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Memories: Working at Advent - Summer 1970


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I interned at Advent (Putnam Ave facility) after my freshman year at college in 1970. My nominal assignment was to work out and document the mechanical and electrical alignment procedure for the Model 100 cassette deck (original unit w/ Nakamichi transport). During lunch, the techs and I would sit in the 4-channel demo room and fire up the tunes.

Henry was doing a lot of R&D into 4-channel sound based on a 4:2 encoding scheme invented by Peter Scheiber. The listening room was equipped with a pair of Advent speakers (wired parallel for 4-ohm load) in each corner, driven from a pair of Crown DC-300 power amps (first I'd ever seen and awesome for that period). Program source was a Crown discrete 4-channel tape deck that likely requred the floor underneath it to be reinforced to carry its weight :-). One could sit on a stool in the middle of the 20' x 20' room and switch between direct 4-channel and a path that did 4:2:4 through the Scheiber encoder and decoder using a hand-held button. My personal favorite was the first Chicago album, remixed to 4-ch from the original masters. You cannot imagine what it sounded like when cranked through all that gear. Still makes me smile (sorry for the pun, Chicago fans).

At trade shows, the speakers were demoed with more modest amounts of power (in deference to the other booths). Unless I have this scrambled after all these years, Andy Petite (marketing and sales director) used the first Pentangle album as the primary demo source, but it had to the be the UK version (uncompressed master and far better vinyl - we had an entire steel cabinet full). There's a drum solo on the tune "Pentangling" that's so nicely recorded that you can hear the air "whooshing" around the brushes. Great way to show off the tweeters.

I really loved the production jig they used to form the tweeter domes. Only Henry could start with plastic pipe, a water tank and a vacuum cleaner and have such musical devices emerge.

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So there were 8 advent speakers in the room. Whoa!

Did the stacked advents originate at advent or did some consumer come up with the concept?

Do you recall which model advent?

I'm guessing by the year that it was the OLA.

Walnut or utility?

And finally, do you remember to what extent the room was treated?

Carpeting, panels, bass traps,etc.?

Forgive me, I am just a very curious fellow.

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I think the Advent sales folks came up with the dual speaker approach, but I'm not positive (I have a good memory, but it was 45 years ago). There was only one model of Advent loudspeaker at that time. I have no idea what the finish was, sorry. My sense is that the room had carpeting and absorptive material on the walls and ceiling, but it definitely didn't rise to bass traps or the like.

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Wow! Thanks for your story!

One of my pairs of Walnuts was made in the summer of 1970. The serial numbers are 7282 and 7907. No prefixes. The woofers both have June 22, 1970 dates on them and the earlier system has July 2, 1970 on the tweeter and the later system has Aug 3, 1970 on the tweeter.

My classic quadraphonic system uses four stacks of original Advents too in about a 20' X 16' room. It sounds fabulous powered by Heathkit -29 series amplifiers.


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  • 2 months later...

I really enjoy hearing stories like yours.

Can you tell us more about how the tweeter domes were made?

Where did the old timers like Kloss learn about cone and dome fabrication?

Do you know if the OLA tweeter was supposed to have a pin hole in it? I think

not but have come across several in the last few years that did.

1970 that was very early, didn't the first OLA come out in 1969?

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What interests me about this thread is thinking about the possibility of cocktail hour cross-corporate chatter and/or sharing of trade secrets amongst the engineers of the emerging New England speaker companies of the early 70's. AR and KLH were pretty much still running strong as the big dogs. Both Advent and ADS occupied the facility at 377 Putnam Ave. in Cambridge, possibly as successive tenants, and it might be enlightening to know if the heralded Braun-ADS soft-dome tweeter had any influence with Advent, or vice versa for that matter, since I am not all that familiar with the exact timeline or personnel involved.

These two random links confirm the shared corporate address.



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