Altec 605As #GearThatMadeUs

16th July 2022

In this week’s Gear That Made Us we bring you the legendary Altec 605A speakers.

Two of which found a home in Studio Two’s control room throughout the ‘60s. On the left was 605A #8 and on the right, 605A #3.

Because stereo recording was secondary at the time, the right-hand speaker saw a lot more action than the left as engineers were only monitoring from one.

As engineer Geoff Emerick remembered, “…as a luxury at the end of the night, we might play it mono through two speakers.”

 
 

All the recordings and mixes that came out of Studio Two in the ‘60s, from Cliff Richard to Pink Floyd, would have been recorded and mixed using these very Altec 605As. As a result, they played a large part in what became the "Abbey Road Sound”.

Engineer Ken Scott comments, “They were awful. I think that’s why the Beatles stuff works – because you had to work so hard to make it sound good on those speakers. If it sounded good on there, it would sound great anywhere.”

 
 Billy J. Kramer

Billy J. Kramer

 Bobby Elliott

Bobby Elliott

 

In the ‘70s, studio manager Allen Stagg replaced them with Tannoy Lockwood monitors and two of the Altecs were moved into the live room to serve as playback speakers. They remained there for another decade until they were sold in 1980 in the Abbey Road “Sale of the Century”.

 
ex-Studio Manager Ken Townsend at the "Sale of the Century"

ex-Studio Manager Ken Townsend at the "Sale of the Century"

#AbbeyRoad90 #Altec605 #Altec605A
 

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