Around The Shop: Federal Television Corp. AM-864


Since the inception of the Vintage King Tech Shop, we've seen more than our fair share of unique items come through our doors. One of our favorites in that time has become the AM-864 broadcast peak limiter, which is a compelling mixture of both pro audio technology and American history.



Created by the Federal Television Corp., the production of the AM-864 started in 1954 and lasted for around a decade or so. The AM-684 was primarily used by the US Army and US Air Force during the Korean War, as the broadcast limiter was the last piece of gear in a audio chain before the broadcast transmitter. There are extremely explicit directions in the 1963 Federal Television Corp. AM-684 manual that offers several methods for destroying the limiter to keep it out of enemy hands.




This particular model, Serial No. #529, is the seventh of its kind to come into the Tech Shop for repair and eventual sale. In terms of its use in the recording studio, the AM-864 has become a popular compression tool utilized by many top producers and engineers, in addition to a being viable option as a mic-pre when used with other dynamic gear.


Thanks to our friends at Preservation Sound for their high-quality scan of the Federal Television Corp. AM-864 manual.

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One thought on “Around The Shop: Federal Television Corp. AM-864”

  • Barry Rudolph

    I have one of those I totally refurbed. I put the rear panel pots on the front panel--you can tweak the sound a little with them--mine was made by Universal Industries and is in mint condition.

    Awesome for vocals, drum loops and bass.

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