' One Way to Do It'- Music Professionals chat about their skills.

Simon Saywood - Hand built Fairchild clones.

October 19, 2023 Paul Brewer Season 1 Episode 14
' One Way to Do It'- Music Professionals chat about their skills.
Simon Saywood - Hand built Fairchild clones.
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

The owner of  www.AnalogueTube.com , explains the magic of a Fairchild 660/670 in this episode . 

As a builder of Fairchild clones (amongst other units) he speaks about getting new, then unavailable, tubes  made by a company in Slovakia, the 125th AES show where he launched the products .... amongst other things !

If you'd like to buy me a coffee - Many Thanks ...


Simon Saywood

Paul: Where do you live anyway?

Simon: so, so Paul, so we've, we've lived, lived in Battersy for quite a number of years

Paul: Oh wow.

Simon: Yeah. In South South London. And I. I'm sort of, I moved here before we got married actually in 97, I think.

Something like that. So we've been here, we've been here quite a while. Really. And of course, the children, children came along and, you know, I, I didn't realize it at the time, but there's a school about 200 yards down the road, so it was perfect. And we've sort of put our children through there. So it's yeah, yeah.

Paul: I was actually there a month and a half, two months ago, whenever. Because we went down to see Battersea Power Station.

Simon: Yes, 

Paul: There's so much, oh it's unbelievable the difference. Unbelievable. Has that affected you in any way?

Simon: well, it's interesting actually it has affected the skyline because obviously there's been quite a lot of development going on there. 

Paul: Yeah.

Simon: In terms of people and, and tourism. I think actually where we are, it's not been too, too bad, but of course, you know, the whole, the whole of the South London, sort of Baty area, Southwest London area has been sort of transformed by, by the money that's sort of come in as a result the developments, obviously the Batey power station, which is all sort of, you know, luxury flats now.


 it has pushed the prices up of things.

Paul: Yeah, I can imagine. It looked like the, the, the paths were hoovered every day.

Simon: Yeah,

Paul: It was so clean and immaculate and just unbelievable. It was nearly, I nearly felt, I, I should have taken my shoes off walking around the gaff, so. Yeah.

Simon: yeah, it's quite, it's quite, it's quite incredible and there's been an awful lot of sort of foreign and overseas investments for Batty Power Station. And of course, you know, there's a tube line there now, so it's made it even more accessible.

Paul: Right. So, do, do you still work in Metropolis where we met in, was it 2008 or 9 or whatever it was?

Simon: Y Well, I, well, anymore actually. I mean, I, I was at Metropolis sort of, I suppose from what you would call the early days from sort of 97 on onwards up until sort of three and a half, four years ago. So I, I was there for a good 23 years,

Paul: Wow.

Simon: for the studios. Yeah. Yeah. So been, it was quite a journey actually, just because of the sort of transformation of all the technology that, that was in the industry that's been going on and continues to.

Paul: Like, were you part of a team, or were you a solo...

Simon: Y y Yes, yes, yes. Well, we, we, we, we were actually, and, and sort of part of a team that was rostered, if I can put it like that, at sort of various times of the day. So we'd have a sort of a shift where of us would start at nine in the morning and leave at six, and then others would sort of start at three and then leave at 12. But in those days, you know, in the early days, there was much more of a need, I think, for for technical staff because were setting up tape machines back in those days. There was Dolby, of course and there was a, a whole bunch of other hands-on stuff that needed sort of, sort of looking after, really.

But it, it, it sort of seemed so perhaps in a slightly different way today, but less so, if, if you see what I mean.

Paul: Right. So, like, you were a technician in what you might term the good old days, yeah?

Simon: I, I, I, I think I'm not gonna be, I'm not gonna be that guy that,

Paul: Well, yeah, absolutely not. you know what I'm saying, you know what I'm saying, like, it has, the, the, the, the

need for technicians has definitely dropped, hasn't it?

Simon: well, instances, of course, you know, of what people still record through in the sort of large In the bigger studios like Metropolis Abbey Road and, and Stone and so on, still have large format consoles. So there's a huge need for the support of those consoles, you know, for Neves, for perhaps more so the Neves you know, for the Neve vrs, for instance. Increasingly so perhaps for the for the K series consoles which sort of followed on from there. So, you know, the S S L K series consoles, so this stuff doesn't go on forever. And

Paul: Yeah.

Simon: it needs, it does need more support, but of course there's also backline support, there's microphone repairs, there's 

outboard there's, there's all of this.

So, ki kind of the support has sort of shifted around a little bit. Whereas, you know, in the early days it was a, a, a lot of, I suppose a, a lot of the work was. shifting tape machines around, which was sort of 250 kilos each and setting them up.

Paul: Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. I seem to remember seeing something on Facebook about Neve honey. Is that stuff from the, the transformers that melt or something?

Simon: well, I, I'm, I, of course, Neve has, is renowned indeed. Their consoles, of course, are renowned for, you know, the use of transformer technologies for their microphone inputs and, and line inputs. You know, there are of course many of those in the Neve vrs and the the sort of other consoles beyond, beyond that.

But I, it, it, it's definitely, it's definitely a term that I think is, is used quite a lot with Neve. It's, it's a sound, it's a sort of a silkiness, which we love, you know, 


Oh yeah. I was referring to,

Simon: to it.

Paul: I was referring to the, the, the juice that comes out of the transformer when it gets too hot. Which I'd never heard of before. I only heard about it recently and that was called Niamh Honey.

Simon: that, that sounds more like a, a cata catastrophe actually, more than, I dunno. But I, I mean, some of these, well, I mean, I can really only speak of the. That's the one that that Metropolis had, but certainly the power supplies for these things, you know, you'd be looking at sort of six 16 volt rails of 50 amps each, and these things get hot, you know and we're talking kilowatts, separate storage for these things.

Air conditioning. the SSLs are the same, you know, the nine k se series consoles are the, are the same, you know massively hungry. And once the air con goes off, which, know, it does from to time of all that experiences without the studio things rapidly become very warm, you know?

 And that's when it's time to, that's when it's time to switch off Even

Paul: Yes, indeed. Yeah, yeah.

Simon: Yeah. 

Paul: Very good. So, like, before Metropolis, where did you work? What's your sort of technical background? Where did you decide to get involved in this?

