“When I found it on e-Bay, the auction was to close on a Wednesday,” says Maxson. “So I showed up two days before that with a trailer and a handful of money and bought it for less than the opening bid.” Stored in a warehouse for a decade, the Neve 8108 had been orphaned by the digital age after years of service at two famed studios: Conway and Music Grinder. The seller told Maxson that people were interested in “parting it out,” a common way to recycle working components of antiquated equipment. But Maxson had a personal agenda for the Neve. “My son, Butch, is an up-and-coming musician and I wanted to make his record with a vintage console.”
“It took five trips to pick up all the parts, there was so much of it,” says Maxson. On the first trip, they brought back 50 or so channel strips in the back of Maxson’s truck. By the time he got it all to Ventura it was completely disassembled and Maxson had no idea where to begin. Armed with schematics and diagrams, but no step-by-step instructions, Maxson started with the chassis — bolting it together, sanding and painting it. Faced with somewhere in the range of five large Rubbermaid totes full of ribbon cables with individual functions, he began the complex process of running wires. “By trial and error,” he says, “I had to figure it out.” Imagine putting a small book back together from shredded documents and you get an idea of what Maxson was up against.
-VC Reporter @2015