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One very impressive channel strip from Manley Labs...

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Everyone who records needs a front end to get the audio into their interface... and you will have a hard time finding a better all-in-one channel strip than this one. To check out my review of the Manley Labs CORE channel strip, click on the link below.




Let me know if you have any questions folks. :wave:

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No, unfortunately I have not had the opportunity to test the Retro Powerstrip, but looking at their site, it looks like a nice unit. There are some obvious differences. They are using more of a Variable-Mu type compressor instead of the el-op, and the EQ seems to be based more on a Pultec. It's probably a very nice channel strip, but without hearing it and playing around with it on different things I really can't say much more about how it would compare to the Manley CORE. :idk:

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  • 2 weeks later...
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Perhaps I'm overly focused on compression lately (ugh, can you tell vocal takes are on the agenda?) but I when I read the review and saw that the ratio was fixed and no makeup gain (good point in your review), it turned me off. Also, the lack of numbers for the threshold dial means it would be difficult to duplicate elsewhere without going back to square one. I think you mentioned a limiter, but somehow this seemed a little overly dumbed-down to me with a unit meant to be an "all in one." I'm clueless when it comes to the guts - could it have a variable ratio? Also wish the Attack & Release had numbers around the dials.


Adjustable Q value for sweepable midrange might be a nice addition to the EQ section. Read your remarks that it "isn't surgical;" but shouldn't EQing in a recording environment be surgical? I'm usually easily as concerned with what I'm removing as what I'm emphasizing - seems more like coloration than EQ? And no in/out IS weird.


What does the min/max control on the limiter do? Is it a dry blend?


I read the review and honestly my jaw dropped when I saw $2k -- the controls seem too reductive and the functionality too restricted / aimed towards 'sounding like everyone else' for me to feel GAS for it. For that price I'd like the preamp and compressor separated on the send / return (you pointed this out), adjustable ratios on the compressor, a Q value on the EQ, an in/out on the EQ, ....


Am I sure that's one nice-sounding strip? Sure. I'm sure that preamp is lovely, the compressor top-notch ... but at that price point, I want more than "set it and forget it."

Edited by Danhedonia
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