Altec 1591A Compressor Amplifier


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“When i crank up the input gain I can make it distort in a musical and useful way. I’m glad to have it. A unique sound, and cool as heck looking”

“I use it on a snare all the time. If you want a FAT snare drum, I haven’t found a better box to get you to maximum fatness. Adds like, 2 inches to the height of your snare…”

“I like them for parallel compression on room mics and/or El. guitars…
And the mic pre’s are great!”

“Really excellent crunchy midrange thing going on that works well for snares and guitars”

“Those are beautiful pre’s for electric guitars. Nice distortion!”

“I have a couple 1591a and i love them, they are huge sounding, a little noisy but if you got some gates on the outputs no worries, i would not use them for SUPER quiet stuff or voice over, but for band work the compressors are HUGE and warm”

“Definitely a character piece. If not modded it doesen’t have 48v. Mine’s not but I mainly use it for dynamics and ribbons and even then you kinda need an inline pad in front because this thing distorts like crazy. But it actually sounds really good, kinda like a API on crack. Recently tried it on snare with a Beyer M160 and it sounded thick and meaty. Good for thrash room too, MD441 on the floor and Bob’s yr uncle.”

“The sound quality of the Altec Lansing 1591 A compressor is pretty awesome. It will add punch to your sound without coloring it. I’ve used it mostly on electric and acoustic guitars, drums, and bass guitar, but is suitable for just about anything. Getting a good sound is quick and easy, as it has your basic compressor parameters, and anyone who has experience with other compressors should be able to figure out how to use this pretty quick. The rich tone makes it a great overall compressor”

“What a fantastic 60’s/Beatles/Motown mushiness this unit has. I expected it to be a bit more slow and dumb like a CBS Audimax, but it’s really usable once you get the input padding correct”

“They make pillowy too-much-low-end direct basses sound thick and muscular, and they’re so unique sounding, that they’ll make anything you put into them cut through the mix”

“The compression it yields sounds huge, very API; think Sly and the Family Stone. Great character on distorted electric guitars, vocals, and bass”

User manual

Gearslutz discussion

Audiofanzine review Tape Op thread  


In excellent used condition, particularly for a vintage piece. Small crack in the meter lower frame but other than that it's almost unmarked. Photos show the compressor for sale