Simon: Well, it's a, yes. It's a bit of a, it's sort of a bit of a long story really. I, I kind of moved away from, my parents lived in in the, should we say, the home counties. And I, I moved out of, I moved out of home when I was 24, 25, something like that. And I, I moved into a flat in, in Cambridge I, I worked for a lab company that made instrumentation and, instrumentation equipment for schools and universities and colleges, measuring equipment basically. So they galvanometers, they made Wheatstone bridges and stuff basically for education. I think I, I, I didn't really realize it at the time. I, I, I was obviously, you know, I, I was very keen to get into e electronics. My, my father worked for Marconis and Chumps Ford in the early days.

Paul: So did my dad.

Simon: Right. 


Paul: Unbelievably!

Simon: I met, you know what? There's probably another story there, you know that's, that's perhaps indeed. Yes. Absolutely. Absolutely. and so that, so I, so I guess that's kind of where my interests sort of came from really. And I, I was forever sort of, I mean, it's, it's, I suppose it's sort of typical story of sort of learning, I guess.

But as a, as a, as a kid, a child, you know, you, you kind of thirst for knowledge for any, in any generation is, is sort of always about taking things apart. Just never putting stuff back together again, and just basically finding out how stuff works. And I, I ended up, I ended up with this manufacturing company. Which is funny because if I look back on it 25 years later or or so on, I, I kind of, I've sort of gone a bit full circle really. And I was always interested in music and I dunno what kid isn't interested in music. So, and I, I, I think that's what sort of led me, you know, down the path into to Wilsdon Green actually, which is a battery studio. So my first job in the industry was at Dreamhire, which was a sort of a music 


Paul: right, yes. 

Simon: Yeah. So and that was,

Paul: It was THE music rental company for a while, wasn't it?

Simon: that, that, that's right. That's right. I mean, there were a couple of others. There's, there was effects rentals, which I think they were called audio rents sort of back in the early days. And they were based in Camden. there was it. Loads of other rental companies that just sort of spec specialize just in keyboards and drums and so on.

So I'm, I'm backline and, and so on. So we were sort of all, we were sort of part of that, that sort of crew in the early days. And I was there for, suppose I was there for about seven or eight years, something like that. then I, I, I left, I left there and went to work at H H P at Communications and that was great. and I was there for about 18 months and I sort of headed up their service department there. So it was, was kind of different job from what I was used to before. It was more of a sort of it was more of a sort of a desk job, I suppose. and then I took a few months out after I left there, and then I went to Metropolis Studios, and that's kind of where it stopped for 23 years. And I was there looking after everything that Metropolis has got to offer.

Paul: Right. So, was that around when Metropolis started? Was that when you got involved?

Simon: So 97 I joined metropolis and Chisik. And I think they'd been running for a couple of years before, I suppose you

 it was, it was sort of in the early days, the mastering side of it had been established. I, I think the rooms on the top floor were sort of moved in the sort of intervening years before I arrived, to where they are now. And that. I think that became Studio e or what it is now. So, which has got the K series in the, the Yeah, the 72 input K series.

Paul: So, was all the equipment there? Was it still in the developmental stage and stuff?

Simon: Well, a lot of, actually, that's an interesting question. 'cause I think a lot of, a lot of what, what you see at the studio has been there for an awfully long time. but it's, think the key, the key thing about it is that it's been really good. And, that's important because, you know, I, I think good, good gear for me will always sort of stand the of time.

You know, if somebody likes it, then it'll be around for, you know, forever. It won't be replaced. It won't be, it won't. There's just. Not much, I suppose, to sort of challenge, you know, really, really good gear. And

 a sort of, it's just become a sort of accepted, sort of standard. Know, a lot of the summit audio stuff, which was there before I arrived, still used today in mastering. That's always been, that's always been sort of metropolis sort of goal really to sort of have the best. So, you know, they wouldn't have to buy anyway. Of course, you know, if new stuff comes along and it does something different and it's equally as good and sounds great, then fine you add to it. But, you know, for a lot of this stuff it's you know, it's, it's been there and it's still being used now, which is brilliant actually. It's really, really good. And it's a sort of real testament to the manufacturers.

Paul: And in terms of a business approach, an investment, it's worth it from that point of view as well. Because it's going to last you 25 years or 30 years or whatever.

Simon: yeah, yeah, exactly. Yeah. I mean, some of the sort of EQP one hundreds, again, you know, the summits expensive at the time. Incredibly expensive. Now, if you can find it it, it, it's an investment, you know, gear. You find that increasingly these days with people buying gear as for, you know, for investments. And I, I think that's sort of, of my, I suppose that's always been my sort of approach really to make it as good as you can. And then, And then not have to sort of wor worry about it. I mean, it's, it sounds a very grandiose thing to, to say. And, and I, I, I, I, I dunno what to say about that, but I just feel from manufacturing, a manufacturing point of view, I know from working in in a that it's not great to have stuff back. Of course stuff

 that's, we live in a technical industry and, and you know, stuff happens. But ul ul ultimately you really want to try and make it as good as you can. And, and for me, 'cause I'm a one man band, I don't employ any staff and I have done in the past for, for my, for my sort of manufacturing of things, it would be sort of also very difficult for me to. You know, to, to have stuff back to repair. Not, not least because of, you know, the weight and size of the stuff, really.

 colossal. It's not, it's not sort of small rackmounted bits of gear, which you can stick in a cardboard box, you know? So I have


Paul: a palette.

Simon: yeah. But essentially, yes, it's a, you know, it's a, it's a, it's a palette and, and kind of from my early days of of working in manufacturing to repairing stuff for hire, repairing their backline stuff.

I've always been, I've always been quite keen on, on sort of, Doing that sort of side of things as, as best as it can be done. I mean, you know, I mean, not, not least when stuff goes out for, for live use, you know, it's gonna break, it's gonna break. So, so you need to really make sure that it's actually not gonna do that. And that it is actually gonna work when you switch it on. So, and that's always been my sort of philosophy, really.

Paul: So, when did you come across... A fair child and how was that then the idea of development that into a business come from which analog tube is now is now correct.

Simon: that's right. Yeah. The company was I think formalized, I think is the, that's the the correct term in 2000 and in December of 2007, I think. So the, the, the idea this, I, I was always, I was, I was 40 at the time and I was thinking, well, you know, am I going to be working in a studio for the rest of my life? There are kind of things about one sort of future that you think about and you think, well, you know, what am I actually going to be doing? You know, because know, 60 seven's not that far away. I'm becoming tired. becoming more grumpy, more irritable. 

