Bo Hansén

about me and my company

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My first young years

As a little child, I was very fascinated about technical things. If I got something that could be used as a screwdriver, then everything fell appart that stuck with screws in my childhood home.
When I got slightly older, I became curious about what was inside the radio, record player, phone, vacum cleaner and similar exiting divices, many time to my parents dismay.
When I was 9-10 years old, my parents understood my interest in electronic things, and my dad came home with broken radio sets he got from the radio shop. I picket them apart and played with them.
Instead of toys that other children wished for Christmas and birthday presents, I wanted tools and soldering iron, and of course more broken radios.

Around 1962 I was lucky as a young boy to meet my first mentor Herbert "Hubbe" Forsblom. He had a radio & TV store with a service workshop in the neighborhood where I lived.
Herbert also built 50-150 watts guitar/PA amps with speaker boxes containing four or six Philips AD5200M 12" speakers, which made him very popular among the pop-bands in the Gothenburg area in the 1960s.
To name a few bands like The Spotnicks, (when Bo Winberg didn't have time to build himself) The Flashman, The Spaceman, The Spaces, The Flintstones/Jackpots, The Streaples, Apaches, Tages/Blonds.
It was a very useful and educational time for me at this young age to be able to watch and help him with simpler things as he built these amplifiers and speaker equipment. I´m very grateful for this time and remember it with great happiness.
Many musicans I met during this time have been my customers up to day 50 years later.

My first experience in the audio business goes all the way back to 1964 when I put together my first mixer at the age of thirteen year old.
The mixer hade three microphone inputs with volume controls and one mono output. It was build with AC151 germanium transistors and based on an article in a electronics magazine.
I sold this mixer to typical (in those days) guitar pop bands as they wanted to get more inputs on a small amplifier.
I also rebuilt old radios to guitar amps for this type of bands. These where old big AM tube radios with 8" speakers. Some of them had more speakers and push-pull amps up to 10 watts with some luck.
The following years I built speaker boxes with 10" and 12" speakers for local pop bands and I also started making my own
50 watt tube amps mostlyfrom Mullard and Dynaco circuit examples. They were more or less successful, but in the end managed well.

1967 when I was sixteen years old I started my first company "Orkesterservice Hansén & Co" 
together with two older friends. We continued to build guitar and PA amps, mostly with tube circuits.
We also
began to sett up a recording studio based on an Ampex 960, Revox G36 and a Tandberg 64.
Thy Were all "home tape recorders" but I modified them to 15 inch speed.
The console was a homebuilt tube mixer in mono with six microphone inputs having volume, bass, treble and echo send controls on each channel.
This mixer was connected to a small Uher A122 five channel stereo mixer. By doing so I had the opportunity to pan the mic mixer with the only input that had a pan-pot and still  have four (two left and two right) flat line inputs for other things.
The outboard equipments was a Gibbs spring reverb unit in combination with a Dynacord S62 tape echo machine,
one Telefunken M221 condenser mic, an AKG D12 a Beyer M260, Sennheiser MD421 and Shure 545 dynamic types.
The monitors were a pair of
Wharfedale Dovedale speakers and homebuilt copies of Dynaco mark-3 power amps.
The studio was housed in an old warehouse in central Gothenburg that would later be demolished to make room for a new shopping centre.
The acoustics were made with lardge "egg cartons" glued to the walls and gave a little absortion in the upper register,
but it looked cooler than just curtains.

A few years later around 1969 we had to move from the studio in the warehouse because it would be demolished.
We now opened a small music store and I also started repairing sound systems, electric organs and instruments for musicans and music stores.
Discotheque started to become big in Gothenburg at this time, so I also did disco equipment and installations.
In connection with this I also became involved in developing early music controlled light systems "color light organs" together with Sture Rönnbäck, who later started AVAB, a company that became world famous for theater lighting systems.

Now we are in the 1970s, when I have got a driving license and a car and everything is spinning like never before.

