The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
Gates Level-Devil - hows it sound, whats it worth?? Dynamics Processors (HW)
Old 2nd April 2004
Gear Nut
pedalboy's Avatar

Gates Level-Devil - hows it sound, whats it worth??

So somehow I have gotten my hands on this huge (4 rack spaces, i think) old funky limiter called a Gates Level-Devil. And if all goes well I will be able to keep it, too! From what I gathered on the net, its from the 1950's, its a tube unit and it was used a lot in radio broadcast. I've seen these listed on some studio's gearlists, also.

I saw one up for sale on some vintage radio site for $1k. Must be a pretty good unit.

Ok, so now the bad news... There are two sets of wires that are hanging free from the back of the unit near the power supply section. I kinda think i see where they broke off from, but... don't want to blow things up.

Have any of you heard this unit or anything? Does it have any good qualities? Can anyone tell me if it really is work 1k or not? ANY HELP AT ALL will be appreciated greatly! Thakns all.
Old 3rd April 2004
Gear Addict
Beezoboy's Avatar

Here is a link to the manual/schematic. It should help you figure some things out I hope. Depending on where you are located there are quite a few guys out there who can get this thing going again for you. Maybe you should give Jim Williams a call.

Old 3rd April 2004
Gear Nut
pedalboy's Avatar

thanks for the reply. The link is dead, however. I had been to that site before and noticed the dead link. I just sent off an email regarding ithe dead link.

Where is this Jim Williams located? I live around Chicago but go to school near St. Louis, so if anyone knows of anybody around there, give me the hookups. Thanks.

If anyone's interested, this site (which is a really cool article anyway) has a blurb about the Gates Sta-Level sounding a little LA-2A-ish. Perhaps the Level-Devil also shares those characteristics.
Old 3rd April 2004
Lives for gear
echorec's Avatar

Hi pedalboy, check this
Old 22nd March 2010
Gear Nut

One of these has come up for sale in the UK and i'm interested. The seller is asking 1500 ukp. Is the unit worth it? There seems to be very little info on these units around....
Old 22nd March 2010
Lives for gear
jmikeperkins's Avatar
Jim Williams is in Calabasas California, but he is a great tech for something like this.
Old 22nd March 2010
Gear Nut

Check this out.

It basically says that the Level Devil added gating and return to zero functions to the Sta-Level circuits.
I believe it came out in 1960. I worked at radio stations back in the early 70's that still used the Sta-Level and Level Devil. I think there's one on Ebay.
Old 23rd March 2010
Lives for gear
drew's Avatar
Send it to Phil Moore at Retro Instruments. He'll take good care of it.

Retro Instruments
Old 17th October 2017
Gear Maniac
EvLoutonian's Avatar

Level Devil (not limiting)

Hi folks..

I recently acquired a LEVEL DEVIL, and after some normal checks etc, I powered it up - all seems pretty good, amplifier is passing signal, and the meter shows gain reduction, as I would expect when I pass louder signal sin to it ... but I don't reckon I'm *hearing* any gain reduction.

I checked the switches inside on the circuit board which engage / disengage compressing-limiting, and expansion functions .. both are switched to the 'up' (ON) position.

and the three-way lever switch is set to OPERATE mode..

I moved (wiggled) the valves in their sockets, just making sure the pin contacts are clean etc - seems all pretty good.

Any suggestions on what to check?

Old 26th February 2018
Here for the gear

All I know about the Gates Level Devil is that legendary Hernando, North Miss. producer Jim Dickinson believed that, as a radio studio device, its use in the recording studio resulted in Howlin' Wolf's Sun recordings sounding NOTHING like him & his band sounded live in the early '50s! Understandable when it was trying to level the band up to the excessive, but awesome, level of Wolf's vocals!
Top Mentioned Products
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.

Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread Starter / Forum
anguswoodhead / So Much Gear, So Little Time
PistolP / Rap + Hip Hop Engineering and Production

Forum Jump
Forum Jump