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Tetness
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15th June 2005
Old 15th June 2005
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FAIRCHILD 670

Who owns one of these things and what's your favorite way of usiing it? Thinking about purchasing one from Vintage King.
84K
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15th June 2005
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It is useful in many ways...

Drum bus comp
KICK
Snare
Lead Vox
BGV

are my main applications. Great attitude in these boxes. I thank the studio owner everyday I use it!
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Would you strap one across your mixbus?
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Only judging from the UAD emu, so this can be far off... but...

I didn't have luck using it on 2buss, I like it on the drumgroup minus the kick, or with kick multed clear of fairchild.

Are you going to buy $20k thing without trying it first?
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Judging from my UAD plug, I didn't have luck with it on my mixbus either. I would definitely demo it first, just don't want to set up a lavish demo unless I'm really gung ho. I have been in a dilema for quite some time, as my posts will show, to figure out what my next purchase is. I am looking for mainly something for my mixbus, but that I can also use in other places. I am willing to spend up to 25k. My choices are the Fairman TMEQ and TMEC. Or, buying another Mercury M66 for stereo instead of the Fairman TMC. Or, perhaps a Fairchild 670, which holds its value pretty good, although I think less and less people are fotifyiing their studios with such purchases.
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16th June 2005
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Well, strange choice. You could have small arsenal of vari-mu type compressors for the price. More flavours, more uses. Pendulum, Manley, Thermionic Culture... you know them ;-)

...ahhh... what am I speaking about a 25k compressor I'd only seen on the photos ;-)
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16th June 2005
Old 16th June 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tetness
Would you strap one across your mixbus?
Every single day.
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16th June 2005
Old 16th June 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matucha
Well, strange choice. You could have small arsenal of vari-mu type compressors for the price. More flavours, more uses. Pendulum, Manley, Thermionic Culture... you know them ;-)

...ahhh... what am I speaking about a 25k compressor I'd only seen on the photos ;-)
Absoffukkinlutely!!
And I will speak from my experience having had a fairchild at my disposal, for years.
We sold a 25K fairchild for 18G's not long ago to a rich guy/ collector..big loss on that so called "investment"...
yeah, they've dropped since ADL pulled it off 3 years ago[Ours was the one used for the ADL A/B demo at AES LA a while back.
sure it was great..awsome..
Finding tubes is an absolute nightmare and maintenance can add up $$ quickly
It required a lot of TLC..
but the FC money has since gone into lots of other cool things , and honestly,I don't miss it nearly as much as I thought I would!
I didn't use it on the mixbuss as much as I thought I would.especially on the more modern rock stuff..we used the SSL/C2 for that
and many times I've switched to something else on drums[rooms/ovheads,etc]
Now I have access to many comps that IMO are much more flexible, IE:
Neve,Thermionic[which does a kinda FC vibe with a modern twist..loving it]
SSL/smart,cranesong,etc
things it did kill on: bass drum,snare ,bass gtr ,guitars,some vox/bkvox.. and on certian songs,on the room it sounded amazing!and of course the odd 2 mix..
When it worked it Killed...But NOT everytime!
Do yourself a big favor:
Rent one first!because for that kind of dough, you can grab a bunch of extremely cool shhit and be very content
I can even tell you who to get it from.
just my 2 C's
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Not to smartass or to put the originals down, but I know of a tube wizzard who says that he can rebuild a Fairchild with same parts for something over 6000 Euros. Only difference would be same sounding but differently shaped NOS tubes which are still available in big amounts.

We were talking about him either refurbishing or individually constracting a little guitar amp for studio demands today when he mentioned above to me.

Ruphus
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16th June 2005
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Yeah, that's what I've been figuring. The price tag on the Fairchild has been slipping for these reasons. I think I'll save the money.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tetness
Yeah, that's what I've been figuring. The price tag on the Fairchild has been slipping for these reasons. I think I'll save the money.
I've been wondering about the 670's myself. Are there any 670 clones worth considering? And what is this 670 magic that everbody talks about?

Stein Tore
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16th June 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruphus
Not to smartass or to put the originals down, but I know of a tube wizzard who says that he can rebuild a Fairchild with same parts for something over 6000 Euros. Only difference would be same sounding but differently shaped NOS tubes which are still available in big amounts.

