Gear Post of the Week – General Electric BC31 Sidecar

December 11, 2015 / Gear /

IV Lab Studios’ gear post of the week features our 1961 General Electric BC31 Mixing Console. Originally designed as the first fully modular broadcast console, this board started life with 6 germanium mic preamps, 6 passive inputs, a stereo/dual channel mix bus and a stereo/dual channel monitor section. In 1961 the University of Nebraska took possession of the mixer for approximately $3000.

IV Lab acquired the console September of 2015 with the original power supplies and an additional 6 mic preamps. It was promptly torn down, all mic and program amps recapped and rewired with polarity reverse and input impedance(150/600) switches. Both power supplies were recapped, and the console was wired as a 12 channel mic preamp “lunchbox”. It will soon house a 32 channel passive summing mixer utilizing the original germanium program amps and a passive monitor control section. The console is currently parked in Studio A for tracking sessions.

There are 12 General Electric BA21B1 Revision A microphone preamps in our BC31 sidecar. Each solid state preamp utilizes a pair of 2n508 and a pair of 2n527 transistors, has an ADC input transformer (37.5/150/250/600:2400), and provides 50db of gain. While they can provide clean amplification, they are loaded with character when you turn them up. We’ve found them effective on any instrument that needs more color, hair, dirt, filth, grit, fuzz, distortion, saturation, buzzword, buzzword.

We have a ton of documentation of all things General Electric germanium from the late 50’s/early 60’s. Anyone out there needing schematic,manuals, or technical assistance please contact [email protected].