Filtek BKE-3 (Filtek BKE3)...high-end?
Old 10th June 2011
  #1
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dhollmusik's Avatar
 

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Filtek BKE-3 & TAB U-373p...advice, please

See post #5 for update:

--------------

Hi all.


I've been looking online for information on the Filtek BKE-3 compressor but find next to nothing. What I have found:

- the schematics as scanned PDF.
- that the BKE compressors were made as a kind of competitor to or perhaps imitation of the famous Neumann compressors of the 1970's.
- the BKE-3 model is I believe 1982 vintage.
- a couple of Gearslutz entries, one "for-sale" and one "gear used for my song"...but nothing on the characteristics and quality of the compressor.


I haven't been able to find a single Google search result which has someone, in German or in English, opining as to the quality of this device and what they might have used it for.


So two questions to yous, please:

1) am I in the best subforum for this device (i.e. is it high-end?)
2) anyone have experience of it and can offer some opinions?


Thanks.
Old 10th June 2011
  #2
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Capstan Cappy's Avatar
 

1st YES they are high-end, i have seen other com/lim much worse pass for high-end here so the BKE3 surely are, ..snd i have 2 of them and they are supurb on basdrum and snare, not heavy hitters but they sound amazing.
Old 10th June 2011
  #3
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Filtek/BFE was purchased by Siemens (in the 1970's I believe) and production was moved from Switzerland to West Germany. All of the black face modules that I have seen were Swiss made and the tan and other color modules were German made. BFE still exists (or it did the last time I checked) and is still owned by Siemens but they have been out of the pro audio business for many years. They made eq modules, mic pres and a compressor. The Filtek eq and compressor and are great for making relatively minor, non-destructive, and very precise adjustments to an audio signal. BFE/Filtek stuff is definitely high end and was a rival to the TAB/Telefunken modules and the other modules made by Siemens.

If you are looking for a transparent sounding compressor to make small to moderate adjustments, with few sonic artifacts, then the Filtek would be an excellent choice. The Filtek is also a good mix-buss compressor. If you are looking for a "character" compressor, something that sounds like the Urei 1176 in the 4 button mode because you want to squash the heck out of something, you will probably not be happy with the Filtek.
Old 11th June 2011
  #4
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Capstan Cappy View Post
i have 2 of them and they are supurb on basdrum and snare, not heavy hitters but they sound amazing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmikeperkins View Post
If you are looking for a transparent sounding compressor to make small to moderate adjustments, with few sonic artifacts, then the Filtek would be an excellent choice. The Filtek is also a good mix-buss compressor. If you are looking for a "character" compressor, something that sounds like the Urei 1176 in the 4 button mode because you want to squash the heck out of something, you will probably not be happy with the Filtek.

Thanks for the informative replies, the Siemens link is particularly interesting. The Telefunken devices still hold a lot of interest for audiophiles and, what in German might be termed, "edel Produzenten".

I produce synth-based electronic music and like to dabble in techno and darkpsy. I've tried other compressors on exclusively the kick and snare (using my Jomox Airbase99 percussion synth). So far I've used low-end compressors like Samson S-Com, DBX 266A and Alesis 3630. The Samson did well in ooomph terms, but is noisy and didn't feel far enough away from the other elements. The DBX did ok in spacial terms, but lost that ooomph. The Alesis didn't appear to do anything noteworthy to drum sounds, but when switched to other synths seems to do some 'glacial' thing to pads and leads.

I still have a lot to learn about effectively using a compressor in a hardware rig for electronic music production, but I can safely say those 3 compressors haven't quite tickled my fancy enough for me to think of them as essential to my set-up.

Another, more common and modern, compressor I am looking out for is a Focusrite Penta. This one might not be high-end but I've read lots of useful reviews recommending it for electronic dance music production.


But first, the BKE-3: it is on its way to join my studio, so I will be very looking forward to seeing how it might perform on heavy-hitting percussive sounds in a hard techno production.

Once I've used it in a techno jam I'll update this thread with a Soundcloud audio demo.
Old 23rd June 2011
  #5
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmikeperkins View Post
BFE/Filtek stuff is definitely high end and was a rival to the TAB/Telefunken modules and the other modules made by Siemens.

Ok, I've now received the BKE-3 and also a TAB U-373p. I'm at a loss so forgive this possibly dumb question:

how do I integrate them into my studio?

All I see at the back of the TAB (which I assume is also a compressor) is a 31-pin connector. At the back of the Filtek is a 23-pin connector.

Are these devices missing something? There's not even a power socket.

Thanks for any advice.
Old 23rd June 2011
  #6
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These modules were intended to be mounted into a Danner frame of a mixing console. The frame holds the connector which is permanently wired to the rest of the desk. You need to get a connector for your modules (reichelt.de for the 31 pin, ebay for the 23 pin) and do the wiring yourself. Schematics and pinouts can be found at kubarth.com . If not then let me know, I may have something laying around, though I think I´ve sent all my stuff to kubarth for hosting....
There´s folks around who do racking jobs of Rundfunktechnik modules for a living. Check sonicworld.de, vintagecity.de, hestudiotechnik.de for that purpose.

I have a pair of BKE1 and I still have to find another compressor that does similar (nice) things. These comps are definitely high-end and a one of a kind.
Old 23rd June 2011
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jensenmann View Post
These modules were intended to be mounted into a Danner frame of a mixing console. The frame holds the connector which is permanently wired to the rest of the desk. You need to get a connector for your modules (reichelt.de for the 31 pin, ebay for the 23 pin) and do the wiring yourself. Schematics and pinouts can be found at kubarth.com . If not then let me know, I may have something laying around, though I think I´ve sent all my stuff to kubarth for hosting....
There´s folks around who do racking jobs of Rundfunktechnik modules for a living. Check sonicworld.de, vintagecity.de, hestudiotechnik.de for that purpose.

I have a pair of BKE1 and I still have to find another compressor that does similar (nice) things. These comps are definitely high-end and a one of a kind.

Brilliant reply, jensenmann...just what I was after, thanks a lot.


I'll look into those sites and names you gave me. I have 2 Polysixes and enjoy the vintage kosmische Musik Sound (Neu, Harmonia, Cosmic Jokers, Can usw). I'm interested to find out what these devices do to the sound of vintage analog synths. Also make techno...could be interesting.


Greetings from Berlin to Karlsruhe (nice city, with a lovely park. I almost moved there to work for the guys behind web.de, but the project was duff so decided against it).
Old 24th June 2011
  #8
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cheers
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