There are 4 audio equipment related departments in the BBC
Design Department is in the building which is located across the street from Broadcasting House. It is this department that researches audio equipment for broadcasting, such as monitor speakers, amplifiers, and turntables, etc. Broadly speaking, four departments are in charge of audio equipment. 1. Research Department - In charge of basic research and development 2. Design Department - In charge of developing equipments based on outcomes of the Research Department's work. 3. Equipment Department - In charge of supply of equipment. They also make equipment "in-house", if the amount of required equipment is small. 4. Capital Project Department - In charge of investment in the facilities, such as mixing consoles etc.
Design Department functions as a link between the studio work and audio equipment.
The laboratory of the Design Department is interesting!!
There were many interesting audio equipment and measuring instruments in the special laboratory, and an engineer with the white robe was working hard.
Seemingly a record player system is under the research at the moment. Since the player of GATES seen in the Radio 1 studio is now getting quite old, they told us that the introduction a new player is imminent.
The amount of equipment that needs to be replaced is remarkable, because not only equipment at Broadcasting House but also those of all BBC local broadcasting stations needs replacement. As it should be reliable and very durable, they prudently research for a long period of time. During our visit, the EMT 948 (record player) and Technics SP-10 with the BBC in-house tone arm attached were tested. They were testing various unusual operations, such as searching the beginning of the music by Reverse rotation, checking the interval between the start of rotation and the start of the music. It seemed quite professional to us. It seems that the whole BBC uses Shure SC-35C, and the laboratory were using them too. Of course, measurement of speaker sound and research of amplifiers is also done here, and we heard beep test signals for measurement around.