40 years of BLACK BOX - a Brief History
Court Acoustics Ltd was founded by Stephen Court in the early seventies when pro audio expanded out of the
recording studios onto the stage for live performances. Court specialised in studio monitoring - the most critical
application of a loudspeaker system, where qualities like definition, clarity, low distortion and transient response are all
important, yet none of these qualities ever appear in loudspeaker specifications. Court had worked at Abbey Road Studios,
CTS De Lane Lea, Polydor Studios and many major recording studios in the UK and Europe. In all these studios, producers, musicians and engineers
endeavoured to achieve the ultimate in sound quality.
The question constantly asked by studio clients, why was the sound quality attained in the recording
studio so good compared with the artist's sound on stage? The answer was simple. The studio had expensive equipment,
controlled acoustics and trained engineers. The stage had none of these. Slowly, studio gear started to be used on the road,
with off stage mixers and trained FOH engineers at the controls. The famous Isle of Wight festival in 1970 used stacks of
WEM guitar speakers for the PA, and in 1972, Court took his studio gear from Advision Studios, onto the stage for the first
time for studio clients, Head Hands & Feet at the London Marquee Club, with legendary artists Albert Lee, Chas Hodges and
Tony Colton. A few months later Strawberry Studios took virtually a complete studio with the same speakers into the Hammersmith
Odeon for their support band - Hot Legs, who later changed their name to 10cc.
In 1968, when working for the BBC, Court recorded The Who at the London Coliseum. The Who's
PA fitted into a small van, and the entire rig cost less than one decent studio microphone.
Just a few years later, Emerson Lake & Palmer went on tour with 36 tons of sound and staging
equipment - a revolution had occurred when pro audio came into the live performance industry
BLACK BOX II is made
in Britain and all its components are made within Europe.