April 12, 2007

Federal Compressor...

by Chris Randall

Now, I very rarely link to eBay auctions from this site, because I'm of the considered opinion that eBay is a tool of our alien overlords, designed to keep the audio industry from being a viable means of supporting one's family.

However, in this case I'll make an exception, as one of these beauties rarely comes up for auction. This is a Federal AM-864/U compressor/limiter, totally gone through by Inward Connections, and useful knobs added to the front. This baby is full of techno, to be certain, and I think the price is right. If I didn't have to cough up a $12,000 check to the IRS this week ("the horror, the horror...") this would be coming home to daddy for sure.

Caveat emptor: I don't know this dude, don't know anything about him. I'm not vouching for the auction. But here 'tis if you have no fear of Alien Overlords or vindictive spouses.



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Apr.13.2007 @ 5:22 AM
The Federal IS tube technology, it is in fact a Vari-Mu compressor. It doesn't use the famous 6386 tube though.

There are 2 versions: One specifically for speech, with a high-pass
filter (I think quite high up, around 240 cycles). The other version is the full-range version.
The only way to know is to look at the printed specs on the input transformer, there is no other indication present on the unit.

The are character units, and in my opinion best used for parallel compression, not as a straight insert.
The output level is quite insane, so it's good to pad it pre-recording/mixing.

They are reasonably simple beasts, if you have a well preserved
one, the schematic should be attached on the bottom plate.

Great for bass, certain vox, clean(ish) eguitar, and a whole lot of other stuff...

I have two in my rack, except for re-caps they're damn near original, and look slightly cleaner inside than the picture above. In fact, if they
are stock, the wiring is extremly clean in layout, certainly no birds-nest...
The outside is a lot rougher though! That also means that I was able
to purchase them at about 1 sixth of the price of the one on the evilbay now!

Last but not least, have a read trough the manual, you gotta check the section where it explains you how to destroy the unit if you fear to prevent it from falling into enemy hands :)
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Apr.13.2007 @ 10:20 AM
penzoil washington
Very cool. However, I've gotten to the point where I like new retro gear better than the original stuff, which is always a project to own, or needs modding to work in a modern setting, etc. I'll take a rack of Chandler Ltd, Universal Audio, etc. over ex-army stuff any time.

Apr.13.2007 @ 11:17 AM
I hate tax time, too. Parting with multiple thousands of dollars every April and getting no gear in return isn't a great experience.

Apr.13.2007 @ 11:49 AM
Chris Randall
Thanks for that post, characterstudios. Nice comments.



Apr.17.2007 @ 11:28 AM
penzoil washington
Even mre primitive
link [cgi.ebay.com]">link [cgi.ebay.com]

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