Audio Anthropology

    Our Heads Are Spinning

    Issue 151

    Fit for a King (Marilyn King of the King Sisters, that is): the Roberts 990 stereo tape recorder. Courtesy of the Museum of Magnetic Sound Recording.


    Recording engineer and TEC award winner David Hewitt’s personal manual for the Sony PCM-1610, an early digital recorder. He recounts a story about the early Sony machines: “It was at an early Sony digital display at an AES Convention in New York. They were playing what I dimly remember as a live digital recording I had done on a Sony PCM-3324, when a well-known engineer started a rant about digital recordings ‘instantly damaging your hearing!’ The 3324 was out of his sight behind some other display. We let him blather on for a while before exposing the rolling digital tape. We didn’t ask how his hearing was… Sometimes it’s better to do like the Frank Zappa album says: Shut up and play your guitar!”


    A stunning harman/kardon ST-6 turntable circa 1977 – 1981, complete with Rabco tangential tracking arm! Photo by Howard Kneller, from The Audio Classics Collection.


    Our heads are spinning over this 1940s RCA Victrola record changer ad.


    Howard Kneller’s audio and art photography can be found on Instagram (@howardkneller@howardkneller.photog) and Facebook (@howardkneller).

    2 comments on “Our Heads Are Spinning”

    1. Frank, I’m late in reading this. But so must be everyone else, otherwise someone would have noted the HK had a “tangental tracking tonearm”.

      I know you know about the vertical or horizontal cut grooves for mono records. Not quite the same thing.

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