The return of Valley Audio/People/International!

Recording Techniques, People Skills, Gear, Recording Spaces, Computers, and DIY

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matta
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Post by matta » Sun Mar 04, 2007 11:49 pm

drewbass wrote:is it keypex or kepex? just wondering
drew
Kepex

Matt
Matt Allison
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www.ashtonaudio.com

alanhyatt
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Post by alanhyatt » Mon Mar 05, 2007 1:07 am

Kepex, Keypex...I am not sure. I have to look at the module...Perhaps I am spelling it wrong.....
Alan Hyatt
PMI Audio Group
Joemeek - Studio Projects - Toft Audio Designs - Valley People - Stephen Paul Microphones
Gardena, CA 90247
toll free: 877-563-6335 fax: 310-323-9050
url: www.pmiaudio.com e-mail: alan@pmiaudio.com

getreel
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Post by getreel » Mon Mar 05, 2007 10:33 am

Kepex/Kepex II(modules), Gatex were the rack gates. All very good gates.
Last edited by getreel on Mon Mar 05, 2007 8:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Mark Alan Miller
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Post by Mark Alan Miller » Mon Mar 05, 2007 8:02 pm

I want a 610.
he took a duck in the face at two and hundred fifty knots.

http://www.radio-valkyrie.com/ao/aoindex.htm - download the new record (free is an option!) or get it on CD.

Moon Unit
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Post by Moon Unit » Tue Mar 06, 2007 3:10 pm

I have mixed feelings about this, moreless.

If this is an actual attempt to maintain the integrity and sound of the original Valley People gear, then I think it's a great idea.

If, on the other hand, it's going to be similar to the Joemeek deal where the brand name is kept alive mostly for marketing purposes while the sound of the unit bears little resemblance to the originals ... then not so much.

drewbass
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Post by drewbass » Wed Mar 07, 2007 11:13 am

that's why i asked about the spelling.
that kind of money about to be invested, i would double check those kinds of things.
not that i think this isn't being done in good faith, of course.
just saying.
drew

littlesongs
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Post by littlesongs » Fri Jun 29, 2007 9:01 pm

i bought myself a dyna-mite today. oh no, not a new one mind you. although, if i really want to, i can probably write 'made in china' on it and be the first on my block. no, this was an old one, with the silver and black case, and "dyna mite" spelled out in courier and embellished by curly-cues. it looked like something i would have seen on the side of a gently rocking van with steamy bubble windows up on mount tabor in say, 1977. nice.

ah, my very own dyna-mite. not to be obstinate, but this unit did not seem to be a priority, as it was not mentioned specifically by the spokesman for the holder of the brand name. or maybe, like other important things, he just forgot. again, just for reference, k-e-p-e-x. yeah, like exxon, kotex and xanax, it is spelled just like it sounds.

when i got home from work, i spun some joe meek demos from archive.org, dug the strains of "sky men" and contemplated a cover version. i also compared the two controversial pioneers that bore that name. the joe meek i knew about growing up was very important to the oregon country for equally complex and nerdy reasons well over a century ago, and no, i won't bore you. i liked telstar then too, but i did not know the wizard's name, only the tornadoes that he created. both joes were unique in that they were both ahead of -- and yet part of -- their time. joe meek. seems like such an unassuming name for one historical figure, let alone two. way to go, joe.

now, i am faced with products that bear a proud name, but the one spider thread that tied the company to joe -- the one that lived and worked in a noisy little apartment above a store -- was an engineer/salesman who is no longer involved. yada yada yada, we all know every version of that story. although every tom, dick and harry has built them over the years, there are still no spring reverb units from a company named for england's crowned king of boing. what a saga.

the fact that the initial offerings were great pieces of gear built by people who loved their jobs, knew their jobs and did their jobs was far more important to me than a historical footnote. what i paid for a unit fed the family of a technician who was making a living in a democracy. the company employed the very people who heard joe's music on the radio growing up and revived his name with gear designed for the current mad genius upstairs. now, if that spirit is gone, then joe meek is a character, like saint nicholas. you know him? he is a skinny generous guy from european history that coca-cola made greedy, fat and scary.

names and designs are useless tools if the new product is not anywhere near the build quality or sound of the original. judging by the insane sales that the suburban malls advertise on stuff -- that soon thread after thread of the tomb is dedicated to modifying and spending more money on just to be useful -- most companies are churning out junk by the boat load. frankly, those who seek a mere imitation already have plenty to choose from inside the box. if valley stuff is to be released as plug-ins, great, but tread lightly, 19" screens seem to be far more forgiving than 19" racks. some of us still use tape -- remember that stuff? it was out even earlier than the k-e-p-e-x.

when folks shell out for new gear, they obviously want the highest quality at a particular price point. today, beyond the land of cold solder joints and bad parts, some companies/entities have forgotten the most important part of any design: heart. the best piece of gear, like the best musical instrument, is built with soul, passion, and love. how do you expect it to pass a signal of a performance based largely on those qualities without those very things built inside the unit?