We were talking about him either refurbishing or individually constracting a little guitar amp for studio demands today when he mentioned above to me.

Ruphus

No offense Ruphus but it can`t be done. The parts just aren`t available anymore and if you put other parts into the same design it`s gonna sound different.

Same thing with all these companies trying to recreate U47`s and 251`s.
It`s just not possible. Most of them openly say they were going for something "kinda like a U47" because they know more than anybody that it can`t be done exact.


Tetness I`d say a lot of these guys are very correct in saying you could get a whole arsenal of really cool compressers for $25,000 which are equal or better quality. That would round you out a lot better. (unless you`ve allready got a bunch of compressors of course.)

I can think of about 10 really good ones I could buy for that kind of dough.

It would be pretty cool to have a Fairchild though.
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The cool factor far overshown the practicality of owning one .
there's just so many cool comps out there now.
.like I said..
Really don't miss it. stike

IMO ,and the only people to "recreate" the Fairchild vibe so far is ADL.
I've compared the two..
nailing the FC sound is not something anybody can just whip up in there garage shop
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16th June 2005
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Personally I wouldnt spend 25k on a f'n comp.. Id get a bunch instead of 1
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16th June 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinc
No offense Ruphus but it can`t be done. The parts just aren`t available anymore and if you put other parts into the same design it`s gonna sound different.
I understand it´s no offence. It´s only trying to check reality. Right?
Not about he-or-him-or-me-and-I stuff.

Not all the time, but sometimes you find a way that costs you much less and really gives what you aimed for, eventhough it might be hardly known to be doable. I have received some thelike help from others and am really thankful for that and just intending well myself when passing on what I´ve been told today.

I absolutely can´t tell about the Fairchild myself, I´m a bozo ( dubbed by a well known gear manufacturer for good reason ).

All I know is that the man who said so is a highly experienced and well reputated geek.
He can in just a couple of sentences mention a bunch of interesting things that you´ve hardly heard before. Details about tubes ´n stuff that are no common talk. I have randomly read many posts about the topic, but the details he freely shared were not mentioned in the usual descriptions I read. Guess that comes from the specialization he is known for.

He also told me roughly about the Fairchild, but nothing I could start bubbling about. It would be like a nurse talking about bathyspehre. he he he

I could ask him though if he was willing to build and take back in case of the rebuild was not matching the original.

How would that be?
Could be he´d not agree for the necessary investment and time, but asking wouldn´t hurt anybody. And as long as you or anyone wasn´t just aiming to find their idea of impossibility realized ... Maybe something unexpected would be happening. Who knows.

Just saying.

Ruphus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoundBadge
nailing the FC sound is not something anybody can just whip up in there garage shop
Who talked about a garage shop?

Ruphus
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16th June 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruphus
Who talked about a garage shop?

Ruphus

Hey Ruphus
sorry..just a general term for some electronics hacks i know..
the guys who tell me they can build a clone of anything ,,but never really do it..because they're dreamers not doe'ers

not specifiying you're guy..
just some wannabe gear makers I know here in LA
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I know it's heresy in these parts to criticize a 670, but I think you're nuts if you spend some outrageous fee like 20k expecting to get a magic bullet. On the couple of occasions where I've worked at high end studios that had one (Air Lyndhurst in London, Ocean Way in L.A.), we passed both times. In London the engineer (Paul Hume) looked at me like I was crazy wanting to screw up a perfectly wonderful mix with such an antiquated, steam-driven piece of gear (he was right), and at Ocean Way I asked Rik Pekkonen to take it off because it was, well, screwing up an otherwise perfectly wonderful mix. It's definitely a distinctive sounding box, but mere sluttiness only goes so far.

-R
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16th June 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKrizman
I know it's heresy in these parts to criticize a 670, but I think you're nuts if you spend some outrageous fee like 20k expecting to get a magic bullet. On the couple of occasions where I've worked at high end studios that had one (Air Lyndhurst in London, Ocean Way in L.A.), we passed both times. In London the engineer (Paul Hume) looked at me like I was crazy wanting to screw up a perfectly wonderful mix with such an antiquated, steam-driven piece of gear (he was right), and at Ocean Way I asked Rik Pekkonen to take it off because it was, well, screwing up an otherwise perfectly wonderful mix. It's definitely a distinctive sounding box, but mere sluttiness only goes so far.

