StamChild SA-660 – Mono Analog Tube Compressor

Historic Tube Compression

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(4 customer reviews)


The Stamchild 660 recreates every drop of character of the original Fairchild 660 originally developed in the US in the early ‘50s.

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Recreating the finest sounding mono tube compressor in history

The Stamchild 660 recreates every drop of character of the original Fairchild 660 originally developed in the US in the early ‘50s.

The original Fairchild 660 quickly became a key weapon at Abbey studios finding its way into almost all Beatles recordings where virtually every single vocal, drums and guitar takes went through this vintage tube compressor. Unlike the 670 the 660 is slightly darker sounding and it’s spectacular on harsh sources.

While developing this project we had two main objectives: first and foremost, the audio path had to remain as close as possible to the original units, and it had to be affordable. With this in mind we developed a few prototypes and carefully tested each component and it’s interaction with the circuit. After many months of research and test we determined there was a way, and so the SA-660 was born. We took this opportunity to add a DC Threshold and Dry/Wet blend control switch to the unit.

With the aid of premium transformer reproductions made by AMI in the US and Sowter in the UK and the use of eight NOS 6BA6 tubes and one 12AX7 tube, we have managed to make this unit virtually indistinguishable to the original. The StamChild SA-660 also uses historically correct VU meter and knobs. It also comes with two critical extra features on top of the original controls.

In order to reduce the cost of manufacturing these units we have made some modern implementations which do not affect the audio path. We have changed the tube based power supply to a solid state one, which we found had no bearing on the sound.

With this measure we were able to greatly reduce the cost of production, while preserving the original tone, without touching the audio path, and without removing the character produced by the tube on the control amp.

100% satisfaction guarantee – if you don’t love your StamChild SA-660, we’ll refund you

If you’ve used an original Fairchild 660 before, we’re extremely confident the Stam Audio SA-660 will put a big smile on your face every time you use it. However if you’ve never touched the original before, as gear-lovers ourselves, we understand that the only way to really know if this compressor is for you, is to put it through its paces. That’s why the SA-660 comes with a 30 day money back guarantee. This allows you to get it into your rack and see how it impacts your recordings. If you love it (and we think you will!), great…keep the unit and create amazing music with it. If not, no problems. Just send it back to us and we’ll fully refund your purchase. Don’t worry, whichever way you decide to go we will remain friends.

Technical Specs

  • AMI Input Transformer
  • Sowter Control Amp Input Transformer
  • Sowter Output Transformer
  • True to the original Fairchild 660 audio path schematic
  • Original compression curves
  • Eight 6BA6 and one 12AX7 tubes
  • Simpson VU meter
  • XLR inputs
  • XLR outputs
  • Voltage switch selector (115V or 230V)
  • Hand made in Chile
  • 2U, 200mm depth
  • 2-year warranty
  • 30-day money back guarantee

4 reviews for StamChild SA-660 – Mono Analog Tube Compressor

  1. joe p.

    i absolutely love love love…… the “thought of owning these”……. and cant wait till it they are boxed up and enroute to my studio here in Nashville!!

  2. MS

    I received my Stamchild mono 660 a short time ago and here’s my initial experience so far. While I’m sure the mk1 sounded very good, It’s hard for me to imagine it beating the mk2 with the added DC threshold knob that seems to be a combination of knee and ratio control so you can go from hard knee/higher ratio to soft knee lower ratio or in-between. the wide variable effect it has on the signal is a very nice option to have in how it effects the transients.

    I used a prerecorded vocal and ran it through the Stam 660 at different settings and compared it to my other compressors also. After comparing the mk2 circuit with DC Threshold in my 660, I found the stamchild dimensional, and slightly bigger in size or sonic footprint at times than my other comps. It was a little more open and depending on how you set the DC Threshold you could go from huge and pillowy to harder knee and more compression. The Stam 660 also seemed like it could handle the initial attack of louder bursts at times a little better and I also thought while some of my other compressors sounded very good, it seemed like there may not be as much room for later processing after using them, while the Stam sounded like it would allow you more room sonically for multiple passes of gain reduction if you wanted it without degradation. 

