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Just tried my Spectrasonic
Old 5th May 2003
  #1
Lives for gear
 
hrn's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Just tried my Spectrasonic

Tried my new (vintage, 1968) Spectrasonic preamps tonight recording electric guitar.

The amp was an early 70Β΄s Marshall and the mic was a SM 57.

The results were: WOOOW!!

The sound was so sweet and I bet there is some hidden and nice compressor somewhere in it...At least, it sounded that way.

Hans,
www.hagen.nu

Old 6th May 2003
  #2
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Damn, that thing's cute!
Old 6th May 2003
  #3
Gear Guru
 
chrisso's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Yeah, that's a really nice little package.
Is the whole thing Spectrasonics?
Where do you find something like that?
Old 6th May 2003
  #4
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hrn's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
It's all built with Spectrasonic modules 1968 here in Sweden. Seems to be very rare. It's nice to have the real thing with that "iron sound" and not one of the modern copies.

Bought it at http://www.proaudioeurope.com (Funky Junk), Stockholm.

Spectrasonic is still around but I don't know if the new stuff can be compared, or if it's the same construction as the old.

Found this info: "Spectra Sonics Aviation (Ogden Jet Center): 801-392-7533". They don't seem to have a web address....Yes, they are into aviation too.

Hans
Old 6th May 2003
  #5
Lives for gear
 
MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
as a SpectraSonics dealer in the early 70's...i was told that the line driver cards had input limiters .1db before overload...sold more 610's than anything else...tried to sell consoles...but MCI was born here...and hard to fight
Old 6th May 2003
  #6
Gear Guru
 
chrisso's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Mike,
What are the old EQ's and Mic amps like?
I've heard good and bad.
They look so simple.
Old 6th May 2003
  #7
Lives for gear
 
hrn's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I've spent another day with it...and I'm in love. It's the best thing that ever happened to my studio.

Mike,
Thanks for the info. Whatever it is, it works, and it works fantastic.

Hans
Old 10th May 2007 | Show parent
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
Jim Roberts's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Spectrasonic 610

Check it out

http://www.spectrasonics610.com/Home_Page.html

I have an original 610 and inquired about a rebuild. I was told the new 610s will sell for $1995 and that a recap and calibration on my vintage model would be $395.
Old 10th May 2007 | Show parent
  #9
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matta's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hans,

A beautiful mixer from a company whom I know and love... I own a pair of pres from the old Paramount Console, very smooth and warm, somewhere between Neve and API.

Quote:
Spectrasonic is still around but I don't know if the new stuff can be compared, or if it's the same construction as the old.
They don't make 'new stuff', haven't for years, what the had was NOS and will reissue the 610 comp/limiter, but no new stuff, their main industry now is aviation and has been for years.

I'm interested to see/hear the reissues and if they plan on getting Triad to tool-up and make the transformers again...

Your console looks like it has Model 500 Eq's in Channels 1+2, not sure of the others. Your mic pres will be one of 2 amps, either 101's, and based on the age I'm guessing that is the case, which run on a single ended +24V rail.

The later cards were the 110's a bi-polar design with better headroom.

If the European manufacturers stuck with the original transformers your inputs will be Triad A-67 J's wired 1:1 (600:600) with a Triad HS66 on the output...

Enjoy a nice piece of history there! Now go make music!

Cheers

Matt
Old 11th May 2007 | Show parent
  #10
Lives for gear
 
hrn's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Hi Matt,
Have a closer look here: SS 8/2

It has 101 preamps. The eq's are 500 and 501. The transformers are the American UTC. The faders are P and G. The VU-meters are Weston.

Cheers,
Hans
Old 11th May 2007 | Show parent
  #11
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6dyslexicelephnt's Avatar
 
4 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
that thing is tough looking. I bet it sounds amazing. Echo? Please tell me that means it has built in spring reverb!
Old 11th May 2007 | Show parent
  #12
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MIKEHARRIS ➑️
as a SpectraSonics dealer in the early 70's...i was told that the line driver cards had input limiters .1db before overload...sold more 610's than anything else...tried to sell consoles...but MCI was born here...and hard to fight
so it perhaps DOES have a limiter in the signal path then?
Old 11th May 2007 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
hrn's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
6dyslexicelephnt and Jules,
Yes, it sounds amazing. Everything that goes through it sound better when it comes out at the other end. It has a thing going on inside it making things musical and nice for human ears.

I have read opinions on Spectrasonics on other places telling that they sound quite clean, whatever that is. My mojo box put the musical thing to life and I would not say that it has a clean sound. I have other boxes for that.

When I compare my Marenius 2-channel preamp with the SS they are very different but still friends and needed by me.

No spring reverb in it, but that would have been nice. Think I have to update the link with a back side picture because it has some good routing options.

When I put a hot signal into it it sounds like it has some kind of limiter, but it could be loaded transformers or something else, I don't know. But it sounds like a limiter in a way.

When turn on the EQ's without adjusting them I get even more mojo just letting the signal pass through it. And when I start turning the EQ knobs things really starts happening...

