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Gainlab Audio announce Bishop

New channel strip employs E88CC and 12AX7 valves

Gainlab Audio Bishop outboard channel strip valve preamp optical compressor double slope

Gainlab Audio are about to celebrate their second birthday, and are marking the occasion with the release of Bishop, a new valve-based channel strip.

The Bishop’s microphone preamp utilises employs three valves, and uses a stepped gain control with two selectable scales offering up to 60dB of gain. Microphone, line-level, and instrument inputs are provided, with instrument sources benefitting from the addition of a Drive control which uses a discrete circuit to apply some colouration to the signal. Phantom power can be engaged by a front panel switch, whilst an additional pair of switches provide pad and polarity functions.

The unit also features an optical compressor which Gainlab describe as a “double slope” design. A 2nd Slope parameter placed next to the unit’s Threshold control aims to offer increased versatility when compared to traditional LA-2A-inspired designs, and a pair of gain reduction meters are present to indicate the amount of compression being applied by each section of the compressor.

Hard, Medium, and Soft settings are available via a Character selector switch, and five fixed release times along with an Auto function are provided by a Timing control. A high-pass filter placed at either 80 or 120Hz can be engaged, and a Dynamic Air Band switch promises to deliver a unique character to a signal’s high-frequency content.

In terms of performance, Gainlab Audio specify a frequency response of 20Hz to 20kHz (±1dB) and a THD+N figure of <0.3% (measured at 0dBu). The unit measures 483 x 280 x 89 mm, and weighs 5.2kg.

We’ve been impressed with the company’s previous offerings here at SOS, and are looking forward to getting our hands on this latest addition when units become available. Until then, take a look at our reviews of the Dictator compressor and Empress passive EQ units.

Pricing & Availability

The first Bishop units will be shipping in March 2023, with pricing details yet to be announced.

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