Certain comments within the documents shed a bit more light on some of the problems 350S owners were having during these years. The question of the dreaded IC chip failure is raised, where the Italian firm had to order replacements from Dubreq. Another is the question of alternative power for the 350S, instead of using the 2 PP9 batteries. Along with Dubreq's confirmation that the IC's would be sent, it was also noted:
......'we regret that we are unable to send you the battery eliminators. Our supplier is unreliable, and the product is not up to standard.'
Both these problems are even more important to us today, as the batteries become more difficult to obtain (especially for overseas users), and the IC chips are virtually non-existent. Fortunately for new buyers, both problems have been covered by the Stylophone Sales Center, with their 350S units offering a free optional power socket, and an automatic chip replacement as part of their standard refurbishment.
If you were the proud owner of a 350S in Italy during the 70's, chances are that your instrument came via a gentleman called Mario Valenza ....
Mario helped his brother's Company to sell the 350S.
Italy already had a sole agency for the 350S, but when their stock was eventually exhausted, the opportunity was taken to secure a dealership.
Mario has been in contact with me for some time now, being very kind and helpful in sending me information about his trading with these instruments. From letters, notes and invoices, to pictures, scans and plans, they give an indication as to the importance placed on an exclusive supply contract for Italy, between the makers Dubreq and Mario's company. Such was the popularity of the big 350S machine, (and at that time - very expensive), to secure an exclusive contract would require a commitment by Mario to sell several hundred units per year!. If you realise that this is just for Italy only, it will give an idea as to the numbers sold throughout the rest Europe during the 70's and the early part of the '80's.
picture taken in the 70's, during a trip to London while visiting the Dubreq offices.