Manley Voxbox Combo
Manufacturer: Manley Labs
Official Website: www.manley.com
Suggested retail price: $4600 (USD)
Price through this link: $4140 (USD)
Savings: 460 USD
Manley has the reputation of making excellent high end equipments, and this is one of them. Even though this equipment was designed as a high end preamp, one would not be surprised to find it in a mastering rack. The quality of this unit is simply astonishing. The Manley Voxbox is what we call "Channel Strips" these days, and therefore can be used as a tube warmer, an equalizer as well as a compressor. Even if designed as a preamp, the unit has a line-in input so there is no level problems.
Its compressor design is based on a blend of the Variable MU Compressor Limiter with the opto-isolator approach of the Manley ELOP Limiter. Both equipments are very popular in mastering.
It compresses the signal before it hit the tubes without side-effects on distortion nor frequency response which translates into a very smooth sound.
What is surprising about this unit is the fact that it contains so much features, without compromising quality on any stage. The VoxBox contains an equalizer, a compressor, a de-esser and limiter. This is pretty much what one would need at the mastering stage... Of course, since this equipment is single channel, you will need two of them and you can "stereo-link" them.