Paul: You're describing me. Like valves or transformers or or both or.

Simon: I had to sort of take the reins a bit really and sort of think quite hard about you also, you know, our two children had arrived, and I had to think sort of quite seriously about, you know, what my, you know, what my future looked like. And so, and actually it was sort of quite fortuitous, really. I mean, I'd heard of Fairchild obviously before I arrived at Metropolis, but Metropolis actually had one. and I thought, well, what, what is there in 2002 that people love, people rave about? Can. Can, can people, you know, are people gonna be able to sort of a, a afford this sort of type of equipment?

You know, we're moving into the digital age at this stage, you know, what, what's the sort of relevance of all this sort of gear? And, and I, I had to sort of quite, sort of think quite, I had to think quite long and hard about all of that because it was, I, I, I wasn't really in a position to make lots of different bits of gear. I didn't have the capacity to do it. You know, I was still working sort of days a week and working at the weekend and stuff. So I had to kind of, had to think about the development of a product that could really, I suppose, make a make a, make a change or something that was sign sort of significant. A Metropolis had a a, a Fairchild, it was a sort of bit of, a bit of a doorstep really. So I thought, well, I'm going to, I'm going to fix this. It was a broken Fairchild and it was, it was propping a door open down the end of the sort of tech corridor. And I thought, well, why, why, why? Let's have a look at this at the weekend, you know and see what, and see what's going on.

And I kind of realized quite quickly that there were bits missing from it. Well, yeah. Right. So, so of course all of that side of it was missing. the, so two of the, I think four of the, four of the, from memory, four of the transformers were missing from it. So the, I think what has sort of typically happened to these original units over the years is that the control output transformers have been cooked for whatever reason that one of 'em died. And they've stopped working. So the side chain stopped working and also I think there was some, I think the audio outputs, transformers were missing from it as well. So I thought, well, this thing's got to be rebuilt. I had to rewire it because a lot of the wiring had become sort of decayed and it was, it's old P V C wiring in these original units, and a lot of it's sort of cloth wiring as well. And over the years, the, the, the, the sort of the, the, the plastic has decayed a bit. And, and, and you pull this stuff apart, which has been loomed up inside the unit and it just all, you know, you just end up stripping the wire out. So it's not, it's not great. So I, I had that to sort of consider as well. and I just saw it as a sort of I thought, right, well, you know, that there's a bit of a challenge here. and I really, really love to find out. I'd kind of really was quite keen to find out everybody was talking about, you know, why it did what

Simon: how it did it, and just sort of essentially the way it sort of performed. And and that's kind of where it all sort of started from really. And I just, I, I kind of, I built the thing.

I rebuilt it using souther transformers and kept the originals that were there and just replaced the ones that needed to replacing. But I, built My development units alongside the repair of this unit. So I built it with all sort of empirical values so that I knew exactly. So there was not, there was very little tolerance in the components used.

Obviously as as there is with, with normal vintage fair, Charles, we're looking at 10% resistors. Well, the way I bought this brought the way I built this one, my development unit was all using 1% resistors. So I kind of really wanted to dive into the sort of performance of this unit and see how it behaved.

So I, I had a sort of an empirical idea of, of its performance.

Paul: right. And that 1 percent thing would mean consistency between models and stuff. Then I guess as well,

Simon: well, yes. I mean,

Paul: or, or is there too many variables?

Simon: I mean, in, its in, its in it in its original sort of Obviously a lot of the. A, a lot of the tolerance values were quite broad except around the metering circuit. But all, all of 'em are like sort of 10% carbon resistors. And the, the, the idea behind building a development unit alongside it was to build it exactly this one was built, using sort of 1% value resistors, to keep the noise down. But really, my, my, my idea was to sort of find out exactly how, how it worked so that I could sort of null out any, you know, could, could the circuit be improved? we change some resistive values somewhere? I mean, as it happens, actually nothing's changed. I just, I, I, I ended up just building it the way I did back then to this day. So not nothing, nothing has actually changed at all. So, but it was a curiosity that I wanted to find out, know, how it performs accurately. With with these new components in and that was, that's quite interesting, really.

Paul: So at the end of it, you had a repaired original

and your new gadget.

Simon: Yes, that's right.

Paul: And how did they compare? Or what was the

Simon: Well, this, this was, this was an extraordinary moment actually, I have to say. Because the only, the only difference between the original units and my development units was, I mean, there was a few other things we could talk about that, but later, but the only, the only sort of component difference were the component manufacturers of the transformers. I used and you know, I contacted Brian Soer over this and he'd been selling. His versions of the input output control, input and control output transformer for these units for quite a number of years by this stage, for people who are interested in sort of, I suppose, exactly what I was doing at the time. So I took, I took that kind of leap of faith and and I've stuck with it ever since, really. So there were no changes. all the same tubes essentially all the same transformers, all the same components, all the same wiring all the same metering, everything, everything about it was sort of mimicked, I suppose against the versions. Added a few bells and whistles along the way. I've never taken anything away from it. That's been possible because I. Essentially the Fairchild is sort of two amplifiers that can be separated easily, through, well in my case, through the use of relays and so on. So, so it's been, you know, it's been a relatively sort of simple, simple process to make it more functional.

Paul: Like I, I, I obviously. Haven't heard one of these. But I've heard the legend. You know, there's so many tubes, there's so many transformers in it. Like, is it completely different than everything else? Is that what's going on? Or, like, why does it sound so good? And does it sound so good?

Simon: well, do you know what actually Paul, it's interesting, this is, this morning. I was just hoping, doing a quick, a quick sort of to total of the number of versions that there are at the moment. the, for, for me, for me, the original sort of version of this I'm looking down my list of sort of eight or nine different models here. got the ADL six 70, which sort of championed all of this back in the nineties, which is Anthony, Anthony DE's unit. There then came the unfair child, mark one. There, then came Drip electronics, which was just A P C B. There was pom audio more recently. There's Heritage Audio, there's sta audio.

There's the a, a company that fell by the wayside who doesn't have a domain anymore, which is Keats Audio. I dunno who they've become. If indeed they have there's the famine, T M C tube Mastering Compressor. All of these units are, were sort of mimicking this six 70, if I can put it like that. as we all are, we're all trying to get to the sort of the, the. The, the, the sort of, the, the key of the original, sort of the original format, but

Paul: The Holy Grail.