1970s my most crative time

For various reasons, the former company and partnership hade changed and I now stood on my own.
My company now was BH-Ljud (Bo Hansén Ljudteknik) and I hade completely switched ower to reparing audio equipment for 
musicans and music stores

The time was the beginning of Sweden's hejday for dance bands and the need for lardge PA system was constantly increasing.
To meet the need for lardge speakers, I together with a handy friend build a trial series of 20 copies of Altec A7 "Voice of the Theatre". 
The speakers were equiped with 511B treble horns, more powerfull 15" bass speakers, custom cross-over filter, and built in tour sutiable cabinet.
These speaker systems become very popular with the dance bands so there were a lot more of them manufactured, and I also built them in other versions for cinemas and discotheque.
We also performed some spectacular rentals with these speaker systems for airplane and parachuting showcasing at lardge airfields.

At this time, I also had the great fortune to meet my second mentor, Per Thuresson who ran his company Audex, producing guitar and PA- amplifiers.
I have Per to tank for the most I know about solidstate amplifier design. Per was a very talent designer who did not copy other manufacturers products as he did everything from the ground and from his own head. Unfortunately this is quite unusal in our industry.
We started a long-term partnership where we also had our companies in the same house. We had an own big house that we rented together and where I also lived.
In addition to my own business, I helped Audex develop new products such as mixing consoles, lardge speaker systems and much more.
I was also involved in the production of amplifiers regarding adjustments and final tests.

In the mid 1970s, I also started working as a recording engineer again, often as stand-in at some of studios in Gothenburg.
These where also studios where I normally did maintenance on the equipment.
I also built my own studio in the basement of the house where I had the company. I had the control room in the second floor in the apartment where I lived.
My equipment was a home-built solid state mixing console, Scully 8 track and 2 track tape recorders, Urei 1176 limiters, Master Room reverb, Neumann tube microphones and much more.
This was a time of many creative design ideas, I built lots of microphone preamps, equalizers, DI-boxes, and other recording equipment, including my "Active DI-box 1975" which I released on the internet in 2004 as a DIY project. It has been built in masses around the world since then.

In 1976 I met Åke Eldsäter when I did equipment maintenance in Bohus Grammofon Studio in Kungälv town just outside Gothenburg.
Åke had recently started there as a recording engineer. We didn't know each other before because he had previously moved here from Stockholm where he had worket at Metronome Studio.
I also started as a recordning engineer in this studio to relive Åke sometimes when there was a lot to do.
We become good friends and because he partly worket with acoustics, we offered our services in both acoustics and electronics for the entire recording industry in Sweden.
In the late 1970s when Bohus Grammofon built the new large studio. We were both very involved in this as well, but it was designed by Tom Hidley, Westlake Audio USA.

I and Åke got more and more studio service and installation projects, so we also sold a lot of equipment on a consultant basis. This led us to talk about starting a company together.


1980s the Stage & Studio AB epoch

Now it was time for me and Åke Eldsäter to start our company Stage & Studio AB. In connection with that, I decided that my own company would rest for a while. We hade our first office in my apartment, actually in the room where I previously had the control room for my studio.
Since both of us had our own area of expertise, i.e. me in audio electronics and Åke in studio acoustics, then these became our areas of responsibility in the company, but we were both in purchasing and sales.

Our first own product agency was Trident mixing consoles and the first console we placed here in Sweden was a Series-80 to Michael B. Tretow (ABBA's recording engineer) private studio.
Shortly thereafter, we ware fortunate to receive an order from the LRAB Swedish Local Radio Corparation to deliver 30 of custom-built Series-80 ”LRAB” consoles to their radio stations throughout the country.

We also started traveling around the world at various exhibitions such as AES, APRS, Musikmesse in Frankfurt and others to keep us updated as well to find interesting products to represent in Sweden.
After a few years we had a lot of nice products in our range, brands like Accessit, Alice, Atlas, Bandive, Bel, Echoplate, EMO, Great British Spring, Itam, Mosses&Mitchel, Nexo, Omnicraft, Seck, Susan Blue, Trident and a lot more.
Another specialty we had was importing used equipment from UK, such as Amek, MCI, Neve,Trident consoles which we renovated, rebuild and resold, likewise with multitrack tape recordres.

