L.A.'s The Sound Factory Lists Collection of Historic Studio Gear on Reverb

We at Reverb are pleased to announce the sale of recording equipment from L.A.’s The Sound Factory studio, the center of so many classic recordings from the late ‘60s through the present day. The cache of gear includes a Steinway B7 Grand Piano, customized Altec "Big Red" 604E Monitors, a vintage RCA Type 77-DX ribbon mic, vintage API 550A 500 Series EQ modules, DBX compressors, and much, much more.

The Sound Factory was already a working studio when David Hassinger bought it in 1969, but the engineer and producer—known for his work with The Rolling Stones (particularly on Aftermath and Out of Our Heads), Jefferson Airplane, Sam Cooke, CSNY, and The Electric Prunes—brought a new level of craft to the building.

Throughout the ‘70s, California country rockers like Gram Parsons and The Flying Burrito Brothers, Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, and more recorded there. Hard bop jazz trumpeter Donald Byrd made his transformative jazz-funk album Black Byrd with Hassinger serving as engineer. Warren Zevon’s Excitable Boy, the artist’s largest-selling album that featured “Werewolves of London,” was created there as well.

Staff engineers like Val Garay, who recorded Seals & Croft’s “Summer Breeze,” James Taylor’s JT, and Andrew Gold’s self-titled debut helped to keep the breezy Southern Californian vibes flowing through the ‘70s.

Outside of the enviable talents of those artists and engineers, the studio’s incredible gear collection also played a huge role in crafting those classic recordings. That cache included two original API recording consoles (in Studios A and B), an EMT 140 plate reverb, the Steinway Grand Piano, and Altec monitors.

Paul Camarata, who co-owned The Sound Factory from 1981 to 2017, told Reverb, “There were some really historic records both from us and the previous incarnation of Dave Hassinger that were done at Sound Factory, and a lot of that gear that we have—especially the piano and the main monitors—they were used in the production of those records.”

Inexplicably, by 1981, the studio had fallen into financial troubles. But just a few blocks away, Paul and his father Salvatore “Tutti” Camarata were running the legendary Sunset Sound recording studio—where The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, Prince, and were making seminal albums. Sunset was running out of space, turning business away. Paul and his father, being the only bidders at The Sound Factory’s bankruptcy hearing, became the new owners.

There were some really historic records that were done at Sound Factory, and a lot of that gear that we have—especially the piano and the main monitors—they were used in the production of those records." - Paul Camarata

After serving for a time as an overdubbing and mastering space for Sunset, The Sound Factory once again attracted top talent all its own.

During Paul’s tenure, they would record ‘80s hits like Oingo Boingo’s “Dead Man’s Party” and Toni Basil’s “Mickey,” as well as Tom Waits, T Bone Burnett, and Fishbone. Belle and Sebastian, Sheryl Crow, Beck, Marilyn Manson, Ryan Adams, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and John Legend would record throughout the ‘90s and 2000s. Two albums that Camarata is particularly proud of recording there are the last records from both Glen Campbell and Johnny Cash.

Looking back at some of his favorite records made at the Sound Factory from both his time and Hassinger's, Camarata says, “It was all done in that Studio A room that this equipment’s out of.”

Camarata sold the original Studio A board in 1987 and the original Studio B board will remain in place, to be used for future recordings by the building's new owners. While the vast majority of the gear for sale is from The Sound Factory, a few pieces from Sunset Sound are also be available.

An enormous collection of vintage EQs, compressors, outboard effects units, and more are on sale now through the Techno Empire shop. Click the banner above to see all of the listings.

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