Shell Rock, IA – October 2022… Chandler Limited, the ‘Official Equipment Manufacturer of classic EMI Abbey Road Studios recording gear’, delivering the classic analog sounds recording and professional musicians seek, adds to their Abbey Road Studios series with development of the RS660 Compressor.
Chandler Limited and EMI Abbey Road Studios expand the sonic landscape, by combining the technological advancements of the historic EMI RS124 and Fairchild 660 compressors, and distilling them into a refined and elegant compression circuit, that is the ‘RS660 Compressor.’
Rather than a reproduction of existing equipment, the Chandler Limited RS660 Compressor stands apart and represents a path forward in the recording engineering development department. Capable of taming an array of dynamic sources, the new RS660 Compressor and limiter is at home alongside the historic units from which it was hewn and adds to the modern engineer’s cache of analog signal processors.
Where form follows function, the feature set is straight forward, easily identifiable and neatly arranged. However, upon initial listen, the tone and character of the RS660 is remarkable; the engineer will find it effortless to quickly realize a sound and desired result.
By design, Chandler Limited’s Founder and Chief Engineer, Wade Goeke, has harnessed the essential elements critical to achieving ‘the sound’ and presented them in the most efficient and elegant manor. Quality of sound is paramount, and the most direct means to achieve it is the principle.
Wade Goeke, Chandler Limited Founder and Chief Designer— “ The initial concept for the unit went quickly. I spent a few weeks rolling the idea — of doing a 6386 type unit that had EMI roots — around in my mind. I wanted a more efficient way of achieving what a 660 is capable of AND more. The initial design was up and running in two days, but I spent the next three years making sure the design not only sounded amazing, but was simple yet powerful in use.“
Mirek Stiles, Head of Audio products at Abbey Road Studios, reflected on the significance of the RS660 Compressor and the historic context of the Fairchild 660 at the hallowed studios.
Mirek Stiles, Head of Products, Abbey Road Studios— “We started playing around with the RS660 prototypes here on Abbey Road sessions pre-covid. I’m so happy this beautiful little powerhouse has finally been unleashed onto the world. This compressor is a unique beast, not overtly aggressive, quite smooth and definitely a little funky. I particularly love the THD mode for adding subtle distortion on things like vocals and synths. This addition to the RS family feels like a natural progression of the Abbey Road/Chandler sound. Inspired by original 60s technical notes from the Amp Room legends, I feel this unit is a homage to where they might have taken the Abbey Road compression sound next. ”
Relying on three vacuum tubes, the RS660 Compressor represents a more efficient route than that of the eleven tube Fairchild 660, and has been meticulously tuned for a highly desirable sound and response.
Wade Goeke, Chandler Limited Founder and Chief Designer— “ A large part of the work done on the RS660 was making sure the new manufacture 6386 tubes sound like vintage ones. The new versions of the tube not only have less gain and compression, but also significant tonal differences. An entire year of the design was spent on this alone and was a big reason why making a direct 660 style unit was not an option for me as a designer and more specifically a user.”
FIELD-TESTED WITH LUMINARIES
Producer Dave Cobb experienced the RS660 during development and provided his thoughts on compressor and limiter— “I’m so excited about the RS660, it’s the kind of gear I dream about! It’s a brand-new compressor that absolutely holds its own with the legendary Fairchild 660. Wade’s done it again, right out of the box, the RS660 sounds like everything I look for in a vintage tube compressor, without having to worry if it’s going to breakdown on a session.“
Producer, engineer and mixer Tony Maserati has tested the RS660 on a multitude of artists and detailed his time with the new compressor— “ My usual time to integrate new analogue gear is anywhere from two weeks to two months. The RS660 went right into action on the Norah Jones vocals of the unreleased songs from her seminal 2020 release of “Come Away With Me.” I’m old enough that my ears remember the sound of well-designed tube analogue gear. The RS660 compressor is nostalgia for my ears, warm, accurate and simple. I’ve come to realize that whatever piece of gear Wade develops I’m going to need it in my hybrid set up. The RS660 Compressor is another piece I will use on every mix, for all my days; save up for this one!“
Producer, engineer and mixer, Ryan Hewitt used the RS660 Compressor on the recent Red Hot Chili Peppers albums ‘Unlimited Love’ and “Return of the Dream Canteen’ for vocals, and had this to say— “The RS660 is an instant classic for me. It’s even more versatile than its tonal influences and gives me options in compression that I’ve never experienced before. It can be as gentle or aggressive as you like. It can be gentle on a vocal or nasty and harmonically rich on an aggressive track.”
Producer, engineer and mixer Howard Willing applied the RS660 Compressor for vocals on Ida Mae’s album ‘Click Click Domino’— “The RS660 is truly an inspiring take on a classic. What this compressor does for drums is fantastic…from subtle snare use to grinding drum rooms. Guitars get a nice bit of glue and tonal warm up, bass get set in and heard without over compression. But vocals, for me, are where the RS660 really shines; you get that tone and texture but with a modern push forward. The RS660 will be as used as my RS124’s for all my tracking.“
Producer, engineer and mixer Vance Powell employed the RS660 while tracking Chris Stapleton— “I ran the RS660 through its paces and it was everything I’d expected and you’d want from this type of compressor; It’s typical Wade, a great sound.“
To learn more about Chandler Limited’s RS660 Compressor visit: https://chandlerlimited.com/rs660-compressor
When is the Chandler Limited RS660 Compressor available for purchase?
The RS660 Compressor is available for order now; shipping October 2022.
U.S. street price: $3,399 (mono unit), $7550 (stereo matched pair w/stepped I/O)