Livio Argentini History
60 years of history and love of music
After a few years of suspended production, and at great demand (pressed by those who have had the pleasure of working with his products and wish to continue) Livio Argentini is back on the audio pro scene.
Livio’s approach to audio has always privileged the scientific side. As a matter of fact in the 1960s he was among the first in Italy to purchase all the necessary equipment to make accurate measurements to mark the limit between science and urban legends.
It is with this approach that he began collaborating with the first Italian magazines in the sector and constructing amplifiers, electronics and loudspeakers eventually resulting in the founding of “Professional Electroacoustics”, a brand with which he created professional products both standard and customized. Some of his clients included RCA studios, RAI (Italian State Television) and Vatican Radio. His legendary analogue banks have been operating for many years maintaining excellent quality over time, and to this day are still being used in various professional studios, with minimal maintenance, despite several decades of usage. The characteristics of frequency response, background noise and distortion of the EP3000 mixer were such that they even aroused the interest of Hi-Fi enthusiasts.
The peculiar design found in the mixers equalizer for example, with only one mid frequency band but totally parametric (i.e. with the intervention of the merit factor Q), with a wide excursion of the central frequency and with a switch that allowed to manage the intervention in attenuation or in enhancement.
Livio claims that to this day many have not understood why he mounted the rotary potentiometer upside down because despite operating in roughly a 270° radius, the use generally takes place in an area of around 45° with respect to the central zero and the inverted assembly achieves the simplest, most practical and most precise intervention.
Livio states that his knowledge derives from the reading of many publications in his field, and from visionary university friends with whom he embarked on projects that were at times absurd but nonetheless useful for his development. Also very important was the encounter and constructive comparison with many designers and manufacturers.
Livio began his journey in pro audio in the late 50’s when he participated in the recording of Schubert’s symphonies with the Alessandro Scarlatti orchestra of Naples and, together with others and thanks to the funding of the English actor and sound engineer Edmund Purdom, built the first multitrack recorder in the world, with a six-track Photovox head mounted on the Ampex 300 mechanics and with half-inch 3M tapes.
Thanks to that experience, Livio entered the RCA tour and began to design and build portable mixers for outdoor recordings as well as some mixers for studios. Over the years, private recording studios began to emerge and Livio collaborated in the realization of the studios of Gianni Plazzi (owner of Mammouth, reference studio of the 70s / 80s) and Claudio Mattone for whom he built mixers and designed the first acoustics of the legendary 1111 studio in via Nomentana, Rome.
In the 1980s, thanks to the international fame achieved with its mixers, an agreement was concluded with AKG for the supply of mixers, but the premises dedicated to the construction were flooded and all the production lines and warehouses for the components were damaged, resulting in the termination of the contract by the (then) Austrian company and significant economic losses.
At that point Livio decided to change sector and, following his passion for boating, participated in a feasibility study for a high-performance patrol boat with speeds of up to 70 knots (!) but the energy crisis of the time put an end to this project.
At the end of the 90s and with the insistent requests of many long time customers, often still owners of mixers of the 3000, 3500, 3800, 6000 and 6500 series, he resumed production under the Livio Argentini brand, specializing in the production of uncompromising high quality microphone preamplifiers and new generation, high performance parametric equalizers for which he holds the patents to, as well as taking care of the structural and acoustic design of many recording and mastering studios.