winter with, once again, rather "DaviSlow" ("DaviSnail"?) progress on current projects here at DaviSound. I guess if you go back and review most of these updates for the past recent years this will simply sound like another echo. I have just resigned myself to the fact that, truthfully largely due to old "Murphy's Laws" and circumstances entirely beyond my control, I am simply destined to ALWAYS fall behind on work projections and completion estimates. So be it. We WILL/DO get it done, albeit seemingly always slower than we think going into each project!
Aside from all the many varied domestic duties/distractions that continue to pile up on me without let-up, this month I did something rather unusual to further slow the progress on the current ongoing Tool Box projects just a bit (by about one week). I gave in and accepted a new order and "DaviSqueezed" it in amongst the current, already delayed, work in progress.
The order accepted was for a Parisian client who simply made me an offer I could not refuse for a pair of new DaviSnake microphones . Most of you longtime readers/clients know that I NEVER waver from my policy of placing each client and their orders in chronological order- first in/ first out, no matter who the client or what the situation. In this rare case, I did find the circumstances, which I won't fully go into here, exceptional enough to merit squeezing this order in on priority. Now, I emphasize that I would NOT have done this for another Tool Box project. Again, as most of you know, the only orders that I have ALWAYS worked in amogst the Tool Box projects are those for MasterPiece modules. Since I can usually complete and test a MasterPiece module, sometimes two, in one day, I sometimes accept these orders and work them in with my current project circuit work. I then let them "burn-in" while I get on with my other projects. So, it really does not interfere too much, but rather actually maximizes my time investment when I already have things set up for circuit construction.
Well, it just so happens, this client's request came in at just the absolute perfect time for a DaviSnake "work-in". I was at a point that week where, while I did not have the necessary sustained, daily time block available which would allow for the needed remaining work on the current Tool Box projects, I did have a schedule which would fit perfectly around the construction process for the DaviSnake microphones.
I am now using a "new" mini-electret capsule for the element in these mics having lost my source for the original design. And, I am also supporting it with the original, minimal circuitry that was used in the begiinning before I subsequently "updated it" to conform more to traditional circuitry for phantom powered mics. I have to say that my original, UNIQUE circuit design is unbeatable for transparency and it works just fine with 98% of all the available phantom power sources out there. There may be one or two console mic amps that cause some high frequency loading to this circuit (which was the reason for the upgrade attempt) but the majority of "normal" mic preamps marry with the DaviSnake circuitry just fine. Therefore, I will be sticking with this original design which is like no other phantom powered microphone circuitry available anywhere. It is truly a DaviSound exclusive!
The new "snake", the flexible gooseneck mount, contains a built-in XLR connector eliminating the protruding cable of the original design. I will be getting some photos up on the website to illustrate this new "snake" asap.
Weston Ray swears by the transparency of his original circuit DaviSnakes...
Shown here set up as overheads for drums.
On another note...
I received a rather strange text this month from an unkown/unnamed inquiror. This inquiror wanted to know -
"would you be interested in selling your Ampex 350?"
This was strange for a couple of reasons aside from not including a name or introduction for the sender. In the first place, I never owned a 350 but rather a 351 (they are two slightly different "animals". I did also own a model 300 once). This was back in my earliest strudio days circa 1970 and the ONLY place it is mentioned, that I am aware of, is on our website in the DaviScrapBook section shown in a black and white photo from a very old studio brochure.
I bring this up here to emphasize that, while I now accept and WELCOME text messages along with email (which is why I include the text phone number on our site), I DO NOT respond to anonymous texts that do not introduce and name the sender! So, if the sender of that text happens to be reading this post, please always note this and please let me know who you are the next time you send a text. I need names and locations from all legitimate inquirors whether by text or email. I will follow up an email asking for this information when necessary but I will NOT respond to an unidentified text message.
On the subject of the old Ampex workhorses, you can find a lot of information about them at HistoryOfRecording.com .
Here is a very old snapshot of yours truly ...
