The “Stanhope Street” Years

The explosion of musical talent in 1960’s Beatlemania Britain also gave rise to a nascent electronic musical instrument industry and as the swinging sixties gave way to the rather less swinging but musically more progressive 1970’s a company called MIDAS amplification was formed in London by Jeff Byers and Charles Brooke, manufacturing transistorised guitar amplifiers and speaker cabinets.


The location was extremely fortuitous as many PA companies visiting Martin Audio would then go next door to see what MIDAS was working on. The two co-located companies became synonymous in the minds of many live sound customers and the calibrated MIDAS / Martin modular PA systems became a regular fixture on concert tours in the 1970’s, with Martin Audio responsible for the loudspeaker cabintes, whilst MIDAS manufactured the electronics.


A shift in the company’s business took place a couple of years later as Jeff was inspired to look at how the primitive concert sound equipment of the day could be improved upon and set out to create a complete modular PA system including speakers, amplifiers and mixers. This system included what can be regarded as the very first MIDAS console, a powered mixer manufactured in Jeff’s in West Hampstead.


As the company grew, manufacturing moved out of Jeff’s flat into a small building in Stanhope Street near London’s Euston Station in 1972, which just happened to be next to already-established speaker manufacturer Martin Audio.