Manley Labs Stereo Variable MU Limiter Compressor Mastering Version with Mid/Side Mod

Manley Labs Stereo Variable MU Limiter Compressor Mastering Version with Mid/Side Mod

Manley Labs Stereo Variable MU Limiter Compressor Mastering Version with Mid/Side Mod

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Manley Labs Stereo Variable MU Limiter Compressor Mastering Version with Mid/Side Mod

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Ship Time: 7-14 business days 
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Product Highlights

  • Stepped Switches for Repeatability
  • Mid/Side Mod Adds Stereo Enhancement
  • All-Tube Design
  • 4 x Tubes per Channel
  • Hand-Wound Custom Nickel Transformers
  • Stereo or Dual Mono
  • Hardwire Bypass Switch
  • Side-Chain High-Pass Filter
  • Large Illuminated Sifam Meters
  • Made in the USA
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You Pay: $5,625.00

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  • 1Description

The Stereo Variable MU Limiter Compressor Mastering Version with Mid/Side Modification 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. This mastering version replaces all conductive plastic pots with Greyhill rotary switches. The 1% metal-film resistors on the Greyhill switches not only provide recallability, but also deliver an improvement in sound quality.

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.

  • Stepped Greyhill rotary switches with 1% precision metal-film resistors
  • 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: -4 to +4 dB stepped switch
  • Stepped Attack: 15 to 90 ms
  • Threshold: 24-step range
  • 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
In the Box
Manley Labs Stereo Variable MU Limiter Compressor Mastering Version with Mid/Side Mod
  • IEC Power Cable
  • Limited 90-Day Warranty, Extends to 5 Years with Registration
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description
    Number of Channels 2
    Inputs 2 x XLR transformer balanced (600 Ω)
    Outputs 2 x XLR transformer balanced (600 Ω)
    Input Level Input Level Switch: -4, -2, 0, +2, +4 dB
    Output Level Output Level Switch (24 Detents): -11 to 0 dB (1/2 dB steps)
    Compression Threshold Threshold Switch (24 Detents): -11.5 to +1 dB
    Compressor (1/4 dB Steps): 6 dB range
    Limiter (1/2 dB Steps): 12 dB range
    Ratio Compressor: 1.5:1
    Limiter: 4:1 to 20:1
    Attack Time Variable Attack: 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90 ms
    Release Time Recovery 5 Steps (5 Detents): 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 Response 20 Hz to 25 kHz
    THD & Noise <0.1% THD @ 1 kHz
    Noise Floor: -85 dB typical
    Meter Illuminated Sifam meters
    Tubes per Side Fully Differential All-Tube Circuitry: 5670, 5751 (or 12AX7), 7044 (or 5687), & 12AL5
    High Pass Filter HP SC: High-Pass Side-Chain Filter:
    -1 to -3 dB @ 100 Hz
    -4 to -6 dB @ 50 Hz
    Rackmountable 2 U
    Power Supply 120 VAC, 80 W, 60 Hz
    Fuse Mains 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
    Weight 14.0 lb / 6.4 kg

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