Locomotive Audio 14B Compressor

Locomotive Audio

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Product Code: 1407
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The Locomotive Audio 14B Compressor is a Vari-Mu Compressor that will make your vocals sit perfectly in the mix. It is the real sound of the Vari-Mu Tune compression at your fingertips.

The Locomotive Audio 14B Compressor is based on a very old, but still very exciting concept of rebiasing the input tube with a sidechain control voltage. After all, some of the most famous compressors in history, such as the Fairchild 670, Gates Sta-Level and Collins 26U employed this very technique. The results are a sound that cannot be replicated with other ways of gain reduction. The Locomotive Audio 14B and its added modern features allow it to achieve a unique sound in its own right. Starting with the semi-remote cutoff 6BC8 tube, a 12AY7 then drives two powerful push-pull 6V6 output tubes. The 14B is quite a versatile unit, with the ability to run soft and gentle or hard and aggressive. A sidechain low cut control offers even more flexibility, especially when used on a stereo bus and linked with another 14B. This versatile unit can be used on all kinds of source material including vocals, drums, guitars, bass, piano and horns. With its high quality Cinemag input and interstage transformers, the 14B has the ability to define mid-range clutter and control the peaks at the same time. The user will notice an enhancement on any material run through this unit, even when not compressing.

Locomotive Audio 14B Compressor Features

  • Stereo Link switch
  • Sidechain Low Cut filter control: Off and 70-350Hz
  • Hard-wire bypass switch
  • Compression turned off with full counterclockwise attack position, switching to line amplifier
  • Two position Compress-Limit Switch
  • Two position VU meter switch: Gain Reduction - Output
  • 6BC8 balance adjustment on interior of unit
  • Custom Sifam backlit VU meter
  • XLR input and output connections
  • Cinemag input and interstage transformers
  • Custom output transformer
  • Hand-built in USA with classic turret board technique
  • Heavy 16 gauge steel chassis
  • 115v/230v AC mains option on rear

Locomotive Audio 14B Compressor Specifications

  • Tubes: (1) 6BC8, (1) 12AY7, (2) 6V6s
  • Input load impedance: 5kΩ
  • Output impedance: <800Ω
  • Variable Attack: (300µs-20ms)
  • Variable Release: (100 ms-2s)
  • Compression (4:1 ratio) or Limiting 10:1 ratio)
  • Frequency response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • THD+N: <1%
  • S/N ratio: >70dB
  • Dimensions: 19"w x 3.5"h x 10"d (2u rackspace)
  • Shipping Weight: 20 lbs.
  • Power Consumption (120/240VAC): 42 watts

Locomotive Audio 14B Compressor Includes

  • 14B Compressor
  • User Manual
  • IEC Power Cord
  • Lifetime warranty parts and labor

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What We Think


What I loved about the sound of this compressor is that there is a fullness, a weight to it that does not come from an emphasis on the lows and low mids, but in the sonic dimension and presence of the compressor. While using the side chain filter you can get a nice big low end out of it, I often preferred leaving the low end to effect the comp circuit and tighten the bottom up a bit. The overall sound of the comp, while full and warm (I mean it does have dual tube gain stages), it is very balanced. There isn't a darkening of the top and upper mids when compressing hard. It maintains a balanced character. It also maintains details. While yes your transients will become more rounded, they are not lost or diminished. And, no matter how hard you compress, it stays smooth. Yes, you will be able to tell when the comp engages and releases, but there is no breathing or pumping from it. It's simply a fluidity to the comp that lets you dial it in to flow with the tempo of the music. Using it on a mix for everything (drum buss, guitar buss, bass, vocals, and synth) on a rock song – it made the entire mix bigger. It completed the song.

Ryan Ferris, Pro Audio Sales

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