The IRON mastering compressor is not a copy of a classic unit, but rather an original concept in itself. Our goal was to conceive a compressor that provided a pleasant, melodic-sounding, transparent compression, inspired on the vintage compressors of the radio era. And we wanted it to be versatile enough to adapt perfectly to the needs of modern mastering studios.
Thus, the IRON combines not only the sonic virtues of legendary vintage tube compressors with the advantages of the High Dynamic 120 V operating voltage in a single unit. It also sets a new benchmark in terms of tube compressor technology, with the innovative implementation of a parallel dual-tube circuit.
- Variable BIAS
- Tube Bias
- Mu-Metal Transformer
- Vactrol Peak Limiter
- Stereo Link
- Air Bass & Tape Roll-off
- Easy Recall
- Sidechain EQ
- Auto Bypass
Thanks to the especially conceived Mu-Metal iron transformers, the signal of each channel is split across two different twin-triode tubes. The combination of the different response curves of both tubes results in a transparent and musically pleasant compression. Additionally, peak signals of the control voltage are limited by a feed-forward resistive vactrol-opto-isolator. Thus, the output signal remains lively even with a high gain reduction. The compression is only noticeable with extreme settings.
Mastering is not the only domain where the IRON sets new standards. It can also be used to process individual instruments, like vocals, bass, guitar, strings, etc. The IRON is also an excellent option for subgroups.
Compressors basically differ from each other in the technology used. This technology - tubes, opto, FET, or VCA - is what gives a compressor its particular character. Some units sound soft and silky, some sound pounding, while some others make sound fatter, and there are those that make sound clearer, harder or more percussive. The trick resides in how the unit is technically designed, in the signature of the maker. Different compressors with the exact same settings might work and sound completely different. They provide different sounds for different applications and music styles.
Nowadays, the compressor has become a key element when it comes to provide dynamics and punch to any production. The number of compressors available is huge and it‘s easy to succumb to the promises made by software emulations and analog recreations of vintage gear as the perfect solution. Unfortunately, many of these emulations and recreations differ quite a bit from their original counterparts. You must simply accept that the components used today, like the transformers, tubes and all other passive elements, are different to the ones originally used and that they can‘t be digitally emulated. No software (DSP-emulated compressors) or hardware replica will ever be able to sound like the original. An authentic sound can only be achieved with the original unit.
However, the IRON compressor features a second sharp cut-off tube, a medium-variable bias triode, in its circuit design. This tube is connected in parallel to the remote cut-off tube and it has a considerably steeper characteristic curve. The tube used to process the signal depends on the amplitude of the latter. This results in a more well-balanced sound and more controllable settings of the parameters. The pair of parallel connected tubes has been specially matched for the IRON. In order to guarantee that tube selection and pairing is perfect, we use the Weigl Roe Test for PC. The optimal selection of the tubes guarantees that all IRONs have the same sonic characteristics.
The IRON compressor works as a feedback compressor when set to the variable-bias tube circuit and as a feed-forward compressor when set to the opto-control circuit.
In stereo Link mode, the Threshold, Tube Bias, Attack, Release, and Rectifier parameters, as well as the Sidechain EQs, are controlled with the right side (channel 2) of the unit. In contrast to the Dual-Mono mode, in stereo Link mode the compressor works with a sum signal. Thus, the stereo image is wider when working with the Dual-Mono mode on stereo material.
Frequency Range (40 kHz = -3 dB): 10 Hz - 40 kHz
CMRR (at 0 dBu):1 kHz: › 80 dB / 10 kHz: › 65 dB
THD & N (0 dBu): › 82 dB
Noise (A-weighted): -98 dBu
Total Harmonic Distortion
- 0,3% at 100 Hz
- 0,06% at 1 kHz
- 0,02% at 15 kHz
0 dBu: 0,01% at 1kHz
+10 dBu: 0,002% at 1kHz
- Input Impedance: 20 kOhm
- Max. Input Level: +32,5 dBu
- Max. Output Level: +32,5 dBu
- Output Impedance: ‹ 50 Ohm
- 0,24 Amp, 230V/50Hz, 44 Watt, 55 VA
- 0,46 Amp, 115V/60Hz, 42 Watt, 52 VA
- 230 V/50 Hz: 1 Amp
- 115 V/60 Hz: 2 Amp
Dimensions & Weight
- W x H x D: 482 x 177 x 311,5mm; 19" x 7" x 12.25"
- Standard EIA 19" Housing/4U
- Weight: 11kg / 24.25lb
0dBu = 0.775V. Specifications subject to change without notice.