US 3860755 A
A portable amplifier is described which comprises a housing having two pivotally interconnected or hinged housing sections. One housing subsection contains a speaker and electrical input jack or connection for a musical instrument, volume control switch and batteries. The other subsection contains an A.C. converter and amplifier. Because the housing is made in two separate hinged sections, each housing section may be angularly spaced from the other at a predetermined distance of up to 180 DEG . The components just-mentioned are placed within their respective sub-sections with appropriate wiring so that these components and wiring are completely exposed, and available for repair, when the sub-sections are opened to approximately 180 DEG . It is also found, quite unexpectedly, that when opening the housing sections to an angularly spaced condition, a special unusual musical effect, best described as an acoustic wah-wah effect, is provided by a musical instrument which is electrically connected to the amplifier. The angular spacing between the housing subunits may be varied manually or may be readily varied by spring-loading the housing sections such that they are normally urged apart to an optimum angular spacing of between about 5-40 DEG , when the housing sections are unlocked.
Claims available in
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Kimbell et a1.
[ 1 Jan. 14, 1975 NOVEL PORTABLE AMPLIFIER AND SPEAKER  lnventors: Wayne L. Kimbell, 4319 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, Calif. 90029; Richard P. Edlund, 2248 N.
Alvarado St., Los Angeles, Calif. 90039  Filed: Sept. 4, 1973  Appl. N0.: 394,360
Related US. Application Data  Continuation-impart of Ser. No. 233,134, March 9,
Primary ExaminerWi1liam C. Cooper Assistant ExaminerDouglas W. Olms Attorney, Agent, or F irm-L Morley Drucker  ABSTRACT A portable amplifier is described which comprises a housing having two pivotally interconnected or hinged housing sections. One housing subsection contains a speaker and electrical input jack or connection for a musical instrument, volume control switch and batteries. The other subsection contains an AC. converter and amplifier. Because the housing is made in two separate hinged sections, each housing section may be angularly spaced from the other at a predetermined distance of up to 180. The components just-mentioned are placed within their respective sub-sections with appropriate wiring so that these components and wiring are completely exposed, and available for repair, when the sub-sections are opened to approximately 180. It is also found, quite unexpectedly, that when opening the housing sections to an angularly spaced condition, a special unusual musical effect, best described as an acoustic wah-wah effect, is provided by a musical instrument which is electrically connected to the amplifier. The angular spacing between the housing subunits may be varied manually or may be readily varied by spring-loading the housing sections such that they are normally urged apart to an optimum angular spacing of between about 5-40, when the housing sections are unlocked.
5 Claims, 5 Drawing Figures NOVEL PORTABLE AMPLIFIER AND SPEAKER CROSS-REFEREN CE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS This application is a continuation-in-part application of now abandoned Ser. No. 233,134, filed Mar. 9, 1972 and entitled PORTABLE AMPLIFIER AND SPEAKER.
BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a novel form of housing for a portable amplifier and speaker. The housing comprises two pivotally interconnected, or hinged, housing sections, these sections together containing an amplifier speaker, A.C. convertor, batteries, volume control switch and input jack. The sections are hinged along adjacent vertical edges of the housing sections so that the housing sections can be spread up to approximately 180 apart, or can be readily spread apart to any angular distance therebetween. The readily obtainable intermediate angular spacing of the housing sections is important in order to achieve a specific distorted musical effect, best described as a wah-wah effect. The approximately 180 spacing is required so that all compo nents within the housing sections are completely exposed for easy repair, adjustment or replacement.
Furthermore, the mode of pivotal interconnection of the housing sections enables a spring means to be mounted between the housing sections so that they can be urged apart to a predetermined angular spacing, and readily moved from said spacing by a musician during the playing of a musical instrument electrically connected to the portable amplifier and speaker.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION The applicant calls attention to the following prior Letters Patent which is representative of the portable amplifier art:
Neil 3,l26,450 -March 24, I964 Staunton l,953,l35 April 3, 1934 De Boer 2,610,694 September 16, I952 Peevey 3,151,699 October 6, I964 Round 1,904,537 April 18, 1933 French Patent to 32l,l78 April 30, I957 Paillard, S. A.
