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Ted FletcherTed Fletcher

I do indeed purport!
The 828 was our most successful design… we sold hundreds of them with customers ranging from the Singapore Army to Wimbledon Tennis Club. It was the classic of its day, a simple 8-channel transformer input mixer with a very useful stereo limiter compressor on its output.
There are many ‘gee-wizz’ stories about 828s; one of my favourites actually happened to me…. on a visit to Pinewood I was shown the brand new (as it was then) sound stage with its outrageous Neve mixer that required at least 3 operators, and in the centre on the script area was an 828…… they were doing the final mix for the Bond movie ‘Thunderball’ through it because they liked the limiters!

As it happens, I do have all the circuit information for the 828 and I will send them to you on normal email tomorrow.

Technically, the 828 was very interesting in hindsight…. the channel retained a transformer for the mic in; it was made for us by Dr Sowter. The channel amplifier was extremely simple with minimal feedback and running in class-A, and the mixing, very unusually, was passive! The result was a signal path with virtually no odd-order distortion (class-A and minimal feedback), the noise at the output was not great by modern standards, but was certainly good enough for professional studio use.
With its very high input overload margin, the performance was perfect for speech applications and it became the preferred mixer for radio and television O/B use as well as being ideal for commercial production.

The 828 was living proof of a number of ‘ground rules’ about quality sound reproduction…..
Overload margin (headroom) is everything.
Noise is relative.
The unpleasantness of distortion has little to do with the numbers.
And now after all these years, it was proof that low impulsive distortion sounds right!

I designed the 828 with help from Steve Dove (this was actually before Barry Porter’s time with us at Alice.)
You talk about ‘small format broadcast desk’…….. I think we invented it.