The many wonders of the Canford Audio catalogue

My copy of the 1296-page Canford Audio Catalogue arrived this morning, and it is a delight. Canford sell pro audio gear, particularly broadcast and PA bits, rather than recording studio magic boxes. Their catalogue is the audio equivalent of the McMaster-Carr yellow book. A few of my favourites...
1. Noise Activated Warning Sign Big light-up sign which comes on when sound levels go above a pre-set point. Also comes in a steel waterproof version for festivals. £317.
2. Big Ears Parabolic Reflector It's a huge plastic dish which reflects sound onto a microphone. They were developed for recording on-pitch sound at football games, but are now used by police and emergency services. Comes in a variety of lurid colours. £1,240
3. Five different types of Gaffa Tape [PDF link] The detail is incredible: "Type B: A shiny surface tape, medium density rayon fabric weave... In practice, this tape is virtually identical to type A, but from a different manufacturer. In the early 1990’s, this was the BBC’s standard type issued by their Central Stores." £6-£14.
4. Hardcore cable porn The catalogue has 65 pages of different types of cable (just the cable itself, not leads or sockets or plugs or drums or ties), each with a line-drawn illustration and often a cross-section. Up to £58/metre.
5. Sound Pillow Not sure how this counts as pro audio, but it's a soft pillow with stereo speakers embedded in it. Put it inside your pillow case. Recommended for "actors learning lines, insomniacs, tinnitus sufferers." £25
6. Mole Underground Loudspeaker OK, it's not really underground, but it's a completely weatherproof speaker which can be buried to within 10cm of it's height. £85
7. Level Limited Headphones I really should buy these. A standard pair of Sony 9506 headphones (they have loads of other models available) rewired and hand-calibrated with a special BBC-designed module which limits the sound output to 88dB. £219 (Canford will do it to any pair of headphones for around £80-£140)
8. Patchcord Hanger Don't hang your cables on the coathook on the back of your door! Buy this large wooden knob and hang them on that. "Also suitable as a door knob for very large doors." £38. They also have a very elegant wooden patchcord rack for £79.
9. Time Calculator It's just an ordinary-looking pocket calculator, but it can work in hours, minutes and seconds. Genius! £58
10 Rackmount wine rack Mount four bottles of wine in a 3U 19-inch rack space. £39. (Yes, I've done this one before, but it still makes me smile)
11. Paladin Powerplay A multitool/penknife specifically designed for audio (and data) engineers. Includes a 'spudger'. £82.

The time calculator would be useful. Doing "time math" can be awkward. Too bad it's a bit pricey, though.
Does it still have the "All Terrain Unicycle" for outside broadcast technicians? I always thought that was the result of some poor bastard having to go through all 1279 pages, and then quietly going mad
They installed those sound level warning light things in our university recording studio. Pretty much crippled any recording you tried to do, because to get a decent sound out of most guitar amps they need to be cranked up well past the level that would set the alarm off, and also, if you turned it on, it would create a hum on anything plugged into the same trip of sockets as it was... totally TOTALLY gay. We ended up ripping it off the wall one session, handing it to our building manager telling him 'it fell off'.... :-)
The time calculator could be useful at a much lower price, agreed.

But, what, no buttons for 11 or 12? There's room on there for buttons for 10, 30, 60 ...

BTW, there are a few time calc widgets out there for our computers. I use a Dashboard widget or two, now and then, but I still haven't seen one good one that does exactly what I want when I'm doing time match for audio/video production.

Imagine that beautiful wine rack over a sweet hot psu...mmm, tasty! :-D
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