None of this art discloses an adjustable openability of a self-contained amplfier-speaker unit for the multiple purposes of attaining easy accessability to the electronic components, for compactness, and for producing special musical sound effects.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the amplifier speaker unit in a closed state;
FIG. 2 is another perspective view of the unit of FIG. I viewed from the right hand side thereof, and in a partially opened state;
FIG. 3 is a front view of the unit of FIG. 2 in a completely open state, showing all interior components and their interconnecting wiring;
FIG. 4 is a top plan view of a modified form of the amplifier-speaker unit of FIG. I; and
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a second modified form of the amplifier speaker of FIG. 1.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT O intended for the entertainment of small audiences. The
unit 10 may also be used for recording sessions or concerts due to its unique tonal quality by placing a microphone in proximity to it.
It is a major object of the invention to provide a novel construction of a carrying case or housing which houses the amplifier-speaker unit, so as to bring about a unique musical effect which may be distorted, and which distorted sound may be easily varied.
It is a further object of the invention to provide a very light unit, which is highly compact, and which permits its ready portability.
It is another object of the invention, as shown specifically in FIGS. 13, to provide an amplifier-speaker, system in which all of the components thereof are easily accessible, and in which the electronic components may be modular units for easy replacement or substitution of other sizes of amplifier, speaker, etc.
With reference to the drawings, the amplifierspeaker housing, as illustrated in FIG. 1, preferably comprises a case 10 having dimensions which may vary between approximately 8 to 14 inches in height, 4 to 6 inches in thickness, and 6 to 12 inches in width. The case 10 is divided into two housing sections 12 and 14, and is pivotally interconnected along one side by means of hinges 16. The housing sections may be constructed of wood, plastic, metal, or other conventionally used materials. The handle 18, affixed onto the top of the housing section l4, facilitates the carrying of the unit 10. A speaker grill outlet is disposed in the front of housing section 12. The external portions of a combination on-off and volume switch 27, and input jack 24 are shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 of the drawings, situated below speaker outlet 20. The switch 27 is in the form of a pigs nose, but, of course, other forms of switch 27 can be employed.
In FIG. 2, a snap-opening lock attachment 26, 26a is shown which secures housing sections 12 and 14, together, when required, e.g., as for transportation.
In FIG. 3, the components of the amplifier and speaker unit are shown. In the right-hand housing section 14 are placed the amplifier 29 (which is transistorized) an alternating current convertor 80, and an extension cord 84 and input jack 84a. In the left-hand housing section 12, there is mounted a speaker 30, dry cell batteries 28, and the casing 85 for the volume switch 27 and input jack opening 24. The components 24, 27, 28, 29, 30, and 84 are wired together in a conventional manner. In this connection, it should be noted that if it is not desired to utilize the batteries 28 as the source of electrical power for the speaker 30, amplifier 29, the A.C. converter 80 may be employed. Convertor 80 carries an electrical plug outlet 87 (see FIGS. 3 and 4) and is removable from housing section 14 and can be plugged into a conventional l IOV-l 15V electrical wall outlet carrying alternating current. When the A.C. convertor 80 is employed, its input jack 84a is plugged into amplifier 29 (in opening 88 thereof) so that it will power the amplifier 29 and speaker, and simultaneously cut out the operation of the batteries 28 in a conventional manner. The input jack of the musical instrument to be played is then plugged into electrical input opening 24 of amplifier 29.
A pre-amp circuit can be incorporated into amplifier 29. In this event, an electrical input opening 89 is provided for connection of the pre-amp circuit to an auxiliary amplifier and speaker system to further amplify the portable amplifier and speaker of this invention, if desired. Electrical input openings 88, 89 are preferably provided on the external face of housing section 14. The speaker 30 is located substantially in the upper portion of housing section 14, adding to the compactness of the unit in that the speaker 30 and amplifier 29 will not spatially interfere with one another when the case 10 is closed.
