1969 Woodstock Sound System

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by bloozetubes, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. bloozetubes

    bloozetubes Member

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    ive been trying to find pics of the 1969 Woodstock power amps used for the sound system and am coming up very short. i need them for a small presentation coming up in 2 weeks. ive heard/read that they were 50 watt Macs. ive researched this thoroughly and found pics of everything else. i figured i should start here. any help will be greatly appreciated.

    Macs as in McIntosh
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2012
  2. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

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    Years ago I worked in a studio where the owner had more tube gear laying around than I've ever seen. He had an amp he claimed with one of the power amps used at Woodstock. Jeez..been a long time. I want to say it was a JBL? It had tubes the size of baseball bats.
     
  3. bloozetubes

    bloozetubes Member

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    thanks guitarjazz, ill check that out
     
  4. bloozetubes

    bloozetubes Member

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    [​IMG]

    i found this, but thats clearly a Crown dead center next to the duct tape
     
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  5. gtrnstuff

    gtrnstuff Member

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    What else was around back then, with any power? Crown solid state, McIntosh tube, Altec?
    By the 70's we had Phase Linear (Bob Carver, right?) and Heil.
     
  6. danonbass

    danonbass Member

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    Hey Bloozetubes. Head over to prosoundweb.com and go to the forums there to ask. There's a Great Group of young and old sound guys over there (some of whom may have actually ran sound at woodtsock)
     
  7. skydog

    skydog Supporting Member

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    Yep, Crown and McIntosh were the big players. And yes, Altec Lansing, Akai, and several others to a lesser degree.
     
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  8. Bob Pollock

    Bob Pollock Supporting Member

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    I think the standard of the day would have been the Crown DC300A.
     
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  9. FlyingVBlues

    FlyingVBlues Gold Supporting Member

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    They mainly used McIntosh mi350 tube amps, some McIntosh transistorized amps, LA-2 limiting amplifiers and Shure mixers. Bill Hanley, who designed the sound system said on his website "We built our Front of House (FOH) mixing station on a platform about 75 feet from the stage so we could see the stage and hear the mix (through the stage-left lower speaker cluster.) On the stage, we used custom microphones I had built from Shure factory parts. They closely resembled what Shure Brothers would soon sell as the popular Shure SM58, the most noticeable difference being that mine had a brushed chrome finish, like the older Shure 'bird cage' mics. Under the stage we had our McIntosh amplifiers, both transistorized and tube models. Transistors were new, and a bit risky, but we needed all the power we could get. In a nearby trailer, we had two eight track Scully recorders catching the show. Those are the tapes everyone knows through the album and for Martin Scorcese's Woodstock movie, which was nominated for an Academy Award."

    "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".
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2012
  10. rokpunk

    rokpunk Member

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    methinks whatever the PA was, it was too small :)

    i know they used dc300's and altec rotary mixers.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. jefesq

    jefesq Gold Supporting Member

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    once again the Alice's Resturant of Forums. You can get an answer to almost anything here, especially if it's musically based
     
  12. bloozetubes

    bloozetubes Member

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    [​IMG]

    this was the 'board' they used, remember those

    thanks bettsdn, ill be checking that out
     
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  13. bloozetubes

    bloozetubes Member

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    [​IMG]
    Woodstock Bins[​IMG]

    closeup of Woodstock bins at another concert months later
     
  14. bloozetubes

    bloozetubes Member

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  15. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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  16. bloozetubes

    bloozetubes Member

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    [​IMG]

    the main reason the Beatles scenes were deleted from the movie was because they were facing the wrong way
     
  17. SteveO

    SteveO Member

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    I always thought they were edited out because the Beatles were wearing winter coats, and everybody else was butt naked...
     
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  18. Geetarpicker

    Geetarpicker Member

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    Looks like McIntosh MI-350 tube amps in the racks, perhaps about 8 of them showing in that pic... Those were 350 watts RMS each, which if they had 10 of them as the story goes it was a fair amount of power for the time. Apparently those MI-350s were about $1100 each at the time, had x8 anode cap 6LQ6 power tubes and a cooling fan, weighed about 125lbs each, and ate up 900 watts each at full tilt. It's known for being perhaps the best tube power amp ever made. http://oestex.com/tubes/Mac/MC-3500.html
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2012
  19. LSchefman

    LSchefman Member

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    The old McIntosh gear was the sh#t back in the day. The funny thing is that when McIntosh came out with their early solid state gear, owners rushed to trade it in and get their hands on the new solid state stuff.

    I bought my first solid state McIntosh gear in maybe 1970...and back then McIntosh used to send a factory team to their dealers twice a year. You could bring your gear in, and the factory guys would check it to see if it performed to spec. They'd put in new tubes for free, etc. It was mainly a sales thing, because the gear ALWAYS performed to spec. A guy would bring in his 1952 McIntosh whatever, and it would be up to spec, and everyone would stand around saying, "wow, it's still up to spec" as though they were surprised.

    The tube owners would offer to trade their monoblock 50 watt tube amps for my solid state stereo amp, and I WISH I had taken them up on it! LOL!

    Though the guy who bought that 1970 amp is a friend, and is still using it today. Says it still sounds amazing! McIntosh!
     
  20. kentronicus

    kentronicus Member

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    I had always heard that DC150s and 300s were what was used for power. I bet those Macs sucked up a lot of juice.

    I had heard or read somewhere that part of that P.A. later wound up as the house system for Ludlow Garage in Cincinati.

    Man, talk about how far we've come.......:bonk
     
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