The other thing I think I noticed at times with the Stam 660 is it seemed like it had a little more height sonically than some of my other compressors. Hard to explain that I know and it can be subtle for some but since we tend to hear high harmonic content as “up” and low harmonic content as “down.” The vertical scale seemed a little taller or broader than some of my other comps.

    I think the Stamchild 660 is quickly becoming my new favorite vocal compressor finding it can be huge, dimensional, with different curve options with its DC Threshold than I otherwise have in hardware and it seems very forgiving over all. I am very impressed with the Stam 660 and what the DC Threshold brings to the table and this may be my favorite Stam product of all.

  3. Mark Bram (verified owner)

    Absolutely Amazing!!!
    Josh makes great gear. I own the SA-2A, SA76 ADG, SA67 and now the Stamchild 660 (and I have the MEQP-1 Pultec on order).
    I’m using this with my Pearlman TM-47 mic into a Dizengoff Type 47 (and sometimes the D4) REDD 47 clone mic pre, into the Stamchild and then into a modded Pultech clone (which will be replaced by the Stam MEQP-1 when it arrives), with a little boost at 100hz and 5 hz (which were the EQ curves on the REDD 51 desk). I also have the Dizengoff Type 124 (RS1214 clone), which I might experiment with putting it at the end of the chain (like they used, when tracks were bounced at EMI, when recording The Beatles). This sounds huge! Very big, very rich, and sounds expensive. Not harsh. Not mushy. Clear, articulate, 3 dimensional and weighty. Vocals sound intimate, as though you were in the room with them. I’ve got a ton of very nice compressors. This has become my favorite. Well worth the wait.

  4. Stephen Ketner

    Got the unit two days ago. I’ve had so much fun with it on my current mix project I’ve actually not slept much. That’s how good it is, like I had originally only planned to run vocals through it. It sounded so good I was like “what about bass?” Then that sounded so good “what about kick” then snare, etc etc. Several dozen full prints later and now I’m like “what about a parallel bus for this sub mix?” Hahaha I may never leave my mix room again at this rate.

    It’s kind of hard to explain, but it sounds like what I dream about a fairchild sounding like. That’s the only way to really describe it.

    On drum overheads it immediately sounded like my favorite Abbey Road drum recordings, especially on Tom hits. I’ve always wanted to achieve that sound and never really could, but now here it is in all its glory.

    The DC threshold is so useful, it makes this way more than a one trick pony, with careful listening it makes this compressor a genuine workhorse. When clicked all the way over the compression behaves very aggressively and needle action on faster settings is very snappy. It almost does this 1176 peak limiter action where it grabs the worst peaks and then moves back rapidly to zero. The curve is like a hard limiter, almost brick wall feeling.

    Which I found immediately useful as a first stage peak reduction.

    So now on some tracks I’ve done two prints consecutively, one passing using the fairchild as a peak limiter, then second pass as the traditional slower moving fairchild with smooth action.

    The combined sound is like nothing I’ve never heard. It literally jumps out of the speaker as if the sound is wrapped in some kind of magical harmonically saturated Christmas gift.

    The construction on this is exceptional. I have several Stam units, and you can see the extreme attention to detail on this unit.

    I haven’t been this happy about a piece of gear since I bought my first tube condensor in my 20s. Like this really has changed everything for me the last few days.

    The only thing that could be better is if I had two of these units, dang now I want the 670!!

    Anyone who has longed for a fairchild, but always put it off as impossible, buy this unit. It will go above and beyond any expectation you have. Just a big heavy box of tubes, transformers, love and absolute magic.

    Thank you a million Josh and everyone at Stam for making an actual dream come true!

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