How did the 500-series’ first discrete, transformer-balanced full channel strip fare in our tests?
Tobias Lindell’s products are always interesting, as they’re designed essentially to meet his own needs as a producer and engineer; as his marketing states, they are “designed by engineers for engineers”. Called the WL‑3 R, his latest offering is actually a revamped version of the original WL‑3 500-series channel strip launched a few years ago, and which Lindell claimed to be the first 500-series channel-strip module — by which he means a single unit combining preamp, EQ and dynamics processing.
Whereas that original model was a single-width module, the new version is designed to occupy a double-width slot and it looks very classy and elegant, with an attractive, 8mm-thick, burgundy-red anodised aluminium front panel. It also features eight custom-made knurled solid-aluminium knobs and a short-throw fader with metal knob, and all the rotary potentiometers have a 41-notch detented action. The audio signal path is book-ended with Carnhill input and output transformers, too.
A joint venture between Tobias Lindell and Paul Wolff (probably best known for his past design connections with API), the WL‑3 R channel strip combines a mic preamp, a three-band equaliser with separate high-pass filter, a compressor, and an output fader — but this undersells the versatility of what is on offer here. Disappointingly, the review unit didn’t come with a manual and neither could...
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