Dolby 360-1, pair with sequential serials, with modified Cat 22 Dolby Trick cards

£795.00

In stock

Description

Pair of Dolby 360-1 processors with sequential serial numbers. In excellent condition. These have been refurbished with recapped power supplies and new bulbs for the switches & meters. Photos show the units for sale

These are fitted with modified Cat.22 Dolby Trick cards. Bands 1 & 2 have been disabled so only bands 3 & 4 – the mid & high frequencies – are processed. Use these in encode (record) mode to get high-frequency enhancement

I have a setup guide for using this hardware here


The Dolby 360, and the later 361, were ubiquitous throughout the 1970s, 80s and 90s. They were the standard single-channel Dolby mother units, compatible with the original 1965 Cat 22 Dolby A card and the later Cat 280 Dolby SR cards. Every studio had a couple of 361s but they are now surprisingly rare on the secondhand market

As a double-ended noise reduction system, Dolby A encoded the signal and applied reciprocal decoding on playback. If the tape machine was aligned correctly the system was pretty transparent and gave a significant noise reduction, particularly at higher frequencies

Post-digital, Dolbys are obsolete except for archiving and for doing the Dolby Trick. Dolby A splits the audio spectrum into four bands, applying varying amounts of compression to each. Compression is level-dependent so, as levels rise, compression backs off. At higher frequencies, where tape hiss is more obvious and average signal levels are relatively low, a fair amount of compression could be used, resulting in a dramatic perceived reduction in tape noise & hiss

These Dolby 360s date back to the 1970s & 80s. This pair is unusual in all the original switch caps, working meters & bulbs and having sequential serial numbers. They are in excellent condition and very original – I believe they’ve only had one owner from new. Tested to encode only, working 100%. Supplied with a pair of modified & tested Cat 22 (Dolby A) cards

The Dolby Trick
The Dolby Trick uses the high-frequency compression of Dolby A as an audio effect. By encoding the signal, but not decoding it, it lifts the harmonics & airiness of sounds in an attractive way. It works like a charm on backing vocals but it’s also useful on guitars, drum ambience & etc

Used with standard Cat 22 cards the effect is subtle. We have modified the Cat 22, bypassing processing on the lower two frequency bands, to create a more pronounced effect. See our setup guide

The 361 was patched into tape machine feeds & returns and switched from record to replay mode as required. There's a remote socket on the back panel for automatic record / repro switching but most 361s were switched manually

Built like a brick outhouse, the 361 is a 1U device weighing in at 5.5 Kg. There are no electronics in the 361 but inputs & outputs are transformer-coupled. It contains a power supply, dedicated input / output switching section and a slot for the noise reduction card

These 360-1s us an non-standard unobtanium power connector and matching power cables are supplied. Voltage is switchable 110 / 220 VAC

Standard 1U device suitable for rack-mounting. The 361 is heavy (5.5 Kg) so should be mounted with care

1U

Pair of Dolby 360-1 processors with sequential serial numbers. In excellent condition. These have been refurbished with recapped power supplies and new bulbs for the switches & meters. Fitted with modified Cat.22 Dolby Trick cards. Tested to encode only & working 100%. Supplied with correct power cables. Photos show the units for sale