Friday, 25 June 2010

EMI Console

I was watching a really nice little 8 channel EMI 8000 console on the bay. It comes with a matching EMI limiter and patchbay, and would make an exquisite little set-up. Having read about the amazing EMI equipment made for Abbey Road studios in the 50s, 60s and 70s in my favorite book [Recording the Beatles] I know how rare these things are. They were not mass produced but made for their own studios and therefore their bands and producers. They had no reason to compromise any part of the stuff they made, and it always sounded incredible, as you can hear on all those great albums. Go and read the book, and put on The Zombie's Odyssey and Oracle. This 8000 series console looks a bit like the mythical RS147 solid state small console that was used in one of the small studios, which apparently disappeared and the only picture they could find for the book was of another EMI desk, see the last picture. Could this be it? [I don't think so but it's a nice idea]

The seller seems to be Andy from Emis, but I'm not sure. It had 7 bids and got £7400

For auction, one EMI 8000 mixing console dating from 1973, one of the last, maybe a prototype as all EMI console development was halted at the end of 74

Eight Channels with Mic and Line inputs and passive EQ, Four Groups with EQ, Master and Echo cassettes, all featuring huge custom wound EMI input transformers

4x 8020F Channel Cassette (note each cassette holds two independent channels)
2x 8021F Group Cassette (note each cassette holds two independent Groups)
1x 8022F Master Cassette
1x 8023F Echo Cassette
1x '80' type Bucket/ frame with 5 massive EMI Output transformers
2x '8212413' limiters in a '82' type rack mount frame
2x GPO patch bays,
1x rack mount Headphone panel
1x Bound manual.
1x Console Power Supply


The console was decommissioned and stored for many years, It was my intention to get a wooden console/ rack made to house this beautiful piece of history, alas.. present workload prevents this happening


Tech work required to re-commission:
Make and connect an XLR panel to be attached to the existing tails from the patch bay. Alternatively you could go in and out of the bay.
Hookup of the Limiters to the Patch Bay
Service and interface the included Power supply.


General interfacing, a map of the cassettes connectors is included in the manual
The GPO bays are hooked up to the bucket and feature: Line and mic ins and channel Inserts
Have run up the Limiters, channels, groups and master, and it really sounds fantastic! 

All EMI equipment was made for their own studios and not available to the general public, only very small quantities were ever made

This is not a massed produced item, It was hand made in England
Would make a perfect sidecar for tracking or mixing... or 4 track recording :-)

Full set of photos here