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    Empirical Labs EL8X Distressor Compressor with British Mod

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    SKU: EMP EL8XDISTMOD


    Item Condition: Learn More
    Product Condition

    New Top-Brand Gear From An Authorized US Dealer

    You get top-brand gear, new from the factory, from an authorized US dealer. Our products are shipped from the vendor to our warehouse, and then from the warehouse to you. There is no detour through a retail store, where the boxes are opened, the products put on display, and then sold as leftovers. When you shop online, make sure you are comparing new gear from authorized US dealers. 

    Special Opportunities: When It's Not New, We Tell You

    We occasionally have opportunities to buy B-stock merchandise to offer at special discounts. We also sometimes get returns in less than perfect condition. Sometimes we will offer these products to you - but we always identify it clearly as such using the classifications below. So unless it says otherwise, it's new from the factory.

    Important Guarantee: Your 100% Satisfaction

    Regardless of the condition described on our site, what you should remember is that if you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase you may return it (though exceptions apply for some products). Of course, if you know you will only be happy if a product is 100% cosmetically perfect, then you shouldn't order B-Stock or Blemished merchandise - it's just not a good gamble. And if you will only be happy if a product has never been touched by another human, well then the Resealed products aren't a good choice for you. But if you are looking for even more impressive values than our already-low prices, then these options will be very attractive when available.

    These are our best descriptions of the quality and condition of this merchandise. Because of the highly efficient, automated nature of our warehouse, and the high volume of products we stock and ship, there is no way for us to provide any additional detail on the condition of any individual item. Just remember our 100% satisfaction guarantee!

    Warehouse Resealed

    A warehouse resealed product is usually a customer return. These products are not in absolutely new condition, but will ship with everything the brand new product would ship with including manuals* and the full factory warranty*. These products are still covered by our 30-day satisfaction guarantee, so they're a great deal! 

    Blemished

    This is typically a customer return with minor cosmetic imperfections, such as superficial scratches or scuffs on the finish. This inventory includes all parts, components, manuals (hard copy or downloadable) and the full factory warranty*. It has been tested to manufacturer's specifications and is guaranteed to work perfectly. It may be less attractive than Warehouse Resealed inventory, but it's priced even lower! These products are still covered by our 30-day satisfaction guarantee, so they're a great deal! 

    Scratch and Dent

    This is typically a customer return that shows general wear and tear, along with dents and scratches. This inventory includes all parts, components, manuals (hard copy or downloadable) and the full factory warranty*. It has been tested to manufacturer's specifications and is guaranteed to work perfectly, but will show signs of use. It may be less attractive than Blemished inventory, but it's priced even lower! These products are still covered by our 30-day satisfaction guarantee, so they're a great deal! 

    Factory Resealed

    A factory resealed product is purchased directly from its manufacturer, who may have refurbished the product or used it for training and demonstration purposes. These products are not in absolutely new condition, but will ship with everything the brand new product would ship with including manuals (physical copy or downloadable) and the full factory warranty*. These products are still covered by our 30-day satisfaction guarantee, so they're a great deal! 

    B-Stock

    A B-stock product is purchased directly from its manufacturer, who may have refurbished the product or used it for training and demonstration purposes. These products may be cosmetically blemished, but will ship with everything the brand new product would ship with including manuals (physical copy or downloadable) and the full factory warranty*. These products are still covered by our 30-day satisfaction guarantee, so they're a great deal! 


    *Warranty coverage for non-new gear varies by manufacturer. To see if the non-new product you’re interested in has warranty coverage, click the "What is Blemished/Warehouse Resealed/etc." text link near the price on the product page.

    Item Condition: Learn More
    Product Condition

    New Top-Brand Gear From An Authorized US Dealer

    You get top-brand gear, new from the factory, from an authorized US dealer. Our products are shipped from the vendor to our warehouse, and then from the warehouse to you. There is no detour through a retail store, where the boxes are opened, the products put on display, and then sold as leftovers. When you shop online, make sure you are comparing new gear from authorized US dealers. 

    Special Opportunities: When It's Not New, We Tell You

    We occasionally have opportunities to buy B-stock merchandise to offer at special discounts. We also sometimes get returns in less than perfect condition. Sometimes we will offer these products to you - but we always identify it clearly as such using the classifications below. So unless it says otherwise, it's new from the factory.

    Important Guarantee: Your 100% Satisfaction

    Regardless of the condition described on our site, what you should remember is that if you are not 100% satisfied with your purchase you may return it (though exceptions apply for some products). Of course, if you know you will only be happy if a product is 100% cosmetically perfect, then you shouldn't order B-Stock or Blemished merchandise - it's just not a good gamble. And if you will only be happy if a product has never been touched by another human, well then the Resealed products aren't a good choice for you. But if you are looking for even more impressive values than our already-low prices, then these options will be very attractive when available.

    These are our best descriptions of the quality and condition of this merchandise. Because of the highly efficient, automated nature of our warehouse, and the high volume of products we stock and ship, there is no way for us to provide any additional detail on the condition of any individual item. Just remember our 100% satisfaction guarantee!

    Warehouse Resealed

    A warehouse resealed product is usually a customer return. These products are not in absolutely new condition, but will ship with everything the brand new product would ship with including manuals* and the full factory warranty*. These products are still covered by our 30-day satisfaction guarantee, so they're a great deal! 

