opinions on Altec 1612a

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by mig27, Mar 13, 2002.

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  1. mig27

    mig27 Active Member

    Feb 15, 2002
    Berlin, Germany
    Hi everyone,

    can anyone tell me what are the best uses for this piece of gear? It's a solid state mic/line-pre with limiter from the 70ies.
    From what I've heard, it's supposed to be a killer on guitar cabinets and bass. Any experiences? Recommendations on setting it up?

    a friend abroad would sell it to me quite cheap ($350.00).
    thanks in advance for your opinions.


    here's a pic: altec1612a.jpg
  2. faganking

    faganking Active Member

    May 22, 2001
    I have two of these. On the right track (tempo, feel etc.) they're great on Bass. But the real fun is on 'Drum Overheads'. The fast attack is:10 microseconds attack and 0.8 seconds release. The slow attack is:33 microseconds attack with 2.8 seconds release. On the slow setting it kind of *flips out* on the drums with such a fast attack and slow release. They start sounding backwards, etc. Great to use as a mult and slip under the uncompressed drums. REALLY cool! Also the price you quoted is exactly right.
  3. OlympicPhil

    OlympicPhil Guest

    Hi, I've got a 1612a in my workshop at the moment.
    I've never used one before, so can anyone tell me if both channels are supposed to work at the same time or if one over-rides the other?
    (in other words is this unit fine or should I attempt to "repair" it?)

    Thanks in advance, I'd really appreciate any help anyoneone could give me,

    Technical Engineer
    Olympic Studios
  4. Fruition2k

    Fruition2k Active Member

    Jan 1, 2001
    South Florida
    I bought one used about 7 years ago for $100...in prefect shape, had a strange release curve to it I didnt care for. After a few months sold it for about the same price. These Altecs are usually found from commerical sound systems installs, always left on and I'm sure not well maintained.

    As for repairs...
    I did remember seeing a chip inside as well, under a aluminum heat sink about dead center of the unit. Dont remember what it was or its function.

    For $350, there are quite a bit better sounding and flexible compressors out there not to mention the need for future repairs when they show up.

    Best of luck,
  5. OlympicPhil

    OlympicPhil Guest

    aha... got it sussed... one's a mic input and one's a line input, and they DO both work at the same time... actually, there's a very nice ducking effect when both inputs used simultaneously with music on the line input and speech/vocals on the mic input.
    It IS working fine after all.
  6. sidneyA

    sidneyA Guest

    opinion altec 1612a

    :D I use my altec 1612a on vocals, drums and it sounds really good on almost everything.
    The compressor curve sound great.
    Nice gear. maybe underestimated value for the future.
  7. ProEquip

    ProEquip Guest

    I have a 1612A up for auction http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=160241177638
  8. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    "The fast attack is:10 microseconds attack and 0.8 seconds release. The slow attack is:33 microseconds attack with 2.8 seconds release."

    Erm....10 microseconds? Does that seem a little off to anyone else?
  9. Boswell

    Boswell Moderator Well-Known Member

    Apr 19, 2006
    Home Page:
    Try milliseconds.
  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

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