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Empirical Labs

Empirical Labs EL8X Distressor

$ 1,499.00

Empirical Labs EL8X Distressor
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Empirical Labs EL8X Distressor Empirical Labs EL8X Distressor Empirical Labs EL8X Distressor Empirical Labs EL8X Distressor Empirical Labs EL8X Distressor Empirical Labs

Empirical Labs

Empirical Labs EL8X Distressor

$ 1,499.00

    • Retail Price: $1,700.00

      For Gear Heads:

      Empirical Labs EL8X Distressor is the product that started it all for Empirical Labs. Born of founder Dave Derr’s love of classic compressors like the 1176, LA-2A and Gain Brain (among others), the Distressor incorporates his favorite sonic characteristics of these, along with other unique and interesting features that have made it a staple for audio engineers all over the world. With over 22,000 units in the field, it’s safe to say that the Distressor is one of the best selling high end compressors of all time….if not THE best selling. A prominent recording engineer recently wagered that there probably was not a top 40 record made in the last five years that didn’t have at least one Distressor on it.

      Besides providing a wide range of control and a unique feature set, the Empirical Labs EL8X Distressor offers a warm, vintage sound by using a custom designed gain control circuit. This “warmth” or “vintage sound” has become a major issue in the last few decades, as the super clear and linear digital technology does next to nothing to soften “harsh” sounds, nor emphasize the bass frequencies in music sources. Conversely, older analog tape, vinyl records and tube equipment could not be prevented from coloring the sound, often to the frustration of recording engineers. However, many people now realize that this coloring can be extremely pleasant and musical. Digital technology is often referred to as “cold” and “brittle” among other terms (although we prefer “unforgiving”).

      • “All buttons in” British Mode switch with LED
      • Frequency response: 2Hz to 160kHz in clean audio mode (+0, -3 dB). Response is shaped in distortion modes (Dist 2, Dist 3)
      • Dynamic range: 110 dB from max. output to min. output in 1:1 mode.
      • Distortion ranges between .02% and 20% depending on distortion mode and release times set on front panel.
      • DC coupled output – High quality input caps.
      • Input impedance: 20K ohms
      • Output impedance: < 75 ohms
      • Time constants: Attack range 50uS – 50mS
      • Release range: .05 sec to 3.5 seconds, normal modes and up to 20 seconds in 10:1 opto mode. Time constants are dependant on ratio.
      • Metal chassis
      • Dimensions: 1.75″ H x 10″ D x 19″ W

      Layman's Terms:

      The Empirical Labs EL8X Distressor is probably one of the most versatile, well-known compressors on the market and in the studio.  The possibilities on the EL8X are endless.  So many types of compression can be achieved on this unit.  It is also more than just a compressor.  There are some really great distortion and Eq/Filtering options to help dial in the compressor even more.

      So What is the difference between the EL8 and EL8x?


      Simple: The EL8x has what they call the Brit Mod and Image Linking options. The Brit Mod is essentially a nice 1176 compressor emulation.  The "All Buttons In" mode is a well known technique that you can perform on the original 1176 compressor.  The Image Link is ideal if you have a second Empirical EL8X and are using them to process and compress stereo sources (Drum Room Mics is a good example).  The Image Link switch engaged keeps both L and R sides of your stereo image together.  Check out the Video below and Dave Derr ( Founder of Empirical Labs) gives you some more insight into the Image Link Switch

      • “All buttons in” British Mode switch with LED
      • Frequency response: 2Hz to 160kHz in clean audio mode (+0, -3 dB). Response is shaped in distortion modes (Dist 2, Dist 3)
      • Dynamic range: 110 dB from max. output to min. output in 1:1 mode.
      • Distortion ranges between .02% and 20% depending on distortion mode and release times set on front panel.
      • DC coupled output – High quality input caps.
      • Input impedance: 20K ohms
      • Output impedance: < 75 ohms
      • Time constants: Attack range 50uS – 50mS
      • Release range: .05 sec to 3.5 seconds, normal modes and up to 20 seconds in 10:1 opto mode. Time constants are dependant on ratio.
      • Metal chassis
      • Dimensions: 1.75″ H x 10″ D x 19″ W