Monday, November 5, 2012

ARP Soloist promo/datasheet, early 70s

ARP Soloist one page two-sided promo/datasheet from the early 70s,

I don't usually come across promo/datasheets in such good condition. Usually at least the edges are tattered and torn a bit, and there is at least one Corn Flakes stain splattered by a musician that picked up the sheet from their local instrument store to use as a place mat to eat their breakfast on.

Data sheets get no respect.

But this one is clean. Like new. And I love it.

It is an interesting piece for a number of reasons - mostly because of the colouring. Just looking at the scans you might think they are two totally separate pages. But it is in fact one piece. Red on the front (well... what I decided to designate the front) and white on the back. The paper stock is thicker than normal paper too. It has a construction paper weight to it - and you can see the roughness of the paper in the red scan. And double it because its two pieces of construction paper stuck together.

At first I thought the two pieces of paper may have been stuck together by the local store. Like, maybe they got the white datasheet from ARP and decided to add something to the back. But the work is professional. It must have been done by the paper maker/printer.

Then I thought that maybe the other side of the white data sheet had some old info on it, so ARP decided to cover it up with a promo sheet. And using a dark red colour would help keep the original info from the other side of the white data sheet from showing through. But holding it up to the light reveals that there doesn't seem to be any other info hidden there.

Another reason this piece is interesting is because it confused me at first. The "title" on the red side, if you can call it a title, reads:
"Turn your organ into the 1975 model with an ARP Soloist electronic Music Synthesizer"
1975? The Soloist?

The Soloist was the first in a string of ARP instruments that included the Soloist MkII, Pro-Soloist and Pro-DGX. My understanding, blogged about in this Soloist MK II dealer ad sheet, and from the awesome info contributed by friend of the blog Micke in the comments section, was that the Pro-Soloist was released in 1973 - meaning its predecessors, and especially the original Soloist, were prolly not getting that much 1975-love.

If that's the case, then ARP was playing the "futuristic" marketing card. Kinda like Roland did in their 1983 advertisement "Roland presents its product line for 1987". The only other explanation was that it was 1975 and ARP had a wack of Soloists lying around that they need to push out the door still. Either way, it makes it a nightmare for historians (or bloggers) to pin down a creation date on sheets like this when there isn't a "printed on" date listed anywhere.

The actual data sheet (the white side) is pretty nice. You will notice it has a lot in common with the Soloist MKII data sheet. Makes me happy.

But there was one thing that my new role as copy-editor in my day job immediately focused on: the text right at the top of the page: "Smoked Plexiglass Music Rack". You can see that "Rack" was originally typed with a small "r", and then typed over with a capital "R".

I don't know why I like finding those things.

I just do.

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