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  Home > Recording > Outboard Gear > Compressors / Limiters > Tube Compressors >

Manley Variable Mu Stereo | Stereo Tube Compressor/Limiter
Manley Variable Mu Stereo | Stereo Tube Compressor/Limiter


 
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Our Price: $4,499.00


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Manley Variable Mu Compressor / Limiter

  • Manley input & output transformers with pure nickel laminations in mu-metal case with flat frequency response
  • 20Hz-25KHz frequency response
  • Balanced Inputs & Outputs
  • Fully differential all-tube circuitry using one each 5670, 5751, 7044, & 12AL5 per channel
  • Independently regulated B+ and Heater supplies
  • Includes HP Sidechain modification as standard
  • Hard-wire Bypass switch
  • Silent conductive plastic input attenuator
  • Recovery 5 steps: 0.2s, 0.4s, 0.6s, 4sec., 8sec. (Not a 12-step recovery)
  • Variable Attack: 25msec-70msec
  • Continuously variable Threshold

The Manley Variable Mu Compressor has been Manley's best selling product for many years. It is one of the very few compressors that has become a real standard in Mastering studios and contributed to most hit records over the last decade and probably the next. "Mu" is tube-speak for gain, and Variable Mu is our registered trademark for this limiter compressor. It works by using the "remote cut-off" or re-biasing of a vacuum tube to achieve compression. The precious vintage Fairchild 670 also uses this technique and is one of few all-tube compressor to do so, that we know of. Even the side-chain has glowing rectifier bottles. How's it work? The unique 5670 dual triode is at the center of the peak-reducing and compression action constantly being re-biased by the vacuum tube rectified side-chain control voltages which cause this tube to smoothly change its gain. Just like that.

The compress mode is soft-knee 1.5 to 1 ratio while the sharper knee Limit mode starts at 4 to 1 and moves to a more dramatic ratio of 20 to 1 when limiting over 12dB. Interestingly, the knee actually softens as more limiting is used. Distortion can be creatively used by turning up the Input and turning down the Output while using very little or no compression. See the gain reduction curves here!

You might notice that the Variable Mu Limiter Compressor has a ganged input control, but do not jump to conclusions that it is mono-unfriendly. Track away! There are separate threshold and output controls to make compensations with plus you can always adjust your individual source levels elsewhere, right? The advantage of the stereo input control becomes dramatically clear when you switch to link mode, and that's what our Variable Mu Limiter Compressor does better than anything else: final mix, 2-track, or mastering limiting and compression. Like one reviewer put it: Its like pouring a bowl of sweet cream over the mix.

High Pass Side Chain
This modification comes stock on all Manley Variable Mu Limiter Compressors since 12/2009, on both regular and mastering versions.

This mod adds two switches to the front panel, one for each channel, so that when engaged, the side chain will not respond to frequencies lower than 100Hz. (We standardly use 100Hz as the -3dB point. Other frequencies can be custom ordered.) This HP SC Mod can be used with music with heavy bass lines or bass-heavy mixes where you don't want the bass driving the whole action of the compressor.

The filter is a very gentle 6db per octave 1 pole filter, and will typically be down 1-3db at 100 Hz, and down 4-6db at 50Hz. As you decrease the frequency the amount of limiting will decrease also. At the extreme LF (<20Hz) there should be very little gain reduction going on. The whole intent of the filter is to keep very LF stuff (like a heavy kick drum) from activating the compression/limiting so that the overall level doesn't duck with every drumbeat.

For more information on this or any Manley product, visit www.manley.com.

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