The Very First Use of the L1Â® Idea in an Ensemble
This photo shows the very first use of the L1 approach as originally intended. It shows The Cliff Henricksen Band with four of the early prototypes. More on these first prototypes: First Research Prototype
At this point, Cliff and Ken were doing this as a side project, within their overall license as engineers to do things they thought would be of some as-of-yet-unseen value in the world.
This was the system’s maiden voyage for an amplified ensemble. Cliff's wife Bonnie probably took the photo. Buddy MacLellan played drums, Jeff Majeau played his Renaissance fretless bass and Bob Lituri played his PRS, probably using his Peavey Ultra 120 amp and some kind of “Power Soak” thing to drop the voltage, and then into the L1 prototype.
Jeff used a Peavey bass amp head that was bi-ampable, so he used it that way with the Peavey amp driving his 15” cab and an external amp driving the L1 prototype. Bobby and Cliff sang. Shure Beta58 mics were used with a Mackie mixer. The kick drum and snare were amplified and a US Sound dual 18” cab and Bose 1800 amp were used for the low end.
It was for an annual Spring event in Framingham called “Greenup Day”, where volunteers run around cleaning up the Sudbury river and local parks. It culminates in a barbecue and concert for the participants. This particular year it was sunny and warm and beautiful. The band played on a concrete pad right next to the lovely and large Farm Pond.
The opening act was The Jones Brothers, a very solid R&B ensemble. They went on first, and so they were really the first-ever band to use the system. That in itself was a curiosity. They looked at the big grey prototypes with bewilderment, probably thinking “where’s the PA, and what is this?”. Cliff got them plugged in, handed the lead singer the mic and said “try it”. That’s all it took. They all heard it right away, said “it’s good; let’s play” and simply went on and did their show. They loved it. There were little kids and their moms sitting in the grass close to the band. No one was recoiling or fleeing in horror of the usual high sound levels. Cliff started calling the prototype “the world’s friendliest loudspeaker”.