Chandler Limited RS124 Compressor
The Chandler Limited RS124 Compressor is a recreation of one of the most coveted audio valve compressors of all time, the legendary EMI/Abbey Road RS124, reimagined for use in the modern studio environment.
First designed in 1960 by Abbey Road Head of Techncial Bill Livey, Deputy Head Len Page and seasoned EMI Audio Designer Mike Batchelor, the Abbey Road RS124 compressor is one of the most coveted pieces of recording gear ever developed.
Born out of the inadequate Altec 436Bs acquired by EMI in the late 1950s for Abbey Road Studios, the RS124 compressor is most closely associated with recordings made by The Beatles at Abbey Road Studios. Present on virtually every Beatles session, the RS124 left its remarkable signature across most of the catalog.
The RS124's undeniably smooth character and ability to tame transients without muffling the sound at steep compression levels, quickly became popular with Abbey Road Studios engineers and widely used throughout the now historic studio, for tracking, buss compression, mixing, and mastering. They where so integral to the recording and mixing process that a pair can be seen in almost every control room photo in Abbey Road Studios during the 60s period.
The RS124 was built for use at Abbey Road Studios, and was never commercially available.
Through the years, from incomplete information and supposition, some have tried to recreate the holy grail of tube compressors, though never fully capturing the elusive Abbey Road RS124 in all its glory.
Schematics themselves only told part of the story, and access to Abbey Road Studios’ historic units and various hand written modification notes would prove paramount towards understanding the true nature of the Abbey Road RS124 compressor and variances between units.
Many revisions were carried out since its inception, and as a result, the Abbey Road RS124 valve compressor has remained a mystery for decades, until now.
Available now, for the first time ever, the Chandler Limited RS124 Compressor harnesses the sound and personalities of Abbey Road Studios’ favorite historic RS124 Compressors (Ser. No’s 60070B, 60050A, and 61010B) still in use at the famed studio to this day, all in a single unit.
Along with features traditionally found on the original counterparts, Input control, Output attenuation, ‘Recovery’ (release) control and the unique ‘HOLD’ setting, the Chandler Limited RS124 Compressor includes modern facilities such as adjustable attack, selectable output impedance, and a special twist, dubbed the ‘SuperFuse’.
Bring home the sound of a legend, reimagined for the modern era, today.
Standard units come with variable Input and Output control potentiometers. Stepped Input and Output controls available for an upcharge via special request – If you would like the Stepped Input and Output options, please call us at 888-228-4530 to order, or select from the Options Menu when adding to cart.
Also, please take a look at our Chandler Limited RS124 Compressor (Matched Mastering Pair), which features Stepped Inputs and Outputs and Matched Components, standard.
Chandler Limited RS124 Compressor Features
- The true and final word on the RS124 design
- You get ALL of the favorite historic RS124 units in one box (serial numbers by their modded release times)
- The RS124 was made with the exclusive cooperation of Abbey Road Studios and their tech staff
- Measured directly against the original units, the Chandler Ltd RS124, and based upon design notes not in the schematics, which only told part of the story
- Output impedance is switchable between 200 and 600 Ohms
- Superfuse Switch on front panel takes the RS124 into nasty-land!
- A pair makes a ridiculously fantastic mix bus compressor
- Stepped Input and Output switches available for nominal / reasonable fee
- Chandler Limited RS124 Compressor (Matched Mastering Pair) is available, as well
Chandler Limited RS124 Compressor Specifications
- Tube (6BC8,6CG7, 6AL5) Vari-Mu
- Inputs: XLR (pin 2 hot)
- Output: XLR (pin 2 hot)
- Transformer balanced I/O (custom wound)
- Input Control: Variable (stepped special order)
- Output Attenuator: Variable (stepped special order)
- Attack: Selectable, Stepped (9 settings, including 3 Abbey Road Historic serial numbers)
- Recovery: Selectable, Stepped (6 settings, and HOLD)
- SuperFuse (switchable mode)
- Output Impedance: 200/600 ohms, switchable
- Stereo linkable: Standard 1/4″ jack
- Internal power supply
- 115 Volts (factory set)
Chandler Limited RS124 Compressor Includes
- Chandler Limited RS124 Compressor
- Manual & Literature
- IEC Power Cable
Chandler Limited RS124 Compressor Downloads
What We Think
"The Chandler Limited RS124 Compressor is perhaps THE most useful compressor that I've encountered. If you're a studious fan of Beatles recordings, you suddenly realize that the RS124 is every bit as important to the overall sound that we know and love as the REDD.51 consoles and the REDD.47 mic amplifier modules. Once you start running signal through the RS124, you'll have the Aha! moment where you recognize it's sound. A couple of things to note - It's not a cartoon-compression device; this is a serious recording tool that is almost clairvoyantly musical in the way that it processes the sound. Nothing sounds as bad as it once did as soon as it goes through the RS124, and it just seems to help the signal no matter how hard you hit it. Unlike many vari-mu designs, the RS124 doesn't get to the point of squashing the life out of what is being compressed. There is always a point... but it's so far down the range that it's incredibly accommodating. It's the perfect unit for containing and enhancing. While it's great at being valve-tacularly soft in it's resulting soundstage, the RS124 will shape kick drums and snare drums instantly, giving them a where other devices have left you frustrated and scratching your head. One client I arranged a private sneak peek demo for, immediately pre-ordered a pair. And after I spent a day with it, I discovered that I was seriously in-love with the RS124. Use it to fix problem elements, use it in tracking as either a character building device, or as a safety device. Run signals through it multiple times - you can! Famed Beatles engineer Geoff Emerick certainly did.
While I can go on and on about this unit, I'll just toss in these other features. The output has a switchable output impedance of either 200 or 600 ohms, giving you a difference in either a more vintage (softer) and more modern (clearer) tonal interaction with the next piece in the chain. And then there is the SuperFuse... So, the front panel fuse cover is not a fuse - it's a switch. When you engage the switch, the bulb suddenly gets brighter (it now equals the brightness of the REDD.47, btw), and the audio gets bigger and more aggressive. So, if you are hoping for an effects box, this feature will make you quite happy with the RS124... not that you wouldn't have been satisfied already.
The RS124 can be present at every stage of your production, which is what makes it one of the best investments for anyone looking for a compressor. There is no question; you absolutely want at least two RS124s in your studio."
Alan Moon - Front End Audio
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