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Retro Instruments Doublewide II Tube Compressor 500 Series
Retro Instruments Doublewide II Top Left
Retro Instruments Doublewide II Right Rear
Retro Instruments Doublewide II Front
Retro Instruments Doublewide II Box
Retro Instruments Doublewide II Right Rear

Retro Instruments Doublewide II Tube Compressor

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Retro Instruments Doublewide II Tube Compressor

The Doublewide II is a single-channel compressor that installs into two slots of a standard 500 series rack yet it requires only 130-milliamps of current—just like the original Retro Doublewide compressor. Also retained from the original are the gray painted front panel, high-quality US-made Simpson gain- reduction meter, and hand wiring throughout (no troublesome ribbon cables). Doublewide II’s excellent build-quality is apparent starting with the American-made PC board and extends to the durable and attractive stainless steel case and, don’t forget, we only use Cinemag’s highest-quality input and output transformers for authentic tone and weight plus the complete freedom from external interference and noise.

Retro Gear Shop is an Authorized dealer for Retro Instruments products.

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The Retro Doublewide takes its cue from the legendary Sta-Level compressor but is ultimately its own design. Under the hood there are four NOS 6BJ6 variable-mu tubes doing the actual compression work configured in a fully complementary push-pull design, delivering the sonic characteristics typical of a full-sized Retro compressor.

The Doublewide’s tubes are arranged in two gain stages, working in delicate combination alongside two high-quality Cinemag transformers. Input and output are fully floating and transformer balanced for use with line level signals, while a hard-wire bypass switch allows for quick evaluation of the compression signature. Compression attack and recovery times are continuously variable.

The Doublewide is a small tube compressor with a big sound. It excels at processing all manner of sources like bass, vocals, even whole mixes (but for that you’ll probably need two!), adding a luxurious compression signature to your audio that’s unmistakably analog. Like the Sta-Level and 176 before it, the Doublewide has two timing modes; Single and Double. ‘Single’ is slower: perfect for taming things like harsh vocals and unruly bass; while ‘Double’ provides a dynamic program-controlled attack and recovery timing that’s arguably better for drums and other fast transients. Between these two modes you won’t want for anything else.

The Doublewide is designed to provide the user with years of reliable service. Special circuitry eliminates excess current inrush and component stress when power is applied. Power required is 180 milliamps (6 watts), which is well within a two-slot power allowance. The tubes are self-biased and balanced without the need for user adjustments and there are no internal controls. A meter-zero adjustment is accessible from the side of the unit to compensate for tube variations. Tube replacement is straightforward and the tubes are readily available.

Like all our gear, we’re very proud of the Doublewide. It might be small but there’s nothing small about its sound. It’s the perfect antidote to the stark world of digital technology.
Single channel tube compression in a two-slot 500 series module
Continuously variable input and output levels with fixed threshold
Continuously variable attack and recovery time
Single and Double time-constants
Fully complementary push-pull signal path
Cinemag transformer balanced, fully-floating Input and Output
Hard wire bypass switch with gold-plated contacts
Gold-plated edge card connections
Stainless steel chassis construction
Side-accessible meter zero trim
Uses new-old-stock U.S. Tubes
Authentic U.S.-made Simpson gain reduction meter
Hand built and tested in the U.S.


Retro Instruments Doublewide II Right Rear
Retro Instruments Doublewide II Front
Retro Instruments Doublewide II Box