Quote Hugh Robjohns:
've just completed a review of the Generic Audio Perceptor compressor limiter... and I came close to gushing in that one too!
I can confirm that it qualifies as gushing
Has the standard of pro audio gear rising sharply in the lsat few months, or has someone been saving up all the good toys for my return?
I've been kind Hugh. Now you're better, I'll send something nasty over soon!
Seriously, there do seem to be many more 'boutique' manufacturers around making high-quality hardware. There are a few whose products don't match up to the image, but the quality in general is very good. I put this down in part to the decline in the 'affordable' hardware processor market, where plug-ins seem to offer much better value in *most* instances (there are still a few good affordable bits of outboard!). At the more esoteric end of the market, the plug-ins just don't sound the same, and in many cases aren't anywhere near as forgiving as the best hardware. So you're getting sent less of the compromised stuff for review and more of the tasty.
Another reason for the profusion of high-quality toys is that there are a lot of manufacturers taking classic designs as inspiration and adding new features like parallel processing, side-chain filters and so on. If you stop to think about it, it's hard to design a bad product that way!
SOS Reviews Editor