Author Topic: Spectro Acoustics  (Read 51643 times)

Robin

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Re: Spectro Acoustics
« Reply #30 on: May 12, 2012, 03:37:00 PM »
In my early days of audio, 1971, at Phase Linear, Steve Johnston was Bob Carver's partner. Ken Cox ran the stores, and Greg Johnston wound transformers. In the mid 1980's Steve Johnston started Trace Engineering with his brother Greg, my old partner from Spectro Acoustics Ken Cox and Clyde Yamamoto. Clyde was a technician at Phase Linear. Mike Frost was another technician from Phase Linaer that was part of the original Trace crew. I heard that the name Trace came from Steve's mother.
Robin Gudgel

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Re: Spectro Acoustics
« Reply #31 on: May 23, 2012, 04:10:48 AM »
Hello,

I worked for Spectro Acoustics just prior to their moving over to the west side of the state, and wow, in that short period of time I learned a lot. I was a teenager at the time, and this was my first electronics related job. It was really cool all the people who worked there, they were great to work with, and I remember the times as being some of the greatest of my life. I wonder where many of the people I worked with have ended up over the years. If you are out there, please drop me a note, as I would like to hear from you. I believe I still have hanging up, a black "T"-shirt with the Spectro Acoustics logo on it from my employment.

I can remember the quality of the products that were being produced as being top notch. You were encouraged to do your job to the highest standards - this was the first place, and the only place, that I have worked where you signed off on your work, inside the product. It was all there for everyone to see, your initials. If you were one of the people who had worked there for a while, you were given the opportunity to get a "name", such as "spiderman".

I still own the Spectro Acoustics 200SR power amplifier I purchased while employed with Spectro. I have replaced the LEDs on the front, and the filter caps. But that is pretty much it. It still is working perfectly. I can remember my dad was upset that I purchased the amplifier, but I am not sorry that I purchased it. I have since added two pre-amps, two equalizers, and one FM tuner to the collection. While employed, the FM tuner was one of my favorite pieces of equipment to do assembly work on.

The great people at Spectro taught me the importance of teamwork, craftsmanship, and pride in a job well done.

Also, I can remember the president of the company coming up to me and telling me that anytime I wanted, I could stop by his office and talk to him. Whatever was on my mind. How many companies will let you do that today? Wow.



Robin

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Re: Spectro Acoustics
« Reply #32 on: May 23, 2012, 03:22:23 PM »
Hey, is this Phil? I think Spiderman was Phil? Your wife worked at Spectro too if this is Phil.
I still go to lunch with Ken Cox once in a while. Bobby works here at MidNite. I think there is a history of the Northwest inverter companies at Sierra Solar. Go to their website and see if you can find it. There will be a picture of the Richland crew on it.
Let me know if I guessed correctly?
Robin Gudgel

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Re: Spectro Acoustics
« Reply #33 on: May 24, 2012, 03:44:13 AM »
Robin,

No, this is Brian Dierks. I vaguely remember Phil, I think. I was with Spectro in Richland in 1979. I worked parts stuffing, power amp assembly, tuner assembly, and also made wire assemblies and other sub-assemblies. I usually was stationed on a bench, I believe a row off of the parts stuffing stations. I did not make the move to the west side, and who knows where I would be now if I had. If memory serves me correctly, Lyle was my supervisor. I believe one of the girls that worked assembly was doing assembly work here in the Tri-Cities a while back. I was working next door, to an electronics fabrication facility. That was 20 years ago. Wow, time flies.


Robin

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Re: Spectro Acoustics
« Reply #34 on: June 29, 2012, 01:55:40 AM »
Brian, were you part of the crowd that went out behind the shop at break and lunch time to play vollyball?
Boy, we sure did a lot of stuff tgether back then. Baseball, beer, chasing girls......oh those were the days.
Robin Gudgel

SpectroAcousticsFan

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Re: Spectro Acoustics
« Reply #35 on: August 20, 2012, 08:10:44 PM »
Hey Guys! I found this thread and forum through Google. I am the proud owner of a
217R Preamp Serial #0330
210R EQ Serial #0600
200R Power Amp Serial #0212

I still use this system to this day with 2x Kef 104aB Speakers. Actually looking for new speakers for her! Any info about SA you can provide would be awesome.

Thanks!

boB

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Re: Spectro Acoustics
« Reply #36 on: August 20, 2012, 09:01:17 PM »
Hey  SpectroAcousticsFan  !!

Good to see you here !

If you read some of Robin's posts, he talks some about our time way back in the 1970s at SA.

I was there too.  We have a 210 EQ hooked up to our paging system here at MidNite Solar.

