Buying gear from the Radiophonic Workshop

Loscha writes: "While not as cool as the Kraftwerk Vocoder, a jackfield from the BBC Radiophonic Workshop is still very neat..." Quite right: eBay item #120003732436 is a jackfield/patchbay which was apparently used in the legendary workshop before being shipped to Australia in the luggage of a former BBC engineer. As the vendor rightly says: "I can say, unashamedly, This is the best jackfield in the entire world. Period. You will never see anything like this again in your entire life." Unfortunately, you've just missed the chance to have something to plug it into. eBay item #250001734656 was a AKG BX20 spring reverb unit, "As used in the BBC Radiophonic Workshop", although it's not totally clear if that was this actual unit, or just the model. Either way, it went for a not unreasonable £470.
On the subject of that Kraftwerk vocoder: The auction page has had 47,000 hits with a $7,600 high bid, and still two days to go. The Music Thing effect strikes again...

Well, having soldered or punchblocked many thousands of jackfield connections, I can safely say that once you are up into serious pro audio gear, "the best jackfield in the world" is a silly concept.
Old broadcast facilities are full [full] of stuff like this.
If the price stays down though somebody could get a good deal.
Also, (if you aren't offended by some history, ha ha), fine old massive full-of-brass-and-bakelite jackfields are the legacy of early 20th Century telephone technology. [Like those old pictures of huge rooms with 100's of women wearing headsets, plugging away, connecting the world.]
They were the logical thing to do a reconfigurable I/O for a console.
When digital processing appeared, the industry predicted the diappearance of the jackfield in favour of the routing switcher, but this did not happen in many applications because jackfields just work so well; they are more fun than a router, and they give you a visible map of any departure from default mode.
The original cords that went with those units were probably gorgeousp; colourful cloth-covered with heavy sleeve-covered machined brass connectors, and business ends that looked like the decor in a 20's Hollywood theatre.
OK, I take that back about silly.
that's a seriously good point, why doesnt anybody make cables coated with that cool furry fabric stuff that they had in the bakelite era? with nice brass connectors?
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