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Regarding Older comps/limiters ex. Federals, StaLevel, Collins etc..
Old 15th May 2006
  #1
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Regarding Older comps/limiters ex. Federals, StaLevel, Collins etc..

Guys because of the limited amount of time I've been engineering my own stuff as opposed to hiring engineers, I lack experience with older rare comps.
What rare comps do you have at your disposal and what do you look for when reaching for that particular piece?
Old 15th May 2006
  #2
C/G
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I can't really answer your question, but the price that these vintage space heaters are going for now is ridiculous. A couple years ago you could get a Sta-level for about $700 or ceaper, now they are going for $1600 +. Same with the Federals and Collins limiters. I would love to have one myself, but the $2000 I would shell out for one (most need some tlc or new tubes so figure a few extra hundered dollars for that) I would rather buy something new with a warranty. Those old ones are cool for sure but they are fetching way too much cash these days.
Old 15th May 2006
  #3
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Rick Sutton's Avatar
 

What I got: 2 Sta-Levels
What I look for with them: Hair, Attitude, Ju-Ju, Agressive behavior without high frequency artifacts.
Old 15th May 2006
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin Gaucher
I can't really answer your question, but the price that these vintage space heaters are going for now is ridiculous. A couple years ago you could get a Sta-level for about $700 or ceaper, now they are going for $1600 +. Same with the Federals and Collins limiters. I would love to have one myself, but the $2000 I would shell out for one (most need some tlc or new tubes so figure a few extra hundered dollars for that) I would rather buy something new with a warranty. Those old ones are cool for sure but they are fetching way too much cash these days.

Sorry Colin,

But for what a Sta-Level in tip top condition can do on a vocal or bass its worth it.


There is nothing modern out there right now that gives you that sound.


I have a totally rebuilt and modified Sta-Level and its a dream.


I am currently looking for another one because i am tired of switching tubes depending on application(when mixing lead vocals or bass).
Old 15th May 2006
  #5
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with anything you need to decide what it's worth for YOU... not just to the open market.

I personally think the Federal limiters are useless... i think people buy them because they look old and cool.

but that's ME.

on the other hand, I think a Fairchild 670 is worth every penny.
Old 15th May 2006
  #6
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vernier's Avatar
Vintage exclusively here ...UA, RCA, Altec, GE, etc, and had Federals, Sta-Levels, Raytheon, Collins. They create excitment.
Old 15th May 2006
  #7
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robot gigante's Avatar
I have a chance to pick up a Raytheon... what are those like?

Also it seems like there is little to no info on some of those Gates tubes comps anywhere if you go by the model number... Did they make a bunch of different kinds or do you think that the sellers of these that give you the model number are giving you the model numbers of Sta-Levels or Level Devils...? I don't know if this question makes sense but the only site with Gates info that I could find had Sta-Levels and Levil Devils listed and nothing else, where sometimes I'll run into model numbers like 28CO, M-5263 etc for sale.

Also, how does an RCA BA-25A compare to a BA-6A?

thanks!
Old 15th May 2006
  #8
C/G
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
Sorry Colin,

But for what a Sta-Level in tip top condition can do on a vocal or bass its worth it.


There is nothing modern out there right now that gives you that sound.


I have a totally rebuilt and modified Sta-Level and its a dream.


I am currently looking for another one because i am tired of switching tubes depending on application(when mixing lead vocals or bass).
The slut in me really wants one, but the practical guy keeps saying no. I'm going to have to deal with Mr. Practical one of these days. I still think they are going for too much cash these days, and that is what promted my response. I have a line on a free one from an old radio station but I'm just trying to get through some red tape so I can grab it.
Old 15th May 2006
  #9
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vernier's Avatar
Raytheon, from the 40's, lots of character, but mine distorted when limiting, broke-up and we couldn't fix. Had a second identical one, distorted the same.
Gates, I couldn't tell any difference between the models, but they felt stiff. As for RCA, never tried a BA-25A.
Old 15th May 2006
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colin Gaucher
I have a line on a free one from an old radio station but I'm just trying to get through some red tape so I can grab it.
Well if the tape stays red send that line by my way.heh


I am sure with a couple of greenbacks I can cut through any tape.
Old 16th May 2006
  #11
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Thanks for the info, Vernier. The Raytheon is one of those 40's models, but it looks like I'll pass on it since I won't be able to audition it before I buy.

I think I'm just going to have to save up for a pair of BA-6A's and maybe pick up a Gates or a Collins if I can find a good deal on either.
Old 16th May 2006
  #12
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TonyBelmont's Avatar
 

Sta-Level is a great compressor.. I know a lot of rock guys have them as a secret weapon. I use to get calls all the time from big name engineer's looking for them. Although since the market price went up, that is hardly happening now.
Old 16th May 2006
  #13
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I love the Federals. For me, they're especially nice on vocals and bass. Mine seem to make whatever goes through them jump front and center. Nice distortion, similar to the older LA2As that I've used, but the attack and release times are faster.

Chris Garges
Charlotte, NC
Old 16th May 2006
  #14
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adam_f's Avatar
I have two Federals in mint condition. If you understand how to use them, especially on bass gtr they can make you **** your pants; fantastic on Vocals too.
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