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How old is the Altec 436a Compressor? Dual-Channel Preamps
Old 15th December 2006
  #1
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soupking's Avatar
 

How old is the Altec 436a Compressor?

I've heard it was used by the Beatles, but was it used as early as the 50's? Or were other brands more popular back then?
Old 15th December 2006
  #2
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vernier's Avatar
Is that the one they used?
Old 15th December 2006
  #3
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nosebleedaudio's Avatar
 

The schematic I have looks like 1962, for the 436C
From what I remember in one of the books it was later maybe late 60's that the Beatles used one. I could be wrong.
Old 15th December 2006
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nosebleedaudio View Post
The schematic I have looks like 1962, for the 436C
From what I remember in one of the books it was later maybe late 60's that the Beatles used one. I could be wrong.
According to the new 'Recording the Beatles' book, you are wrong. The Altec compressors came out in the late 50's. And the Altec compressors Abbey Road did have were heavily modified, according to the book.

JP
Old 15th December 2006
  #5
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Sorry but IM am correct you need to read...
I said the 436C
The A came out in the late 50's.
Old 15th December 2006
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nosebleedaudio View Post
Sorry but IM am correct you need to read...
I said the 436C


The A came out in the late 50's.
which is what the original question asked -- 'how old is the A?'

who needs to read now?

Besides, I was speaking to the time period of use when i said 'according to the book you are wrong'. Maybe i should have said mistaken. Or, your assumption was incorrect. Or, that may be a fallacy.

JP
Old 15th December 2006
  #7
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soupking's Avatar
 

I'm glad you guys clarified that point. I was liable to make the mistake myself.
Old 28th December 2006
  #8
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emrr's Avatar
The date on the schematic appears to be late 1950's, but it's hard to read on my copies.
Old 4th February 2018
  #9
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I’m reviving an old thread to ask about the sound/usefulness of a 436A. I have the chance to pick one up in great condition. I noticed it has NO controls on it at all. I’m assuming it’s compression is based on how much signal it receives? Yes?

How does it sound though? Dark? Gritty? Clean? Colored?

Thanks
Old 5th February 2018
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Providence View Post
I’m reviving an old thread to ask about the sound/usefulness of a 436A. I have the chance to pick one up in great condition. I noticed it has NO controls on it at all. I’m assuming it’s compression is based on how much signal it receives? Yes?

How does it sound though? Dark? Gritty? Clean? Colored?

Thanks
Bump?
Old 6th February 2018
  #11
I’ve got a 436b that was modified to a c. That means I have control over the threshold and release. Frankly, I can’t imagine using the thing without at least *some* control over the basics, so it might be worth looking into having your a modified.

Sonically, it’s cool and weird. Pretty slow overall in the compression. Sorta gritty and a bit aggressive tonally. The compression vibe is like the opposite of the tonal vibe, which is what makes it unique and also kinda strange. I love mine for aggressive bass (like an svt heavy rock thing), esp when paired with something faster and more limiter-y. A freelancer we had in recently used it on snare because he’d read d’angelo’s engineer did the same on the latest record, and that yielded super cool results. Nice thick gooey compression and a really interesting “old” character and tone.
Old 6th February 2018
  #12
BTW the Beatles didn’t use stock altecs. They were heavily modded into abbey roads rs124 (p sure I’m getting the model number right..shouldn’t be hard o google if you’re curious). I’ve played with that mod on both the original altecs and some recent reissues (the revolution one from a few years ago, and the Liverpool box which I have now) and it’s awesome. Killer bass and vocal compressor. I love it. I think retro just released a stereo version, and chandler has a version too.
Old 6th February 2018
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
BTW the Beatles didn’t use stock altecs. They were heavily modded into abbey roads rs124 (p sure I’m getting the model number right..shouldn’t be hard o google if you’re curious). I’ve played with that mod on both the original altecs and some recent reissues (the revolution one from a few years ago, and the Liverpool box which I have now) and it’s awesome. Killer bass and vocal compressor. I love it. I think retro just released a stereo version, and chandler has a version too.
Yup. very heavily modded. I wasn't aware of the Retro version (???) and havent heard the Chandler one (though I'm told by people I trust that it is really cool) but I have a Hinson one here.
Old 6th February 2018
  #14
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cheu78's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Yup. very heavily modded. I wasn't aware of the Retro version (???) and havent heard the Chandler one (though I'm told by people I trust that it is really cool) but I have a Hinson one here.
The retro revolver (Due to its name it's probably the modified altec version that the beatles used.. ?? Dunno for sure, but since the name I'd guess so.. Please correct me if this is wrong) was presented at namm 2018, but since this year appeared to be an exceptional year (a lot of very cool stuff coming out, personally can't wait for the Transdrive), I've felt that the retro went a little bit under the radar unfortunately.. It's a stereo unit 2RU.



Cheu
Old 7th February 2018
  #15
The design is close to the Urei 175.
Old 7th February 2018
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
The design is close to the Urei 175.
No kidding?? I never would have guessed that, based purely on sound. Very cool info
Old 7th February 2018
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Yup. very heavily modded. I wasn't aware of the Retro version (???) and havent heard the Chandler one (though I'm told by people I trust that it is really cool) but I have a Hinson one here.
Trev- give the Liverpool a spin if you get the opportunity. It’s super cool. Or if you’re in Boston swing by and I’ll show you ours.
Old 7th February 2018
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by bgrotto View Post
Trev- give the Liverpool a spin if you get the opportunity. It’s super cool. Or if you’re in Boston swing by and I’ll show you ours.
Bound to be passing at some point before the year is out!
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