Hopefully I can post some pictures from back then here on the web site too.

boB
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Robin

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Re: Spectro Acoustics
« Reply #37 on: August 20, 2012, 11:52:05 PM »
Here are a few pictures of the good old days when Bob and I were young enough to smoke, drink and chase women.
More on the next post
Robin Gudgel

Robin

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Re: Spectro Acoustics
« Reply #38 on: August 21, 2012, 12:00:27 AM »
Bob in the late 70's
Bob was our chief engineer at Spectro. We were just kids back then. We didn't make a lot of money, but we knew how to design cool stuff and have fun at it. Kind of like now?

Here is a link to the history of the Northwest inverter companies. I noticed it hard to find elsewhere, so I updated it a bit and put it on the MidNite Website.
http://midnitesolar.com/pages/nwHistory/history.php

Bob mentioned the 210R on our paging system. We also have a 217R and a one of a kind Spectro amp.
I have as full rack of Spectro stuff in my office. One of these days I gotta hook it up.
Robin Gudgel

Robin

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Re: Spectro Acoustics
« Reply #39 on: August 21, 2012, 12:21:44 AM »
OK, now for another dumb Robin at Spectro story......
Back then (1978) I was into black powder guns. We went to the Columbia river with a hunk of Styrofoam and an old style preamplifier. We would float the preamp on the river and try to hit it with my 45 caliber Kentucky rifle. I don't think we were ever able to sink it.
I also had a 69 caliber flint lock pistol. This is a really big gun! I had never fired it, but was showing it off after hours to a couple of constyruction workers that were working on our building. One of the guys wanted to fire it. I didn't have my powder measuring tool with me, but I had everything else, so I did load it up. This construction worker was an annoying sort of guy and partially because of that and partially because we were all pretty liquered up, I put lots of powder in it. I am guessing about 150 grams. The normal load should have been 50. I did not have a flint, so as he was holding the gun (pointed at a stanless steel sink out behind the circuit board shop next door), I was touching matches to the flash pan. Three matches were lit and three went out. The construction worker said "your turn". Oh crap!!!
Robin Gudgel

Robin

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Re: Spectro Acoustics
« Reply #40 on: August 21, 2012, 12:23:47 AM »
I had not expected this, and I knew the gun was going to kick like a mule. Well it turns out that between the beer and the need to not look chicken, I agreed to hold the gun and have him light the match. I was holding the pistol with both hands as hard as I could. Once again three matches were lit and then went out without ever lighting the powder in the flash pan. I was relieved because it was his turn again. He said, just one more. Crap. this one lit! The gun flew out of my hands and landed about 20 feet behind me. The ram rod pulled out of the gun and landed 20 feet behind the gun. A welt the size of a golf ball quickly developed on my hand and required an immediate trip to the emergency room. Two things happened from this episode. I received a bill the next day for a hole in the sink from the circuit board company. (1" hole front and back) and I built a case to display my broken gun in. The stock was cracked in 7 places. I still have this gun today, but it has never been fired since that day.
Robin Gudgel

Robin

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Re: Spectro Acoustics
« Reply #41 on: August 21, 2012, 12:34:39 AM »
One more quick story. Earlier in this thread I mentioned the broken wrist episode. Well Bob's girlfriend and I were able to get all the gear redesigned cosmetically. We took it all to CES in Chicago. Now, normally we would sell only a couple thousand dollars of gear at a show. dealers want to window shop, not purchase. The year we brought the new redesigned stuff we sold $300,000.00. Our cool brochures were part of the success there too. I will photograph and put some of them here. They were the best in the industry at the time.
The picture may have been from that CES show.
Robin Gudgel

boB

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Re: Spectro Acoustics
« Reply #42 on: August 21, 2012, 01:09:38 AM »

Robin, Looks like you have one of those MXR yoyos in your hand at the CES booth item you are looking at.

boB
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Robin

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Re: Spectro Acoustics
« Reply #43 on: August 21, 2012, 01:27:39 AM »
I think I still have that yoyo somewhere? Those yoyo's were everywhere that year. Our friendly competitor, MXR gave them out. I believe they still owe me $23.00 for a bar bill they stiffed me for at that show.
Robin Gudgel

Vic

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Re: Spectro Acoustics
« Reply #44 on: August 28, 2012, 01:42:21 PM »
What Fun!  Thanks for adding some detail to the SA story.

Never did own any SA stuff,  the first stereo I had was an AR Amp and speakers and a Dual TT.   The SA revolution came a bit later.

Still do have a Carver receiver that dates from about 1980 -- works fine.  Thanks again,  hope t see more.  Vic
Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548s, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH X2@48V, 11.1 KW STC PV, 3X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  Thanks MN for Great Products/Service/Support!