In addition to selling audio equipment, we had an exciting idea to start sound engineering training course, this was now a very suitable time because home and budget studios were popping up like mushrooms from the earth in the early 80s.
We arranged our first course in a newly built studio we made for a client, after this the interest and demand became great and we now started this activity seriously as part of our company.
During this time, we moved to larger premises and expanded with an employed person Ms. Linda Hjertberg, she had just completed a two year professional sound engineering course in USA.
This suited us well as we now needed knowledgeable help with both purchasing, sales and course activities.

Åke and I also traveled to some courses and workshops around the world.
A memorable acoustics course was in Dallas USA where Don and Carolyn Davis had the ”SynAudCon LEDE Workshop” in December 1983.
Many of our great acousticians from the USA and Europe were there to participate and meet.
An interesting event this time was when Peter D’Antonio with his newly started company ”RPG Diffusor Systems Inc” showed for the first time ever his new development of Manfred Schroeder previous Diffusor theories.
This became one of our time’s invaluable building blocks in studio acoustics, which we at Stage & Studio started using as early as 1984 in our studio projects.

Me and my colleague Åke ran this company until 1990 when we decided to go our separate ways.
But during this time we had built a number of studios around Sweden and also sold, for example, close to 50 Trident mixing consoles, and we also trained around 700 students in sound technology and recording studio knowledge.



1990s reorganization, new forces and Hansén Audio

Now I’m on my own again, and changing the name of my old company BH-Ljud to Hansén Audio, which sounds more understandable on the international marked.

After 10 years with Stage & Studio AB where iI was mostly busy with purchasing, sales and other administrative tasks, I was eager to sit down at the workbench and make designs and build sound equipment again.
The first thing I grabbet was a sophisticated tube DI-Box design that I had already constructed in the 1980s but which was never finished.
I now made 10 hand-built copies of this, and were sold to number of studios here in Sweden.
After these, there were a lot of customized microphone preamps and equalizers built with discrete transistor electronics, and then there were more and more special orders of various kinds.

Now I also got a request to build a post-production studio for ”Mr, Music” who were big on releases in various changers of compilation cassettes and CDs.
There were a number of editions of this post-production studio over the coming years when Mr. Music moved to larger property for a few times.
In the middle of 1990, I was given an assignment to help build up the sound department at a TV company ”GE Television AB” (now owned by Warner Bros.) which, among other things, produced a mega-large lottery TV show called ”Bingo-Lotto”
The property of over 1.000 square meters contains three TV-studios, several video and sound control rooms and many editing rooms,
Over the coming years, I was also involved in rebuilding and updating the technology a few times, from analog to digital mixing consoles and equipment.



The 20th Century, the broadcast years and then back to the roots

We have now passed the turn of the millennium, and I have had a relapse into disco installation that I was doing somewhat in the late 1960s.
On Gothenburg’s night club street Avenyn, I built for some restaurant owners some discotheques, live stages and karaoke bars complete with sound, light and smoke.
It was interesting to do this in modern times with high tech sound and lighting equipments, where I used for example Rodec, FormulaSound, Soundcraft, Denon, Urei, Lab JBL and Meyer sound system.
And of course all moving light effects from the larger quality manufacturers.

In addition to this detour in the entertainment industry, there was a lot more work with broadcast equipment and installation, but there were also some new recording studios that I am involved in as consultant and installer.

