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Reichenbach Engineering Dual DI

Discussion in 'Vintage Analog Gear' started by bouldersound, May 27, 2015.

  1. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    I picked this up at the local flea market. It has a pair of Reichenbach Engineering 75101 transformers, which are still made by Cinemag. It works, but I have not actually used it in a real project yet. It's about the size of a Whirlwind IMP.

  2. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Do you have any guess as to the age of the XFO's? Even a ballpark time period?

    Occasionally ( not often enough ) we get lucky and come across stuff like this.

    I'm still waiting on that little old lady down the street having a garage sale, where she's got her dear-departed Uncle Walter's Fairchild 670, and is asking $20 for it. Of course, I would make the appropriate counter-offer... say, $15. LOL
    pcrecord likes this.
  3. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    They are from the mid 70s. It appears to say 1976 on the back.
  4. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Ya gotta love gear with handwritten notes and components where the info was printed with a typewriter and then taped-on. ;)

    I'm serious, too. I love that kinda stuff. It puts a "human spirit" to the gear.

    It shows that years ago, someone spent an evening sitting at a workbench somewhere, with an iron plugged in, and the smell of hot solder in the air.... the smell of "handcrafted". ;)

    IMO, we don't see that enough anymore. Instead, we see the all-too ubiquitous "Made in China".
  5. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    It's certainly a nice piece. Transformers like these cost $60-$100 each. Everything is well built with quality components. The ground lift switches are a little vulnerable and there are no "thru" jacks, but that's no big deal considering that it's two super high quality passive DIs in a tiny case.
  6. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    Years ago... and I mean years ago, when Ford was still President - LOL - a friend of mine picked up a "mic channel" at a garage sale, it was obviously a hand-built device... it was a dark green metal casing, holding a single channel transformer-based mic pre, EQ, compressor/limiter, with an input and output VU and gain (separate), that sounded wonderful.

    There was definitely a "sweet spot" with it, where a beautiful "coloration" would kick in. We never used anything but dynamic mics through it - in those days, we were just starting out and couldn't afford a condenser (back then, condenser mics weren't able to be purchased for $80 like they are now....) but - come to think of it, I don't think it even had phantom power for condensers, anyway.

    The gain on this thing was crazy... setting the gain at about halfway would provide more gain than any dynamic - or even a ribbon - would ever need. It was a bit noisy, but we weren't really audiophiles then... we were just looking for something that could get a mic signal to a 4-track Dokorder reel to reel. ( which also wasn't very quiet, either. ;) ) LOL

    On the bottom of this unit were the initials "MB".... I've always suspected that those initials stood for Mike Battles, who was the inventor of the Echoplex here in Akron back in the 50's. Battles had a reputation for building all kinds of prototypes of audio gear - EQ's, Filters, Preamps, Flangers, etc., and because his shop was located in Akron, these devices would end up with local area musicians, and sometimes at local area schools, churches, etc., and eventually, flea markets and yard sales.

    In most cases, there would be only ever be one or two of these prototype models in existence.

    I asked my buddy about that pre a few years back - he said he had sold it - years ago - for something like $25. :eek:
  7. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    They look very much like hand buildt. I gives me some interest to build some DIs myself.. But on the other hand, I won't be able to beat my ISAs and LA-610s DIs !! ;)
  8. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    How do you know? ;)

    If you have quality components, along with the skill, talent and know-how to read schematics, and the eyes and hands to be able to physically put everything together, you can pretty much build anything you want - and, of a quality in caliber that is as average, good - or even great - as you determine you want and can afford...

    There are DIY'ers out there who do this stuff all the time, and they save big bucks doing it, too.

    Truth be told... these days? If I had the money to spend on gear like that, say like maybe another 1176, or perhaps an LA2 or Pultec or something, I'd probably opt for a newer hand-built clone than I would an older original piece. Aside from saving money, which would allow me to buy more ( :) ), the newer clones ( as long as they are built by DIY guys who use quality parts and know what they are doing, of course ) are - at least to me - a safer bet than taking a chance on older vintage models, which, while cool to have, are pricier, and which can also often be somewhat "dicey" when it comes to their condition - getting older models with internal components and wiring that are all still working at their optimum is a chance you take when you go vintage.

    If I had the knowledge and the skill to build clones, I'd love to.... I'd do it all the time. But, alas, I don't - and besides, my eyes sure aren't getting any better as I get older, either.
    These days, unfortunately, I'm afraid that I'd need a magnifying glass the size of a '52 Buick to do component work like that. ;)


  9. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    It's been a while since I build something with electronic circuits.. I don't have a lot of knowledge but a certain level of skills.. I may give it a shot next winter. I have some shows this summer (one as a drummer and a few as soundman) ;)
  10. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Donny, what is with you and Buick's? :ROFLMAO:
  11. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    LOL.. a long and tarnished history... starting with my grandfather's 1953 Roadmaster. ;)
  12. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    It's definitely hand built, probably a one-off. I have access to a Solo 610, which was purchased as a bass DI, but it turned out to soften and fatten the bass too much. It is my go to for vocals on a condenser. DIs to me are like mics, after quality I go for variety. I'm a huge fan of active DIs, but there are situations that call for passive, and this is by far the coolest passive DI I've got.
  13. DonnyThompson

    DonnyThompson Distinguished Member

    I'm not familiar with this model. Who makes it? My assumption is - going by the model number, (I've had to learn how to "read between the lines" for model numbers from some manufacturers, like anything with a "73" in it usually suggests a Neve 1073, etc) - so, is it a pre from an older 610 Console?
    Is it Tube? Transformer?
  14. pcrecord

    pcrecord Don't you want the best recording like I do ? Well-Known Member

    I guess it's the UA solo 610. How heavy colored it is depends on the gain applied then you compensate with the level knob.
    Some bass may need that tube sound but I'm with you Bouldersound, I use the instrument input of my ISA more often.
  15. bouldersound

    bouldersound Real guitars are for old people. Well-Known Member

    Yes, the Universal Audio Solo/610.

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