Hans
Old 19th May 2007 | Show parent
  #14
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matta's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
It has 101 preamps. The eq's are 500 and 501. The transformers are the American UTC. The faders are P and G. The VU-meters are Weston
.

Interesting that the transformers are UTC as SS mainly used American made Triads, actually first time I've heard of them using the UTC's, I assume they used the ouncers? The little O can series?

Quote:
I have read opinions on Spectrasonics on other places telling that they sound quite clean, whatever that is. My mojo box put the musical thing to life and I would not say that it has a clean sound. I have other boxes for that.
I'm with you on that one, I'd hardly call them clean, not dirty, but not clean. They have a very smooth sound with a round low end and smooth/silky highs and a slight punch in the upper mids.

The 'Echo' send is basically an Aux send , that is what they were called by SS and many other other company's from that era.

Quote:
When I put a hot signal into it it sounds like it has some kind of limiter, but it could be loaded transformers or something else, I don't know. But it sounds like a limiter in a way.
I doubt there is a limiter, they are just very musical and tend to clip in musical way when pushed too hard, which you might be hearing. They don't have the greatest headroom, esp the earlier 101 cards, the 110 had better headroom with it's bi-polar design.

Out of interest the transformers are 1:1 600:600, balancing transformers they don't step up the sound at all, actually the card was designed to be able to drive a load WITHOUT the transformers, it was one of the key selling points... but no doubt the transformer are key in there musicality.

Quote:
When turn on the EQ's without adjusting them I get even more mojo just letting the signal pass through it. And when I start turning the EQ knobs things really starts happening...
You got to love musical inductor based Eq's!

Cheers

Matt
Old 19th May 2007 | Show parent
  #15
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hrn's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
matta,
"Interesting that the transformers are UTC as SS mainly used American made Triads, actually first time I've heard of them using the UTC's, I assume they used the ouncers? The little U can series?"

I have talked to the man (Ingemar Olsson) who built it around the late sixties and he told me that they used UTC trannys. I think he called them "The big American transformers" for their size. I believe that this company was highly regarded. I don't know if they are with us anymore, don't think so.

"I doubt there is a limiter, they are just very musical and tend to clip in musical way when pushed too hard, which you might be hearing. They don't have the greatest headroom, esp the earlier 101 cards, the 110 had better headroom with it's bi-polar design."

Probably not a limiter in it.....but my box acts like it has it ...Probably just nice harmonic distortion....

"You got to love musical inductor based Eq's!"

The best one I've ever tried. They are superb.

Guess if I'm happy to have it?
Old 20th May 2007 | Show parent
  #16
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matta's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
I have talked to the man (Ingemar Olsson) who built it around the late sixties and he told me that they used UTC trannys. I think he called them "The big American transformers" for their size. I believe that this company was highly regarded. I don't know if they are with us anymore, don't think so.
Yes, UTC was/is VERY highly regarded. They are no longer with us, though I know that Universal Audio has a company that has tooled up to reissue certain transformers, for example the LA-2A reissue uses the UTC clone which were very much a part of the LA-2A sound.

They were one of the biggest if not the biggest supplier of transformer back in the day so he might also be referring to their stature, not only/or the footprint.

I'm glad you are enjoying your little mixer, a great buy indeed!

Matt
Old 21st May 2007 | Show parent
  #17
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the1Hub's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by hrn ➑️
I
Spectrasonic is still around but I don't know if the new stuff can be compared, or if it's the same construction as the old.

Found this info: "Spectra Sonics Aviation (Ogden Jet Center): 801-392-7533". They don't seem to have a web address....Yes, they are into aviation too.

Hans
what i understand is that everything, audio wise, currently offered by spectra sonics is NOS.
Old 29th May 2007
  #18
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Spectrasonic Console.

Does anyone know where I can find spectrasonics consoles, racked mic pres like the 101? I know these are rare beast but where would one start looking?
Old 29th May 2007 | Show parent
  #19
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matta's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by asndy82 ➑️
Does anyone know where I can find spectrasonics consoles, racked mic pres like the 101? I know these are rare beast but where would one start looking?

You just have to keep scouring the net...

I own a couple racked my 101 pres and with a bit of help from Fred Forssell, Joe Malone and a couple other techs I wrote a lengthy tech thread on the process of doing this over here if you are electronically minded: Prodigy Professional :: View topic - Racking Spectra Sonics 101

They are very picky with the grounding, but fairly easy to rack once the kinks are ironed out.

The 101 cards appear on Ebay from time to time, gong for between $35-$100USD each, some IM-4/5 channel strips went the other day for about $350 a channel.

I think the last time I saw a console go it was Elvis's one and that was a few years ago.

A great investment if you can get your hands on them, alot have nice personal histories, mine pres are from Paramount Studios A room in the 70's/80's where a slew of artists/engineers made use of them.

Cheers

Matt
Old 29th May 2007 | Show parent
  #20
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axisdreamer's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
spectrasonics

I think Spectrasonics were built by Auditronics throughout the 70's.I;m not sure about the little mixer you have here though?

