Just about any piece of gear that has crossed the doorstep of the legendary Abbey Road Studios is truly revered, especially if it’s from 60s and 70s. The studio’s boffins in the maintenance department were renowned for being meticulous in creating and upgrading any gear used in the studios, which came across in recordings that still sound great today. Of particular interest was its consoles, and now perhaps the most famous console of all, the REDD.37, the one that recorded most of The Beatles records from Meet The Beatles to Let It Be, is available for sale.
The console was owned by Lenny Kravitz for the last 25 years, and the previous owner, Chris Solberg, had it for 12. Prior to that it resided in Abbey Road Studio 1.
REDD.37 is the last of the tube consoles created by EMI’s Record Engineering Development Department (REDD) and is considered the highest form of tube console art. It’s built around the excellent sounding Siemans V72 microphone preamps that are highly sought after to this day, and at 800 lbs, is built like a tank.
The console has narrowly survived two disasters, leaving Solberg’s house in the Oakland Hills just days before the massive Oakland Hills fire wiped out the neighborhood, and arriving at Kravitz’ studio in the Bahamas two days after a hurricane wiped out his warehouse with all his gear.
As cool as owning a console like this might be, it does have some limitations (it was built in 1958 after all). Among them is the fact that it only has 8 inputs, there are no direct outs or phantom power, it only runs on 240/50Hz power, and it has very basic two band EQ (although it has two different Pop and Classical EQs that you can drop in). It’s also extremely hot because of all the tubes, so make sure that your HVAC is up to the task.
Also included with REDD.37 are two Studer tape machines also from Abbey Road – a 1″ 4 track J37 (serial number 7) and a two track C37, so it’s quite a package.
I don’t know what the asking price is, but you can inquire at Vintage King, who’s handling the sale.
Here’s a video that explains more about this fantastic piece of music history.