Heritage Audio has announced availability of its HERCHILD Model 660 and Model 670 tube-based compressors which they say are carefully crafted as modern-day alternatives to the most revered processors in the world. This is what they have to say about them...
Industry insiders have long since held two tube-based beasts -- a Fifties-vintage 'family' formed from one-time availability as mono (MODEL-660) and stereo (MODEL 670) variations -- in the highest regard. Rarity rising throughout the decades making them increasingly hard to come by and near impossible to acquire -- prepare to head into six-figure (€ EUR/$ USD) territory for one well-worn unit, if one can be found at all -- means many view them today in almost mystical terms. After all, the original Fairchild tube-based audio compressor has held its own as an essential ingredient to making history happen on so many hit records with a sought-after sound so many have become accustomed to hearing in over six decades of music production. Indeed, it has certainly earned its stripes as the 'granddaddy' of compressors!
It is ironic that the Fairchild was originally designed to be used for cutting lacquer masters for vinyl albums, yet engineers soon realised that it could do so much more. Indeed, it became an essential tool for many innovative artists, engineers, and producers -- so much so that it could be found in most professional recording studios. Saying that, though, only around 500 units were originally produced, so it stands to reason that there are not nearly enough existing today to satisfy those still seeking that sought-after sound -- all the more so when bearing in mind that the few remaining in good shape after putting in so many years' service regularly require specialist maintenance that also comes at a prohibitive price. It is unsurprising, therefore, that most people simply assume that they will never be actually able to work with one. On the face of it, then, this is where Heritage Audio can clearly help.
HERCHILD Model 660 is one of Heritage Audio's latest products as a tube-based compressor that bears a striking resemblance to one of the most revered processors in the world. Why? Well, far from flattering with a simplistic skin-deep approach, it has been able to successfully follow the original design and trace the necessary components to provide a modern-day alternative. Although it has taken years to achieve this, the European pro audio manufacturer concerned collectively feels that it has finally produced something so special that it is capable of allowing that 'granddaddy' to take a long-deserved rest, making (racked) room for the new blood to take up the (compression) mantle. Moreover, by being based around 11 tubes and 5 transformers, including custom Cinemag and AMI exclusive models, HERCHILD Model 660 will convincingly imprint its signature sound all over any user's tracks to provide that familiar tone that so many have come to love.
Let it be known that while staying true to the original in terms of response and sound, Heritage Audio has also been able to add some welcomed extras to make HERCHILD Model 660 more practical in a modern-day studio setting, such as direct access to the continuously variable slope (DC THRESHOLD) control -- something that makes the compressor so much more flexible, given that this was only available on the original via an inconvenient screw adjust hidden from immediate access. And then there is the SC FILTER knob; nowadays, it is just about impossible to fathom a compressor without a side chain filter feature since it has become so important in everyday use. Here Heritage Audio has helpfully provided four different frequencies to choose from, precisely tailored to suit any HERCHILD Model 660 user's needs. Needless to say, Heritage Audio has also faithfully reproduced the exact attack and release times in its TIME CONST control -- combines adjustments to the progressively developing curved 'ratio' and the 'knee' simultaneously through four different low-pass filter settings, varying from a gentle slope to a more pronounced and aggressive slope -- so anyone can confidently recreate the familiar Fifties-vintage feel of its revered processing predecessor.
Picking up on the fact that the stereo Fairchild MODEL 670 found its way onto almost all the classic records released throughout the Fifties, Sixties, and Seventies, defining the sound of a generation (or two), the simultaneously-released HERCHILD Model 670 is also one of Heritage Audio's latest products, presented as a tube-based compressor that also bears a striking resemblance to one of the most revered processors in the world. This time it involves no fewer than 22 tubes and 9 transformers, including custom Cinemag and AMI exclusive models, to indistinguishably achieve that triumphant, classic sound, so well known and adored by so many. Moreover, HERCHILD Model 670 is effectively two HERCHILD Model 660 units in one as a two-channel device, duly allowing each channel to be used independently or linked together. There are actually four modes of operation: IND (individual), LINK, LAT/VERT (mid/side), and LAT VERT/LINK -- the two LINK modes obviously opening up a whole new world of mix options outside the more restricted boundaries of an original Fairchild MODEL 670.
Feature-wise, fully tube-based compression with side chain filtering for modern-day needs and immediate access to the continuously variable slope sum up Heritage Audio's HERCHILD Model 660 and Model 670 that have both been well worth waiting for as clean, intelligent designs guaranteeing many years of trouble-free usage, united in bringing back to life that sought-after sound so many have become accustomed to hearing in over six decades of music production, priced more realistically to suit those trying to craft contemporary hits of their own making with that familiar tone without trying to get their hands on original units that are hard to come by and near impossible to acquire after decades of being so rare.
Pricing and Availability:
HERCHILD Model 660 and Model 670 are shipping and available via Heritage Audio's global network of dealers with an SSP (Standalone Selling Price) of €5,499.00 EUR (including VAT) and €9,999.00 EUR (including VAT) in the EU, respectively, and a MAP (Minimum Advertised Price) of $5,499.00 USD and $9,999.00 USD, respectively, US distribution being handled via RAD Distribution.
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