Some engineers can only afford a 76-style F.E.T. compressor, while others can only purchase a 2A-style opto compressor—but with the Black Lion Audio B172A, you never have to choose between the two. This is a compressor that puts both circuit typologies into one unit.
Catch peaks with the incredibly fast F.E.T. compressor first, and smooth things out musically with the opto circuit second. Or, switch the order. Both uses are valid and both are available to you in this single unit.
On one side of the physical unit, you'll find your typical F.E.T. compressor controls, including input, output, attack, release, and ratio. The other side of the box houses the optical compressor, giving you the classic Gain and Peak-Reduction knobs as well as a Limit/Compress switch for the ratio. An AB-BA switch lets you dictate the order of the effect, even giving you a dual-mono position in between the two options.
Why would you need the dual-mono setting? Say you want to run a bass through the F.E.T. circuit and a vocal through the optical compressor while tracking a live session. As each circuit has its own I/O section over balanced XLR and 1/4" jacks, this is easily possible if you set the AB-BA switch to the dual-mono position.
Should you want to link this unit to an additional B172A, you can do so over two 1/4" link connections—one for the optical side, and the other for the F.E.T. circuit. High-quality components have been used throughout the construction to ensure an authentic sound in recording and mixing applications.
Key Features at a Glance
- FET, Opto, FET into Opto, Opto into FET, and Dual Mono
- FET circuit based on Black Lion Audio's Seventeen compressor
- Custom T4BLA opto element to best approximate the original 2A's opto cell
- Cinemag input transformer on opto circuit
- Black Lion Audio Chicago-wound output transformers on both circuits
- High-grade signal path and decoupling capacitors
- Link either or both circuits to another B172A for stereo operation