Reviews

Compressor & Limiter Reviews

By George Shilling

With many years as a recording engineer and producer George knows the good from the bad. In many cases it's a matter of taste, some prefer one EQ over another but George writes unbiased and objective reviews of the equipment tested to help you discover new or interesting gear.

ACME Opticom XLA-3 Leveling Amplifier
Dec 23 2011 Leveling Amplifier
ACME Opticom XLA-3

The Opticom is a 2U mono opto limiter which combines high speed photocells with all-valve circuitry. Designed and built in the USA, it provides three different Response modes which each

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AnaMod AM670 Stereo Limiter
Dec 23 2012 Stereo Limiter
AnaMod AM670

So, here we go again with yet another Fairchild 670 recreation. Only, hold on, this one really doesn’t feel quite right. Yes, they’ve made a good stab at the front

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Aphex 661 Expressor Tube Compressor / Limiter
Dec 23 2003 Tube Compressor / Limiter
Aphex 661 Expressor

A friend of mine has a theory that any audio equipment is guaranteed to be good if it is American and has an 'X' in its name. Well, Lexicon, dbx

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CharterOak SCL-1 Stereo compressor
Dec 23 2012 Stereo compressor
CharterOak SCL-1

CharterOak have been making boutique microphones since 2002. Endearingly, rather than boosting his ego, founder Michael Deming, (an engineer and producer of some note), named the company after a local

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Chiswick Reach Stereo Valve Compressor
Dec 23 2008 Stereo Valve Compressor
Chiswick Reach

Chiswick Reach Studio has carved out a niche for itself in the London studio market as a provider of vintage recording technology. Apart from collecting and maintaining ancient equipment, the

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Crane Song STC-8 Stereo compressor / peak limiter
Dec 23 2008 Stereo compressor / peak limiter
Crane Song STC-8

This is a sophisticated US-built stereo compressor, designed with attention to detail in both function and form. The unit's designer David Hill has taken a very scientific approach: the manual

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Crane Song Trakker Mono compressor / limiter
Dec 23 2003 Mono compressor / limiter
Crane Song Trakker

The Trakker is a new mono compressor/limiter from Cranesong. Although similar in appearance to the STC-8 Stereo Compressor, the designer has taken a somewhat different approach.   However, there are

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D.W.Fearn VT-7 Stereo valve compressor
Dec 23 2008 Stereo valve compressor
D.W.Fearn VT-7

Such is his perfectionism, Douglas Fearn spent nearly 10 years researching and designing this stereo compressor. You’ve seen the picture, it’s a 3U case, but in the flesh it is

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Daking 52270 Mic Pre/EQ and 91579 Compressor/Limiter Geoffrey Daking pro audio
Dec 23 2008 Geoffrey Daking pro audio
Daking 52270 Mic Pre/EQ and 91579 Compressor/Limiter

I suspect that many readers outside the US have never heard of Geoffrey Daking. I hadn't. The man himself is a studio owner and 'audio tinkerer'. His units have been

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dbx 160S Two channel compressor / limiter
Dec 23 2003 Two channel compressor / limiter
dbx 160S

The dbx 160 was standard equipment in any studio worth its salt when I started in the business. Not for the faint-hearted, I always suspected that this half-rack, 2U machine

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Drawmer Front End One MX60 Mic / line channel strip
Dec 23 2003 Mic / line channel strip
Drawmer Front End One MX60

In the high-end 'voice channel' market, one can easily forget that Drawmer were an early entrant with the Vacuum Tube 1960. They now enter the crowded budget end of this

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E.A.R. / Yoshino 660 Compressor / Limiter
Dec 23 2003 Compressor / Limiter
E.A.R. / Yoshino 660

Esoteric [es–o–ter'ik], adjective inner; secret; mysterious; taught to a select few – This is the dictionary definition of the ‘E.’ of E.A.R. (Esoteric Audio Research), which says much about the

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Fat Man
Dec 23 2003 Stereo valve compressor
Fat Man 'Fat One' by TL Audio

I was just a few days into my health diet when the Fat One arrived, threatening to spoil things. The novelty of receiving a cubic container was quite irresistible -

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Groove Tubes The Glory Comp Mono valve compressor
Dec 23 2008 Mono valve compressor
Groove Tubes The Glory Comp

The Glory Comp (GC hereon) is a sister product of the ViPre microphone preamp. A similarly over-engineered all-valve design, this new product is equally robust – it weighs a whopping

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Joemeek MeekBox VC2 Valve channel strip
Dec 23 2003 Valve channel strip
Joemeek MeekBox VC2

I have long been a fan of Joe Meek's productions. I even went to a Joe Meek Appreciation Society event a few months back. But until recently I had not

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Joemeek MeekBox VC6 Input amplifier and channel strip
Dec 23 2003 Input amplifier and channel strip
Joemeek MeekBox VC6

Since the introduction of the Joemeek Compressor a few years ago, Joemeek have been steadily increasing their range. They have found a particular niche with the all-in-one type of processor

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