The Neve

The History

Our Custom Built 8088 NEVE console is something very special indeed. It was originally commissioned as a custom-specced NEVE for The Who, and was installed in their Rampart Studios in 1977. For the next 8 years it remained the main recording console for many of the albums we now consider as classics.

It was bought by Albert Grossman of Bearsville Studios in upstate New York, and was used by many of the bands Albert managed including The Band, REM, Jeff Buckley, Simple Minds, the Pretenders and many more.

After Bearsville closed, Neil Finn pounced on the chance to own this incredible piece of recording history. It was retrofitted with 40 channels of NEVE flying faders to create a new hybrid console (adding 24 monitor faders and converting the 16 master buss faders into monitor faders). It was then given a complete overhaul and flown to Auckland in 2003.

Since then it has been pride of place in Roundhead’s Studio A, adding to its already impressive recording legacy.

“One day, I’ll bring my boat, sail those beautiful waters, and give the 8088 a real spin that I was never really able to give it back in the late ’70s.”
— Pete Townshend, The Who.

The Story of the Neve

Thanks to John Turner, the Longest Serving Neve Employee

Ramport Studios Neve Custom Console A4020.

In 1976 Neve were asked to make a special custom console for the Who’s Ramport Studios. This 40 channel, 16 group mixing console had a number of special features including rosewood trim and silk screened legends on the module front panels which would glow under ultra violet light. This included the studios Rams head logo on a panel in the meter upstand which had to be hand drawn by draughtsman Paul Ludwell. This was very much a custom console which Neve specialised in manufacturing.

From the drawing office “two wire” register EC10474 was taken out on 13/9/1976. It was drawn by S.J.W. (Stewart Warner) and described as a “40 Channel 16 Group” console for Ramport.

From the drawing office “block diagram” register EB10855 was taken out on 10/05/76. It was drawn by Ian Thompson Bell and described as a “40 Channel” music console.

There were module numbers specifically taken out for this console:

-1091B Channel amplifier -2404B Channel switching unit -2408B Channel routing unit

However as far as the 8088 goes it wasn’t introduced until much later. 

From the drawing office “two wire” register EC10571, the detailed wiring drawing for the 8088, was taken out on 30/5/1979. It was drawn by BWM and described as a “40 Channel” console.

London The Who's new Ramport studios now have what must be one of the most luxurious sound-mixing consoles ever built —supplied by Neve, of course. The 40 channel desk, built for 24-track music recording includes a number of special features: a real leather front buffer; rosewood side pieces; all controls siIk-screened for ultra-violet light; a high-specification alI-black finish.

John Wolff, Ramport Studio Manager, admits that the specifications were exacting -"We are very pleased with the way Neve measured up to the task. The features we asked for help to provide the producer with the ideal working environment in a carefully-designed control room."

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