The Truth About Recording & Mixing, Ep. 13: Bill Cheney of Spectra 1964

Welcome back to the Truth About Recording and Mixing brought to you by the Fretboard Journal from Crackle & Pop! studio in Ballard, Washington. On this episode, we speak to Bill Cheney of Spectra 1964 about the history of the company and the classic circuits that are still on the cutting edge today.

Some of the topics discussed this week:
1:10 Listener comment from Josh Block regarding episode 11 with Timothy Herzog
3:05 Listener comments from Bob Knetzger
4:45 What is flanging? Johnny gives a demo and a modern technique to achieve that classic sound
16:45 Welcome Bill Cheney, Bill talks about his upbringing and how he got into audio
20:30 Meeting William Dilley and eventually going to work for Spectra
29:30 Scully 100: the Spectra tape machine
33:00 ’70s era when Spectra is building sound reinforcement when Bill first started working there
36:30 William Dilley’s story and his love of the flying
41:30 The gear manufacturing world of the early ’60s and how Spectra got into the market. The 101 amplifier and who was building studios using Spectra parts.
46:30 William Dilley designing the Minutemen missile launch project and a side story about William Dilley and Les Paul hanging out. How working on that system informed his knowledge of transistor circuitry.
1:00:00 ┬áThe development of the product line through the ’60s: the 101A and the 500EQ
1:06:45  The 610 comp limiter and the reasoning behind the putting the limiter at the front of the circuit
1:14:00 What other circuits was William Dilley working on in the late 60s?
1:19:00 Differences in parts from then and now and where the company is headed now. Through hole technology and current manufacturing. Challenges leading to Spectra using SMD fabrication
1:33:20 New products coming out now
1:40:00 More talk of the 610 compressors… and the book of instructions

Thank you for listening to the Truth About Recording & Mixing. Please keep sending us your questions (voice memos are great!) to podcast@fretboardjounal.com

The Truth About Recording & Mixing is a bi-weekly podcast produced by the Fretboard Journal magazine, loosely based on our Truth About Vintage Amps podcast.