Manley Labs Stereo Variable Mu® Mastering Version
An industry standard for professional mastering studios, the Mastering Version of the Stereo Variable Mu Limiter Compressor employs metal-film resistors loaded onto beautiful Grayhill sealed gold-contact switches for absolute repeatability, accuracy, and reliability. 1/2dB steps ensure precise and subtle adjustments. This is what defines mastering. High Pass Side Chain mod now comes as standard.
'THE WORKS' - Includes both MS Mod & T-Bar Mod Options. The power switch must be relocated to the rear panel whenever the MS mod is applied...
STEREO VARIABLE MU® LIMITER COMPRESSOR - THE MASTERING VERSION
Proudly from our beginning, we at MANLEY LABS have been closely involved with numerous mastering facilities around the world. For these most demanding engineers in our industry, we have created specialized products such as our all-tube tape repro head amps, digital converters, high-powered vacuum tube monitor amplifiers, through to custom monitoring consoles, all the way up to complete facility design and installation.
THE MASTERING VERSION DETAILS
The Mastering Version of our Variable Mu® Limiter Compressor incorporating detented and loggable steps built with 1% metal film resistors on sealed gold-contact Grayhill switches is available. NO, we will not mod a "normal" unit to the Mastering Version. The Mastering Version of the Variable Mu Limiter Compressor uses expensive Greyhill rotary switches with gold contacts where conductive plastic pots were used. The steps are determined with a large number of 1% precision metal film 1/2 watt resistors. The best conductive plastic pots only have 10% or 20% tolerance. The ten fold improvement in precision helps a great deal in left-right matching. There is a subtle audible improvement with stepped switches as well. Audiophile HI-FI often uses that technique to wring the last drop of performance out of a preamplifier. And I bet you wanted stepped switches mostly for resets.
The INPUT LEVEL is a five position switch with a generic optimum setting of “0” in the 12:00 position. Each step in either direction is 2 dB. For reference, Unity Gain is "0".
The OUTPUT Attenuators are in half dB steps. Reference Unity is -11.5 or fully counter-clockwise. You might think of these as "gain makeup". They are marked technically, in that “0” or fully clockwise has zero attenuation in the circuit. The tube circuit actually has 15.5 dB of gain. The Input attenuator at "0" removes 4 dB and the Output attenuator removes the last 11.5 producing "unity". With a little compression the "gain make-up" available with the Output Attenuator is very handy.
The Threshold is in half dB steps calibrated to LIMIT mode. In Compress the steps are approximately 1/4 dB. There are 24 steps so LIMIT gets a 12 dB range and Compress has a 6 dB range of adjustment. In some cases it is common to use the Input Attenuator to find a good starting point. Some Mastering engineers find using the combination of Input, Output and Threshold to achieve a little different "drive". Another good reason for stepped gains.
The Attack Time has been slightly extended in both directions compared to a regular Variable Mu and divided into 11 steps.
The Recovery 5 position switch is exactly the same as a regular Variable Mu.
The switches specifically are like this:
- Input: -4 to +4 in 2 dB steps
- Output: -11 to 0 in 1/2 dB steps (24 detents)
- Threshold: -11 to +1 in 1/2 dB steps LIMIT(24 detents) and 24 x 1/4 dB steps in COMPRESS
- Attack: 11 positions CW (fast) 15mS, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90mS (slow) CCW
- Release: 5 positions CW (fast) 200mS, 400mS, 600mS, 4S, 8 Seconds (slow) CCW
- AVAILABLE OPTIONS - PLEASE CONTACT US FOR FULL DETAILS and ARRANGEMENTS
- With MS Mod Option - $5,895.00
- The MS Mod turns the left channel into “middle” and the right into “sides” to compress each phase component independently. For example, squash the vocal, kick, snare, bass (in-phase info) while keeping the out-of- phase program intact to make the stereo image super- wide.
- With T-Bar Mod Op on - $5,625.00
- The ideal choice for routine extreme limiting, this mod makes the Variable Mu even smoother when pushed past 6dB of compression. Using two matched 6BA6 pentodes strapped as triodes makes this choice better than an unobtainable & unsortable 6386.
- Retrofit T-BAR Mod Option - $450.00
- “The Works” - Includes both MS Mod & T-Bar Mod Options - $6,345.00
- Includes both MS Mod & T-Bar Mod Options. The power switch must be relocated to the rear panel whenever the MS mod is applied...
- Add High Pass - Retrofit - $315.00
- The High Pass Side Chain Filter (HP SC) Option can be retrofitted to older units. This allows the bass to dominate without triggering the whole compressor into action...
Specifications subject to change because they just might.
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