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Behind Jack Joseph Puig Analog Legends

Jun 05, 2008

The vintage hardware modeled in the JJP Analog Legends are among the rarest, most coveted pieces in the audio world. The PuigChild 660, PuigChild 670, PuigTec EQP-1A, and PuigTec MEQ-5 are based on these acclaimed units.

About Fairchild

Among gear aficionados, the stereo Fairchild 670 is considered the most coveted of all compressors, not only because of its pristine sound, but also its rarity and price: 670s routinely go for tens of thousands of dollars on the vintage market. (They originally cost less than $1000.) With 20 vacuum tubes and 4 hand-wired transformers in a hefty 6 rack-space chassis, these hard-to-find units weigh in at a robust 65 lbs.

Designed by Estonian-born Rein Narma in the early 1950s, both the stereo 670 and its mono counterpart the Fairchild 660 use single push-pull amplification stages with extremely high control voltages. Both variable-mu limiters are unique in that they use tubes for gain reduction as well as amplification. Compression takes place directly in the audio path, rather than being routed to a separate circuit.

Prior to the 660 and 670, Narma’s Gotham Audio Developments had built consoles and components for such luminaries as Rudy Van Gelder and Les Paul. Shortly after Paul asked Narma to build a limiter, Sherman Fairchild caught wind of the project, licensed the design, and hired Narma to come onboard as the company's chief engineer. After his stint at Fairchild, Narma relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area and became vice president of Ampex, pioneers of multitrack recording equipment.

About Pultec

Custom-engineered and built by hand, the original Pultecs have long been a top choice of leading recording and mastering engineers. Pultecs are renowned for their ability to accentuate individual frequency ranges without significantly altering other frequencies.

In 1951, Gene Shenk and Ollie Summerland of Pulse Techniques Inc. introduced the first passive program equalizer, the EQP-1. Using equalization circuit designs licensed from Western Electric, the initial Pultecs suffered the gain insertion losses typical of passive filters. So, they added a gain makeup stage, using a push-pull design with multiple vacuum tubes. The result is the classic we’ve come to know as the EQP-1A.

Conceived and created for broadband equalization, the EQP-1A features four low boost/cut frequencies, three high-cut frequencies and seven HF boost points, along with a bandwidth control for shaping the high boost curve. The EQP-1A and the MEQ-5 together comprise one of the best known equalization chains in audio history.

About JJP Analog Legends

JJP Analog Legends is the result of an ongoing Waves research and development project that has lasted over 3 years.

Fairchild compressors are among the very rarest pieces of recording gear; it’s rumored that less than 50 were originally manufactured. One of the first things we discovered when testing Fairchilds is that each model sounds different. In fact, even within the same stereo module, each channel can sound and behave differently! Only a few fortunate studios in the world have multiple units, with the opportunity to compare the subtle differences between them. And so, our quest for the best sounding Fairchild led us to producer/mixing engineer Jack Joseph Puig, well-known in audio circles for his enviable collection of hard-to-find gear.

Jack loaned us his very best sounding unit, and we painstakingly analyzed and modeled its every attribute, replicating its sound and behavior to the point where the software was virtually indistinguishable from hardware. Jack was an indispensable part of the development process, greatly assisting the Waves team by testing and fine tuning the software models of his hardware, as well as contributing an extensive library of his personal presets.

So when you fire up the PuigChild, it’s almost as if you were working together with Jack Joseph Puig in Ocean Way studios. Better yet, it’s as if he loaned you a Fairchild. And not just any Fairchild; his BEST Fairchild.

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