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Western Electric Console? Single-Channel Preamps
Old 20th May 2008
  #1
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Western Electric Console?

Hello,

Can anyone tell me their experience with Western Electric 25 consoles?

i am looking for a console to use for tracking. I record Hip HOp, R&B, Jazz, and Pop mainly.

I'm looking for a good tracking console. i don't need too many channels. i already have 2x 1081, 4x ISA-110, and 2x electrodyne solid state mic pres.

I was considering telefunken V-76, Electrodyne Tube Pres, and WE/Langevin Tube pres. this console would be nice.

thanks
Old 21st March 2009
  #2
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I noticed there was no response to this post. I am gathering that Western Electrics are kind of rare or unknown at least. Rather than start a new thread to be ignored, I might as well bump this one with my question.

Anyone ever heard/heard of the Western Electric 101-BX preamp?

I am hoping that is a pair of UI transformers, ala United Audio/Bill Putnum. I just won an eBay auction for one yesterday. For the price I paid, I think the transformers alone would probably be worth the money.

Thanks in advance for any information!

Eric
Attached Thumbnails
Western Electric Console?-western-electric-001.jpg   Western Electric Console?-western-electric-002.jpg   Western Electric Console?-western-electric-003.jpg   Western Electric Console?-western-electric-004.jpg   Western Electric Console?-western-electric-005.jpg  

Old 21st March 2009
  #3
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Larry ("Silvertone") will probably be able to tell you all you need to knowhehthumbsup
Old 22nd March 2009
  #4
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Wasn't Wunder Audio supposed to be doing some type of Western Electric preamp clone?
Old 22nd March 2009
  #5
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There aren't many people still alive having much experience with a WE console. Prior to the late 1940s RCA and WE made virtually all mike preamps and consoles which involved patents the two companies cross-licensed from each other.

One of the last studios to use a WE console was Radio Recorders in Hollywood. Radio was the premiere record making facility on the west coast prior to the late '50s. Lots of the early Capitol records were recorded there including most of Sinatra's Capitol recordings. Elvis Presley also recorded many records at Radio. I recently learned that the very first stereo LP ever released was recorded at Radio.
Old 22nd March 2009
  #6
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i saw one of these consoles going for 8k a few months ago on ebay ill put some pictures up...altec made a console similar to it in looks during maybe the 50's i believe , i know doug williams might now more about this consolse as he has a whole bunch of information on the history of recording....its my belif these consoles were made in around 1935-40's
Old 22nd March 2009
  #7
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my mistake it was introduced in 1941 i have pdf of the ad but it isnt in such good quality....i also inclosed a picture of the 25b console also the 22D and the altec 250A which was inspired by the 25B although i cant say they sound the same according to doug the looks is where the similarites end but that beats me as ive never heard either.
Attached Thumbnails
Western Electric Console?-we.jpg  
Attached Files
Old 22nd March 2009
  #8
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Those are cool Chaellus, thanks!
Old 22nd March 2009
  #9
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Last COMPLETE 25 console I saw at auction sold for over $25K, about 6 years ago. That's four preamps. The transformers from one of these stripped out would sell for close to the same amount today. Every other one on ebay the last few years is simply the shell, with original amps stripped out and replaced with something else. Those (don't even) sell for all that much.
Old 22nd March 2009
  #10
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Any thoughts on the WE 22D. I may have a chance to get one.
Old 22nd March 2009
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kronos147 View Post
Those are cool Chaellus, thanks!

anytime bro
Old 22nd March 2009
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaellus View Post
anytime bro
I think there is one on eBay atm

edit:
found it
Old 23rd March 2009
  #13
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The Altec is nothing like the WE beyond basic appearance. Consider them totally different consoles; they are.
Old 23rd March 2009
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Dutch Master View Post
I think there is one on eBay atm

edit:
found it


id buy it if i had the cash unfortunatly i dont......
Old 28th April 2009
  #15
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Western Electric Preamps

I am restoring (will sell) a pair of Western Electric mic. preamps (310A tube!)

One is NOS. Racking them up with an ext. power supply.

If anyone wants photos and more info, email me. I'm getting that together over the next week.

These are grey panel (from relay rack) 1950's. Have original tags & scematic (blueprint).

Jim McGee [email protected]
Old 29th April 2009
  #16
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Jim, I would be interested in knowing if the tube heater voltage was AC or DC on those.

Thanks,
Eric
Old 29th April 2009
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emrr View Post
The Altec is nothing like the WE beyond basic appearance. Consider them totally different consoles; they are.
Not sure that's true Doug... at least not according to the seller of this console...

Altec 250A console. This was the replacement for the Western Electric 25B console when Altec acquired the WE designs. The Altec 250A is the best tube console ever made. It has plug in amplifiers and power supplies. It has seven A-428 preamplifiers and three A-429 line amplifiers. There is space for two optional A-428 preamps. It has nine inputs and two outputs, and can be used for stereo mixing. There are two VU meters and one meter for checking tubes. I will include a CD and printed copy of the complete manual. It was taken out of service several years ago in operating condition. As with all old tube equipment, the capacitors should be checked and the voltage brought up gradually. There are no broken switches, incorrect amplifiers & power supplies, or missing knobs, poor finish, like some listed on eBay. It is overall in verry nice condition, but sold as is.