Simon: the Holy, the Holy Grail. The Holy Grail. And there are a lot of manufacturers. I mean, obviously there's Manly, there's pendulum audio, there's Gates there's all of these companies that follow a sort of a, that followed a sort of similar, a similar path. And the process of, you know, very new compression is not a new thing. But what is it about Fairchild six 60 and six 70 that sort of gave it, its its signature. that was one of the reasons why I built in the early days, a sort of a parallel unit to the one I'd repaired so that I could find out. Why it did what it did and how it did that. and that's what I found really interesting actually. And I, I, I sort of, I, I looked into this quite a, quite a bit actually, and it's, it's, it, it's funny about that list of sort of manufacturers because know, some of 'em have used different different tubes different remote cutoff tubes.

Some of them use different parts of the circuit and use solid state alternatives. And there's a whole sort of combination of, of, of out there that are sort of an interpretation, I suppose, of, of the original. Because one of the, one of the difficult things about. Historical technology is that it's impossible to bottle.

You can't bottle 70 years of of history. It's just in, in audio. You just can't, mean, I, I've, even, I, I wouldn't say that, I would like to say of course, that mine sounds as close to the original as possible. But, but in, in, in essence, how could it, you know, it's your, your your sort of, are, you are making a claim to something which is passed now, and you can't, you, you can't you can't change that.

You know, there are all sorts of things about historical technology that make it very difficult to to reclaim, if I can put it like that. So we're kind

Paul: Is, is,

is that because you can't compare it to when it was new? Is that the problem?

Simon: Yeah, that's, that's, that's the issue. You can't go back in time, you know?

Paul: Right.

Simon: and that's, that was my reason for making one of these units as like an empirical unit. I

know that that's, that's why I wanted, that's, you know, I wanted to know as close to 1959 as I could get, how it would sound. But obviously I'm using different transformers at this stage. I'm, I'm using different, different tubes though they're replacements of the same thing. I'm, I'm using different tubes and, and again, all of this sort of lends itself to the color and character of, of, of the music that we put through it. So it's a, it's a, it's, it's quite a difficult, all you can do is hope, hope

 like it. Yeah.

Paul: Yes, indeed. So, like, ultimately, when you did your comparison test to the repaired unit and your new unit,

Simon: Hmm.

Paul: like, there wasn't a significant difference? What, where's the magic coming from, do you think?

Simon: well, one of, one of the, one of, one of the things for me one of the key things for me is that the original unit is very transparent. It hugely so and you can just use it as a line, as a line amplifier without any compression or limiting going on whatsoever. And it, it sounds wonderful.

It sounds really clean. and that's, that's my interpretation of how a an original Fairchild or six 60 or six 70 should sound. And that was my comparison. And my comparison to the development units sounded to my ears. It sounded. nice. It sounded super clean, it sounded super transparent, and I thought, well, that's it.

We've, we've got it. That's, that's the thing. That's what's going on here. Performance wise is also something else to look into because way Fair Charles sixties and seventies behave is not in a kind of linear, not in a kind of a linear compression sense. It's, it's, it behaves a little bit like a band pass compressor, if I can put it like that. I mean obviously a band pass compress compressors, a very ex is like an extreme thing. But if you, if you look at the sort of the spectrum of audio compression a. Drive the side chain, you'll see that the spectrum of audio is still not, is not a flat line. You know, there's a dip in the kind of the mid area and it becomes more pronounced the harder you drive it. And, and what that, what that is saying is that it's leaving all the top end and all the bottom end unprocessed, but all the. 500 hertz to five k dipped. And

that's, and that's, where the magic is. And a lot of people, for me, that's where the magic is, that it's performance. Um, and so, uh, you often hear a lot of people talk about these compress compressors, giving, adding sparkle and, and, and, and something, uh, in some sense is unquantifiable.

Um, I mean, that's perhaps like an image thing, but in terms of actual tone, its sparkle is left unprocessed. And it's basically all the original program, the symbols, the snares, all the kind of the, the top end, the attacks of stuff, um, is just left as, as, as it was on compressed. Um, applies also to the low end as well.

I mean, this is, I'm giving you an extreme, uh, o obviously it's not it. If you compared Band Pass compressor to they're not the same thing. But if you drive a Fairchild six 60 and six 70, you'll begin to see that the middle is dipped out and it's dipped out, 

Paul: Right. So, right. Hmm.

Simon: if that makes sense.

Paul: It does make sense. And is that

Simon: there's a reason for it.

Paul: Yeah, indeed. Like, do you think the original designers designed it to do that? Was that the plan? Or did they fall upon this? Or how did, how do you think that went?

Simon: know, Paul, that's, that's, that's another interesting question actually, because when I, when I launched this, this this product, I I launched it at the time. So there were a couple of things going on. So I I I, I was involved a little bit in the development of the 6 3 8 6 tube, which thus far had been unavailable, still is, with a company in Slovakia I in 2002 when all of this sort of started and I was sort of wondering what I was gonna be doing in my of, In my later years

Paul: Dotage.

Simon: Oh yeah,

Paul: lol lol lol

Simon: what I, I didn't say it, but anyway. Yeah, so in, in that time was thinking, well, there's a bit of an Achilles heel to all of this because it's all very well me, you know, making one of these and making it as best as you can. But like, if you can't get the tubes, we're, you know, we're done for really, and it was a bit of a race against the clock, actually.

'cause I did my first exhibition at the a e s in San Francisco, which was the a e s in 2008. And I remember it well because my booth number was four 40, which I thought was another kind of Was another sign that things were either not gonna go well or going well, or were gonna go well. So I thought, well, we'll, we'll, we'll, we'll deal with that.

So I took my units along and at that time I'd spent probably up to about six years pestering this company Slovakia to make a, new 6 3, 8, 6 tube. And I, I didn't know what I was going to do if I didn't have these things at the show, because I'd just be, I just would've spent 9,000 quid on a show and have nothing to exhibit. And it was all gonna be a bit of a waste of time. So I thought, well, right. my philosophy is if you can afford to lose it, just do it. And then I did it. And that's, that's kind of, that's always kind of been my that's always been my sort of thing really to sort of, if you really like something and really enjoy it and really want to do it, if you can afford to. If you can afford it and, and not worry about the cost afterwards, just go ahead and do it, and if it makes you happy, you. If it, if things didn't work out at the show, I'd always have something I could sell. So, and I'd borrowed the money off my parents and all the other rest of it. So anyway, so that was the sort of the foundation that was the sort of reason I suppose, for me doing the show. and it was a bit of a, it was a, it was a real chase up to 2008 because I was six months away shipping everything out. And I still didn't have these tubes from Slovakia and I knew they were making them I knew they were sending me some handmade tubes, but I'm thinking, well, I've gotta have something to present at the show as well as my own unit. How's this gonna work? like, literally months, like literally six weeks before I was due to leave and get on that plane and go out to the show, they sent me a whole bunch of tubes. which I'd spent a, a lot of time, Probably at this kitchen table I'm talking from now, evaluating sending all the data back to them.

