The 660 and 670 limiters were designed by Rein Narma, who built the first 10 mono units by himself, the first one was made for Rudy Van Gelder a recording engineer specializing in jazz, Rein later built a recording console for him. The second 660 was sold to Olmstead Recording in New York and then the third to Mary Ford and husband Les Paul. Rein worked at Gotham Recording and then formed Gotham Audio Development Corp with others. He built new amplifiers for the Ampex 300 for a new product range for Gotham Audio. It was at that time Les Paul heard of Rein.
Les Paul received a new 8 track from Ampex and found it far worse than the 2 track he had so he called Rein to fix some of the problems with the machine. Gotham Audio finished sometime later due to lack of money, various people wanted ‘out’ so Rein became his own company called Rein Narma Audio Development. He continued to work from home in Bergenfield, New Jersey. Rein gets a call from Sherman Fairchild and joins as Chief Engineer in Westwood NJ. Both limiters were licenced to Fairchild for a $100 per unit. Apparently about thirty or forty were ever made.
Rein designed the limiters to have a greater than 20db headroom on the i/p. The 670 units were in part developed for record cutting with a Lateral and Vertical switch. He left Fairchild and the 670 was discontinued shortly after. Rein worked at Rangertone and later moved to the Ampex Service company, later he worked at General Instrument for the next 20 years.
Recently Rein Narma and Les Paul were reintroduced at the 2007 TEC awards where he accepted an award for inventing this highly regarded compressor. The Fairchild 670 which originally sold for $1,500 is often referred to as the "Holy Grail" of outboard devices for its rarity value (currently about $32,000 on the used market) and usefulness in a wide variety of studio situations. This hand-wired stereo unit is a monster, with 20 vacuum tubes, 11 transformers, including 2 Inductors and another 2 transformers tucked within its 65-pound chassis. All of the wiring in this 1963 working model is hand wired. The unit was re-built, replacing the control i/p, control o/p transformers, capacitors in the power supply section and all of the interstage wiring connected to the matrix switch. The coupling capacitors at the gain reduction stage have also been replaced as have capacitors in the o/p stage including a tube socket.
Visit our Youtube channel where we take a look back at the development of tube technology from the ealrly days of manufacturing and development. The history of this technology is well documented that spans many decades.
Fairchild 670 Serial Number 44!
We would like to send out a warm thanks to Geoff Gray
who kindly sent over this photo of his original unit.