In 1977, rental company Superior Sound, operated by Brock Jabara and Jim Pearce, had already logged eight years in the concert sound business, providing sound for Aretha Franklin, The Bee Gees, Asleep at the Wheel, Janis Joplin, Sly and the Family Stone, Jean Luc Ponty, James Brown, and countless others. When Superior Sound outfitted a show, they supplied the equipment and the personnel. If something wasn’t right, Brock and Jim heard about it then and there, they were the ones manning the board.
The challenge was to produce a monitor for noted side man Mike Finnigan, (Hendrix, CSNY) that could be heard above any surrounding noise. During a mid-tour break, Brock asked speaker builder Larry Schneider, at Superior Sound’s Wichita shop, to cram 5-inch drivers four abreast in an enclosure that could fit atop a keyboard or microphone (mic) stand.
Back on tour, one channel, 350 watts, of a Phase Linear 700, was allotted to the skinny plywood cabinet that rested about three feet from Finnigan’s face. Midway through the first set, he paused to ask, “Could you please turn down the monitor?!”
There were challenges – like the time one of the prototypes caught fire – as in actually burst into flames! But It was obvious that with some refinement the new products could fill a long standing void in the marketplace. Superior Sound began to metamorphose from speaker rental company to speaker manufacturing company, and Galaxy Audio was born.
Performance and quality were considerably enhanced when Galaxy began manufacturing their own drivers. Later, ferro-fluid cooling resulted in an increase in the 5-inch driver’s power handling capability from an already impressive 60 watts to 100 watts. That made it possible for each 3.5 kilo HOT SPOT to easily accommodate 200 watts.
The second generation HOT SPOTS were reinforced with Fiberglass, which made them more airtight, infinitely stronger. After Fiberglass came molded ABS plastic and the trapezoidal shape that gives the present day HOT SPOT its distinctive profile.
Today more than 275,000 HOT SPOTs are in use worldwide.
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