Chandler’s unique new mic and preamp combo boasts a kinship with some of the most prestigious names in recording: Abbey Road Studios and EMI.
American manufacturers Chandler Limited are well known for a product line-up that focuses on vintage designs that have been subtly but intelligently enhanced for modern workflows. In particular, the company’s strong association with Abbey Road Studios enables it to bring re-engineered classic hardware from EMI’s hey-days to the market, of which I’ve reviewed many. Of specific relevance here, though, is Chandler’s take on EMI’s REDD.47 mic preamp, which I reviewed in SOS December 2015 issue.
In case you were wondering, the REDD acronym stands for ‘Record Engineering Development Department’, and EMI’s REDD.47 preamp was an in-house modular valve unit intended to supersede the expensive Telefunken/Siemens V72S preamp modules. These formed the active core of EMI’s early mixing consoles like the REDD.17 and REDD.37.
The REDD.47 module populated the company’s REDD.51 consoles, which were installed in Abbey Road’s Studio 3 (from late 1963) and Studio 2 (a year later). These consoles remained in daily use until mid 1968, when EMI’s solid-state TG-series consoles were introduced. Consequently, it’s probably fair to say that the REDD.47 preamp shaped the sound character of many of EMI’s classic recordings throughout the 1960s, including a great many of the Beatles’ definitive recordings.
So, why am I mentioning this distinguished vintage valve preamp in a microphone review? Well, because Chandler have taken the REDD.47 preamp design and shoe-horned it into the body of their very first large-diaphragm capacitor microphone, which is quite a unique and intriguing idea.
At first sight, you might form the impression that this new microphone is some kind of U47 clone, but that’s really not the case. Chandler claim that their new REDD Microphone is the first new EMI-badged mic in well over 50 years, and in fact the REDD Microphone is neither a clone nor an homage of any specific vintage mic. Although its sonic character certainly...
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