Tracker

1970’s

The “Stanhope Street” Years

The explosion of musical talent in 1960’s Beatlemania Britain also gave rise to a nascent electronic musical instrument industry and as the swinging sixties gave way to the rather less swinging but musically more progressive 1970’s a company called MIDAS amplification was formed in London by Jeff Byers and Charles Brooke, manufacturing transistorised guitar amplifiers and speaker cabinets.

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The location was extremely fortuitous as many PA companies visiting Martin Audio would then go next door to see what MIDAS was working on. The two co-located companies became synonymous in the minds of many live sound customers and the calibrated MIDAS / Martin modular PA systems became a regular fixture on concert tours in the 1970’s, with Martin Audio responsible for the loudspeaker cabintes, whilst MIDAS manufactured the electronics.

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A shift in the company’s business took place a couple of years later as Jeff was inspired to look at how the primitive concert sound equipment of the day could be improved upon and set out to create a complete modular PA system including speakers, amplifiers and mixers. This system included what can be regarded as the very first MIDAS console, a powered mixer manufactured in Jeff’s in West Hampstead.

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As the company grew, manufacturing moved out of Jeff’s flat into a small building in Stanhope Street near London’s Euston Station in 1972, which just happened to be next to already-established speaker manufacturer Martin Audio.