Heritage Audio has announced availability of the TUBESESSOR, which they describe as their take on an optical tube compressor specializing in recording delicate, critical signals where it is essential to retain all the individual character and emotion while offering natural, transparent control. They say that time and money need no longer be wasted searching for an overly priced unit in a questionable state of operation since it is now possible to obtain that famous sound, and much more, with a brand-new piece providing problem-free, heavy- duty use for future-proofing many years of music-making history as a new design that vastly increases headroom and improves clarity while also allowing access to a whole new range of sound and textures. Here's more of what they have to say about it...
It is fair to say that optical tube compressors have always been the choice of seasoned engineers and producers when it comes to recording critical, delicate signals such as voice and bass where it is essential to retain all the individual character and emotion while offering natural, transparent dynamic control. Clearly, a classic optical tube compressor is still a prized possession after all these years, but searching for original units that are overly priced and almost always in a questionable state of operation need no longer be the only option available to those chasing that sought-after sound since there is now a viable alternative; the TUBESESSOR truly represents Heritage Audio's 21st-century take on that classic design.
As a unique design manufactured in the EU with only top-of-the-line components and custom transformers at the input and output stages, as well as NOS tubes operating at an extremely high internal voltage to ensure a clarity, depth, and headroom previously unheard of, not only is the TUBESESSOR perfectly suited to warming up and even subtly enhancing a signal while maintaining total dynamic control, it also has a few tricks tucked neatly into its 3U rackmount chassis.
Cue TUBESESSOR's all-new TUBE SATURATION section, with settings ranging from CLASSIC (no saturation at all) through to HOT (angry-sounding tone), with self-explanatory MILD and MEDIUM switchable in-between. Indeed, this section takes full advantage of a creamy-sounding NOS Raytheon double triode tube to add a pinch of aggression or fully transform the signal into something ready for war! Importantly, it works in tandem with the custom output transformer to produce the right harmonic content.
Thankfully, Heritage Audio has also opted to include its innovative and notable SC FILTER section to widen the scope of control still further, with five internal side-chain settings available. The first two settings (80 and 160) ensure that the compressor is not being unduly overpowered by lower frequencies while the next three (1K, 3K and 5K) are frequency-specific, selectable for extra creativity.
Continuously adjustable ATTACK and RELEASE controls are available when the ATTACK/RELEASE SELECT mode is set to MANUAL or in combination with FIXED settings when set to FIX/MANUAL, making it possible for users to musically mold their signal to suit.
Speaking of which, a large and attractive VU (Volume Unit) meter makes light work of monitoring either IN (input), GR (gain reduction), and OUT (output) to ensure that users are always informed with a clear reading of exactly what is happening. Working well with the TUBESESSOR's large, inviting controls, it is always a sheer pleasure to use.
However, there are also other notable front panel-positioned features well worth mentioning, including GAIN (up to +30 dB of makeup gain); RATIO (continuously variable from 2:1 to 10:1); LINK (stereo operation); and BYPASS (true bypass of the circuitry) -- not forgetting, of course, the vintage-looking red jewel light (simply indicates that the unit is switched on).
On the face of it, then, the TUBESESSOR provides everything anyone could conceivably ask of an optical tube compressor to achieve a top-tier professional recording -- right down to its rear panel even allowing for convenient user replacement of the NOS Raytheon CK5755 (double triode) and audiophile-grade Psvane 12BH7A (double triode) tubes without needing to open the unit! Ultimately, it is clearly much more flexible than any alternative out there -- the one to turn to for the sweetest, warmest, and most natural-sounding dynamic control possible, but with an ability to spice things up on occasion.
Of course, Heritage Audio has sourced NOS tubes to last a lifetime so those taking the TUBESESSOR plunge -- purchasing this truly 21st-century take on a long-time favorite -- are assured that their investment is safe and sound, set to provide problem-free, heavy-duty use for future-proofing many years of music-making history.
Pricing and Availability:
The TUBESESSOR is shipping and available via Heritage Audio's global network of dealers at €2,999.00 EUR (including VAT) in the EU, and $2,499.00 USD in the US, distribution being handled via RAD Distribution
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