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  • Roman Catholicism, political opposition to Spain, and the painter Peter Paul Rubens were all responsible for the astonishing full-bodied character of Flemish Baroque.

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    At first Flandrensis was an inconspicuous district, but beginning in the 9th century, a remarkable line of Flemish counts succeeded in erecting a quasi-independent state on the borders between the French and German kingdoms. These counts were vassals of the French king for what they held west of the Schelde Crown Flandersor Kroonvlaanderen, the most important part of the kingdomand vassals of the German king for what they held east of it called Imperial Flandersor Rijksvlaanderen, as part of the Holy Roman Empire.

    The Flemish counts enjoyed virtual independence from weak French kings during this time.

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    The first dynasty of counts died out inbut Flanders rose to the height of its power and wealth under a later line of counts whose principal members were Thierry of Alsace —68 and his son Philip — The population of Flanders, though politically united under the rule of their counts, was far from homogeneous.

    In the southernmost area it was mainly Romance-speaking; farther north the Frankish settlement had been denser, so that the language was Germanic; and the coastal areas had been settled with people of Saxon and Frisian origin. The counts of Flanders effectively united these peoples into one nation.

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    From the 12th century onward, they substituted for the old feudal structure an orderly administration and fiscal organization, set up a centralized judicial system using Roman lawand began extensive legislation. Thierry and Philip granted charters to a number of wealthy towns, and the commune q. This led to the establishment in many towns of municipal governments that had a considerable measure of independence.

    At the outset the Flemish economy had been agricultural, but about the 12th century Flemish trade and industry became of real international importance. A crisis in the old manorial organization of agriculture and an expansion of the money economy coincided with the rise of towns as centres of trade and industry.

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    The cloth industry, which was soon working mainly with English wool and producing high-quality textiles, had its largest centres at Ghent and at Ypres. Until the 13th century Flemish merchants conducted their trade abroad, especially at the fairs of Champagne, but later merchants of all nations came to Flanders, and the seaport of Brugge became a centre of world commerce.

    General description[ edit ] The Pianet is an electro-mechanical piano requiring amplification to produce a usable sound level.

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    Pianets in the first group of models have 61 keys and a keyboard range of F1 to F6 The second group have 60 keys and finish at E6 The keyboard action is very simple. Each key is a single lever element pivoted on a fulcrum point with a spring to return it to the rest position. The key is extended at the rear so that a pad can be mounted over a tuned spring steel reed. This pad adheres to the reed when at rest, and lifts and releases the reed causing it to vibrate when the key is depressed.

    The vibration of the reed is converted to an electrical signal by a pick-up. The unique playing feel of a Pianet comes from the activation pads adhering to the steel reeds until they reach their point of release. This distinctive voice had the presence to cut through the increasingly louder amplified bands of the time.

    Pianets in this group have bass notes that growl and purr coupled with a bright percussive treble. The sound is complex and warm. The absence of any mechanism to sustain notes in a Pianet means that its sound is generally relatively staccato adding to the ability to stand out in recordings.

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    In this first group sound is generated by an array of 61 ground stainless steel reeds which are plucked by leather and foam pads saturated with silicone oil. Silicone oil had the benefit of not evaporating from the leather pads, not corroding the steel reeds, and remaining at a consistent viscosity across a wide temperature range.

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    The pads are connected to the keys via metal rods so that, on pressing a key, the pad is raised and released from the reed making it vibrate. An electrostatic pick-up consisting of a segmented vertical plate mounted orthogonal to and just beyond the ends of the reeds transmits the sound to an amplifier. The Pianet's sound was piano-like, sharing sonic similarities to the Wurlitzer series of electric pianos as both relied on metal reeds and variable capacitance as their sound generation source.

    Pianet N Version II. This is a US voltage model sold around close to the end of production. Hohner Combo Pianet sold from onward. During its period of manufacture the Pianet evolved through a number of model changes. These included transistorised 'solid-state' versions: The next model was the longer running and more numerous Pianet N that evolved through two different specifications. These were the final incarnations of the first group of Pianets.

    This feature was introduced on Cembalets and became common to both Cembalets and Pianets. This similarity of appearance results in the mis-identification of models in historic images. The C and N models were equipped with a vibrato circuit operated by a switch mounted next to the keyboard.

    The Pianet L had no additional effects and used a knee lever to control the volume. The N models used a variable resistance volume pedal cabled to a socket on the rear of the keyboard. The Pianet soon found popularity with music groups of the s, leading Hohner to produce the Combo Pianet model in the early s.

    It was designed for the performing musician, without legs, and intended to be sat on top of an organ or acoustic piano. These featured a change in design from electrostatic pick-ups and leather and foam pads to electromagnetic pick-ups like the Rhodes piano and silicone rubber pads.

    The reeds were also changed from the ground finish of the earlier type to a smooth milled finish. This resulted in a different sound, mellower than that of the early models, better suited to the sounds of the late s.

    While popular with semi-pro musicians due to its low price and portability, the Pianet T made a limited impact on major recording artists. The M model, designed for home use, was built with a wooden console case with internal speakers and a phaser effect circuit.

    The T model, most commonly found on the used market today, was built for the gigging musician. It had an optional stand and, in a departure from earlier models finished in wood veneer, is finished in black vinyl leathercloth. Production ceased by the early s. Models[ edit ] During the production life of the Pianet the case, mechanical features and electronics changed to keep pace with developments in electronics manufacture, reductions in manufacturing costs, and fashion.

    Changes to the Pianet were also applied to Cembalet production. Dating the manufacturing envelope and availability of the various Pianet models is confused by misidentification of Cembalet models as Pianets and by the differences in sales availability of models between Europe and the United States.

    It has a case profile with a taper towards the front. It has tapered cylindrical legs that mount to the underside of the case.

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    It has a gold hammertone painted aluminium fascia panel below the keys. This panel also performs the key levelling function. The keys are injection moulded plastic. The word 'Pianet' appears in gold facing upward on the left hand end of the music support ledge. The ledge includes a formed recess for the bottom of the music.

    It has a valve pre-amplifier and a knee lever for volume control. It has a gold hammertone painted aluminium fascia panel below the keys with a lock fitted centrally.

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    The word 'Pianet' or 'Pianet C' appears in gold facing upward on the left hand end of the music support ledge. It has a transistorised pre-amplifier, a knee lever for volume control and optional vibrato effect. It has black tubular steel legs that mount to the underside of the case.

    It has a black painted aluminium fascia panel below the keys. It has a transistorised pre-amplifier and amplifier and a knee lever for volume control. It plays through two small internal speakers or through an external amplifier.