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Pendulum Audio, known for its line of class A, high voltage vacuum tube products, introduced the PL-2 Brickwall Analog Peak Limiter at AES in New York. The PL-2 is the first non-tube product in Pendulum's Pro Audio line, and uses a transformerless, class A solid state signal path.
"Due to popular demand, I decided to create a two channel, stand-alone version of the peak limiter that's in our Quartet II Tube Recording Channel." says Greg Gualtieri, Pendulum's president and product designer. "Users have discovered many creative applications for the peak limiter I hadn't initially imagined, especially on percussion and guitar tracks."
The PL-2 uses a new approach to brickwall limiting in the analog domain according to the compny, one that is fast enough to prevent digital overs without using time delay or phase-delay techniques. "This allows us to keep the analog signal path short, and keep the limiting circuit 'switched out' of the signal path below the peak limiting threshold", Gualtieri adds.
It features two modes of peak limiting, using either JFET or MOSFET devices as the control elements. While both are equally capable of brickwall limiting, the JFET tends to be a harder mode of limiting, while the MOSFET has a softer, more compliant response. The resulting waveforms look different, and each device has its own characteristic sound.
In addition, the two channels can be linked for stereo, or used independently. Input and output controls allow the user to scale the gain structure for a wide range of applications, from driving the front end of an A/D converter at +20 dBu, to inserting it as an effect into a +4 dBu patch bay. The input and output controls are stepped switches, making the PL-2 mastering-ready. Each channel also has an expanded 13 segment LED display which indicates peak reduction.