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RCA 86A1 limiter .. any one used one Condenser Microphones
Old 11th January 2006
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

RCA 86A1 limiter .. any one used one

has any one ever used an old RCA 86A1 (RAC 86-A1) . If so how are these units on bass and kick. Also has anyone ever used a GATES 39a Limiter. I am after a compressor that is I can use mainly on bass abd synth bass. I want to make huge bass....any ideas..
Old 11th January 2006
  #2
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
The 86 was the predecessor of the BA-6A which is a Pentode based remote shutoff [Variable Mu/Delta Mu whatever the fukk you want to call the process] limiter. They were originally made for broadcast and can put out horsepower at the back end [so I'd recommend you use it with an input and output pad or you'll never get to move the gain knob].

I've found them noisier and a bit less reliable than a well tuned BA-6A... but if you can get it cheap enough it's probably a good buy. I've been seeing BA-6A's going for like $3,500 [saw an 86 go for a bit more as it's even more "vintage"]... which is way rich for my taste... for that kind of scratch I'd do an InnerTUBE "Atomic Squeeze Box" in a heartbeat with zero remorse.

I have a feeling I've probably used a Gates 39 at some point but don't recall it by that model number.

Best of luck with your search.
Old 12th January 2006
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

Cheers

thanks for the info.
what i really want is a good compressor for bass and synth bass. i produce mainly dub and bass heavy hip hop. the atomic squeeze box looks great. do you know of any other compressor or limiter that would be good for my cause.
Old 12th January 2006
  #4
Gear Maniac
 
John Noll's Avatar
 

We used to have a nice 86a that did sound quite nice on bass. But keep in mind that one of these monsters would be about 50+ years old and they require a fair amount of upkeep and take up a lot of rack space. A less expensive (but still bulky) option would be one of those Federal AM-864/U compressors. They can be found in the $800 range and can make a bass sound pretty big. You'll probably have to pad the output to interface properly with modern gear.
Old 12th January 2006
  #5
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeymarc
thanks for the info.
what i really want is a good compressor for bass and synth bass.
The MC-77 and/or Smart Research C-2 are usually my first grabs for bass stuff... but no two people work the same [which is a good thing].
Old 13th January 2006
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

cheers.. i will check those units out.
isnt the mc-77 a urie 1176 replica.. if so. i have used an 1176 on bass and not had too much luck. i find it thins it out too much. is the mc-77 better for bass than the 1176..
what i am after is huge dub style bass... i work alot with synth bass (atc-1 tone chameleon) and sampled bass. i like my bass to be massive and upfront and sub heavy.
cheers
Old 21st June 2011
  #7
Lives for gear
 
DONNX's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
The 86 was the predecessor of the BA-6A which is a Pentode based remote shutoff [Variable Mu/Delta Mu whatever the fukk you want to call the process] limiter.

Now thats some funny shxt. hehhehhehheh



mwagener wrote on Sat, 11 September 2004 14:33
We are selling emotions, there are no emotions in a grid

And that comment is SPOT ON with digital music of today. Kudos for Mwagener
Old 19th May 2016
  #8
Gear Addict
 
BrianK's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeymarc View Post
has any one ever used an old RCA 86A1 (RAC 86-A1) . If so how are these units on bass and kick. Also has anyone ever used a GATES 39a Limiter. I am after a compressor that is I can use mainly on bass abd synth bass. I want to make huge bass....any ideas..
NOTE: For What It's Worth:

Just saw one of these today, an old radio station tech showed me his from the 40s/50s. He said the output transformer is asymmetrical = not even, they use a different number of windings, as this was made for radio broadcast; it limits only the negative-going side of the signal. On his unit, the output transformer had died, so he put in an old UTC with similar specs but symmetrical winding; he says it works a WHOLE lot better now as the output is limited equally on both sides of the waveform.
Old 19th May 2016
  #9
Lives for gear
 
emrr's Avatar
This is not correct. The windings on most output transformers tend to be symmetrical with respect to AC, asymmetrical with respect to DC because of the way they are wound. You get the same AC voltages and gain #s off of them regardless of what a DC meter tells you, and the side chains are symmetrical. I have owned many SA-38/39 and a few RCA 86/96. The Federal side chain is however asymmetrical.
Old 19th May 2016
  #10
Gear Addict
 
BrianK's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by emrr View Post
This is not correct. The windings on most output transformers tend to be symmetrical with respect to AC, asymmetrical with respect to DC because of the way they are wound. You get the same AC voltages and gain #s off of them regardless of what a DC meter tells you, and the side chains are symmetrical. I have owned many SA-38/39 and a few RCA 86/96. The Federal side chain is however asymmetrical.
I'm only repeating what he found - I understand what you say. So maybe the improvement he found was due to the UTC instead the original RCA trans.
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