[rollei_list] Re: Completely OT- Loudspeaker info a pop up question

  • From: "Richard Knoppow" <dickburk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <rollei_list@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2005 13:46:06 -0800

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "A. Lal" <alal@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
To: <rollei_list@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, February 17, 2005 5:02 AM
Subject: [rollei_list] Re: Completely OT- Loudspeaker info a 
pop up question


>I believe the Peerless you refer to was an altogether 
>different
> comapany. The Peerless brand name was used  by 
> Altec-Lansing in the
> early days of hi fi. Altec (All Technical Products) was an 
> off-shoot of
> Western Electric. WE  pretty much wrote the book on all 
> aspects of sound
> reproduction, Blumlien and EMI only made minor 
> contributions in
> comarisison.  Anyone interested in hi Fi should have a 
> look at early
> numbers of the Bell System Technical Journal, by the way. 
> Later on Jim
> Lansing left Altec and went on to found JBL (James B. 
> Lansing),  now
> part of the Harman group. I'm sure the older members of 
> the list can add
> to this. Jerry, Richard?
>
> Today there are two companies making speakers under the 
> Peerless brand
> name. One, in Denmark, is part of the DST group, the 
> other, in India,
> makes low cost OEM drivers some of which were used in 
> KEF's and other
> makers lower priced systems. At one time the two Peerless' 
> were linked
> but now they operate as separate companies.
>
   Peerless was indeed a brand name for transformers made by 
Altec-Lansing and Altec did start as the theater service 
division on Electrical Research Products Co. (ERPI) a 
marketing agent for AT&T-Western Electric. AT&T was always 
walking on eggs to avoid anti-trust action. The indirect 
marketing of its industrial sound equipment including motion 
picture sound equipment was part of this maneuvering.
   The work on stereo sound at Bell Labs was independant of 
the work done by Blumlein at EMI. Blumlein's contributions 
were NOT minor. Bell Labs research was more extensive in 
some ways because it was part of an overall research project 
into high quality tranmission systems.
   Dr. John Frayne, one of the developers of the Western 
Electric Stereo Disk system told me that when they did the 
patent search for this system they discovered to their 
embarrasment that WE and AT&T had already patented a great 
deal of the work. Then they discovered the early Blumlein 
patent which very specifically covered 45-45 stereo 
recording and a bunch of other stuff WE never knew about.
   There was a special edition of the Bell Laboratories 
Journal which was a compilation of all the stereo papers 
published in the BSTJ, it is quite rare but libraries with 
the BSTJ in their holding s may have it. In any case the 
papers will be in the journals.
   Bell Labs made many recordings at the time. Some of these 
have been released on CDs, they are worth having. Not many 
of Blumlein's recordings survive but some do. I don't know 
if any are commercially available. I've heard some of them. 
The stereo is quite remarkable. Partly this was due to using 
co-incident microphone technique but probably much is 
because of the acoustics of the studio. Bell Labs recorded 
in relatively dry environments using spaced microphones, EMI 
in halls at a distance using the equivalent of crossed 
figure 8 microphones.
   I don't have the USP number for Blumlein's patent. I am 
not even sure it was applied for in this country. The 
British patent was reprinted in an issue of the Journal of 
the Audio Engineering Society. With a little effort I can 
find it because I have it here.
   BTW, the first recording system to be employed by Bell 
Labs in their stereo system was sound on film. This was a 
very remarkable system employing companders (early versions 
of the Dolby system) and special moving coil light valves. 
It was a three channel system. Bell Labs early experiments 
were all three channel.
   All of this was remarkable work and none of it was 
commercially developed for nearly three decades.

---
Richard Knoppow
Los Angeles, CA, USA
dickburk@xxxxxxxxxxxxx 


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