(back in the "full figure" days!)
examining the Ampex 351 (identical to my old one)
at Sun Studios in Memphis. This very machine's "slap back"
(playback head) echo contributed to the unique sound of their many hits.
Well, that's about it for this edition. Please join me again here next month for another update ... hopefully relating some "DaviSpeedy" progress for a change in all directions!
February 22, 2021
'' DaviShort and DaviShortwave ! '' This will be a short one (at least compared to some of my lengthy "epistles") but, hopefully, an interesting one...albeit certainly a DIFFERENT one!
Although many of our visitors may not consider this at all about AUDIO ...(certainly not "pro audio" in any case)... I beg to differ! Radio is, indeed, audio ... just the first ever WIRELESS audio and it probably did more for the advancement of audio technology early on than anything else ever has. So, while this little February edition focuses on "radio audio", I promise that next month we will turn our full attention back to DaviSound Professional Audio creations- bigtime!
Meanwhile, after reading this update post, I do urge you to follow the link to the recent "radio" web page just added to our site and check it out... this is especially so if you are at all technically inclined and one of our DIY audio followers since you will find some very interesting audio related "DaviSecrets" embedded in our little article about a unique, DIY radio receiver.
The theme of this month's News Update was prompted by an email received not too long after last month's edition which was related to the effects of today's modern radio "propaganda" programming on the sad state of our current American society. (In case you missed it you can scroll down, right below this month's edition, to find it. As longtime readers are aware, the way this News Updates page works is that I post each new update in succession "on top of" the prior month's update. Or you may use our new included "feature", an ongoing page index located at the top of the page which will link you to the particular month's entry that you may be looking for.)
The email that I refer to was from a very young lady (aged nine to be exact). It was very well written and it took me to task just a bit for my, somewhat, "negativity" regarding the state of today's shortwave radio broadcast bands! She was, no doubt, encouraged by her father to write after he read last month's post since he is one of our longtime, European clients who has purchased numerous MasterPiece Modules as well as our old "Tech Reports" (eventually to be republished as "DaviSecrets") over the years . Anyway, it turns out that this young lady is an avid shortwave listener and quite an enthusiast. She pointed out to me that there was still plenty of good, positive programming available on shortwave if you just take the time to search and listen for it and she reminded me that the "searching" (tuning around the bands) is the fun part of it .. a "sport" akin to a more "civilized" version of hunting and fishing!
She further went on to say that I should post a web page documenting the construction of that primitive radio receiver, that I had talked about on several occasions in these News Updates, which had given me so much enjoyment over the years (this, no doubt, also prompted by her dad!)
Well, inspired by her email, I took the time to dig through my old backup files and found just such a web page done many years ago as a tribute to that very special, simple, receiver. I had posted the page on my site back in the old AOL days in the late 1990s but had never done anything with it since AOL disbanded. Thus, I am pleased to tell her, and all who may be interested, that this page has now been briefly edited and ammended and posted here on the DaviSound site to be linked from our DaviSides web page (of course there will be a link to it from this update, here below, as well).
It is the story of the "Barndoor Receiver", a finalized version of that very early prototype which I used on my workbench for many years which I eluded to here last month. It is a detailed, construction article which includes schematics, layout, parts lists and even some new diagrams of subsequent, slightly more "sophisticated", TRF receivers (TRF refers to "Tuned Radio Frequency").
To hopefully whet a few appetites, here are just two of those five, newly included circuit additions that you will find in this latest version of the web page-
Hopefully, this page might inspire a few new SWLs (code name for "Shortwave Listeners) and even a few DIY constructors! I have already emailed a "thank you" reply to this special young lady for encouraging the old "glass half full optimist" to remain that way, at least in terms of radio. While she can no longer hear such worldwide stations as the old Voice Of America, Radio Moscow, Radio Canada, the BBC and many others that the article refers to, she was most correct in pointing out that we still have some interesting broadcasts out there if you take the time to "hunt" and research their schedules. Among these are several in the USA including WTWW, WRMI, WWCR and WBCQ. WRMI also serves as an International broadcast relay station which allows you to hear programming from other countries that may not otherwise be available. WTWW carries on the tradition of "old style" Top 40 (oldies) radio and typically does it VERY well in addition to airing SWL and HAM radio special, technical programming at times, especially weekends.