They'd send me some more tubes. And all of these tubes at this stage were all handmade. So there was no very little in the world way of sort of mechanization but that made, that would make tubes consistent in any way. So they were actually hand making them, which I found even more extraordinary really.

Paul: So,

Simon: those 

Paul: the production ones were made,

Simon: Yeah. 

Paul: The production ones were... yeah.

Simon: Yeah. So the very, very early ones were the ones that were non-production, if I can put it like that. were sort of handmade. And I, I, I sort of rather marveled at this, and I thought that's, that's just an amazing achievement to actually be able to do this, to make the statistics of this, the data of this. Tube change ever so slightly from the ones that I'd sent back that sort of needed to be different in some way. So, and they did all of that and they, we just kept exchanging data and we kept exchanging tubes right up to almost the show. I could see something was happening and I, it was those that I took to the show that I had in the back of my development unit that I put audio through for everybody to come and come and listen to. So it was a real, they were quite heady days back then.

Paul: Mm. So, when you're talking about changes, We're talking tonal changes and how they react in the circuit, is it? That sort of...

Simon: not so much. Well there's, yeah, there's two things there. So internal changes yes. But I suppose more importantly, performance changes. So the way I. The way these tubes are made is sort of slightly different to your regular, sort of 12 x seven that you might find a guitar amp or something like that. So the, the, the differences between those and this type of tube is the, is the, there are three element tubes. So there are tris, so there's two, triodes in each sort of envelope or tube if you like. And the sort of the middle, the middle elements of the tube, which is called the grid, is wound in a different way to, to, to allow the to, to allow a, a much higher voltage cut off the tube. and there's one thing about Fairchild compressors. They have a very high voltage side chain. It's the way the grid is wound. so it's much narrower at the sides, a sort of concentric coiler wire. but but within remote cutoff the, the, the, that coiler wire is not consistent in in spacing. so the adjacent wires along the grid are spaced out more in the middle than they are at the sides. it's, it's a bit of a technical challenge. And I, I know JJ Electronics had to develop some machinery for it in order to sort of achieve this particular type of tube. So so it was those, the handmade ones that I actually took, to the show.

But that's, that's kind of, sort of. The performance difference side of it, tonally wise. That's a, that's another story really. I mean, lots of people say that the old, you know, we take examples of, you know, black plate tubes sound better than gray plate tubes. the the construction of the tube changes everything, of course. the way the tubes are made. All, all, all of this sort of conspires towards the sort of, the sort of tonal change and performance performance of the tube. But one of the key things for me is the chemistry within the tube that changes the tone. like I was saying earlier, it's very difficult sort of bottle, 70 years of history. And some people say the tone of these tubes is different compared to the originals. It's imposs, it's difficult to say really, because. Construction of the tube is slightly different, a slightly, slightly larger tube. The original ones were smaller. There's, know, the, the cocktail of chemicals used within the, the, the, the cathode and the plates will be different from 1950s. And that is a kind of, a, that's a, there's a big X there, really. 

Paul: Right.

Simon: I mean

Paul: There's no way of knowing what a 70 year old tube's like.

Simon: no, 

Paul: Okay.

Simon: and of course a lot of these chemicals banned, you know, so there's lots of legislation now to say that you can't use certain chemicals within tubes, so also conspires towards change in, you know, change in tone of, of things. But yeah, certainly. Certainly that is sort of one element of, of change within those tubes is the, is the chemistry. But we just hope, you know, we, we, we all hope that we're in the right sort of ballpark, really. I, I, I, I don't know. I, I don't know what the sort of the ingredients it's a highly guarded secret and there will be no tube manufacturers that will tell that because that's, that's kind of the key to their success with the tube.

So, so yeah, it's a bit of a closely guarded secret, really, I guess within tube

Paul: Which, which adds, which adds to the mystery of the unit as well.

Simon: Well, totally, yes, totally. But I mean, this is, this is the same for all sorts of tubes, you know, for 12 a x sevens, for ba sixes, for, you know, the millions of different types of valve that there are out there. They will all have slightly different characteristics and slightly different tonal characteristics. you know, when

Paul: So, did, [00:00:00] did the fact that you had sort of essentially custom made tubes, was that a marketing advantage, do you think, or?

Simon: It, it was certainly an advantage for me getting my to the show. 'cause without them be completely, completely, completely done for really? And it

 No one had access to them and I was the first person at that show to, to, to launch them. So I launched two products essentially.

So I launched the I launched the compressor that I'd built in parallel with the original one at Metropolis. had that at the show and I also launched the 6 3 8, the JJ Electronics 6 3 8 6 tubes. So there were two things going on there, and I remember there was a big sort of it all became sort of slightly quite busy at four 40 for a few days because people had not seen this before.

You know, there were lots of people coming up to me saying, oh wow, you know, you've managed to do this. I, I mean, it, it wasn't a single-handed thing, it wasn't just me. I think there were some other manufacturers involved. So, but I just happened to draw [00:01:00] the short straw really, and end up with these things on my.

Paul: So, who, who was coming up to you? Was it, was it younger guys? You know, I've heard the legend of the Fairchild, or was it the older guy saying, Oh yes, you've nailed it, and you've got the important parts,

Simon: well, 

Paul: you know, remade.

Simon: Yeah. It was manufacturers actually. I remember,

 a, Vanna Manley came up. There was yeah, I mean there were a lot of, a lot of the big manufacturers that sort of came up and they were all sort of curious and they were looking, 'cause I had a few, excuse me, I had a few spare that people could look at. And they were all sort of saying, oh, well do you mind if I just take this one back to the booth and I'll get back to you on it? I'm going, no, you can have a look at it here and you can leave it with me please. So there was all sorts of that going on at the time. So I was, I was a bit green to it, if I'm honest. It was. It was wonderful to be there. And I, it's a sort of, it was a moment in my, my time with the development of this unit. I'll never, you know, I'll never forget really. 'cause I knew actually that it was sort of cautiously being given the sort of thumbs up by other manufacturers. And that was what was key to me, really.

