The VOXBOX Combo Tube Channel Strip from Manley Labs is a signal processor with mic preamp, compressor, EQ, and De-Esser/Limiter. While the unit can be used as a single input channel strip, it can also process 2 independent audio signals; one through the mic preamp/compressor and the other through EQ/De-Esser/Limiter. The original design idea was intended for vocal processing. However, the VOXBOX also excels at processing drums, guitar, bass, and stereo mixes.
The VOXBOX incorporates many of Manley's technological innovations including the preamp from the Mono Mic Preamp, an electro-optical ELOP compressor, a Pultec-style mid-EQ, and a dedicated ELOP de-esser/limiter. The mic preamp features a hand-wound iron transformer with nickel laminations, negative feedback gain circuit, and triode vacuum tube circuit. The ELOP compressor is an electro-optical limiter with a fixed ratio of 3:1. The attack, release and threshold knobs adjust 4 different time constraints simultaneously resulting in "parametric compression," which allows for a broad spectrum of professional results for any vocal, instrument, or mix bus signal. While other manufacturer's designs have the compressor post mic pre, the VOXBOX places the circuit before the mic preamp making it near impossible to clip. This also shortens the signal path and ensures a quality, low noise signal.
The EQ section features Manley's Pultec-style Mid EQ, a 3-band EQ (low peak, mid dip, high peak) with an extended frequency range covering 20 Hz to 20 kHz. The de-esser/limiter features another ELOP circuit with 4 notch frequencies to tame sibilance and a 5th setting to provide a LA-2A style limiter. This design allows for compression of the signal pre-EQ and limiting post-EQ. Another useful feature is the silent bypass switches, which allow for the engaging and disengaging of any circuit during recording or playback without any audible artifacts. The large VU meters offer a 5-way toggle switch for monitoring the line input, preamp output, final output, compression gain reduction, and de-esser/limiter action. Handmade in the USA, the unit is housed in a 3U steel chassis with a CNC machined 1/4" faceplate that is also inlaid with laser engraved inserts. The VOXBOX ships with a standard IEC power cable.