Dear Editor (Apr. 1979)

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Dear Sir:

It is my custom to pore over electronic journals from all over the world.

As good luck and fickle fate would provide, I had someone deliver a copy of Transylvania Elektronik which had been smuggled out of Bucharest in the bottom of a canary cage.

In it was an article by your prolific pedant, Prof I. Lirpa, who has invented the "Warsaw Box," a 4-1-4 system for making quadraphonic sound out of mono. The good professor figures that this will revolutionize the history of sound, once someone in Bucharest figures out how to obtain four speakers all at once. Even with two speakers they would be able to get dual-mono sound, another great Lirpa invention.

--Mr--Enclosed is a rare schematic of this new and highly sophisticated circuit.

-John Woram Rockville Centre, N.Y.

Origins Explained

Dear Sir:

I believe the following will be of interest to Bert Whyte as he professed ignorance about the origin of the term "green room" in the December, 1978, "Behind the Scenes" column.

In 1816 the limelight (sometimes referred to as the Drummond light after its inventor, Thomas Drummond) was developed. A piece of lime or calcium was heated via a gas flame until it glowed. The resulting point source of light was directed by an optical system (comprised of a reflector and lens) onto a specific object.

Introduced to the theatrical world in 1837, the device gained widespread acceptance in the 1850s and '60s.

Though it was far from perfect the AUDIO April 1979 burning lime required constant attention to keep the super-heated area aligned with the optics the first practical "spotlight" had been born.

Unfortunately, the actors and actresses who had to work literally "in the limelight" found themselves prone to severe headaches. After some experimentation, however, it was discovered that if the cast spent its offstage time both during and for a short period following a play in a room painted a light green, they were much less subject to the discomforting headaches. That room, quite obviously, became known as the "green room." The nomenclature, to this day, has remained the same even though the green walls have long since been redone in other colors.

-David Greep Raymond, Maine

Phono Frustration

Dear Sir: I recently purchased a reel-to-reel tape deck, a noise reduction unit, and a dynamic range expander in hopes of avoiding the nicks, scratches, and pops which eventually find their way onto any LP. To .accomplish this, I had intended to buy new records, tape them, and then put them away. In my ignorance I assumed that a new record would be free from flaws. However, this is not the case as even new LPs have these flaws.

I was very disappointed at first, but two things gave me hope that there might be a solution: 1) I noticed that many sections of a disc were very good and this told me that records could be made better with a little more attention paid to quality control and consistency. 2) An article in the Sept. 7, 1978, issue of Rolling Stone entitled, "Record Quality: A Pressing Problem" made some interesting observations:

a) There is a definite lack of quality control in the record pressing process,

b) European and Japanese record quality is far superior to U.S. quality,

c) a person within the record industry stated that for the cost of $1.00 more to the consumer, a far superior product could be made available, and

d) the record industry is aware of the flaws in its product.

Armed with this information, I decided to do something about it. I wrote letters to the manufacturers of all components I own, in addition to several record companies.

I recently received a reply from Mr. Murray Rosenberg of United Audio (Dual). He said that he and the rest of the high fidelity component business were concerned with the quality of the phonograph record, and he intended to bring this matter before the Institute of High Fidelity in hopes of organizing a campaign to reverse this trend.

I have stated my problem and my attempt to correct it. I would ask the industry and readers of Audio Magazine to render any kind of assistance they can ... write to the record companies and let them know how you feel.

-Martin J. Barrow Cape Elizabeth, Maine

Crashworthy Components

Dear Sir:

After reading the "Dear Editor" letter by David B. Adams in your January, 1979, issue of Audio, I felt motivated to salute two manufacturers.

I play music professionally and travel more than 50,000 miles a year. In September, 1978, my van was rear ended by an auto travelling at 55 mph while we were stopped off the side of the highway. Miraculously, little injury was incurred to the occupants in my van.

In the back of the van were two Cerwin-Vega speakers and a Phase Linear 400 amplifier. They took the full force of the impact, and although the van was totaled, they escaped with only dents and a torn covering. I still travel with that PA system and would like to extend my praises to those manufacturers, particularly since those speakers may have saved my life.

Those are really tough components.

In this day and age it's still nice to know that some things can still "keep on truckin'. "

- Carter Wilson Boise, Idaho

(Source: Audio magazine, Apr. 1979)

Also see: Dear Editor (Sept. 1979)

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