There are a total of ten Altec/Peerless 4629 input transformers on the amplifiers. This is the same as the K-241 Peerless, but has wire leads instead of solder terminals.

This same guy had a Western Electric 25D console a few months back that he sold for 2500.00... I almost bought it from him.

Still restoring my custom Langevin based tube console (12x3) and pairing it with a Presto 3 track. Can't wait to record using her.
Old 1st May 2009
  #18
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Well, it's true, they are totally different. Come on down and I'll show you pics and spec sheets until you are blue in the face.

The WE is 4 input channels, 2 program channels, and a monitor amp. None of it plug in, none of it remotely similar in circuit to the Altec. Similarity ends at the exterior case.

There are 2 versions of the Altec modules, each with different tube types. The circuit may even be different to a large degree. Neither like the WE.

His WE console had the original guts removed, and was replaced with something else. Opamp Labs SS plug-in amps, I recall.
Old 1st May 2009
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emrr View Post
Well, it's true, they are totally different. Come on down and I'll show you pics and spec sheets until you are blue in the face.

The WE is 4 input channels, 2 program channels, and a monitor amp. None of it plug in, none of it remotely similar in circuit to the Altec. Similarity ends at the exterior case.

There are 2 versions of the Altec modules, each with different tube types. The circuit may even be different to a large degree. Neither like the WE.

His WE console had the original guts removed, and was replaced with something else. Opamp Labs SS plug-in amps, I recall.
As always thanks for the clarification Doug. So you know the guy who has the 25B console?

He also has some Langevin/Electrodyne 251 EQ's I'm interested in for a lunch box I'm building.

Talk soon.

best regards,
Larry
Old 1st May 2009
  #20
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dual mono. there is no panning, only channel switching. I don't think it is wired for 'center'. You could rewire the switches for L/C/R, but still no panning.
Old 1st May 2009
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kronos147 View Post
Anyone ever heard/heard of the Western Electric 101-BX preamp?

I am hoping that is a pair of UI transformers, ala United Audio/Bill Putnum.
Cinema Engineering, not Western Electric. Probably Triad transformers. Most Cinema stuff seems to have Triad potting cans, though I've seen some UTC iron as outputs on Cinema power amps.

There is no such thing as a UI (UA?) transformer, they used custom designs made by a bunch of different companies. Someone over at Prodigy posted more detailed info about some UA input transformers. Peerless, UTC, EE, Pacific Magnetic Corporation, and Microtran were all makers of the same UA part #, so there's a big mix of potential things one might find on a given piece.
Old 1st May 2009
  #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emrr View Post
Cinema Engineering, not Western Electric. Probably Triad transformers. Most Cinema stuff seems to have Triad potting cans, though I've seen some UTC iron as outputs on Cinema power amps.

There is no such thing as a UI (UA?) transformer, they used custom designs made by a bunch of different companies. Someone over at Prodigy posted more detailed info about some UA input transformers. Peerless, UTC, EE, Pacific Magnetic Corporation, and Microtran were all makers of the same UA part #, so there's a big mix of potential things one might find on a given piece.
Yes, I have found this to be true myself. Once you get above a certain caliber of design and construction many times we are just "splitting hairs" anyway. However other times it will change the sound dramatically, sometimes for the better and occasionally for the worse.
Old 2nd May 2009
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by emrr View Post
There is no such thing as a UI (UA?) transformer,
UI meaning the shape of the laminates. The first pic shows a UI and the second an EI. At least, that is my understanding.
Attached Thumbnails
Western Electric Console?-magic-bus-12.jpg   Western Electric Console?-ssl-vsi-api-02.jpg  
Old 2nd May 2009
  #24
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Ah, gotcha. Transformer core stacking shapes wouldn't have anything to do with United Audio/Bill Putnam; thus my confusion in interpretation.
Old 3rd May 2009
  #25
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WE Preamps available soon

Eric,

I'm running the 310A DC on the filaments. This amp originally had AC filaments.

Slowly brought them up last week (variac) with a pair of 414EBs (real CK-12 caps). Man, do these sound sweet!

Waiting for some special aluminum tube shields from Hong Kong for the 310A tubes.

Email me if anyone will be interested in seeing photos, doc.s and hearing samples.

Thanks!

Jim [email protected]
Old 4th May 2009
  #26
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Shoot any response tests? If they are '50's, there's always the question of band-limiting for phone work. What iron is on them? Single stage, or multiple?
Old 17th November 2009
  #27
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WE preamps

These are NOT band limited WE pre.s Single stage 310A tube. WE transformers.
Sorry I've been off line for a while. I'm going to try to finish racking these with power supplies this month.

Jim
Old 24th November 2009
  #28
Gear Maniac
just found this thread, please keep us posted on the WE sound
would love to see pics too,

sh
Old 4th March 2016
  #29
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Western Electric Console

Sorry this is soooo late.

There used to be a Western Electric 25b console in the production studio of KDIX radio in Dickinson, ND. It was a neat console, I enjoyed working on it, but this was back in the late 70's..... God only knows where it ended up. I suppose you could call them.

mjr56
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