Paul: as

other manufacturers will give you a thumbs up.

Simon: Yeah, well, exactly. They're all a bit sniffy and you know,

 included, you know. But yeah, I mean, I'd sort of known a few of them really sort of beforehand as well. So, you know, we had a bit of a, sort of manufacturer's chat and, and stuff. So it was all very, it was all, it was all very know it was all, all in good, good humor, if I can say, if I can put it like that, so, yeah.

Yeah. It was good. Yeah.

Paul: So, since 2008, how many units have you actually shipped sold? Okay.

Simon: so starting, hopefully I'm starting another one in. I've got two on the go at the moment. And these are stereo units, so I've, I've built a number of six sixties as well, which are. Along the way, but they did, they, they didn't sort of come because the six seventies were so popular. I, the six sixties, which are the mono versions of it, didn't come along until sort of four or five years later or something like that. So, in terms of quantity I think I'm about to start my 56 units, I think, in which I mean it, I, I look at this list of other manufacturers making the same unit and I think, well, actually it doesn't really sound that many to be honest with you, in sort of like 15 or 16 or 17 years or whatever. But I think one of the key differences between my unit and all of these units here is that it's the original wiring and it's the original circuitry, the original number of components, the original. Transformers, everything about it is exactly as was back in 1957 or whenever it was. So there have not been any changes. There's been nothing substituted in the circuit for anything. it's, there's no solid state electronics. It's got the same number of tubes in it. It's got the same type of tubes in it. it's got everything, it's got the same meters in it, everything. Same controls on the front panel. got the original. 5 22 G oh network attenuators on the front. So I've, I've really tried to kind of stick with the original plan, and you know, and just, and just do it and do it that way. I mean, they are, they are a good deal, more expensive than a lot of the other ones. But I think, again, you know, it was just back to the way I sort of thought about things and sort of the, in the early days about, you know, if you're gonna make it, just try and make it as good as you can.

And then, you know,

Paul: Hmm.

Simon: let the, let the people be the judge of it, you know? That's kind of, that's been my sort of philosophy really.

Paul: So, who are your customers then?

Simon: Well so I'm, I'm, I'm so thrilled at the, sort of the success of this unit. I mean, it's been sort of beyond my of dreams really, but so we, so Metropolis Studios, they're, they're, they're clients. They've got one in their mastering room. Abbey Road have got one in their mastering rooms. Who else Sterling Sound have got one. There's one at Sphere Studios. There's one at Ward Archer Studios in the States. There's quite a, quite a number in, in Europe now. Quite a few in Japan as well. there's some in the Middle East. Mean, they're sort of dotted all over the place, really.

But the real sort of, I mean, every, every studio that has one is a flagship studio for me. I, you know, I'm, I'm,

 absolutely delighted that they've, you know, that they're able to sort of, know, they've been able to sort of you know, for me to be able to build one for 'em it, you know, it's, it's, it's a very, that's a very special thing for me, really. Yeah, so, I mean, there's, there's quite, there's quite a few big, big studios that have got them, which is great, of course, and absolutely fantastic. But there's also a lot of private studios that have got them. People that you would never think, you know, I get contacted all the time by people I've, you know, I've never, not heard of before, saying I would, would just like one of these because I've heard so much about it and I'm thinking, well, great. You know, that's, that's the message, right? You know?

Paul: Yeah. Now, I might just take a little toilet break and we'll continue then, yeah?

Simon: Super. Okay, perfect. I'll get some coffee on the go. That's the sound

Paul: Is that the kettle boiling? 

Simon: if you just

Paul: Yes, indeed. I can hear it loud and clear. Yes.

Simon: a minute and I just, yeah, go on.

Paul: Yeah, it's great. We're up to 53 minutes already.

Simon: Oh, 

Paul: Can you believe that?

Yeah, it's, it's, it's, it's, it's very good. Very good. Yeah.

Simon: Yeah.

Paul: Yeah. Yeah, but sure. Go make your tea there and come back to me when you're ready.

Simon: just, I'd just be two, like two minutes. Sorry. If,

Paul: Yeah, no problem.

Simon: eat into the the recording time or? 

Paul: Yeah, but I'll let it out. Like, I mean, it doesn't matter. And it will at least mean it's one file. Then it'll be grant. Yeah.

Simon: okay. Okay. Perfect. Alright, two. Right. Two. Two. How are you? By the way, Paul, it's been a long time since we've met. Hello?

Paul: Yes, indeed. Well, this is the important part, I thought. Like, we're covering old ground because we don't really know each other, but I mean, like, this should be included within the

Simon: Yeah.

Paul: podcast, I think. So, yeah.

Simon: so much for considering me.

Paul: Yeah, no, it was just, you know, you are, like, an original species in the audio industry, really, you know, so.

Simon: Okay. Well that's, that's kind if

Paul: It's some coincidence about me dad and your dad working in Marconi's, isn't it?

Simon: Yeah, that's right. So he, he worked as a it was funny 'cause I, I was looking, I, my mother who lives near Stan airport, I was looking, she's 91 now, and bless her. And we were going through, they got divorced sort of in eight 77 I think. And I was looking through the the, the, the sort of the divorce rather McCarley looking through the divorce documents.

And I wanted to see what it was that my, my dad my dad was back in the sort of the 1940s and fifties and he was a he was in technical market. was an engineer, he was a technical engineer at Marconis, and I know Mark, that division of Marconis and Chelmsford was to do with communications, I believe. So they introduced things like sort of a tropospheric scatter, which would be able to sort of bounce communications off the ceiling of sort of the outer part of, of, of the earth, and then back down to another point on the, on the planet. So, and I think they were involved with that a little bit and, and he was he was involved with it in, in some way.

So he was quite you know, he was, he was quite up there with sort of technology as it was at the time.

Paul: Right, yeah. Yeah, like, like, my dad is from Shemsford.

Simon: Right, right. Okay.

Paul: Yes, indeed, this is, yeah, yeah. So, he, he, yeah, absolutely, yeah. Like, did your family live near Shemsford or anything like that, or?