-R

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16th June 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tetness
Judging from my UAD plug, I didn't have luck with it on my mixbus either.

I really like what it does on the stereo bus.
The fairchild and the Pultec pro make a great combo on the stereo buss.
#21
16th June 2005
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for what it's worth, which is admittedly very little, i got the chance to mix an album with one strapped across the stereo buss, and after doing so i can see why they go for such silly money. it was nothing short of sumptuous on the project we were doing (which it fit like a glove); every time we switched it in i was enveloped with a warm candy-coated pillow of bliss! but i was also told by a couple of engineers with a million times more experience than i will ever have that this particular box had more 'magic' than most of the others they had come across, so who knows... certainly not me!

to each their own i guess. personally i don't think i'll ever have the funds to even dream about owning such a classic, so it's all moot to me...

cheers.
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Comparing the plugins to the real thing starts to look as a joke if you'd tried them both.

The 660 would be hard to recreate because of the transformers used - they are long out of production. The raw material supplies for the transformers is long gone, these days it's getting harder and harder to source even plain core mu-metal for transformers.

Next problem is the 6386 tube, that was once common as dirt, but is now getting extremely hard to find. This of several reasons:

Problem here is that the 660/670 chews these as peanuts, they're run so hot that they need replacement much more often than any other small-signal tube (it has to run them this hot, it's part of the design, not an error that can be adjusted or fixed). Which also means that NOS supplies of this tube is drying out fast. And no, there is no direct or even almost-direct replacement for this remote-cutoff double triode, allthough many people claim to have "secret recipies" for substitution (that they will sell you for a lot of money).

When you then finally manage to find some 6386 tubes (that is, real ones - many counterfeits around these days as well), you can be almost certain that they have been tested and rejected at least a couple of times for just this purpose. You need good matching of the two internal triodes for the comp to behave right - the duds are sent back into circulation to be bought by some poor fellow who dosen't have a tube tester.

So I wouldn't go the route of the original units, unless I had a very good maintenance budget - or I REALLY needed a piece of equipment to attract customer attention.

Some of the alternative creations like the Manley Varimu, ADL, or our own G10 uses easier-to-find parts and is designed to take much less maintenance - yet they recreate the main part of what is sooo sonically sexy about the Fairchilds...

Jakob Erland
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16th June 2005
Old 16th June 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gyraf
When you then finally manage to find some 6386 tubes (that is, real ones - many counterfeits around these days as well), you can be almost certain that they have been tested and rejected at least a couple of times for just this purpose. You need good matching of the two internal triodes for the comp to behave right - the duds are sent back into circulation to be bought by some poor fellow who dosen't have a tube tester.
Not only is finding a "matched" set [you need 8 that are matched for a 670!!!] a little harder than finding an original drive sprocket for a 1948 Indian "Scout", and not only do those tubes have a life expectancy of somewhere around 4000 hours [which is less than a year in a commercial facility!!], but I think you're gonna find that these lovely 40+ year old boxes are going to start to seriously decline in value as it becomes apparent that you have to modify the unit to use new tubes... like, oh, I dunno... maybe like 6ES-8 tubes... which is a relatively similar remote shutoff tridode and will probably work OK but will kill the value of the thing with the bling crowd [like painting a 50's Stratocaster changes the value].

For the kind of money you'd have to throw at one of those you'd be way better off finding [and probably having someone rebuild] some Collins or Federals or a couple BA-6A's... or checking out the Thermionic stuff or the Fearn VT-7 or the EAR's [though there is a potential 6386 issue with the EAR's but at least they don't eat 8 a year].

Peace.
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FWIW, I've seen some very suspect looking "6386"s... Re-labelled 2c51 / 5670 from what I can make out... I even bought a comp from ebay that came with suspect "6386"s... Do be careful, fakes are definitely out there...

Last time I saw a dealer list genuine 6386 they were 85$USD each - that's no joke if you were to use the 670 on a regular basis... Even then, you'd want a fair amount to select from, and that could be tricky...

The EAR 660 uses some very clever side-chain circuitry to obtain much of the sonic behaviour of a 670, and I genuinely think you owe it to your bank-balance to rent an EAR before dropping corn on Mr Narma's monster.

