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Equipping Your Home Recording Studio - A free download from Audio Masterclass

An Introduction to Compression: Basic Compression - A free download from Audio Masterclass

An Introduction to Equalization - A free download from Audio Masterclass

How to find the best tempo (BPM) for your recording

Clipping and compressing a drum recording to achieve an exciting sound texture

Q: Why do I have to record acoustic guitar twice?

7 important microphone types that you should know and the benefits of each

Recordings of speech by newly-starting Audio Masterclass students

Avid and Apple conspire to heist 9 decibels of level

Today you can buy microphones that were used to record Nirvana's 'In Utero'

A great-sounding live vocal mic that you might never have heard of [with video]

Audio demonstrations of distortion produced by compressor plug-ins

The Making of a CD - FREE DOWNLOAD

Finally - conclusive proof that American audio is overrated!

Those yanks have always been good at bigging themselves up. Sometimes however, their bluff is called...

Perhaps I should start with a joke or two about the value of the US dollar these days (two to the UK pound, almost!). But since Audio Masterclass trades in US dollars we wouldn't be seeing the funny side either.

But a couple of days ago I came upon a startling discovery. I was carrying an old loudspeaker cabinet when the back fell off. It's OK, it missed my foot by a European centimeter or so.

It wasn't exactly a new cabinet. It looked home-made, but the sound quality was pleasant and it came in handy for the odd job here and there.

It wasn't a major worry that the back fell off - a couple of new screws would fix that. But curiosity impelled me to take a look inside.

My first thought was horror that the drive units were partially wired with orange cable - orange is normally reserved for mains cable.

But wow... look at the drive units! Classic Goodmans Axiom 301's. I can't imagine how much they would sell for on eBay, but a lot more than they cost, that's for sure. And in real terms too.

Then I took a closer look at the label - 20 watts rating.

Hmm, 20 watts doesn't sound like a lot, but driven by a tube amplifier it can sound a lot more than you expect it to. You could make a lovely little guitar cabinet with these.

But then I looked closer - this is what it says on the label in brackets...

"40 watts U.S.A." !!

Yes, 20 good old-fashioned UK watts are worth 40 US watts. Unlike the dollar, which is merely close, this is an exact 2:1 ratio - one US watt is only worth half a UK watt. Or put it another way, half a UK watt can manage what it takes a whole US watt to do.

Conclusive proof that US audio is overrated!

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By David Mellor Monday December 11, 2006
Online courses from Audio Masterclass