Author Dan Alexander has compiled a fascinating book that is part autobiography, part audio manufacturer history and a complete reference guide to rare and vintage audio equipment—my favorite part!
Reading through this handsome book, I learned how Alexander started his career and travels all over the world in search of fine studio microphones, classic recording consoles and coveted outboard gear. With few exceptions, this equipment has been developed and used in recording studios since the end of WWII.
I liked that Alexander writes stories that reflect his love and respect for most of the people he met in his travels and the admiration for the classic gear he has discovered and purchased all over the world.
This book details the histories of 24 companies by way of some 80 interesting and anecdotal stories that highlight personalities, and the circumstances surrounding those company’s beginnings and their products. Detailed information and insights about firms such as Fairchild, Pye, Calrec, and Helios are all in there. There are over 400 previously unpublished pictures and sales brochures that reminded me of how different those times were in recording studios as compared to today.
As a reference guide, there is a compendium of lists featuring all Telefunken microphones built between 1928 and 1980; a compete list of Trident A and B range audio consoles; and a 7,500 list of vintage equipment sold between 1979 and 2000 including serial numbers, and (sometimes its selling price and buyer! In over 40 pages of Neve products, you’ll learn the differences between a Neve 1073, 1066, 1066A, or 1082 channel modules.
With information from personal sales binders not usually made public, and with forwards written by Sylvia Massy, Shelly Yakus and others, this is an amazing history that is bound to start the conversations all over the world amongst many audio enthusiasts about the provenance of certain pieces of classic gear and vintage consoles still in use today!
A great book to have on hand to settle vintage gear questions! Dan has a blog at: danalexanderaudio.com.