    Blemished

    This is typically a customer return with minor cosmetic imperfections, such as superficial scratches or scuffs on the finish. This inventory includes all parts, components, manuals (hard copy or downloadable) and the full factory warranty*. It has been tested to manufacturer's specifications and is guaranteed to work perfectly. It may be less attractive than Warehouse Resealed inventory, but it's priced even lower! These products are still covered by our 30-day satisfaction guarantee, so they're a great deal! 

    Scratch and Dent

    This is typically a customer return that shows general wear and tear, along with dents and scratches. This inventory includes all parts, components, manuals (hard copy or downloadable) and the full factory warranty*. It has been tested to manufacturer's specifications and is guaranteed to work perfectly, but will show signs of use. It may be less attractive than Blemished inventory, but it's priced even lower! These products are still covered by our 30-day satisfaction guarantee, so they're a great deal! 

    Factory Resealed

    A factory resealed product is purchased directly from its manufacturer, who may have refurbished the product or used it for training and demonstration purposes. These products are not in absolutely new condition, but will ship with everything the brand new product would ship with including manuals (physical copy or downloadable) and the full factory warranty*. These products are still covered by our 30-day satisfaction guarantee, so they're a great deal! 

    B-Stock

    A B-stock product is purchased directly from its manufacturer, who may have refurbished the product or used it for training and demonstration purposes. These products may be cosmetically blemished, but will ship with everything the brand new product would ship with including manuals (physical copy or downloadable) and the full factory warranty*. These products are still covered by our 30-day satisfaction guarantee, so they're a great deal! 


    *Warranty coverage for non-new gear varies by manufacturer. To see if the non-new product you’re interested in has warranty coverage, click the "What is Blemished/Warehouse Resealed/etc." text link near the price on the product page.



    Product Description


    The "British Mod" version of ELI's Distressor compressor, the Empirical Labs EL8-X features the Stereo Image Link and British Mode options. The Distressor is the product that started it all for Empirical Labs. Born of founder Dave Derr's love of classic compressors like the 1176, LA-2A and Gain Brain (among others), the Distressor incorporates his favorite sonic characteristics of these, along with other unique and interesting features that have made it a staple for audio engineers all over the world. With over 28,000 units in the field, it's safe to say that the Distressor is one of the best selling high end compressors of all time... if not THE best selling. A prominent recording engineer recently wagered that there probably was not a top 40 record made in the last five years that didn't have at least one Distressor on it.Besides providing a wide range of control and a unique feature set, the Distressor offers a warm, vintage sound by using a custom designed gain control circuit. This "warmth" or "vintage sound" has become a major issue in the last few decades, as the super clear and linear digital technology does next to nothing to soften "harsh" sounds, nor emphasize the bass frequencies in music sources. Conversely, older analog tape, vinyl records and tube equipment could not be prevented from coloring the sound, often to the frustration of recording engineers. However, many people now realize that this coloring can be extremely pleasant and musical. Digital technology is often referred to as "cold" and "brittle" among other terms (although we prefer "unforgiving").All eight of the Distressor's curves are unique and distinctive, from the 1:1 mode that simply warms up signal with low order harmonics without intentional compression, to the "Nuke" setting
    - a brick wall limiting curve that shines on live drum room mics. Each curve has its own personality and several actually use different circuitry, and are effectively different compressors. Most exceptional is the 10:1 "Opto" ratio which uses separate detector circuitry to emulate the oldest (and valued) "light controlled" devices, such as the LA-2A.Another large part of the Distressor's personality and power derive from three modes that color the signal, even without compression. These extended audio modes were designed to allow emulation of some very old and expensive vintage compressors & limiters, and let the Distressor deliver a classic "knee" sound all its own by providing user programmable, warm harmonic distortion. In addition to the basic distortion mode, Distort 2 emphasizes tube-like 2nd order harmonics, while in Distort 3 setting the distortion becomes dominated by 3rd harmonics more closely resembling tape. Two HP filters -
    - one in the audio path, one in the detector path -
    - are also available to help with low frequencies that can cause pumping and breathing.

    British Mode

    The concept of British Mode came from an unusual setting on the classic UREI LN1176 limiter. The unit was designed to have only four ratios, each ratio being engaged by selecting one of four buttons. However, as early as 1980 (or before), renegade recording engineers, always on the lookout for something a little more "over-the-top," found that you could make all four buttons stay in if you pressed them just right. What resulted was a very aggressive sound that had some elements of the unit's 20:1 ratio, but with unusual knee and envelope shapes. Somewhere along the line, someone called it "British Mode," and the name stuck. The EL8-X has the advantage of being able to selectively apply this aggressive characteristic -
    - not just to the "British" ratio (1:1) -
    - to any of the ratios, simply by engaging the dedicated "British Mode" switch.

    Image Link

    The original Distressor stereo link function used a summing and phase detection method, which allowed slight stereo image shifting. Although frequently desirable for its phase correction, and its "thickening" on open room mics and other stereo sources, this approach can sometimes be a problem on stereo program material where the producer/engineers want to maintain absolute left/right balance at all times. With the "Stereo Image Link" option, the EL8-X now has three link options
    - the original "phase" link, the Image Link and the combination of the two, phase and image linking
    - something never before offered on any compressors or limiters.

    WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm - www.p65Warnings.ca.gov.