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Unusual conversion project - vacuum cleaner bass amp

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  • rjb
    replied


    Originally posted by Leo_Gnardo View Post
    Now that is some fancy contraption
    It's called a "Stroh" (whether made by Stroh or not- in the same way all resonator guitars are "Dobros" and all petroleum jelly is "Vaseline").
    They were used in the early days of phonographic recording.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stroh_violin


    (So you can use all those viola jokes.)
    Q: What's the difference between a violin and a viola?
    A: There is no difference. The violin just looks smaller because the violinist's head is so much bigger.


    And with a projection horn system, sure to annoy neighbors. And maybe the player too.
    Q: Why do bagpipers walk when they play?
    A: To get away from the noise.


    /


    But enough of this frivolity.
    Back to the serious discussion of bass amps mounted in vacuum cleaner housings.

    Leave a comment:


  • Leo_Gnardo
    replied
    Originally posted by rjb View Post
    Luckily, we have a photo.
    Fiddle indeed! Now that is some fancy contraption, more viola size. (So you can use all those viola jokes.) And with a projection horn system, sure to annoy neighbors. And maybe the player too.

    Around that time in Junior High some of my friends and I were trying to perfect the rarely seen Pfschlngg, something we only read about in L'il Abner comics. By coincidence one end of a Pfschlngg does have a resemblance to the horn end of that viola-projector in the photo. Dam' if I can find a picture though. But someone here in Dogpatch-on-Hudson may have a copy of the authentic instrument. I'll have to keep my eyes open at garage sales and community cleanup day. Or in the village museum, if Granny would put her shotgun down & lemme have a look.

    Leave a comment:


  • rjb
    replied


    Originally posted by Leo_Gnardo View Post
    No hoover for me, I was just a young pup sawing away in the second violin section.
    Luckily, we have a photo.
    Click image for larger version

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    Hey, you play violin? Do you play fiddle too?

    /

    Leave a comment:


  • Leo_Gnardo
    replied
    Originally posted by Justin Thomas View Post
    In our house, "hoover" is a verb. As in, "The Dagnabbit (my dog) is hoovering around the dishwasher, looking for fallen manna from Heaven." I hoover around muzak shops looking for broken thermionic valve amps.

    Justin
    Meanwhile in England, they hoover the carpet and drapes.

    Composer Sir Malcolm Arnold wrote a piece of music A Grand, Grand Overture that included some 4 or 5 hoovers, plus a floor polisher. (If his name rings a bell it's because he wrote the music for Bridge on the River Kwai) I know because I played the GGO world premiere @ 1966. No hoover for me, I was just a young pup sawing away in the second violin section. Lucky they didn't trip a circuit breaker or fuse. I remember thinking "this - - - is the future of music? What next?" What next indeed, another performance of that piece in more recent days, 22 Oct 2011 in fact had a rather famous figure handling lead hoover: "Gary Brooker in a performance, for charity, at Charterhouse School, of Sir Malcolm Arnold's eight-minute Grand, Grand Overture in which he will play first hoover. He was originally scheduled to play floor-polisher, rather than one of the three vacuum cleaners, and said '... we know about [hoovers], their pitch and their range; but floor-polisher is not an easy instrument. It's a dark one ... a bit like the serpent.' But in the event he took the lead hoover part." Gary better known as pianist, singer & composer with Procol Harum.

    And in the USA disco days, there was a helluva lot of hoovering going on too. Usually through rolled up $100 bills.

    Now back to the program already in progress - can we get a sample of what the bass vacuum amp sounds like? Anything like - a serpent?

    Leave a comment:


  • Justin Thomas
    replied
    In our house, "hoover" is a verb. As in, "The Dagnabbit (my dog) is hoovering around the dishwasher, looking for fallen manna from Heaven." I hoover around muzak shops looking for broken thermionic valve amps.

    Justin

    Leave a comment:


  • Leo_Gnardo
    replied
    Originally posted by Justin Thomas View Post
    Maybe we should all stick with the British term "thermionic valve" to avoid any future confuddling... Justin
    Also British lingo "hoover" whether it's a Hoover, ElectroLux, Kirby or what.

    "Nothing sucks like an Electrolux!" They actually were quite good.

    Leave a comment:


  • Justin Thomas
    replied
    Well, the old Electrolux canister "piggies" are vacuums, and they <DO> look vaguely tubular, so... I guess it makes sense. Maybe we should all stick with the British term "thermionic valve" to avoid any future confuddling...

    Justin

    Leave a comment:


  • Leo_Gnardo
    replied
    Originally posted by Usable Thought View Post
    back in the 1950s and 1960s, very few vacuum cleaners actually used vacuum tubes. Like none.
    I did get a call one day from a woman who wanted me to fix her vacuum cleaner. No joke though it sounds like the windup to one. Somehow vacuum tube amp repair got translated to vacuum cleaner repair, thanks to those geniuses who concoct free yellow pages ads for the phone co. I gently directed her to the appropriate outfit a couple towns away.

    Leave a comment:


  • ThermionicScott
    replied
    *bump*

    My folks had one of those Filter Queens when I was little (hey, it was old then! ), but this is what came to mind first:

    Leave a comment:


  • tedmich
    replied
    the tone sucks?

    Leave a comment:


  • Dave H
    replied
    That's a shame. I could have done that but I sold my Hoover because it was just gathering dust.

    Leave a comment:


  • Unusual conversion project - vacuum cleaner bass amp

    Not sure it really counts. But it's a fun read. The author maintains a "Lutherie Information Website for builders of stringed musical instruments," which happens to have a lot of extremely useful reference information. While browsing the site I came across this article:

    Bass Ampuum - Conversion of a Vintage Vacuum Cleaner Into a Bass Amplifier

    It's a fun read. He has to import electronics into the cleaner to make it into an amp - after all, even back in the 1950s and 1960s, very few vacuum cleaners actually used vacuum tubes. Like none. Anyway it does qualify as a conversion of sorts, but the challenge is more structural/mechanical/acoustical than electronic. The author is an engineer so he's quite technical in his language & probably anyone who is doing a conversion that involves building new enclosures etc. might find the article of some interest.

    The author is also a fairly funny writer - witness this Q&A from the FAQ page for the site:

    Q: What do you get when you play a New Age song backward? A: Another New Age song.
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