The unique construction as shown in FIGS. l-3 consists primarily in placing the amplifier 29 and speaker 30 in hingedly, or otherwise pivotally, interconnecting sections 12 and 14, respectively, thereby permitting an angularly adjustable spacing of housing sections 12 and 14 and of the components contained therein to any degree between 0 and 180 to thereby achieve subtle tonal effects which arises from varying the amounts of air passing by the rear of the speaker 30. The hinging of sections 12 and 14 occurs along adjacent vertical edges of the said sections thereby permitting the sections 12,14 to be readily angularly spaced from each other. The bottoms of the sections 12, 14 may, if desired, be provided with wheels or glides (not shown) to facilitate movement of the sections with respect to each other, up to about 180 in angular distance.
The relative spacing of the housing sections 12, 14 is found to produce a special and unusual sound quality, best describedas' an acoustic wah-wah effect, which is pleasing to the ear, even though it distorts the regular sound produced by conventional amplifier-speaker systems. This wah-wahf sound is further manipulatd either manually, as shown in FIG. 3, or by a spring-actuated mechanism to. be described inv FIG.4, by simply adjusting the angular spacing or angular position between the two hinged housing sections '12, 14, rapidly or slowly, as the musician s instrument is being played and amplified through the amplifier-speaker unit 10 of this invention.
The input jack opening 24 serves as the insert point for electrically connecting musical instruments, such a guitar, to the amplifier.
The operation of the unit shown in FIGS. l-3 is very simple. The musical instrument (not shown in the drawing) is connected to the unit 10 by way of input jack opening 24. The amplifier 29 (which, for example, has l-l 0 watts of peak power) is switched on, by switch 27 which, in this particular embodiment is formed in the shape of a pigs nose. The two housing sections 12 and 14 are then unlocked and opened and spaced at a distance which will produce the desired sound effect. In order to vary the sound effects, the musician may vary the spacing with one foot as he continues to play the instrument, plugged into input jack 24, with his hands. The source of electrical power may be the batteries 28 on the AC. convertor, as explained previously. If an auxilliary speaker-amplifier system is to be employed then electrical connection to it, is made by electrically connecting such auxilliary system to the pre-amp output 89.
The location of speaker 30 and amplifier 29 in the two different housing sections also contributes compactness, and easier accessibility to the unit 10 for the purposes of replacement of like electronic components, or other components which are built on the same module as the basic components utilized herein. Complete accessibility to all of the electronic components of the unit is provided when the housing sections are angularly spaced approximately 90l80.
The portable-amplifier speaker unit 10 can be carried over the shoulder of the user, if desired, by fastening the ends of a shoulder strap to knobs 90 affixed to the sides of housing section 14.
Referring now to the modification shown in FIG. 4, the arrangement of electronic components within housing units 12a and 14a, and their interrelationship, is the same as shown and described in FIGS. l-3. However, a narrow (e.g., V4-% inch in width) curved, leaf spring is mounted in, or near the top of, the housing 10a with one end thereof, 45a being retained, by conventional fasteners, within housing subunit 12a, and the other end freely abutting the wall of housing subunit 14a, at a point designated by the numeral 52. Numerals 54, 56 designate the same type of snap-fastener lock shown at 26, 26a of FIGS. l-3.
When the housing units 12a-l4a, are unlocked, the normal angular spacing of the housing units is approximately 10 due to the force exerted by spring 45, although it will be understood that the normal angle achieved under the urging of spring 45 may be varied considerably depending upon the strength and configuration of the spring employed. In this modification, the ease with which the angular spacing may be varied from its normal spacing or opening is increased over that form shown in FIGS. 1,-3, and maybe preferred in those instances wherein the musician wishes to vary the spacing quickly and "easily with hisfoot while playing the musical instrument with both hands.
