Manley Labs Stereo Variable MU Limiter Compressor with Mid/Side Modification

BH #MAMSLCHPMS • MFR #MSLCHPMS
Manley Labs
Manley Labs Stereo Variable MU Limiter Compressor with Mid/Side Modification
Key Features
  • Mid/Side Mod Adds Stereo Enhancement
  • All-Tube Design
  • 4 x Tubes per Channel
  • Hand-Wound Custom Nickel Transformers
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The Stereo Variable MU Limiter Compressor with Mid/Side Mod from Manley Labs is a dynamic signal processor using a 5670 dual-triode tube for peak reduction and compression. The tube is constantly re-biased by the vacuum tube rectified side-chain control voltages, resulting in a smooth change in gain.
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Expected availability: 2-4 weeks
$5,199.00
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with 12 Mos. Promo Financing

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Manley Labs MSLCHPMS Overview

The Stereo Variable MU Limiter Compressor with Mid/Side Mod from Manley Labs is a dynamic signal processor using a 5670 dual-triode tube for peak reduction and compression. The tube is constantly re-biased by the vacuum tube rectified side-chain control voltages, resulting in a smooth change in gain.

The Mid/Side modification (also known as the Vertical/Lateral or Sum/Difference) allows for stereo encoding and decoding, as well as image enhancement processing capabilities. Instead of an active circuit, the left switch changes the wiring of the input transformer, while the right switch changes the output wiring. When both M/S switches are activated, the stereo signal is encoded and decoded providing the ability to compress the mid, sum or mono part of the sound on channel one, while channel two's compressor controls the side or difference. The Mid/Side switches replace the high-pass side-chain position on the front panel. The HP/SC are ganged and moved to the power switch position, while the power switch has been moved to the rear of the chassis.

The compressor setting offers a soft-knee 1.5:1 ratio, while the limit mode offers a sharper knee with ratios ranging from 4:1 to 20:1. With higher limiting settings, the knee will start to soften. Distortion effects can be achieved by turning up the input and lowering the output while using little or no compression. The side-chain high-pass filter uses a 1-pole, 6 dB/octave filter that attenuates 1 to 3 dB at 100 Hz and 4 to 6 dB at 50 Hz. Once engaged, the compressor / limiter will not respond as strongly to low-frequency content and will prevent audible "pumping" when processing bass-heavy music.

The input of the Variable MU is ganged, but can still process two independent channels with separate threshold and output controls. With the link switch engaged, the unit operates in true stereo mode and excels at processing 2-track, final mix, or mastering compression and limiting. Handmade 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 Variable MU ships with an IEC power cable.

  • M/S modification allows various approaches to Mid/Side recording, playback and processing
  • Manley input and output transformers with nickel laminations in mu-metal cases
  • Balanced inputs and outputs (600 Ω)
  • Independently regulated B+ and heater supplies
  • Bypass Switch: Hardwire true bypass
  • Input Attenuator: -8 to +8 dB stepped Greyhill switch
  • Variable Attack: 25 to 70 ms
  • Threshold: Continuously variable
  • 5-Step Recovery Switch: 0.2, 0.4, 0.6, 4, 8 sec
  • Compression Ratio: 1.5:1
  • Limit Ratio: 4:1 to 20:1
  • Large Illuminated Sifam Meters: Displays the amount of dB gain reduction
  • Stereo link switch
UPC: 890833000755

Manley Labs MSLCHPMS Specs

Number of Channels2
Inputs2 x XLR transformer balanced (600 Ω)
Outputs2 x XLR transformer balanced (600 Ω)
Input LevelInput Level Switch: -8, -4, -2, -1, 0, +1, +2, +4, and +8 dB
Compression ThresholdContinuously variable threshold for compression and limiting
RatioCompressor: 1.5:1
Limiter: 4:1 to 20:1
Attack TimeVariable Attack: 25 to 70 ms
Release TimeRecovery 5 Steps: 0.2, 0.4, 0.6, 4.0, 8.0 sec
Maximum Output Level+30 dBu (26 Vrms) 26 dB Headroom
Make-up Gain+35 dB
Frequency Response20 Hz to 25 kHz
THD & Noise<0.1% THD @ 1 kHz
Noise Floor: -85 dB typical
MeterIlluminated Sifam meters
Tubes per SideFully Differential All-Tube Circuitry: 5670, 5751 (or 12AX7), 7044 (or 5687), & 12AL5
High Pass FilterHP SC: High-Pass Side-Chain Filter:
-1 to -3 dB @ 100 Hz
-4 to -6 dB @ 50 Hz
Rackmountable2 U
Power Supply120 VAC, 80 W, 60 Hz
FuseMains Fuse Value: 1.25 A
Mains Fuse Type: MDA or MDL SLO-BLO Time Delay: 1-1/4" x 1/4"
Dimensions (WxHxD)19.0 x 3.5 x 10.0" / 48.3 x 8.9 x 25.4 cm
Power Transformer protrudes 3.5" / 8.9 cm out back of chassis
Weight14.0 lb / 6.4 kg
Packaging Info
Package Weight20.6 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)22.25 x 18.25 x 8"
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