Simon: my, my my dad was his family were from Malden in South London. And then when my parents got together, my mother was living in London and they were, they wanted to, he was, he worked for an instrumentation company in Malden for a bit. So he is always sort of been, he was always involved with sort of technology of some sort or another electronics. And then got this job. He, he, he seemed to be sort of quite well, well paid, I think, for what he did at Marconis. And they left London and went to they just literally just drove around to find a village somewhere sort of near the airport actually in Stanstead Airport. And so they lived, they lived, they found faxed it. Which is a kind of a, a medieval village. And, and that's where I arrived smoked in 1962, so so she still lives there. So

Paul: Right, okay, wow, yeah.

Simon: close to faxed. So my dad used to commute, you know, every day, 

Paul: Yeah, very good, yeah.

Simon: Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So what was your dad, so your dad was in, he was living in, in Chelford, was he?


Paul: Yeah, he was, and was involved, he was a toolmaker

Simon: right, right.

Paul: for Marconi,

and and ended up over here because he, he liked fishing a lot, so he, he came over here in 1959 or something, and he's been back half a dozen times since for a week, so

Simon: Wow,

Paul: he's still here.

Simon: wow. Wow. Is it fantastic, that's f Yes. My, my dad died about three years ago. He immigrated to New Zealand and got remarried. So I have two half sisters now that live out there. so, which is great. Sort of great and sort of but anyway,

Paul: Yeah.

Simon: on. And mum's sort of, you know, been living where she, where she has been for, for that time. So

Paul: Wow.

Simon: move, but I don't think it's gonna happen now. 

It's not 

Paul: Yes, indeed. Yeah, but I mean, like, surely those old sort of villages are still picturesque and beautiful and quiet.

Simon: yeah, they're, they're really lovely.

Paul: Mm.

Simon: you know, I, I, I couldn't see myself ever living, living back, back there, but it's nice to go and see her. I love the village. We've still got some friends who are there, which is nice to see them too. And it's just, it's just. It's village life really,

Paul: Yeah.

Simon: I do quite, I'm a bit I'm a bit quite, I quite like do like a bit Village Life actually.

Paul: Yeah.

Simon: That's, I so much, when I was over there the other week, 

you know, 

Paul: Yes, that's the other thing I was going to ask you about. Can we mention

Simon: Kevin 

Paul: who, yes, Kevin Shields and...

Simon: Kevin Shields, well I don't know, I basic, he's also a client of mine and that's why I was there. 


Paul: Mm.

Simon: he's starting a new album and I, I, he, his, think his partner Anna, who is also his and engineer called me up and said, look, you know, Kevin's starting a new album or a new project and would like his unit calibrated. And so, you know, it took us a couple of months to organize everything. And and that's, and I went over there. But I have to say they were, Extraordinary in their generosity, I can say that. They were so kind, generous. I just, I, I wanted for nothing when I was over there. All I had to do was just get myself there. And, and I did, and it was brilliant. And it was amazing to sort of be in the company of. A kind of a, the, both of them of course, but also, you know, a kind of this sort of legend, I suppose,

 put it like that. And I, I, I'd known Kevin before because he, recorded a or re-recorded a lot of Loveless remastered.

A lot of loveless, if I can say at Metropolis, so through Tim Young. So I kind of, I'd met Kevin quite a few times actually, so it was funny sort of seeing him again, but seeing him on his own, you know, in his own, on his own sort of grounds

 my, yeah. On his own turf. Yeah. Amazing. Absolutely fantastic time. I, I, I, you know, my only hope is they invite me back back.

Paul: See, you want to plant a little fuse in there that'll blow in five years time or something, you know?

Simon: Yeah, exactly. Yeah, exactly.

Paul: Yeah.

Simon: right. I'm just gonna quickly deal with this coffee and then we'll be back on it again. 

Paul: Yeah, cool.

Simon: yeah. One second. Sorry. I'll bring you over here just to

Paul: Nah, just, just

rock on there. No problem.

Simon: yeah. Sorry. Just do that one second. let's do that, in here. Okay. back.

Paul: Good.

Simon: Okay. Got my coffee here.

Paul: Excellent. 

Simon: Right. So

Paul: Dare we broach the subject of cost? The

Simon: of,

Paul: pricing of the units.

Simon: the yes, the Dr. The dreaded. I stumbled a bit there when you asked that

Paul: Yeah. Yeah.

Simon: yeah, that's, that's always been the other Achilles heel actually is the cost of of these things. So I know obviously of all the sort of seven or eight other units I've mentioned this, this is a sort of bit of a front runner in terms of cost. I will say that there is over a hundred hours of bill time per unit and perhaps more so a little bit actually now because there's been some sort of added bits to it which weren't in the sort of the original, on the original plan. So yeah, we're basically, I mean I know that sort of equates, that probably equates to You know, a couple of months or something like that. But in reality, know, if I get more than one order, that stretches the lead time out a little bit more. And if I get another order, it stretches it out even further. because there's only me building them

 try to build things back because we're going back to my manufacturing days in multiples.

'cause it's just easier and quicker and more efficient for me to do it that way. So

Paul: Right.

Simon: orders come and go. Sometimes I don't have orders for, you know, six months, but then, know, if I haven't had orders for six months, I'm invariably building something from six months ago, you see what I mean. 

​the, the real shock to the system been. What's happened over the last three years really? I mean, not just in terms of cost, but in terms of sort of, sort of disruption to the supply chain. because a lot of

Paul: Of course.

Simon: yeah. Even just sort of basic things like, you know, wire, uh, that you need to kind of wire these things up. Colors have been in short supply, quantities have been in short supply availability. It's just ev everything has just been so, has just been sort of, you know, it's just been magnified by the sort of disruption to the service chain and sort of sort of, you know parts chain, that we all kind of seem to be at the mercy of these days. and it's, it's starting to even itself out a little bit now. But it's, it has been switches, for example, you know have not only doubled in value costs, but they've also, they also now take twice as long. if you want to buy single switches, for instance, you know, just like single units or maybe a two or three units at a time, can't do that. Now. It's, you know, you need to buy multiples of things. coupled with the increasing cost, it just, it makes it quite difficult. You know, and, and for some manufacturers, actually impossible. I think so to deal with, so with. had, we've had to, we've had to try and find alternatives. I've tried not to find alternatives and sort of erred on the sort of side of, well, okay, if it's gonna take three weeks longer, I'll stick with that and just, you know, we'll just have to go with that. So it's quite difficult. It's quite difficult I have to say. and that's why the cost has gone up. But also, you know, the time they take to make, make, you know, has increased. Now I was to put myself on an hourly rate, I'd probably be on like 10 pounds an hour or something like that. You know, in reality

Paul: Right.

