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Thread: Altec & JBL gear at Woodstock (1969) - Bill Hanley sound

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    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    Altec & JBL gear at Woodstock (1969) - Bill Hanley sound

    One of the folks on AK was talking about Hendrix's gear, and someone else posted a link to the Bill Hanley Sound site:

    Here is a teaser ...

    Because most of the audience would be perched high on the hill, Bill decided to build two speaker towers, each with two levels of speaker clusters, one high, (about 70 feet, to reach the middle and top of the hill,) and one much lower for the near audience.


    This geometry sent the music directly to everyone's ears, without causing any backslap (echo,) because all the grass, and soil ...and the bodies of half a million fans, would absorb the sound, eliminating the unwanted resonances and reflections that we have to deal with indoors.


    Bill designed and built his own speaker cabinets of marine plywood. Two "bass bins" were placed under a pair of high frequency horns, totalling about a thousand pounds and standing roughly 6 feet tall, 4 feet deep, and 7 feet wide.


    Each of the four upper level bins was loaded with four 15-inch JBL D130 drivers with a loudness maximizer compressing the sound to improve reach.
    Each of the four lower bins was loaded with four 15-inch JBL D140 drivers for extended bass.


    The high frequencies were handled by model 1003B, 5x2 Altec multicell horns (300Hz. min freq) and Bill's own custom built 2x2 horns, all with Altec 290 compression drivers.

    You can read more here:

    http://www.billhanley.org/projects/1..._15-woodstock/
    2ch: Oppo DV970, JoLida 502CRC, JBL L212, VonSchweikert VR4, Heath Valencias
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    Senior Member BMWCCA's Avatar
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    Thanks for the interesting link. I was there but, as they say, if you remember it you weren't really there!

    D130s, really? I guess that's why it sounded "normal" to me.

    I was sixteen at Woodstock but had grown up with my Dad's 030 system in our house since the age of four. It was really the only sound I know and I inherited the 030 when my dad switched to stereo around 1962. I matched his one with a used system from the local JBL dealer. (Even then folks were resisting big boxes in their living rooms, especially when they had to go to two boxes.) Still have those today though they are currently in retirement.
    ". . . as you have no doubt noticed, no one told the 4345 that it can't work correctly so it does anyway."—Greg Timbers

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    I suspect they were D130F's, since it was well known by that time that the F series were a lot better at surviving outdoor events (compared to the normal D130's).
    Harvey "Hifi" Gerst
    ("Hifi" was my nickname at JBL.)

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    Senior Member Lee in Montreal's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing that link. Great infos in there...

    Lee

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    RIP 2013 Rolf's Avatar
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    I have been told that on the Woodstock festival that they uses 4 (or more) Paragons because this was the speaker that could play very loud. Anyone that can confirm if this is true, or not?
    It's really all about music.
    Rolf

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    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rolf View Post
    I have been told that on the Woodstock festival that they uses 4 (or more) Paragons because this was the speaker that could play very loud. Anyone that can confirm if this is true, or not?
    Very funny April Fools joke!

    You the man, Rolf!!
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    Dang. Amateur speakerdave's Avatar
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    Please check the loudness maximiser link; it doesn't work for me.

    Is that a limiter/compressor to dampen the peaks so the floor level can be raised?
    "Audio is filled with dangerous amateurs." --- Tim de Paravicini

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    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rolf View Post
    I have been told that on the Woodstock festival that they uses 4 (or more) Paragons because this was the speaker that could play very loud. Anyone that can confirm if this is true, or not?
    don't know abt Woodstock * , but have seen pics of a black Paragon that was used in theaters.


    * (I was in a different dimension at that time and wasn't even aware that it happened until long after.)
    "It's definitely worth it to purchase records, people need to know how hip I am"

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    Heather [Senorita member] hjames's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by speakerdave View Post
    Please check the loudness maximiser link; it doesn't work for me.

    Is that a limiter/compressor to dampen the peaks so the floor level can be raised?
    Yep - I crossposted someone else's post for this crowd - that link doesn't work for me either.
    2ch: Oppo DV970, JoLida 502CRC, JBL L212, VonSchweikert VR4, Heath Valencias
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    Senior Member jerry_rig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SEAWOLF97 View Post
    don't know abt Woodstock * , but have seen pics of a black Paragon that was used in theaters.
    Believe it or not, my band once played a show at a theater in Troy, Missouri in 1974 where we borrowed my uncle's Paragon and split it, with one half stage left and the other stage right. It worked! But we only did that once.

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    Anyone watch the Joe Cocker video on Bill Hanley's site. The sub titles are hilarious.

    Nick


    sorry a little off topic there.

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    Interesting. I did not know that any JBL equipment was used for this event. At that time in history, Altec was the dominant player and JBL did not come on strong in the pro sound market until the mid 1970s I believe...

    I'm not sure when the stuff that was able to handle huge power from JBL started comming out (late 1970s??) but the advent of the titanium compression drivers was a low point in my view. The phase out of bass horn cabs was another low point...

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    Senior Member SEAWOLF97's Avatar
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    some confusion on this ?

    1999 - JBL is the official "Sound of Woodstock". First in 1969, then in 1994 and again in 1999.

    http://www.jblpro.com/company/histor...ilstones8.html

    For some reason, it is now gospel on the Internet that JBL's were used at Woodstock, but examination of old pictures shows what are clearly Altec horns and huge 4x15" Altec bass bins. These famous "Woodstock Bins" ended up in South Africa, where they helped cause a revolution. In fact the only JBL iron at Woodstock was in the actual 15" bass drivers inside the big cabinets.

    http://www.ominous-valve.com/altec.html
    "It's definitely worth it to purchase records, people need to know how hip I am"

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    RIP 2013 Rolf's Avatar
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    Yes, I have also seen pictures of the Black Paragon. For some years ago I had a movie from Woodsock (on VHS). It stopped working. I seem to remember two stacks of Paragons, one on each side. But I can have seen wrong. The only Woodstock I have now is the music on MFSL.

    Quote Originally Posted by SEAWOLF97 View Post
    don't know abt Woodstock * , but have seen pics of a black Paragon that was used in theaters.


    * (I was in a different dimension at that time and wasn't even aware that it happened until long after.)
    It's really all about music.
    Rolf

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    I did not attend woodstock but I have seen dozens of acts in the 1970s where Altec bass horn cabs and aluminum diaphram altec compression drivers and horns were used and these were typically driven by Crown transitor amps. .....there was something great about those old systems.....

    unfortunately, those days are gone....

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