The Abbey Road Shop has released a limited edition of 46 unique paperweights, each featuring one of the studio’s original XLR connectors encased in resin and individually engraved with its own number.
The XLR connectors have been part of Abbey Road’s history for decades, belonging to the equipment panels and TG Consoles in the studio’s mastering rooms and across Studios One, Two and Three. Some of the most famous recordings in music history have passed through each of these connectors.
In the old control room of Abbey Road’s Studio Three pictured above c.1975, a panel containing three pin XLR connectors is visible at the end of the desk underneath the main sockets. The purpose of the XLR connector was to carry shielded, balanced audio signals, making the cable attached to it less susceptible to interference from external electromagnetic induction, illustrated in the diagram below. The result delivered audio signals of superior sound quality, created within the most famous recording studio in the world.
Originally installed in the early 1970s, the connectors were used extensively up until the TG consoles in mastering rooms 5, 6 and 7 were refurbished in the Januarys of 2018, 2019 and 2020 respectively.
Own a part of Abbey Road’s history...
The Abbey Road exclusive collection includes 25 limited edition Three Pin XLR Connector Paperweights and 21 limited edition Push Button XLR Connector Paperweights, otherwise known as male and female XLR connectors. The terminology for labelling the male and female connectors follows the usual rules for the gender of connectors: a 'male' connector with pins and the 'female' with corresponding receptacles.
The additional push button on the ‘female’ three pin XLR connector meant for a built-in locking system to ensure a secure connection.
Each paperweight is handcrafted within the UK for a crystal clear, meticulous finish. The UV filters within the resin will stop any colour fading and carefully preserve details of the connector.
Abbey Road Studios Three Pin XLR Connector Paperweight
An XLR connector is a type of electrical connector, and in the professional audio environment is primarily used as an interconnect for either balanced analogue or AES3 digital audio signals. The number of pins can vary, but three-pin XLR connectors are an industry standard for balanced audio signals.