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Locomotive Audio Model 14B

Variable-mu Compressor
Published May 2017
By Hannes Bieger

Locomotive Audio Model 14BPhoto: Hannes Bieger

Combining aspects of two classics from the golden age of hardware design, this compressor is really rather special.

Locomotive Audio began life when founder Eric Strouth took a trip to Memphis, Tennessee, a couple of hundred kilometres south of his native St Louis, Missouri. The trip provided the spark of inspiration for Strouth to design his own palette of studio processors: it was at the famous Sun Studios that he discovered a pivotal component of the ‘truly rich’ (as he puts it) sound of classic records — the all-valve equipment of the early days of the pop era. Back home, he began to experiment with these design topologies, and his ambition to achieve similar sound textures in his own studio ultimately led to the founding of Locomotive Audio. At the time of writing, Strouth’s company offers two different all-valve products: a dual-channel preamp and the Model 14B compressor/limiter, the latter being the subject of this review.

Overview

At first glance — and indeed beyond — the 2RU enclosure oozes vintage vibe and effortless class; the unit delivers typical design...

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Published May 2017