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Spectra Sonics 610
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echorec
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#1
6th January 2004
Old 6th January 2004
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Spectra Sonics 610

What do you think of these? Useful? What´s a reasonable price for one these days?

Thanks.
#2
7th January 2004
Old 7th January 2004
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Interesting is the operative word. The controls will allow you to absolutely defile your audio at the extreme ranges of the knobs' travel; it can get fast enough for the compression envelope to track the waveform of low-frequency stuff.

Somewhere in the middle of the control-range, it's a pretty useful general-purpose compressor.

If you can find them, seems like they oughtta be between $500 and $850 or so, depending on condition. I sold mine about a year ago for a little over $700.

-dave
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echorec
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7th January 2004
Old 7th January 2004
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Thanks Dave,

What did you use it for when you had it?
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7th January 2004
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For defiling things, of course

Its most frequent uses were: running it in parallel for putting hair on DI basses, and it was great for smacking up snare drums. Acoustic rhythm guitar on occasion..

-dave
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7th January 2004
Old 7th January 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by dave-G
...it can get fast enough for the compression envelope to track the waveform of low-frequency stuff. -dave
Curious, is it able to get away with this sans-noticable distortion? (Just comparing to the RNC, the only comp I have around that is that fast enough to go there -but does tend to fuzz-out.
Wayne
#6
7th January 2004
Old 7th January 2004
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One thing about this comp is that it takes constant tweaking. To get the unit set up right is quite a task sometimes, but still allows for a lot of variability. I've found that it acts as two different compressors when tracking and when mixing, which makes matters even more complex. It's a really aggressive and noticable compressor when tracking, and not always the easiest one to just run with when the client's getting ancy. But in mix stage, the compressor is noticably smoother and you can get away with quite a bit of compression without hearing too many aritifacts. It'll still pummel things like drums and acoustic guitars pretty nicely, but not as severly as when used live. Very weird. Back to the distortion... This thing has got notoriously low headroom, but can distort pretty nicely, especially on mean bass guitar or submix under a snare. The transformers seem to saturate pretty nicely to round things out, and it's got a diode limiter on the output stage. This can be used to great lengths by padding down the output and cranking the input and output. Haven't actually used this deadly explosion of sound in a mix yet, but I'm waiting for the chance. Like I said, I just got it, and I myself am trying to figure out how the hell the thing really works, but it's really fun. The manual is really enlightening, and shows how ambitous Spectra Sonics was when they were making this thing. They actually recommend padding down the output and using the diode limiter as "failsafe" on broadcasts or something. Fidelity? I guess they were'nt really thinking about that. Little did they know, they were just designing some secret weapon for people to destroy things with. You can download the manual off of the purple audio site's documents section.

my 2 cents

Erik Wofford
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7th January 2004
Old 7th January 2004
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The Spectrasonics 610 are cool beasts.
As I got ours I expected only a fx or distortion box, but was really impressed how usefull they are.
I use them on aggressive snares, bass or bass mults, sometimes vocals (more on the punk rock side). Drum rooms are great to get that JJP or Tschad Blake sound.
Someone else mentioned acoustic guitar, he's right I never thought this beast would be great on A guitar, but it is, specially on strummed guitar.

Try to get a pair which is the same building batch, because as I figured out they changed some things on the PCBs all the time. So you can't swap card from one to another for troubleshooting if they aren't the same. Smoke !!!! Believe me !!! :-)


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#8
7th January 2004
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Erik seems to have the best understanding and decsrip of use ive ever heard...Thanks...that diode limiter was on all line cards....so the consoles were full of em...any full consoles still around??
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7th January 2004
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I've used mine a lot on kick and snare.
If you just tickle the controls it can be quite subtle, but still noticeable. It's not a transparent unit. I've been watching them on Ebay for over a year and have rarely seen one go for less than $800. To buy one for around $500 would either be a knackered unit or one from someone who didn't know what they had.
I think it's a VERY useful comp and a bit of a bargain at $800.
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4th October 2008
Old 4th October 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stapesaudio View Post
OIt's a really aggressive and noticable compressor when tracking, and not always the easiest one to just run with when the client's getting ancy. But in mix stage, the compressor is noticably smoother and you can get away with quite a bit of compression without hearing too many aritifacts. I
How does it know?

-R
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4th October 2008
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#12
6th November 2008
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Spectra sonics plug in

Does anybody know of a plug that comes close to the 610? I have an actual 610 that I love, but I often need a stereo thing.
#13
6th November 2008
Old 6th November 2008
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Just so it'll be out there.

In the day and with guys that used them for years, they are considered the dog of compressors.
Of course now, with the old is great way of thinking, they are considered worthy.

There are just so many other better compressors available.
#14
6th November 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbbubba View Post
Just so it'll be out there.

In the day and with guys that used them for years, they are considered the dog of compressors.
Of course now, with the old is great way of thinking, they are considered worthy.

There are just so many other better compressors available.
Hey Danny. Mike Brignardello once told me that my bass sound, while not the absolute best was pretty damn good and the main + for me was it only took about 5 minutes to get. The 610's from that Dallas rack are what I used on his bass through the console. The main deal with the 610's is if you can see the meters moving, you're hitting 'em too hard and heaven forbid if you make that red lite come on. Later.
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6th November 2008
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How would people compare a Spectrasonics 610 to a Alesis Microlimiter in terms of room crushing?

