Our friends from Mixmasters are the Australian distributor for Chandler Limited, and have sent us the press release covering the history of the famous RS124 compressor. Originally found in Abbey Road Studios in the early 60's, it is probably the most significant piece of gear that captured the now iconic sound of The Beatles. Read on below for the full article.
The Chandler Limited RS124 Compressor is a recreation of one of the most coveted audio valve compressors of all time, the legendary EMI/Abbey Road RS124, reimagined for use in the modern studio environment.
First designed in 1960 by Abbey Road Head of Techncial Bill Livey, Deputy Head Len Page and seasoned EMI Audio Designer Mike Batchelor, the Abbey Road RS124 compressor is one of the most coveted pieces of recording gear ever developed.
Born out of the inadequate Altec 436Bs acquired by EMI in the late 1950s for Abbey Road Studios, the RS124 compressor is most closely associated with recordings made by The Beatles at Abbey Road Studios. Present on virtually every Beatles session, the RS124 left its remarkable signature across most of the catalog.
The RS124's undeniably smooth character and ability to tame transients without muffling the sound at steep compression levels, quickly became popular with Abbey Road Studios engineers and widely used throughout the now historic studio, for tracking, buss compression, mixing, and mastering. They where so integral to the recording and mixing process that a pair can be seen in almost every control room photo in Abbey Road Studios during the 60s period.
The RS124, a “variable-mu” type compressor circuit, was built for use at Abbey Road Studios, and was never commercially available.
Through the years, from incomplete information and supposition, some have tried to recreate the holy grail of tube compressors, though never fully capturing the elusive Abbey Road RS124 in all its glory.
Schematics themselves only told part of the story, and access to Abbey Road Studios’ historic units and various hand written modification notes would prove paramount towards understanding the true nature of the Abbey Road RS124 compressor and variances between units.
Many revisions were carried out since its inception, and as a result, the Abbey Road RS124 valve compressor has remained a mystery for decades, until now.
Available now, for the first time ever, the Chandler Limited RS124 Compressor harnesses the sound and personalities of Abbey Road Studios’ favorite historic RS124 Compressors (Serial No’s 60070B, 60050A, and61010B) still in use at the famed studio to this day, all in a single unit.
Along with features traditionally found on the original counterparts, Input control, Output attenuation, ‘Recovery’ (release) control and the unique ‘HOLD’ setting, the Chandler Limited RS124 Compressor includes modern facilities such as adjustable attack, selectable output impedance, and a special twist, dubbed the ‘SuperFuse’.
Bring home the sound of a legend, reimagined for the modern era, today.
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