Saturday, 11 June 2011

Abbey Road EMI TG-12345

Once in a lifetime opportunity! Somehow this legendary EMI solid-state console has become available to buy. It is arguably the best desk to feature on this blog. I wonder how much it goes for and to whom...

This amazing console is located in the US and is being sold by Vintage King. Here is what they have to say

"The EMI TG12345 Console is a legendary desk that went through four variations. Originally built to custom specifications in EMI’s own engineering facilities at Hayes, Middlesex, England, the TG12345 was the first solid-state recording console to be manufactured by EMI. By the late 60s, transistors and multi-track recorders had become the cutting edge of audio technology, and EMI spent considerable time designing and building a custom desk that could handle the larger number of inputs and outputs necessary for multi-tracking. The result was the TG12345 console, designed to be used in EMI recording facilities worldwide. 

The first desk, the Mk I, was installed at EMI’s famed Abbey Road studios in December of 1968, and saw use on the final album recorded by the Beatles, the aptly-named Abbey Road. Several Mk I desks were manufactured, to be followed shortly by a modified version, known as the Mk II. Continued refinement saw the introduction of the Mk III, which was used at EMI’s international locations, but never at Abbey Road itself.
The last in the line of these consoles was the Mk IV. Only two of these desks were ever made, and the first of these is now offered for sale. This is a very rare opportunity to own a piece of audio recording history!

This particular TG12345 Mk IV console was initially installed in Abbey Road Studio Three in December of 1971. Three years later in November 1974 it was moved to the big room, Studio One, where it resided until it was decommissioned in December 1983. Studio One is Abbey Road’s largest live room, and can easily handle a full orchestra, plus a choir. Consequently, this desk saw quite a bit of use on film scoring sessions, including the orchestral portions for the film of Pink Floyd The Wall, (see the photo of David Gilmour and Roger Waters leaning on this desk). Other film work included the original Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back, Superman, Raiders of the Lost Ark and many others.

Although this particular desk is virtually unique, many of the channel modules are similar in design to earlier versions of the TG12345. This desk is the sound of Abbey Road throughout the 1970s, when classic albums such as Dark Side of the Moon, (recorded on the only other Mark IV ever made), were tracked and mixed on these legendary consoles. Only 14 of these desks are known to still exist, and most owners wouldn't part with them for any amount of money. Never available to the public during their heyday - and maybe never available again - this is a unique opportunity to own a unique desk from the control rooms of Abbey Road.

Console available for viewing in Los Angeles by appointment"

UPDATE: here is a full data sheet for this console:
EMI Recording Console Handbook+Mk2

UPDATE: It sold for $385,000 (£238,000). Damn bargain! Please look after it well...

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