Seriously. There's a thread on GS about the dirtiest compressor that's really rather impressive for this purpose.

If you get close to the same effect, why spend the coin and tech hassle?

If I got a limiter/compressor for bass, I'd hope to use it for a more of a utility than an effects box, like an LA-2a.
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#16
11th November 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themattgoldman View Post
Does anybody know of a plug that comes close to the 610? I have an actual 610 that I love, but I often need a stereo thing.
I have been asking for one for years now.

It's totally insane someone hasn't done it.

- c
#17
11th November 2008
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What most of the 610's out there are in need of adjusting back to there original specs. Joe at JLM here in Australia owns 3 of these units and he said once they are set back up they are an amazing sounding compressor.

I have been using 610's for years. They are something different but great.

You can record drums and loud instruments by putting a dynamic mic straight into the 610. It has enough gain on the input side to have the comp working properly. Sounds great on kick, snr & toms guitar amps with a few db of compression.

Cheers
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11th November 2008
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"What most of the 610's out there are in need of adjusting back to there original specs. Joe at JLM here in Australia owns 3 of these units and he said once they are set back up they are an amazing sounding compressor."

I own one.. I am sure it needs some tlc..

Can the adjustment be done by me or should I send the unit back to them?

Can you elaborate?
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11th November 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SJRS View Post
What most of the 610's out there are in need of adjusting back to there original specs. Joe at JLM here in Australia owns 3 of these units and he said once they are set back up they are an amazing sounding compressor.

I have been using 610's for years. They are something different but great.

You can record drums and loud instruments by putting a dynamic mic straight into the 610. It has enough gain on the input side to have the comp working properly. Sounds great on kick, snr & toms guitar amps with a few db of compression.

Cheers
right !!

i've always used mine as a room mic preamp/comp when tracking drums. works great with a 57 or sm7 or even sometimes an old oktava ribbon.

i've also gotten some really cool acoustic guitar sounds with an sm7 straight into the 610.

cheers,

jch
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#20
12th November 2008
Old 12th November 2008
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syrup on my pancakes

if you want something that sounds syrupy and electronic as hell , the 610 is good; if you want something that sounds musical and great, like a 2254 or a fairchild, or even an 1176, the 610 aint one of those....if you can find the forum about limiters from the latest aes convention online , its very entertaining, and at one point george massenburg (surely one of the most expressive guys on the planet) goes on about when the 610 first came out...pretty funny actually... i will say one thing about the 610 ; it has a 100/1 ratio available, and i certainly hope thats sufficient.....
#21
12th November 2008
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I use mine to add distortion to sampled kick drums.

-R
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12th November 2008
Old 12th November 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbbubba View Post
Just so it'll be out there.

In the day and with guys that used them for years, they are considered the dog of compressors.
Of course now, with the old is great way of thinking, they are considered worthy.

There are just so many other better compressors available.
I have had the privilege of working in studios with Fairchild 670's, 660's, LA2A's, LA3's, La4's, 1176 (all types), etc... There is no compressor in that elite level that is better than a Spectrasonics 610. I consider the 610 the fastest and (when pushed) can be the meanest of them all. So, whoever you have talked to must've the polar opposite from my personal experiences... and I still use all of the above and more on a daily basis. In fact, the 610's (we have 5) got a lot of work last night.
#23
13th November 2008
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Can anyone answer my question that I posted above?
#24
15th November 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heyman View Post
" I own one.. I am sure it needs some tlc..

Can the adjustment be done by me or should I send the unit back to them?

Can you elaborate?
Spectra Sonics on all there gear always said to send it back to be serviced or fixed. They know there gear and how best to fix or set them up. From what I understand, any of the gear they made can still be sent back to fix up any problems.

Or you could send it to Joe in Austraila????? ;-)

Cheers

Jason
#25
22nd February 2009
Old 22nd February 2009
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i have one. it's silver.
#26
25th March 2009
Old 25th March 2009
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I have two 610's gathering dust in my living room. I'd love to fix them up but I don't have any documentation for them. Plus my workshop is not set up for these particular units, I usually work on Orban, UREI, and other analog gear.

I'd love to sell the pair so I can get another Amber 3501a distortion analyzer for my workbench.

If anyone is interested please contact via PM or email RadioCtrldWife@gmail.com
#27
29th August 2009
Old 29th August 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ncskolrud View Post
i have heard someone say that it is a decent substitution for an old dbx 160VU
Not really---very different boxes IMO... I have never heard anything quite like the 610....
#28
29th August 2009
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Would somebody here be kind enough to post a clip of something being run through a 610? I've never used a 610 and don't have access to one locally, but I'm sure curious to hear what they can do. I have 4 channels of Spectra Sonics Mic pres and EQs that are absolutely wonderful sounding.

Thanks,

Philip
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#29
9th November 2009
Old 9th November 2009
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Going to buy 1 this week
Looking forward to crush some kick and snares!!
#30
25th December 2012
Old 25th December 2012
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Anyone using them now. Or bought a new unit recently?
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