the final product need not be cripplingly expensive to be built right, or with heart, or heck, by folks on this continent -- hamptone, fmr audio and seagull guitars immediately come to mind, but there are others. i am also not saying that every new piece of gear is crap, or hogwash, but utfsf and you will find the angst filled cries that echo day and night from the walls of the tomb,

"i-had-a-low-budget-and-bought-cheap-new-equipment-that-i-have-to-mod-and-spend-more-money-on-to-keep-from-sounding-like-ass."

so, regardless of whether there is ever a new "dyna-mite" or not, i am happy to have a classic, time tested and wonderful piece of gear on the way. it was built right in the first place. it will do the job. please, holder of titles and logos and such, do us all a favor: if valley -- or allison -- is to ever return, bring it all back -- american jobs and her hairdo -- or don't bother at all.

if you were simply testing the water to see if anyone cared, we do. they made great gear, and those of us who do care, will use it into the future, make repairs, and keep using it until we die or go deaf. after that, well, we are in some other target market.
"Keep singing, keep writing, keep playing, keep recording. Stay humble, follow your heart, and it'll all lead to a good place."
-- F.M. Cornog

firby
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Post by firby » Wed Jul 11, 2007 11:51 am

Valley people dynamite is the best compressor in my rack.
I'm a bad man!

matta
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Post by matta » Fri Jul 13, 2007 4:59 pm

Littlesong,

The designer of the original Valley stuff back in the 70's is good friend of mine and I actually put him in touch with Alan at PMI and he is working alongside PMI to make SURE that he is happy for the reissues to bear the Valley name.

YES they will be made in China, and no they won't be made in the USA, but how many mass market products in pro audio are still made Stateside? Take a look at Digidesign's Pro Tools, the industry leader in DAW's have their interfaces made in China... lets all boycott them should we?

And YES the Joe Meek of today is not the Joe Meek of yesteryear, in the sameway Rupert Neve Designs Portico range sounds NOTHING like the vintage Neve modules that are so revered. Times change, designs change, ideas change and I think in many ways for the better. The newer Joe Meek boxes I've toyed with have a feature to put a transformer in front of the preamp, a pretty cool and nice NEW feature with a new EQ design I tend to like, dare I say it, MORE than the 'old' one. I have some very old and very expensive pieces of 'classic' gear in my racks, I'm no bedroom musician and there is still a place for all the PMI stuff.

Malcolm Toft is still VERY involved with the Toft Audio stuff, he is the same Malcolm who was there when the Trident consoles were conceived, working on new products, built to the highest spec, at a price point that is VERY affordable. Just look at ATB Console, if it was built Stateside it would cost 2-3 times the price.

I own a bunch of Valley stuff, 'Vintage', 'Original', whatever the heck you want to call it. I even have the original Dynamite manual (Your bubbly font one, go 70's!) from the first one they built which was given to me as gift. All that said I'll be JUST as happy to have these newer reissues inside my racks side by side with the 'Classics' because I know Doc, I know Alan and I know they won't release it if it doesn't sound the way it should.

YMMV but I'm sticking with my guns on this one 8)

Let me just state here that I don't work for PMI Audio, these thoughts are my own personal views and nothing more than that of happy customer.

Matt
Matt Allison
Mad Scientist
www.ashtonaudio.com

littlesongs
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Post by littlesongs » Sun Jul 15, 2007 10:09 pm

matt, i appreciate you weighing in, doing your best to make sure that any future products are rooted in the original ideas, and seeing that word gets out about the return of valley. i am aware that there will be folks stateside who will get their bread and butter from the gear. still, the "people" will not be in the equation like they were when they were the name of the company.

though i am glad that the original engineering is a big part of the equation, i am still not convinced that my money is always well spent on products made in china. i am not alone in how i feel about exploiting artificially low wages in a totalitarian empire while techs in america are on the beach. quality is not the only issue. i have plenty of economic, political, and personal reasons that are not audio related. i am not alone in that either.

believe it or not, many people would save up and shell out "2 or 3 times as much" for a product made in the states. in fact, folks do it all the time for both new and vintage gear. making audio "democratic" by enabling every bored kid with a few bucks to churn out "good sounding" tunes on his laptop at the expense of the freedom of others half a world away is not good juju. sure, we throwbacks might have fewer choices in the rack, but having spent our time songwriting, perhaps, when the songs hit tape, it won't matter that much. it doesn't to me. dig up issue #13.

with all that said, i am also aware that i am a big damn hypocrite. in addition to my chinese a-t and avantone mics, i own quite a bit of vintage gear built by -- or assembled with many bits and pieces from -- big players in our staggering military industrial complex. some of it was built specifically for use in warfare. these companies -- like say, hewlett-packard, raytheon and fairchild -- are still milking the killing machine for a profit. to pretend i am on the "high road" would be silly, especially in light of our current circumstances.

oh well. as they say, that's showbiz.

good luck valley international. someday, i may have to hit you up for parts.
"Keep singing, keep writing, keep playing, keep recording. Stay humble, follow your heart, and it'll all lead to a good place."
-- F.M. Cornog

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