Another odd but interesting projekt I did was to build two Amek Angela 24 input mixing console together to one 48 inputs console.
This was a huge job, as both frames were emptied of their contents, i.e. motherboard cables, patch bays, connectors and everything.
The frames were then spliced together mechanically, the motherboards were sawn into smaller sections so that we could make our own placement of the different types of modules, a new ground system with copper bar from end to end in the frame and also a new voltage rails distribution system was made.
Completely new cabling between the motherboard to the extended patchbay section and then to the Edac connectors was done with 1,000 meters of new balanced installation cable
All modules were rebuilt in many ways, for example to get important inputs and outputs balanced, and of course renovated and re-capped.
In addition, the console was equipped with a new power supply, connector panel VU-bridge, woodwork and arm pad.
To be able to hear this enormously wide-ranging work, I had the help of my friend Ljupce Mitrowski, who is very good and careful with cabling and soldering.

I now also got an idea to import Chinese-made copies of large-membrane condenser microphones, where manufacturing at this time had begun to spread in China.
My idea was to find a small factory that made a microphone with a nice and mechanically good and stable housing, and take out the contents and then build in my own electronics.
After buying samples from four manufacturers, I decided one microphone from a small factory in the Goandgong area in the southern coast of China, unlike the others who were in Shanghai.
This was a large-diaphragm cardioid microphone with a body that had a sturdy molded inner frame and outer casing joined by a threaded ring at the bottom.
The only downside was that it looked like a Shure KSM32, but unfortunately there was nothing to be done about this.
I ordered 50 pieces with the name Hansén Audio HCM-101, including elastic suspension and case.
It turned out that this one-sided cardioid 1 inch capsule was very good, so I kept it, but the rest of the electronics was rebuilt for the most part.
Modified JFET capsule front end amp, and also a newly designed driver amp for the output transformer, as well as an added voltage regulator.
The result was very good, and the HCM-101 received good marks in some Swedish music magazines, where it was compared with the Neuman TLM-103, among others.
All the 50 copies were quickly sold, but I never made any more of these, as in the years just after that a lot of China microphones came out on the maknad with made up names, so after this my interest in continuing to rebuild China microphones with my name stopped.

In the middle of the 2000s, I started to get tired of the recording industry, there were too many digital home studios and almost no real suitable studios left here in Gothenburg and the surrounding area, and I refused to repair digital audio interfaces and outboard equipments with surface-mounted components.
I decided to resume the source of income I had in the 1960s/70s which was repairing guitar amplifiers and other musician's equipment.
I have calculated that between 2004 and until my retirement, there were about 4,000 guitar and bass amplifiers that have been on my workbench.

I also continued to repair and renovate studio microphones of all ages brands and types, which throughout my years has been a great interest of mine.


2016 finally retirement

Now at the age of 65, it is time for me and my company Hansén Audio to retire, and we did this in January 2016 after serving the music, entertainment, recording and broadcast industry for 55 years.

Although I could continue to work for another 20 years if I remain healthy and sane, I have decided to stop working officially in the public service.
The reason for this is that I need time for my own projects, which I have never had time for in all my active professional life.
I want to have time and peace and quiet to realize all my thoughts and ideas that I have had in my head all these years, my own constructions in pro-audio gear such as studio microphones, preamps, equalizers and dynamics.
But also make time to research the history of audio electronics, for example who were the creators of our famous old devices, when was it, and what was the reason, and much more.
I also want to have more time to update my website, and give my visitors more DIY projects, technical tips and advice as well as history in pro-audio technology and equipment.

For my great interest and pleasure, I still do some microphone repairs and renovation, but with well-selected brands, type, condition and its owner, and of course when I have time and desire.

This last part of my biography story will be left open and unfinished, so I will add more if something interesting happens in the future.

Many thanks for taking the time to read and share my life.

All the best and greetings from

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My workshops over the years

click images to enlarge

An early workshop but not the first.
There were three before from the 1960s.

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Workshop at Stage & Studio AB, my companion Åke Eldsäter standing.

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The workshop just moved in to new premises, clean and tidy, while it lasted.

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Now the workshop is getting back to normal, stuff has taken up most of the wall and floor space.

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Before I Closed and moved my workshop.
It wasn't so clean and modest with stuff anymore.

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