The Slam! Mastering Tube Stereo Limiter from Manley Labs is a two-channel dynamics processor with each channel featuring one electro-optical (ELOP) and one field-effect transistor (FET) "brickwall" limiters. The unit is constructed with professional-grade components, hand-wound nickel transformers and hand-selected tubes.
The mastering version removes the mic preamps and instrument inputs making way for a paralleled tube section, yielding lower noise and distortion. All conductive plastic pots have been replaced with Greyhill rotary switches with 1% metal-film resistors, which not only provide recallability, but also deliver an improvement in sound quality. The bypass switch offers a ganged left and right control and functions as a true hard-wire bypass. This version also features transformer-less 1/4" inputs, as well as an expanded range for the ELOP and FET limiters.
Each channel of the Slam! has ELOP and FET limiters available simultaneously or separately. Each adds a distinct character to the sound with the ability to dial in the best of both. The ELOP's minimalist design has a fixed ratio, attack and release with only a variable control for threshold. Additionally, it offers a side-chain high-pass filter, with the 200 Hz setting optimized for vocals and a touch of de-essing.
The FET circuit is a fast "brickwall" limiter with variable controls over threshold, attack and release. The circuit is capable of a variety of colors from clean to grungy, all the while maintaining "zero overshoot" limiting. With the clip setting selected, the FET allows for severe distortion by speeding up the timing circuit and allowing the limiter to work on the waveform rather than the envelope. Both the ELOP and the FET limiters have side-chain inserts (send & return) available on the rear of the chassis via Bantam (TT) jacks.
The Slam! offers comprehensive monitoring via the VU and LED ladder peak meters. In addition to the source toggle for gain reduction, input and output, the VU meter has a pad toggle which allows you to scale the signal down -6 dB for loud signals. The multi-color LED peak meter has a source toggle offering gain reduction, peak and reset & mode. The momentary reset & mode switch clears out any peak signals and allows for the calibration of the peak LEDs to match the meters of your A/D converters. Three Slams can be linked together enabling six channels of limiting for 5.1 surround sound. A separate power supply is used to reduce the detrimental effects of heat and electromagnetic fields (EMF) from influencing the signal path. Hand-made in the USA, the unit is housed in a 2U steel chassis with a CNC-machined 1/4" faceplate that is also inlaid with laser-engraved inserts. The Slam! ships with a separate power supply, 16-pin multi-core connection cable, and IEC power cable.