I have some Auditronics stuff and I use a 24 ch 110 Auditronics console in my studio. Nice inductor eq's in them.

Stace
Old 29th May 2007 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
MIKEHARRIS's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Yes Jules....To prevent overload...the card had a limiter
Old 29th May 2007 | Show parent
  #22
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hrn's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Stace and Mike,

"I think Spectrasonics were built by Auditronics throughout the 70's.I;m not sure about the little mixer you have here though?

I have some Auditronics stuff and I use a 24 ch 110 Auditronics console in my studio. Nice inductor eq's in them."


My mixer was custom built by Ingemar Olsson here in Sweden for the producer GΓΆran Greese (RIP) and has been used on a lot of jazz and acoustic recordings.

It's all built with Spectrasonics components. And of course some own ideas and engineering is put into it. He told me about some problems he met to get it "stable".

Ingemar is one of the best acoustic engineers available in Europe today and I've been talking to him and he has sent me all the papers he had on the mixer glad to hear where it had landed. For example, it's nice to read old brochures from Spectrasonics marketing their stuff.

I have also heard about some connections between Auditronics and Spectrasonics. Not sure in what way though. Maybe Auditronics built mixers using Spectrasonics parts.

Yes, it sounds like it has some kind of limiter taking some edge when the signal is pushed hot. And I like it if I want a massive sound.

And I love the Eq's. This is how it should work.

Cheers,
Hans
Old 31st May 2007 | Show parent
  #23
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matta's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by axisdreamer ➑️
I think Spectrasonics were built by Auditronics throughout the 70's.I;m not sure about the little mixer you have here though?

I have some Auditronics stuff and I use a 24 ch 110 Auditronics console in my studio. Nice inductor eq's in them.

Stace

Stace,

Correct, Spectra Sonics Consoles were built by Auditronics in the USA out of Memphis.

They also built their own line of consoles, of which you have one, the 110 which has a 3 band inductor based EQ and a bigger brother called 'Son of 36 Grand' using a 4 band eq and is also known as the 501, Auditronics later became Wheatstone.

Mike I would be interested to know more about the limiter of which you speak?

The design clips in a musical way but to the best of my knowledge doesn't have an 'on board' limiter circuit?

Regards

Matt
Old 25th June 2007 | Show parent
  #24
Lives for gear
 
hangman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
hrn,
I don't suppose you know which cards your mixer uses?

I have some modules that use the 101 cards, and i've been trying to get them properly wired up. you don't have schmatics or anything for your console do you?

-hangman
Old 28th October 2007 | Show parent
  #25
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
Here's my Spectra Sonics console

This is a model 1024B. It has transformers on everything, and I mean everything. It uses triad. This console also has 110A cards, not the 101's. I also have a handful of spectra sonics 101's that I plan on racking up. I cannot wait to get this thing up and running. I have heard that nothing to this day has surpassed the specs of the 110 or 101 cards.

dfegadon api and neve!
Old 28th October 2007 | Show parent
  #26
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
MySpace

This is on myspace. You have to be logged in to see it. Anyone know how to paste a jpg right in the forum?
Old 28th October 2007 | Show parent
  #27
Lives for gear
 
hangman's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
gregdeerberg, that is so gnarly! I've love to get my hands on a SS console someday. its unfortuneate how hard they seem to be to come by.
what did you pay for yours?

is the EQ in those modules in the feedback circuit of the 110 cards, as it would be on some of the earlier SS modules (like the IM-6)?
Old 31st October 2007 | Show parent
  #28
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
I got lucky and bought it for $1500.00 I have never seen any on the used market to know what they go for, but I'd guess a whole lot more. I believe this console in the late 70's brought close to 50,000.00

The engineer specs for the 502 eq in the manual states:

The microphone/program equalizer shall be of the miniature type, with the physical housing dimensions of not more than 1 1/2" x 7 1/4" x 2 3/4", for console control panel mounting purposes. It shall be a feedback element that, when used in conjunction with the Spectra Sonics model 101 or 110 amplifier shall have a zero insertion loss, and shall be capable of electronically providing graphic type equalizer curves at low frequencies of 50, 100, 200, 300, and 400 HZ with a separate (on-off) insertion switch; mid frequencies of 500, 800, 1.2k, 1.6k, and 2k HZ, with insertion switch; high frequencies of 2.5k, 3.5k, 5k, 7.5k, and 10k HZ, with insertion switch. It shall possess 3 independent frequency controls, 1 for the 5 low frequencies, 1 for the 5 mid frequencies, and 1 for the 5 high frequencies, and shall provide 12db of boost or cut, in selectable increments of 2db, for each of the 15 frequencies. In actual application there shall be no transient, pops, clicks, etc. and distortion shall be less than 1/100th of 1% measurement residual under any condition of boost or cut.
Old 31st October 2007 | Show parent
  #29
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
I figured out how to post pics. Here it is. I will send more closeups of the modules when I get them taken.
Attached Thumbnails
Just tried my Spectrasonic-spectrasonics.jpg  
Old 31st October 2007 | Show parent
  #30
Lives for gear
 
hrn's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
$1500.00 wow
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