This recording console, located in Studio 2, was one of only two custom made by EMI engineers for Abbey Road studios. David Gilmour recalls attending a meeting with the key staff at Abbey Road around 1967 to discuss the equipment.
“I said that they should ignore eight-track altogether and switch from four-track to 16-track; doing that would have saved them money and put them in front of most other studios.”
The entire album was recorded at Abbey Road, the majority using the console in this lot from Studio 2. Alan Parsons, the album’s producer, commented in an interview with Premier Guitar in 2012,
“… the band members were experienced in the studio. They arguably were the most technically minded band out there. They knew what a recording studio was capable of, and they took full advantage. And they worked me hard—they always worked their engineers hard to push the barriers….”
Also used by many other artists including: Paul McCartney and Wings, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Kate Bush and in later years The Cure, it is now considered to be a world record for a piece of technology sold at auction and far eclipses the £718,000 paid for the Apple 1 computer in 2014. The eventual total completely smashed Bonhams’ pre sale estimate of £550,000.
The MK IV’s impressive technical specification follows:
40 channels with limiter/compressor on each, 4 echo returns and 16 monitors, MK3 feature cassettes, track monitor cassettes, dual channel 16 track sync mixer, two banks of 12 pairs of microphone channels, 8 pairs of main channels to centre section, monitor level controls for tracks 1-8 on left and 9-16 on right side, Ernest Turner manufactured VU meters comprising 16 full size VU meters and approximately 50 channel VUs, quadrant radial faders by Painton, with approximately 1600 capacitors (many original), housed in the original semi-wrap-around frame made of block board with teak and mahogany veneer.