Thermonic Culture The Phoenix Compressor

Cooper, Michael
April 2004
Mix;Apr2004, Vol. 28 Issue 5, p122
The article discusses the latest valve compressor. Thermionic Culture's "The Phoenix" is a variable-mu tube compressor, the first type of compressor ever made. Few manufacturers offer variable-mu compressors these days, Manley Laborataries and Pendulum Audio being notable exceptions. Yet those in the know seek out these unique processors for their idiosyncratic sound. Variable-mu compressors use a tube as the gain control element. They are inherently soft-knee compressors: the harder you drive the gain control tube by cranking the input level, the higher the compression ratio becomes, which causes an increasing densification of the processed sound as the gain control tube approaches saturation.


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