The Musician’s Optician are a Diamond’s best friend

Diamond Dacs vision is now clear and sharp

Derek Charnley, AKA Diamond Dac , has always had a real passion for music and performing. Growing up in the West Yorkshire Pennines, Derek listened to American roots music on an old crystal set radio. Derek later studied with the some of the old masters including John Jackson , Louisiana Red , Philadelphia Jerry Ricks and John Cephas. 

A founder member of the European Blues Association , Derek has featured on the Resophonic Players of Europe . Performing as Diamond Dac. He has four solo albums, a duo album & a trio album and two new albums due out in 2020. Derek had been featured in International music magazines and live on U.K. & European radio, he is one of the finest acoustic acts in the U.K. 

Blues musician Diamond Dac guitarist uses Allegro Optical the musicians optician

Derek continues to perform in clubs and festivals all over the U.K. & Europe. The press have described his music as utterly infectious. Playing on six string, 12 string, & a resonator slide guitar with his expressive vocals. Derek brings energy, excitement and enthusiasm to his music and delights audiences wherever he performs. 

When the clarity wasn’t so flawless

Derek attended for a musicians consultation with Allegro Optical having a list of requirements: to see both the ends of the guitars fretboard, (from the nut at the top of the neck all the way to the to sound hole); see his setlist; other players and the audience. Adding to the list Derek also plays competitive golf.  This requires very precise, low positioning of the reading addition in a varifocal frame; so as not to interfere with vision during a swing. 

To ensure that we made exactly what Derek required, I took a very thorough history. I covered every required working distance; discussing every task the glasses are used for (no matter how menial), all hobbies; computer use (and time spent on the computer) and medications taken (some medications affect the eye and its focusing power). 

I then carried out various refractions in numerous simulated situations relevant to Derek’s requirements.  Taking into account all the information gained in the history, (this information is vital when Sheryl carries out lens calculations during dispensing). 

Amy Ogden, Optometrist at Allegro Optical Opticians in Saddleworth and Holmfirth, explaines why she likes the 3D OCT scanner so much

The next step is a thorough health check, slit lamp examination and a volk assessment was carried out to ensure no underlying pathology was affecting the vision. I then assessed intraocular pressures and visual fields; any findings were explained and visual expectations managed accordingly. OCT (optical coherence tomography) was then carried out for a more in depth look into pathology. This is standard in all of our musicians consultations.  The smallest of changes in retinal health can affect the clarity of the music*. 

Creating sharp vision at all distances

Once we had a full picture of Derek’s vision requirements, the sight test results and his ocular health; Sheryl and I worked together. We formed a plan as to how to dispense the ideal pair of spectacles for Derek. Sheryl took the reins for this next stage of the process. 

Sheryl thoroughly measured Derek’s required field of view and working distances, she then assessed his head and eye movement. Armed with all this information and the results of the eye examination Sheryl designed a completely bespoke multipower lens for Derek. 

The new lenses are somewhat akin to a fusion of an occupational lens and a freeform progressive varifocal. But incorporating the benefits of a wide segment blended progressive bifocal. Derek’s new lens design minimises distortion and has been designed for specifically to his requirements. Both for making music and for golf. Even a personalised freeform varifocal such as the ZEISS Progressive Lens Individual 2, the Rodenstock Impression FreeSign PRO or the Hoya MyStyle V+ would have been unsuitable due to the still limited corridor width. 

We produced two pairs of these lenses for Derek. One pair being clear for day to day wear and for playing golf in overcast conditions. The second pair of lenses were polarised for when Derek is playing golf or enjoying time overseas. 

Blues musician Diamond Dac guitarist uses Allegro Optical the musicians optician

Vision is fabulous

Once Derek’s new glasses had been fitted a few weeks later he was delighted. Derek was surprised by the clarity his new spectacles provided. He was delighted that he was able to see clearly at all his required distances and angles. A few days later we asked Derek how he was getting on with his new glasses. He said;. “The consultation with Amy was done with an extreme amount of care and attention to minute detail in a relaxed and professional manner. My customised specification was created with an extreme amount of skill and expertise. Sheryl is an absolute genius and gave me perfection. The frames sit perfectly, I feel as if I am wearing nothing. Vision is fabulous at every distance and angle with no crossover areas. It’s as if I have perfect eyesight and not wearing spectacles at all. I am absolutely thrilled and delighted beyond belief”.

Why do musicians come to Allegro Optical?

As an independent family run business, we are gaining an international reputation for professional excellence and an inventive approach to meeting customer needs.

Now known internationally as the ‘Musicians Opticians’ we are attracting many clients from across Europe and further afield. Our groundbreaking work with performers, players and conductors has resulted in Allegro Optical becoming the first and only opticians to gain registration with the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM).

We treat each client as an individual, because they are. It is true that no two musicians are the same, so why should their vision correction be? We enjoy creating unique lenses to meet a musician’s particular needs. As musicians ourselves we can ask the right questions and interpret the answers accordingly.

Award-winning eye-care

So successful has Allegro Optical been in helping performers, that in the last twelve months alone we have scooped no less than five national and regional awards. These awards include the National ‘Best New Arts & Entertainment Business of the Year‘ at a gala event in London. Managing Director Sheryl Doe was awarded the 2019 ‘Dispensing Optician of the Year‘ and she was a finalist in the AOP Dispensing Optician of the year 2020.

Amy Steve and Sheryl the musicians optician at Allegro Optical

During March 2019, Allegro Optical was awarded the ‘Scale-Up Business of the Year‘ at the regional finals of the Federation of Small Business awards in York, then went on to receive the FSB Chairman’s award at the national finals in May. Finally winning the FBU Yorkshire family business of the year. Allegro Optical’s unique optical solution and our cutting edge approach to dispensing has led to the group being named finalists in the Huddersfield Examiners Business Awards in the Innovation and Enterprise category.

The company has been featured in many national publications including The Times, 4BarsRest, The British Bandsman and Music Teacher Magazine.

Are you a musician who is struggling with their vision? Do you find that making music is no longer the enjoyable experience it once was? If so call us at either Greenfield on 01457 353100 or Meltham on 01484 907090.

*For more information on OCT please refer to our earlier blog.

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