Roger Mayer is the electronics engineer responsible for the guitar pedals used by Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and Jimi Hendrix in the 1960s, including the Octavia pedal used on the famous 'Purple Haze' guitar solo. He also created a popular series of EQs, consoles, and a widely used mastering compressor/limiter, the RM58. In recent years Roger has returned to design, producing the 456 analogue tape simulator (reviewed in SOS November 2014) and various new guitar pedals. Now he's overhauled his RM58 limiter to create a new two-channel version incorporating the 456 tape emulator.
The revised RM58 is a Class‑A, dual-channel, FET-based feed-forward limiter that offers dynamic gain reduction; in other words, there is no user ratio control, just 21-position stepped threshold and output controls, and the limiting ratio constantly changes based on the audio being received at the input. The designer claims this produces “a very natural, musical-sounding result” with a stable stereo image even when high gain reduction is being applied. Built mainly from stainless steel with a universal power supply and a six-layer, triple-shielded PCB for low-noise performance, the hand-built new RM58 retails for £2999$3500 in the UKUS.