apartment 42 productions

_ musical ears

New guy on the block

The Decca Recording Company acquired a phenomenal reputation over their long history in recorded music. The technical quality of their output was always to high standards, largely because of the calibre of their recording engineers, but also because the organisation tended to build or develop their own equipment when commercial alternatives were deemed unsatisfactory in some way. Don’t forget, this was the company that developed the famous Decca Tree microphone arrangement that has been a stalwart of classical recording engineers around the world for half a century. … — the Broadhurst Gardens [line of] microphone preamplifiers — share a similar lineage.

Broadhurst Gardens?

For those in the know, Broadhurst Gardens in West Hampstead was the location of Decca’s London headquarters through the ’60s and ’70s, before their relocation to new premises on Belsize Road. Mick Hinton joined Decca in 1969 and worked in these facilities as a maintenance and design engineer, developing four-channel mic preamps that are apparently still in use by the former Decca engineers at Classic Sound.

Operating now as DAV Electronics (the DAV standing for Digital, Audio, Visual), Mick Hinton has developed an interesting and cost-effective line of high-quality audio products, all hand-built and designed to sound both ‚big‘ and quiet, in the Decca tradition. The BG1 is said to be derived from Decca circuits dating back to the late ’70s, benefiting from the careful development afforded to Decca’s specialist electronic designs. The BG1 preamp is accompanied in the DAV catalogue by a sister preamp, the imaginatively named Broadhurst Gardens Number Two. This is a four-channel rackmount version, providing very similar facilities…

DAV Electronics have already built a decent reputation for themselves, listing amongst their clients Whitfield Street Studios, The Decca Recording Company, Townhouse Studios, Metropolis Studios, Master Room and many other prestigious recording studios and production facilities.

—Hugh Robjohns, Sond on Sound

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