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Empirical Labs EL8-X Distressor Analog Compressor Used
Empirical Labs EL8-X Distressor Analog Compressor Used
Empirical Labs EL8-X Distressor Analog Compressor Used
Empirical Labs EL8-X Distressor Analog Compressor Used
Empirical Labs EL8-X Distressor Analog Compressor Used
Empirical Labs EL8-X Distressor Analog Compressor Used

Empirical Labs Distressor EL8-X Used

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Empirical Labs Distressor EL8-X Used
Excellent condition. Fully functional. Retails for $1799 new, save some here.

The EL8-X is the new and improved version of the EL8. The EL8-x includes Stereo Image Link and British Mode switches.

Retro Gear Shop is an Authorized dealer for Empirical Labs products.

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Unique Compression Curves
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.
 
Distortion (Color) Modes
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.

Go Stereo
For many Distressor owners, one is never enough – in fact, one extremely successful engineer has twelve of them! For those who want (at least) a stereo pair, ELI offers the EL8-S, a pair of Distressors that are matched at the factory, and come with the cables you need to lock them together. If you want the Brit Mod and Image Link options, an EL8X-S package is also available.
 
British Mode - EL8-X
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 an unusual knee and new envelope shape. 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 new “British” ratio (1:1) – to any of the ratios, simply by engaging the dedicated “British Mode” switch.
The British Mode and Image Link options are only available on the EL8-X. Click here to learn more about upgrading your EL8 to an EL8-X.

Image Link - EL8-X
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 new “Stereo Image Link” option, the EL8-X now has three link options – the original “phase” link, the new Image Link and the combination of the two, phase and image linking – something never before offered on any compressors or limiters.
Frequency Response – 2 Hz to 160 kHz in clean audio mode (+0, -3 dB). Response is shaped in distortion modes (Dist 2, Dist 3).
Dynamic Range – 110 dB from max. output to min. output in 1:1 mode. Greater than 100 dB signal to noise in distort 3 mode.
Distortion – ranges between .02% and 20% depending on distortion mode and release times set on front panel.
I/O – DC Coupled input and outputs.
Time Constants – Attack range 50uS – 50mS. Release range .05 sec to 3.5 seconds, normal modes and up to 20 seconds in 10:1 opto mode. Time constants are dependent on ratio.
Power Consumption – 15 Watts Max.
Metal Chassis – single height 1.75″ high, 10″ deep, 19″ wide.
Shipping info – 12.1 lbs mono, 24.2 lbs Stereo pair. Mono box dimensions 22.5″ x 18.5″ x 3 1/4″. Stereo Pair box dimensions 22.5″ x 18.5″ x 6 1/4

Empirical Labs Distressor EL8-X Manual
Empirical Labs EL8-X Distressor Analog Compressor Used
Empirical Labs EL8-X Distressor Analog Compressor Used
Empirical Labs EL8-X Distressor Analog Compressor Used