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View Full Version : MIND ROASTING Lansing discovery!



Steve Schell
07-07-2014, 11:17 PM
Scarce as hen's teeth? One candidate for discussion would be the electronic equipment built by Lansing Manufacturing Company, before the formation of Altec Lansing in 1941. There was plenty of talent on hand, but the company was burdened in its early years by the endless production of hundreds of small, cheap radio set speakers per day for manufacturers both local and distant. This would all change beginning in 1936 with the success of the Shearer Horn System collaboration with MGM Studios. Jim Lansing took on the distribution of Magnavox speaker products to his radio industry clientele while he bravely redirected the efforts of his small company to the ambitious production of state of the art motion picture theatre sound system equipment. This included a range of loudspeakers at first, arguably the world's finest at the time, soon to be followed by the production of electronics to provide theatres with complete systems. Ercell Harrison was Lansing's electronics engineer in those days, and he is famous for designing wide band, low distortion transformers. Best way to get up to speed on developments by late 1937 is to read this thread, including the letter written by Dr. John Blackburn in December 1937:

http://www.audioheritage.org/vbulletin/showthread.php?33810-Seeking-information-on-Lansing-transformers&highlight=blackburn

The push pull 6L6 amp as described by Dr. Blackburn is seen in all of the early Lansing Mfg. Co. efforts, including the amp pictured in the linked thread (actually a post-acquisition Altec Lansing product) and the amplifier available with the Iconic beginning in 1939, described here:

http://www.lansingheritage.org/images/lmco/advertizements/1939cat-1.jpg

Some friends of mine have assembled a collection of early Lansing and Altec Lansing 6L6 amps, and they all feature very impressive wide band performance for their day. Someday I'll post a photo essay of these gems.

The real MIND ROASTING DISCOVERY though was seen in a recently expired ebay auction... for a never before seen Lansing Manufacturing Company theatre rack system! This incredibly rare rack includes a preamp, regular and spare power amp, dividing network and field supply. Check out this expired auction before it disappears:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/ALTEC-LANSING-124A-TUBE-POWER-AMPLIFIERS-CROSSOVER-RACK-WESTERN-ELECTRIC-/141337605033?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2047675.l2557&nma=true&si=b9B1BmAZuzE84rHLrPBoe7biu20%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc

If someone with better computer skills than mine could add the auction pictures to this thread before they expire I would be most appreciative.
This is one of the rarest, most impressive (and heaviest!) pieces of Lansing Heritage to ever surface in my twenty year quest for this stuff. Wow! It documents without doubt the achievements of Lansing Mfg. Co. prior to the Altec buyout.

Note that the end bells of the transformers in this rack system echo the shape of the end bell of the silver-painted power transformer in the amp whose thread I linked to. We know that Lansing used transformers provided by Inca, Peerless (whom Altec Lansing bought in about 1947) and probably others, as there were many winders around L.A. in those days.

Val
07-07-2014, 11:53 PM
6257162572625736257462575

Happy to capture from ebay...text from Ebay auction:

"NO PAYPAL" FOR THIS ITEM.PAYMENT ARRANGMENT WILL BE MADE THRU WIRE TRANSFER OR CASH ON PICKUP. CALL FOR PAYMENT AND/OR MORE INFO ON ITEM :913-909-4920
TWO "VERY,VERY RARE"LANSING MANUFACTURING COMPANY 124A TUBE POWER AMPLIFIERS IN THE RACK WITH ONE 403N CROSSOVER NETWORK,ONE 502F FEILD POWER SUPPLY,AND ONE 512 POWER SUPPLY.THESE WERE JUST REMOVED FROM THE BUILDING WERE THEY WERE INSTALLED STILL IN THEIR "ORIGINAL RACK". THE RACK IS IN GOOD CONDITION BUT HAS RUST ON BOTH SIDES.THE AMPLIFIERS ARE IN GOOD SHAPE,BUT THERE ARE A RUST SPOTS ON THE TOPS AND CORNERS OF THE TRANSFORMERS AND CHASSIS. "ALL"THE UNITS IN THE RACK HAVE RUST ON THE CHASSIS.THEY WERE BUILT ON STEEL CHASSIS NOT ALUMINUM.SOME OF THE UNITS HAVE TUBES AND SOME DO NOT.THE NAME PLATES ARE ALL THERE BUT ONE METER GLASS IS BROKEN ON ONE OF THE AMPS. THIS IS A "ONE OF A KIND"AUCTION SOLD "AS IS".
THESE ARE VERY HEAVY( 800 LBS ) AND WILL BE COSTLY TO SHIP.LOCAL PICKUP IS AVAILABLE.THE PRICE IS FOR "THE RACK AND ALL UNITS INCLUDED". SOLD "AS PICTURED"AS IS .

IF THERE ARE ANY QUESTIONS
PLEASE E-MAIL US
SOLD "AS IS

Val
07-07-2014, 11:55 PM
additional photos

Steve Schell
07-08-2014, 10:14 AM
Val, thanks very much for adding the auction pictures and text to the thread.

4343
07-08-2014, 11:06 AM
That is quite a find. I especially like the way the meters and such were designed with the rack door in mind, as a complete package.:applaud:

allen mueller
07-12-2014, 05:05 AM
Very cool, I love all the sheet metal work in that cabinet.

tomee
07-22-2014, 12:12 PM
Very cool!! Could those be Western Electric 124A amps, built on license?

The seller might be leery of giving up information, but it would be very helpful to know where this came from.

rdgrimes
07-22-2014, 04:57 PM
I love the "Emergency Off" switch. One wonders what "emergency" might take place?

Steve Schell
07-22-2014, 11:30 PM
Tomee, you raise a heck of a question! I had not considered the 124A designation, but it does seem too close for comfort if unrelated to the W.E. design... even more so with 6L6 outputs. I have reason to believe that Lansing Mfg. Co. had done their own independent research into this type circuit due to the Blackburn letter (see link in my first post), but of course anyone in the theatre sound business in those days would have been very familiar with what W.E. was doing. W.E. had been run out of the theatre sound business in the USA by October 1937 by the U.S. government, and this equipment was almost certainly built after that, so it is murky as to what sort of licensing might or might not have been required.

4343 there is indeed an elegance to the look of this system. It reminds me of the 612 bass bin of the Lansing Iconic, with the rounded edges and radiused corners of the cutout in the outer panel yielding to the inner panels and meters. The cherry on top is the "Lansing Sound Systems" badge, identical to that placed on the Iconic box at the time. Using Jim Lansing's own words, it is of "severely simple design."

wpod
07-23-2014, 07:26 AM
Those amplifiers certainly have a near identical layout to the International Projector AM 1026 and AM 1027. I've restored several of these for my home use stereo system but I can't remember if I ever researched how IPC was formed. All of the beautifully potted transformers on the IPC gear was supplied by Peerless. Thanks for the pics, Paulhttps://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTCUpggA0-kENy4Q-FepdW08R0PoMT3rriBnBKXYWmqLzY6He56vA