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Fairchild Debuts 660 Compressor/Limiter


Toni Fishman, founder and CEO of microphone designer/manufacturer TELEFUNKEN Elektroakustik has launched Fairchild Recording Equipment LLC after five years of extensive R&D and precision testing.

In the mid-1950s, Sherman Fairchild licensed a design for the first intelligent limiting amplifier: the Fairchild 660. Out of production for nearly six decades, Fairchild limiter/compressors have become exceedingly rare and costly to maintain, and the original units are unaffordable for most. In 2020, Toni Fishman began working with a builder in Estonia, and was able to faithfully revive Fairchild Recording Equipment and begin manufacturing once again its limiter/compressors.

The FAIRCHILD model 660 is a single-channel compressor/limiter that has been used on many classic recordings throughout history. The defacto standard for level control, the 660 is considered one of the most sought-after compressor/limiters ever made. Its ability to inject warmth and coloration to any signal makes it suitable for producers and audio engineers for initial recordings, mixing, or mastering.

Due to the universal popularity of the 670, only 1000 Fairchild 660s were ever built and very few of the original 660s are still in working condition. Designed and built by Rein Narma and recording legend Les Paul, the FAIRCHILD 660 is available again. The new 660 is built to original specifications, utilizing the same tubes and custom wound transformers, point-to-point soldering and Turret-style construction.

One of the first users of the 660 was Capitol Records in their famed Hollywood recording studios. This led to an historic meeting between Abbey Road Studios engineer Peter Brown and the FAIRCHILD 660. After hearing the 660, he decided to purchase multiple units for use in Abbey Road Studios, making the Fairchild 660 one of the only pieces of gear that was not designed and built by EMI. Those original 660s are some of the only ones still operational and are still used regularly on sessions in the UK.

While the basic design points of the 660 and 670 units are the same, the Model 660 is a single channel FAIRCHILD Limiter/Compressor with an extra 8dB of gain. It also utilizes 12 tubes and single channel controls instead of 20 tubes and dual mono controls.

Learn more https://www.fairchildusa.com

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