Vintage Studio Rentals close up

Up Close: Vintage Studio Rentals

Celebrating Three Decades of Vintage Equipment Rentals: What do the Academy Awards, Rihanna, Eric Clapton, the Goo Goo Dolls, Joe Cocker, Michael Jackson, Johnny Cash, Audioslave, Green Day, Kanye West, Michael Bublé and thousands of bands and artists from all musical genres have in common? They’ve all rented from Bruce Monical’s vast arsenal of vintage instruments and equipment. This year his NoHo-based Vintage Studio Rentals celebrates 30 years as one of L.A.’s top rental facilities—but the lifelong musician and multi-instrumentalist had been informally loaning out gear even before he officially incorporated. Monical’s renown for using vintage gear in various L.A. studios on his own projects led to his first formal rental of an AKC C12 studio condenser microphone to a session for Earth, Wind & Fire’s Philip Bailey, produced by Randy Jackson.

Veteran Musician Builds An Arsenal of Classics: Monical started his personal collection with a ‘56 Fender Stratocaster, Ampeg B15 Fliptop, Fender Rhodes and a ‘59 Fender Tweed Tremolux amp. Earning money loaning out gear, he chose to invest in more equipment—starting with tube mics, tube guitar amps and LA-2A and Fairchild tube compressor limiters. As his company continued to grow organically, Vintage was, he says, “pretty much the first rental company to rent out tube mics.” While most renowned for his large collections of tube and ribbon mics (including original Telefunken 251s, Neumann U47s, & M50s), vintage guitars, basses and amps, Monical also has 150 vintage snare drums, 30 drum kits, Pultec tube equalizers and many vintage keyboards, including Moog, Arp and Sequential synthesizers, Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzers, Clavinets, Mellotrons and Hammond organs, and much more.

The Vintage Advantage: Monical rents modern instruments and equipment as well, but considers vintage wares his ultimate niche in the local rental market. “As much as people try to recreate those vintage sounds with contemporary technology,” he says, “if you compare the modern plug-in to the sound of vintage gear, there’s no comparison. You can hear the warmth and realness. This equipment allows artists and producers to make great sounding records at an affordable price.”

For more information, contact Bruce Monical.