And, I should also mention that the "medium wave" band (AM broadcast band) is not ENTIRELY all propaganda and that there are still a few offering positive entertainment programming. For example, when I am working at night, I often try to catch the "Oldtime Radio" dramas and comedies aired each night at ten pm EST on CFZM (formerly CHWO), 740 AM, Toronto. And, of course, there are a few others still out there offering something besides political negativity if you just take the time to search. In my hometown, we are lucky to still have one of the last holdout, "mom and pop" stations still doing well and programmed beautifully for a small market by my old friends, Carole Riser Murray (program director) and Jimmie Coggins (owner/manager). This station is my old radio "alma matter", WKDK. There are still a few of these scattered around the country and, if you are lucky enough to have one in your area, I encourage you to give them all the support that you can. Believe me, in this day and age of conglomerate takeover, they deserve all the support that their communities can offer them!
While not so "DaviShort" after all, this concludes my tribute to RADIO for awhile and it also concludes this month's News Updates. As I said early on, I do plan more extensive DAVISOUND PRO AUDIO NEWS in our next edition so please join me here for that next month (somewhere around the "ides of March" I hope).
In closing I should mention, again, that I have now added an ongoing "clickable" index to the top of the page where you may instantly go to any previous month's post without having to scroll the page. This, too, was prompted by a reader email who was asking about one of my old topics and where he might find it to go over it again. I was ashamed to tell him that I was not sure what year it was posted, let alone which month. This led me to adding the top-of-page index which should have been included on the News Updates pages all along. At least, it should make finding future posts much easier in the months and years ahead.
That's it for this edition "boys and girls" and, as always, I thank you for "listening" (reading) and urge you to please "tune-in" here again next month "same time (generally speaking) same station" for another DaviSound News Update!
OH ... and here is that link to the new "magical" page we have been talking about!
The BARNDOOR Radio Receiver
January 15, 2021
'' DaviStarted and DaviSad DaviStation" - 2021 ! ''
Well, here we go again! Even though this year has started out even worse as far as the political wake being left behind with the terrible tragedy of events in our nation's capitol, I still feel the hope of the New Year and believe we are headed for better things ... IF we can silence ( or best yet, get everyone, including their sponsors to IGNORE!) those incessant spewers of hate propaganda all over American talk radio.
Yes, this will be just a bit of a "DaviSermon" but I do promise to keep it VERY "DaviShort"! The last thing I EVER want to do is to turn this platform into a political forum of any sort. But, like most of you, I was sickened by the recent events in Washington and I just can't help but offer some observations here, out front, since it also ties in with another of my lifelong passions and loves - RADIO.
Most of you are already aware of my past, varied, broadcast career and subsequent ties thereto. I also mentioned in a prior update last year (now moved to News Archives ) about my fascination with simple homebrew TRF radio receivers hooked up to a 50' longwire antenna and the shortwave, and medium wave, AM reception they bring in to reward their constructor. I have been entertained on many a long winter night, in days long past, by listening to these homemade receivers while I sat and worked at the soldering table. I say days long past since it is very hard to find that kind of entertaining radio anywhere nowadays.
Where there used to be dozens and dozens of stations across the shortwave broadcast bands providing colorful information from the various countries they emanated from, now many of these stations have disappeared entirely from the airwaves due to the internet and the ones that are left are, you guessed it, primarily propaganda machines just like their mediumwave (AM broadcast band) counterparts. It's all either extreme rightwing, hate propaganda, maniacal conspiracy theorists, or paid religious fanatics! The standard AM broadcast band is no better. I received a new all-band receiver the other night and, while testing it, I manually scanned every broadcast frequency from 520 kHz all the way through 1710 kHz, and I want you to know that on all but four stations I picked up, there was an assortment of ranting, raving Rush Limbaugh "wannabes" spitting their garbage out all across the dial! And of course, they would not be doing it if they did not have an eager, addicted audience for it and sponsors who cater to them. And the sad thing is, it is not just the fanatics who are insprired by it all. It has worked to "mind numb" many, otherwise, good intentioned people who have been megadosed with it day in and day out over too many years.
