Retro Sta-Level Tube Compressor


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Product Code: 9999-17029
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The Retro Instruments Sta-Level Tube Compressor is a recreation of the legendary 1956 Gates Sta-Level. The Sta-Level's legendary compression performance makes it a favorite of pro-engineers on bass guitar, vocals, and pretty much anything you can toss it's way to control.

The Retro Sta-Level is a recreation of the legendary 1956 Gates Sta-Level. The Sta-Level dominated the sound of hit radio in the 1960's. Now these super musical sounding compressors have found their way into today's hits. The Retro Gold Edition celebrates fifty years of the products existence. The Retro Sta-Level improves on the original with six settings of recovery (release) time and three different modes of operation. Single is super smooth for bass tracks. Double is perfect for most every source you throw at it. The Triple mode allows the Sta-Level to clamp down on fast transient waveforms while still retaining great musicality. These new adjustments give you wide flexibility to find the perfect dynamics control for your specific application.

Sta-Level Origins
The Sta-Level utilizes a novel program controlled release circuit. The Sta-Level implementation creates density and consistency while minimizing typical compressor side-effects at up to 40dB of gain reduction! The program path is transformer balanced throughout to cancel control-induced distortion. Push pull circuitry with 6V6 output stage provides wide voltage swing for gain control and line output. The result is that the Sta-Level brings a uniquely familiar intimacy, air and warmth to your tracks.

Retro Sta-Level Tube Compressor Features

  • Revisions to the original design include:
    • Tube balance can be instantly aligned without test equipment
    • Uses a pair of easily-obtainable 6BA6 gain reduction tubes. The 6386 socket is still provided..
    • Two or more Sta-Levels can be coupled together for stereo, surround or sidechain operation
    • XLR transformer balanced input and output
    • IEC Power Connector
    • Hand matched audiophile-grade coupling capacitors
    • High quality, custom wound transformers used throughout
    • Internal component safety cover

Retro Sta-Level Tube Compressor Specifications

  • Gain Reduction Threshold: Continuously adjustable from +24dBm to -20dBm
  • Available Gain Reduction: 40dB
  • Total System Gain: 35dB (with standard input and output pads)
  • Distortion: 1 percent or less from 0-30 dB gain reduction
  • Frequency Response: +/- 0.25dB from 20-20,000 Hz
  • Noise: -70dB or better referenced to gain reduction threshold
  • Output Level: Continuously adjustable from -40 dBm to +18 dBm
  • Input Impedance: Accepts low impedance active or transformer balanced 0-600 Ohms
  • Output Impedance: 600 Ohm transformer balanced, terminated and resistive pad coupled
  • Tube Complement: 2-6BA6, 1-12AT7, 2-6V6GT, 1-6AL5, 1-OB2, 1-5Y3GT
  • Power Requirements: Three prong IEC - Switchable 115-230 VAC - 50/60 Hz
  • Mounting Requirements: 3U metal rack 5.25" high, 19" wide, 8" deep

3 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews

  • 5
    A Beast of a unit!
    Preston Scott

    For starters, it instantly makes all your other rack gear look wimpy! So easy to use and just adding it into the signal chain adds a little magic. It's built like a tank and is fairly heavy. It can be smooth and transparent or downright ugly and aggressive making it very versatile.

  • 5
    John V

    My new go to for vocals. Like an LA2A with an edge.

  • 5
    John Vesely

    This might be my new go to for an LA2A with more character. You can really crank the GR without sounding over compressed. Love it.