Referring now to the modification shown in FIG. 5, another form of easily adjustably varying the volume of air passing behind therear of the speaker, is shown. In FIG. 5, the housing subunit 10b houses all of theelectronic components heretofore described in FIGS. l-3. In FIG. 5, the speaker is located on the side not shown in the drawing, but isgenerally identified, in dotted line, .by the numeral 30b. The housing 10b is shown subdivided into two pivotally interconnected subunits, as described in FIGS. l-3, but also may be constructed as a single unit having a conventional screw-in fastener rear panel for accessibility (not shown). The significant modification shownin FIG. 5 pertains to the provision of a rear panel 42 hinged, or otherwise pivotally, interconnected, to a rear fopening60 in housing 10b. Panel 42 may be thought of as a housing subsection since it, together with housing 10b, completely contains the amplifier and speaker. The panel 42 may be constructed, for example, of wood, plastic, or metal, and is maintained in a normal angular relationship with respect to housing 10b by coil spring 46. Communication with the interior of the housing 10b and with speaker 30b is achieved, directly throughopening 60 or through a grill cloth 62 covering rear opening 60.
In either case, the angular spacing between the interior of the housing 10b (and speaker 30!; contained therein) and the rear panel 42 may be easily varied by either depressing a flange or pedal 44, mounted to rear panel 42, (thereby enlarging the angular spacing) or by releasing the flange or pedal 44, or forcing panel 42 inwardly from its normal position. In this manner, the amount of air passing or moving through the housing b and behind the speaker 30b may be quickly and easily varied, (by foot, if desired) to create the unique wah-wah effect heretofore described. A conventional tongue lock or fastener 50 is provided to lock rear panel 42 to housing 10b, if conventional amplification is desired.
The spring 45 (in FIG. 4) or spring 46 (FIG. 5) while shown angularly spacing the housing subsections normally apart about 10, could readily have its normal spacing varying between about 5 and 40 under the influence of the spring.
While the foregoing has illustrated and described what is now contemplated to be the best mode of carrying out the invention, the construction is, of course, subject to modification without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For example, clip means for fastening the amplifier-speaker of this invention to the clothing of the musician may be employed. Therefore, it is not desired to restrict the invention to the particular form of construction illustrated and described, but to cover all modifications that may fall within the scope of the appended claims.
1. A portable amplified-speaker for musical instruments and the like comprising:
a housing means consisting of two sections only, each of said two sections having lowermost surface means adapted to rest on ground surface;
an amplifier mounted in one of the sections of said housing means;
a speaker mounted in one of said sections of said housing means with the rear of said speaker facing said other section;
a volume switch mounted on the external surface of said housing means;
a jack opening is provided on said housing means, as
an electrical input point for musical instruments; electrical wiring interconnecting amplifier, speaker,
switch and jack opening;
means for providing electrical power to said amplifier mounted in one of said housing sections; and means for pivotally interconnecting said two sections of said housing means along an adjacent pair of vertical edges of said housing means so as to allow said sections to be angularly spread on said ground surface any variable distance of from 0 to about 180, to thereby allow for an adjustable spacing during operation between the rear of the speakers and the other section of said housing means, said speaker, amplifier and power source being so placed within said housing means so that upon spreading of said sections of said housing means approximately l, all of said speaker, amplifier and power source are exposed for complete access.
2. The portable amplifier and speaker of claim 1 wherein a spring means is mounted between said two sections and urging said sections apart to a predetermined angular spacing of substantially less than 3. The portable amplifier and speaker of claim 1 wherein said housing means are provided with a releasable fastener means to releasably fasten both sections together.
4. The portable amplifier and speaker according to claim 1, in which said housing means is provided with a carrying means attached to its external surface.
5. A portable amplifier and speaker of claim 1 wherein said housing section, which does not contain said speaker, is provided with a panel which is an integral part of the exterior face of said section and which is pivotally connected at its lower end to a part of said section and which, when angularly spaced from said housing section, enables air communication to the rear of said speaker.