Simon: do, do you know what I mean? I mean? 

even though yeah, even though the cost is high, I don't sort of really. Factor myself, I factor myself in. But obviously I factor myself in as a business. Being able to put food on the table and, you know, and pay the mortgage. But I don't, it's not like I'm going out to a job charging 150 pounds an hour to repair something.

It's not like that.

Paul: Right. So, ultimately, by the fact that you haven't given me a figure, can we say that it's

Simon: I I will, I will tell you. I will. I've been filibustering there for a bit actually. So you'll have to, you'll have, you'll have to excuse me. I'm, I'm just, I'm just gonna, I am, I am just going to check this actually right now. 'cause I know they've gone up in price, but I think the new units now are, are if I get you back on the screen here so the new units are, approaching 17,000, the stereo


Paul: But like, you know, it sounds like a lot of money, and it is a lot of money, but isn't it an investment? Like, is there anybody who's going to have one who's going to, it's not going to be worth 17, 000?

Simon: is exactly what know, and, and like I said earlier, you know lots of people, particularly today, buy gear as an investment. In, you know, in, in, in the hope that, you know, it'll, it'll retain at least sort of 75, 80% of its value later on in, in, in the day. It's an extraordinary thing with these vintage units, actually the stereo ones. I saw one that went for sale for about quarter of a million a few months ago in the States. So,

Paul: K and l

Simon: I know. And I, and I'm not quite sure what's going on there. It's, it's a bit of a difficult one really. I'm not, you know, I don't. My, you know, my, my thing is, if you basically can't use it for 15 hours a day in a studio, what are you gonna be using it for? You know? Because

Paul: Yeah.

Simon: it's, yeah,

Paul: paying a quarter of a million for something they're gonna put in their mix.

Simon: well, like it's, it's like 70 years old. If it breaks, who are they gonna call? You know, and what

Paul: Yeah. Mm-hmm.

Simon: if they're spending that much money on it, where's why? You know, if they can't use it, why, why did they, why did they buy it? So I don't really, I'm still trying to digest the, sort of, the reasoning behind spending that much money on a piece of audio equipment not use it. I just, I can't really get my, I can't get my head around it. And that's one of the things with these, know, that was one of the other reasons why I thought, you know, it'd be really nice to build these, to remake these units because, you know, the old ones. Even 15 years ago, were obviously, you know, quite old, well, very old then. and, you know, you wouldn't be able to use these things for that amount of time in the studio. And that's how people work. You know, they, they,

Paul: Yeah.

Simon: know, they work for long periods. They always have, you know, they work for long periods of time in the studio and they just, they leave stuff on overnight, you know, they don't want stuff to change.

They don't wanna switch stuff back on in the morning. They don't wanna change the mix. They just leave it. And if you did that to a 75 year old piece of equipment, it would just, it would just break, you know? 

Paul: Yeah,

Simon: I think

Paul: yeah.

This could be the last question I'll ever ask you.

Take another sip there. You might need it. , what is your opinion on plugins?

Simon: Well, you know what, Paul, it's another very interesting question. So I, I do, contrary to popular belief, I do love plugins. And I think if you are not sure in terms of operation functionality, Fairchild, if you're not sure about them and how they work and what they do and how they should sound, the the best thing to do is to go and get yourself a plugin. check it out. know, that's the best, that is the best thing you can do work your way around the nuts and bolts and the ins and outs of, of of Fairchild six 60 and six 70. And there's a lot of them about, and all of them really good. But there's one thing that

Paul: Any, any,

Simon: So, and that's, and that is, Capture performance. Okay.

Paul: yes.

Simon: A plugin will always give you a faithful, true replica consistently every time you switch it on day, 3, 6, 5 days a year for the rest of your life, it'll always do exactly the same thing. And the thing with tube equipment, tube equipment, it's random. It's performance is random. It's, it's, the way it functions is random. It, the moment you switch these things on, it just start decaying. They start dying. The performance starts, know, falling away. I mean, it's that, that's, that's the beauty of, of what we use and. Maybe we don't think about that when we switch on our 17,000 pound piece of equipment. But that is essentially what is, they're like manlys, like pendulum audio gates, you know, any other tube, EQ, tube based audio product. The moment, the moment you switch it on, it's, when it starts, it's, it's like it's starting a long kind of it's, it's starting a long path to sort of decay really through tubes because that's what tubes do.

They die. They ultimately, they die, they don't last forever. And that's an impossible thing to capture because you can't, it's just, you dunno how they're going to fail. You dunno, the performance of the tube. Each tube is different. They're. The, you know, it's, it's just difficult. And, and for me, you know, the one things that plugins do give you is obviously a sort of a form of consistency. and if you're unsure about something or how they work or like how e an EQ works or something like that, get yourself plugin.

Paul: Yeah, that was the thing I was wondering, how close are they to, you know, a unit? Like, if there any real comparison? But I, as I say, I've never heard of Fairchild, but I've heard some of the plugins.

Simon: hmm.

Paul: You know, does that give me any information what a real Fairchild sounds like?

Simon: I think, I think what plugins give you apart from sort of, you know, the sort of functionality sort of side of it is that it's, they're, they're sort of one idea of how their child sounded. You know, it might sound different to another fair child. And that was always the thing if every

Paul: Ah, right.

Simon: Every Fairchild was different. You know, you often hear, you know, people complaining about, oh my, you know, this one's great from, you know, audio effects, but this one from somewhere else doesn't work properly. it sounds okay, but just doesn't sound like the other one. are kind of little inconsistencies about sorts of tube equipment, guitar amps that you buy that even though they're the same make and model do sound slightly different. that yeah, that's, that's sort of one of the, that is one of the, sort of the, the problems of a plugin because it's just somebody's interpretation of what their plugins or what their real Fairchild sounded like.

Paul: Right. Okay. Yeah.

Simon: I mean, we're, we're drilling into kind of, we're getting a bit, it, it's very subjective, all of this.

23 years at Metropolis
Neve 'Honey'
Dreamhire/ HHB days
Metropolis Studio, Chiswick.
The First (broken) Fairchild doorstop
Development Fairchild clone
The first test !
The Fairchild Legend
Impossible to bottle history
Like a 'bandpass' compressor ?
Reviving the 6386 tube at the AES show
Marketing advantage ?
Models built
Industry customers
Plugin Fairchild ?