Justin
#25
16th June 2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher
Not only is finding a "matched" set [you need 8 that are matched for a 670!!!] a little harder than finding an original drive sprocket for a 1948 Indian "Scout", and not only do those tubes have a life expectancy of somewhere around 4000 hours [which is less than a year in a commercial facility!!], but I think you're gonna find that these lovely 40+ year old boxes are going to start to seriously decline in value as it becomes apparent that you have to modify the unit to use new tubes... like, oh, I dunno... maybe like 6ES-8 tubes... which is a relatively similar remote shutoff tridode and will probably work OK but will kill the value of the thing with the bling crowd [like painting a 50's Stratocaster changes the value].
After talking to Gualteiri about it years ago, I don't think they will work (IIRC, he said they don't have the same ability to drive the output transformer).

Thoses beasts, as cool as they can be, are out to pasture for a reason - few people in the game today have ever heard one as it was new...
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IIRC, the 6ES8 is a single triode... To emulate a 6386 you'd have nightmares matching them, as the 6386 is a dual-triode, so each side is relatively well matched to begin with.

The EAR uses PCC189: http://www.mif.pg.gda.pl/homepages/f...0/p/PCC189.pdf

PCC189s are plentiful to my knowledge. Doesn't the Gyraf use a PCC189?


Justin
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16th June 2005
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See... that's why I'm a pimp and not a designer... all I knew was that as remote shutoff triodes go I really like the sound of 6ES8's... I have no idea how to implement them in a circuit, but really like the tone/texture.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thermionic
IIRC, the 6ES8 is a single triode... To emulate a 6386 you'd have nightmares matching them, as the 6386 is a dual-triode, so each side is relatively well matched to begin with.

The EAR uses PCC189: http://www.mif.pg.gda.pl/homepages/f...0/p/PCC189.pdf

PCC189s are plentiful to my knowledge. Doesn't the Gyraf use a PCC189?
Justin
Yes, we use PCC189's - aka 7ES8 (a diff-heater variation of, but essentially the same as the ECC189 aka 6ES8) in our G10. They're dual-triodes alright, but have quite different characteristics from the 6386, making them unuseable in the fairchild circuit (even though they'd have much better output drive characteristics than 6386 before dying early because of overvoltage) The PCC189's has to be matched even tighter than the 6386's - but that's no problem as there's plenty around for the next many, many years.

Jakob E.
#29
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ADL 670

Hey Guys;
I have a ADL 670, believe it's #3 of 4 or 5 which Anthony has built,
I think he only has enough parts to build 5 of these things, but I could be wrong?
Anyhow, we did shoot outs with an original Fairchild and the ADL 670, for the most part they were identical! Maybe the original was a little darker, slightly more noise, but the overall character of the two units were the same!
Even the little quirks that are inherent in the original Farchild were also there in the ADL version...
Not bad...

I have used it succesfully on a 2 mix, with fabulous results, it puts everything in your face.
Although takes a bit of time to get the settings correct, and tracking the same.
But well worth the effort.
Also used it on vocals, bass, and drums, basically tried it with everything and so far within it's limitations it always came thru with flying colors.
A great piece, and well worth the money!
I was going to purchase an original unit, but didn't want the maintenence hassles, so after evaluating both units, the ADL was the only was to go!
Paul
#30
16th June 2005
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A lot more for 20K.......

You can buy this ones at Mercenary for this prices. Maybe for less if you buy them all at the same time! U would have 10 channels of 4 different COLORS instead of 2 channels with same COLOR.



2 EMPIRICAL LABS DISTRESSOR - EL-8SX......................................U$ 5,700.00

THERMIONIC CULTURE Phoenix Stereo Valve Compressor............U$ 4,250.00

MANLEY All Tube Variable-Mu Limiter Compressorpad...................U$ 3,600.00

PENDULUM AUDIO ES-8 Two Channel Variable-MU Limiter............U$ 3,150.00

TOTAL............................................................................................U$16,700.00

If you want, you can also send me the 3.3K and I will complete it to buy a Varimu!
Just kiddin...

I think this will give you a nice rig of comps, for less money and more VERSATILE, I don´t know if this is the correct word (sorry but I speak ESPAÑOL).

Good luck. thumbsup

PUPO
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