Chandler Limited EMI/Abbey Road RS124 Compressor
Chandler Limited’s re-imagination of the RS124 “variable-mu” is significant not only for its heritage and modern
features, it also captures the unique personalities of Abbey Road Studios’ historic units in one piece of
hardware for the first time ever.
What we think:
The RS124 is a particularly exciting new product from Chandler as it’s their very first foray into tube compression, specifically the incredibly powerful variable mu style. While it’s not necessarily covering uncharted ground within the compressor market (Retro and Manley both offer excellent variable mu style comps), we’re certain the RS124 will deliver the signature Abbey Road sound on top of an already tried and tested compressor design.
One of the things we really love about the compressor is that it is going to be SUPER easy to use as it has cut down on the controls. Having the power of a Vari Mu style compressor, with the Abbey Road/Chandler sound, and the easy to use controls is absolutely going to be a must have for all tracking studios!
The Chandler Limited RS124 Compressor is a recreation of one of the most
coveted audio valve compressors of all time, the legendary EMI/Abbey Road
RS124, reimagined for use in the modern studio environment.
First designed in 1960 by Abbey Road Head of Techncial Bill Livey, Deputy Head
Len Page and seasoned EMI Audio Designer Mike Batchelor, the Abbey Road
RS124 compressor is one of the most coveted pieces of recording gear ever
Born out of the inadequate Altec 436Bs acquired by EMI in the late 1950s for
Abbey Road Studios, the RS124 compressor is most closely associated with
recordings made by The Beatles at Abbey Road Studios. Present on virtually
every Beatles session, the RS124 left its remarkable signature across most of the
The RS124's undeniably smooth character and ability to tame transients without
muffling the sound at steep compression levels, quickly became popular with
Abbey Road Studios engineers and widely used throughout the now historic
studio, for tracking, buss compression, mixing, and mastering. They where so
integral to the recording and mixing process that a pair can be seen in almost
every control room photo in Abbey Road Studios during the 60s period.
The RS124, a “variable-mu” type compressor circuit, was built for use at Abbey
Road Studios, and was never commercially available.
Through the years, from incomplete information and supposition, some have tried
to recreate the holy grail of tube compressors, though never fully capturing the
elusive Abbey Road RS124 in all its glory.
Schematics themselves only told part of the story, and access to Abbey Road
Studios’ historic units and various hand written modification notes would prove
paramount towards understanding the true nature of the Abbey Road RS124
compressor and variances between units.
Many revisions were carried out since its inception, and as a result, the Abbey
Road RS124 valve compressor has remained a mystery for decades, until now.
Available now, for the first time ever, the Chandler Limited RS124 Compressor
harnesses the sound and personalities of Abbey Road Studios’ favorite historic
RS124 Compressors (Ser. No’s 60070B, 60050A, and 61010B) still in use at the
famed studio to this day, all in a single unit.