And, most importantly, I'm not talking about honest political debate here, I'm talking about "brainwashing" based upon outright lies and distortions amplified day after day. I don't know what's worse with these people, whether they actually believe what they're spewing or whether they know they are pandering to their audience ... I'm afraid its a little of both.
This is why I stuggle to maintain a positive hope for a better outcome. I think the cause of much of what we have seen called the "great divide" now among Americans is directly caused by media propaganda. To me it has been an obvious concern for MANY years. As I scanned the shortwave bands a week before the tragic event in Washington, I actually heard some of these maniacal hate-mongers calling for exactly what happened a week later ... EXACTLY what happened! This is being allowed on American sanctioned broadcast stations with no concern by the FCC, or the NAB, or the very sponsors that pay for it all! Yes, to me, it is especially a "DaviSad" turn of events to see my lifelong beloved medium, which once was filled with nothing but positive, uplifting programming governed by a principled fairness doctrine, now entirely nothing more than a forum for negative, narrow mindedness ( to put it mildly). But, unfortunately, such is the current state of our society in the year 2021.
There has been some sign of hope in the days following our recent tragedy since many sponsors, and at least one broadcast conglomerate, have vowed to pull the plug on some of these self-styled, would-be demigods if they do not cease and decist. However, I have my doubts whether this will last.
But, as the, almost eternal, optimist, I do continue to have HOPE for the future and I see the recent election as a step in the right direction. I just hope the other political party can, finally, start thinking with their brains instead of their emotions and open their eyes, ears, hearts and minds to something besides selfish greed and the loathing of their neighbors who don't see things in the same, one-sided manner that they do. Fortunately, a few of them in congress have already stepped up and bravely separated themselves from their, cowardly, self-serving counterparts. Again, just maybe this is a step in the right direction albeit a small, and possibly temporary, one.
Okay...here endeth the "DaviSermon"! Now on to better, and more positive, things!
I mentioned last time ("last year"), that I had a few new additions that I wanted to include in an update to our DaviStories page as soon as I could get the time to collate it all. One such addition is from the current commissioner of our latest Tool Box project, a new TB-4, Dave Rust of Indiana. Dave has sent me some photos of his collection of DaviSound gear which I am pleased to share with you here below.
The photo just direclty above is of one of our most RARE pieces since only a couple of these were ever made. I called this faceplate style the "DaviStone" model since the unique paint finish resembled cut granite. I was pleased to see that the finish on this one had survived after all these many years! Unfortunately, I no longer offer the "DaviStone" style faceplate so this truly is a collector's item, as are many of our handmade, pro audio pieces. I invite you to click the link above and check out this unique piece on its introductory page. I believe you will find it worth the visit if you have never seen it before.
I want to thank Dave for sharing these photos with us. I can tell that he has taken meticulous care of his collection and I look forward to presenting him with his new DaviSound TB-4 sometime soon in the first quarter of this new year!
I hope all of you are doing well as we head onto a new slate of things to come. I thank all of you for joining me here again for yet another year of DaviSound News Updates. I truly hope that all of them will be GOOD NEWS updates, in all directions, for all of us. I certainly plan to have some interesting audio gear to display for you here in the months to come as I get closer to finishing a couple of our longest ongoing custom mixer projects as well as our other Tool Box projects along the way. And, yes, the rumor is true ... I am thinking of offering a guitar amp, or two, sometime in the not-too-far future!
So, until next time, thanks for "tuning in"! I promise no "propaganda" to be had on THIS "station". There are no long, slow loading scripts, no outside advertisers to distract you, no pop-ups, no "like us on Facebook" and "follow us on Twitter", or none of the aggravating formats now utilized in cookie-cutter fashion all over the web these days...never here! Just good, old fashioned, fast loading html! So please join me again next month, "same station", for more news updates ... from DaviSound!
Happy New Year!
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